Brandon University celebrates success of researchers

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research-celebration-bsun-v2BRANDON, Man. — A remarkable year of research has Brandon University (BU) ready to celebrate.

The University will host a reception at Harvest Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to recognize 34 BU researchers who are working on projects supported by national Tri-Agency research grants. These prestigious grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) support a wide spectrum of cutting-edge research.

“This year we have had nine new Tri-Agency grants announced to support projects based right here at BU” said Dr. Heather Duncan, Dean of Education and Associate Vice-President, Research.

“This is our greatest success since the current grant programs were introduced, and it is only the tip of the iceberg in projects by BU researchers. Our faculty members are also playing key roles in other important research projects being carried out at universities across Canada.”

New and ongoing research projects housed at BU have generated $6,252,230 in federal Tri-Agency grant money. The contributions of BU researches to work based at other universities would elevate the total value of the projects well beyond that figure.

In addition to driving innovation and providing insight on key issues, the projects also provide BU students with valuable research experience. In many cases, they are able to do research at an undergraduate level that might only be available to them through post-graduate work at other universities.

“I am continually amazed by the scope and the quality of research, scholarly and creative activities that our faculty conducts,” said Dr. Gervan Fearon, President and Vice-Chancellor of BU. “Their work is helping to shape the future and creates incredible opportunities for our students, community and province.”

Tuesday’s reception begins at 6:30 p.m., and is open to the public. Brief summaries of all the research projects will be presented at the event.

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, and educates students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.


Tri-Agency Research at BU


The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) supports excellence across all four pillars of health research: biomedical; clinical; health systems services; and population health.


Planning Grant – Ongoing

Principal Investigator: Dr. Kathy Moscou

Co-Investigators: Prof. Karen Batson, Dr. Chis Beeman, Dr. Yvonne Boyer, Dr. Chris Brown, Dr. W. Dean Care, and Dr. Karen Rempel

Grant Details: Dr. Moscou and her research team were awarded $11,998 for their project entitled, Health and Aboriginal Land-based Education Research (HEALER) Symposium.

Project Description: The Health and Aboriginal Land-based Education Research (HEALER) Symposium was a two day forum that aimed to 1) identify community-university research priorities and 2) catalyze community-based research investigating the relationship between Indigenous knowledge, land-based education, health literacy and health.


Project Scheme Grant – New
Penny Tryphonopoulos
Penny Tryphonopoulos

Principal Investigator: Dr. Penny Tryphonopoulos

Grant Details: Dr. Tryphonopoulos was awarded $569,552 for her project entitled, Video-Feedback Interaction Guidance for Improving Interactions between Depressed Mothers and their Infants.

Project Description: The project, which builds on a successful pilot study, VID-KIDS (Video-Feedback Interaction Guidance for Improving Interactions between Depressed Mothers and their Infants) is a brief (three-session), video-based, nurse-delivered intervention designed to improve maternal-infant interaction quality, and reduce symptoms of postpartum depression.


Training Grant – New
Yvonne Boyer
Yvonne Boyer

Principal Investigator: Dr. Yvonne Boyer

Grant Details:  Dr Boyer was awarded $24,999 for her project entitled, The Prairie Indigenous Knowledge Exchange Network (PIKE-Net).

Project Description:  The project aims to strengthen research networks in First Nations, Metis and Inuit health by increasing mentorship opportunities for First Nations, Metis and Inuit trainees, and New Investigators.


The Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports university students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects. NSERC researchers are on the vanguard of science, building on Canada’s long tradition of scientific excellence.


Discovery Grant – New
Eric Bushnell
Eric Bushnell

Principal Investigator: Dr. Eric Bushnell

Grant Details: Dr. Bushnell was awarded a $110,000 grant for his project entitled, The Chemistry of Metal-Diselenolene Complexes.

Project Description: The project uses a combination of computational tools to investigate the role of metal-diselenolene complexes in bioinorganic chemistry as well as in materials science.


Bryan Cassone
Bryan Cassone

Principal Investigator: Dr. Bryan Cassone

Grant Details: Dr. Cassone was awarded $145,000 for his project entitled, Genetic Basis of Coleopteran Vectorial Capacity for Bean Pod Mottle Virus Transmission.

Project Description: The project researches the genetic basis of insect vector competence to transmit disease.


Michael Charette
Michael Charette

Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Charette

Grant Details: Dr. Charette was awarded $145,000 for his project entitled, Molecular Characterization of the Function and Regulation of the Subcomplexes of the Ribosomal Small Subunit Processome in Ribosome Assembly in the Yeast Model Organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Project Description: The project researches the assembly of ribosomes, large molecular machines that decode our DNA into protein, and for which mis-assembly is associated with cancer and with Bowen-Conradi Syndrome, a genetic disorder found in the Hutterite population of Manitoba and the Canadian Prairies.


David Greenwood
David Greenwood

Principal Investigator: Dr. David Greenwood

Grant Details: Dr. Greenwood was awarded $125,000 for his project entitled, Forests Communities in Transition: Eocene Fossil Sites from Western and Arctic Canada.

Project Description: The project uses plant fossils from British Columbia and the Arctic to reconstruct an ancient greenhouse world, the Eocene geological epoch, when alligators and redwood trees grew in the Arctic.


Christophe LeMoine
Christophe LeMoine

Principal Investigator: Dr. Christophe LeMoine

Grant Details: Dr. LeMoine was awarded $135,000 for his project entitled, Determinants of Metabolic Plasticity in Vertebrates.

Project Description: The project investigates how animals modulate their metabolism in response to physiological and environmental challenges.


