Trent University Researchers Awarded $404,418 in Federal Funding through John R. Evans Leaders Fund
CFI funding supports projects to tackle violence against LGBTQ+ communities; improve strategies to manage freshwater fisheries; study processes of Giardia intestinalis; and understand movement and activity of specific bird populations in Canada
Thursday, August 20, 2020, Peterborough
Four Trent University researchers have received a combined $404,418 in federal funding as part of the recent Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announcement to support research topics including violence against LGBTQ+ communities, freshwater fisheries management, microbial induced intestinalis and the factors influencing migratory patterns in Canadian bird populations.
As part of the CFI’s continued commitment to enabling world-class research, Trent University was awarded funding through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), an initiative focused on providing funding to Canadian universities for infrastructure required to perform innovative research.
“We are thrilled that the John R. Evans Leaders Fund will provide Trent University and four of its outstanding researchers with valued resources to conduct innovative work that tackles important issues in today’s complex world,” said Dr. Cathy Bruce, acting vice-president Research and Innovation at Trent University. “The awarded funding from CFI affirms that Trent continues to execute cutting-edge research in diverse realms.”
The funding backed by the Government of Canada will see the development of two new labs at Trent University: Dr. Karen Blair, assistant professor of Psychology, will receive $196,679 to create an immersive biometrics lab, known as the Trent Social Relations, Attitudes and Diversity Lab; and Dr. Graham Raby, assistant professor of Biology, will receive $74,944 to create the Integrative Fish Ecology Laboratory.
A summary of Trent research projects awarded funding is as follows:
- Dr. Karen Blair, Psychology ($196,679): to support the creation of the Trent Social Relations, Attitudes and Diversity Lab. The lab focuses on studying the connections between social relationships and health outcomes, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ populations. With the support of JELF, state-of-the-art virtual reality and biometric technology will be used to provide a complex, multi-modal approach to research, providing insight into the unconscious underpinnings of thought, emotion and behaviour. Professor Blair also aims to develop a novel experience-sampling smartphone app to harness the power of widely-used technologies in the study of everyday social interactions, ranging from expressions of affection to violence. The research will move towards actionable interventions to reduce anti-LGBTQ+ prejudices and to improve the quality of life of LGBTQ+ Canadians. The program will contribute to Trent’s growing reputation as a leader in LGBTQ+ research.
- Dr. Graham Raby, Biology ($74,944): funding will support the Integrative Fish Ecology Laboratory at Trent University. Professor Raby’s research seeks to understand how threats such as climate change, invasive species and over-fishing impact fish and the diverse ways that fish respond. The lab will be a mobile, flexible, field and lab-based research system. The research undertaken in the lab will enable a better assessment of how freshwater fish can adapt to their rapidly-changing environment and help improve the strategies used to manage freshwater fisheries.
- Dr. Janet Yee, Biology, and co-investigator Dr. Steven Rafferty, Chemistry ($69,845): This research will focus on molecular and biochemical studies of Giardia intestinalis, a freshwater protist that causes an infectious form of diarrhea. The infrastructure will support two areas of research: to understand gene expression and regulation; and to study Giardia heme proteins. The study of Giardia may lead to the development of more effective treatments of infections.
- Dr. Erica Nol, Biology, and Gary Burness, Biology ($62,950): to support a joint research project that tracks the movement of shorebirds in the Canadian Arctic and small aerial, insect-feeding birds in southern Canada. Through small satellite-tracking devices and radio-tags, researchers will continuously study how environmental factors affect the birds’ activity levels during the breeding season, and whether differences in health, age, sex, and breeding latitude, determine migration timing and routes. This research will provide an understanding of the factors influencing animal movement across the Canadian landscape and allow researchers to better forecast changes in species distribution and abundance.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund will support 377 new research projects at 55 institutions across Canada. The funding aims to help universities attract and retain top research talent from around the world and provide the highly specialized infrastructure they need to excel as leaders in their field.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
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