Discovery Grant – Ongoing
Bernadette Ardelli
Bernadette Ardelli

Principal Investigator: Dr. Bernadette Ardelli

Grant Details: Dr. Ardelli was awarded $150,000 for her project entitled, Characterization and Role of the Drug/Metabolite Transporter (DMT) Superfamily in Drug Resistance Using a Bodonid Kinetoplastid Model.

Project Description:  The project deciphers the mechanisms of drug resistance.


Margaret Carrington
Margaret Carrington

Principal Investigator: Dr. Margaret Carrington

Grant Details: Dr. Carrington was awarded $200,000 for her project entitled, Statistical Field Theory and Matter under Extreme Conditions of Temperature and Density.

Project Description: The project studies the behaviour of the quarks and gluons that are produced in very high energy nuclear collisions.


Sarah Plosker
Sarah Plosker

Principal Investigator: Dr. Sarah Plosker

Grant Details: Dr. Plosker was awarded $75,000 for her project entitled, Operator Theory with Applications to Quantum Information Theory.

Project Description: The research focuses on matrix analysis and operator theory, with emphasis on both the theoretical development of the pure mathematics, as well as the physical applications, in the area of quantum information theory.


Wendy Untereiner
Wendy Untereiner

Principal Investigator: Dr. Wendy Untereiner

Grant Details: Dr. Untereiner was awarded $135,000 for her project entitled, The Systematics of Reduced, Soil-inhabiting Ascomycetes.

Project Description: The project studies of the phylogenetic relationships of morphologically simple, soil-inhabiting fungi.


Collaborative Research and Development Grant – Ongoing
Peter Whittington
Peter Whittington

Co-Investigator: Dr. Peter Whittington

Grant Details: Dr. Whittington is a co-investigator on a $2,436,130 grant through Université Laval entitled, Farm, Restore and Model:  Responsible Management of Peatlands for a Sustainable Canadian Horticultural Peat Industry.

Project Description: The project focuses on the hydrological component of restoring a vacuum-harvested peatland to fen ecosystem.



The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing Talent, generating Insights, and forging Connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world.


Aid to Scholarly Journals Grant – Ongoing
Doug Ramsey
Doug Ramsey

Project Director: Dr. Doug Ramsey

Grant Details: Dr. Ramsey was awarded $61,200 for his project entitled, Journal of Rural and Community Development.

Project Description: The Journal is entering its sixth year of SSHRC funding, which has allowed for improvements to the review and copy editing process and for expansion of the Journal’s reach while maintaining its core vision of free access to all.


Community-University Research Alliance Grant – Ongoing
Karen Rempel
Karen Rempel

Principal Investigator: Dr. Karen Rempel

Grant Details: Dr. Rempel was awarded $1,000,000 for her project entitled, VITAL Outcome Indicators for Community Engagement (VOICE) for Children and Youth.

Project Description: The community-based research project explores programs and activities that help children and youth from Indigenous communities from across Manitoba achieve education and employment success.


Insight Grant – New
Peter Morin
Peter Morin

Co- Investigator: Professor Peter Morin

Grant Details: Professor Morin is a co-investigator on a $270,226 grant through the University of British Columbia Okanagan entitled, Crossing Media, Crossing Canada:  Performing the Land We Are.

Project Description: Using social media platforms and innovative cross-platform publishing/presentation techniques to support physical transformations of performance art works into two- and three-dimensional, “Crossing Media, Crossing Canada” will explore how contemporary methods and technologies alter and augment the creative process, producing new readerships and new audiences.


Insight Grant – Ongoing
Alison Marshall
Alison Marshall

Principal Investigator: Dr. Alison Marshall

Grant Details: Dr. Marshall was awarded $287,395 for her project entitled, Understanding Chinese Experiences of Racism through Sport Participation and Entertainment Production in Northern Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Project Description: The project investigates the social histories of immigrant communities (Chinese, Japanese, Syrian, Muslim, and Filipino) that have been framed by Chinese experiences of racism.  It has produced two monographs, multiple peer-reviewed publications, exhibitions, community presentations, workshops and collaborative projects.


Allison McCulloch
Allison McCulloch

Co-Investigator: Dr. Allison McCulloch

Grant Details: Dr. McCulloch is a co-investigator on a $182,438 grant through the University of Alberta entitled, Gender, Peace, and Power-sharing Practices in Political Transitions.

Project Description: The project considers the challenges of reconciling power-sharing arrangements, which exclusively emphasize the accommodation of ethnic and ethnonational groups in government, with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which calls for the improved inclusion of women in conflict transformation processes.


 Insight Development Grant – New
Jonathan Allan
Jonathan Allan

Principal Investigator: Dr. Jonathan Allan

Grant Details: Dr. Allan was awarded $27,917 for his project entitled, Discursive Analysis of Circumcision and Masculinity.

Project Description: The debates over “to circumcise or not” are so complicated and so vexed that one hardly knows where to begin.  As such, this project asks: what are the secular reasons to circumcise?


Patricia Douglas
Patricia Douglas

Principal Investigator: Dr. Patricia Douglas

Grant Details: Dr. Douglas was awarded $58,747 for her project entitled, Enacting Critical Disability Communities in Education.

Project Description: The project advances inclusion through engagement with persons with autism and those that work with and care about them in collaborative digital storytelling workshops, arts-informed documentary and professional development for educators as vehicles to speak back to historical exclusions and deficit-model approaches to disability, and create new understandings, practices and policies supportive of difference and belonging for all within school communities in Manitoba, Ontario and beyond.


Insight Development Grant – New
Corinne Mason
Corinne Mason

Principal Investigator: Dr. Corinne L. Mason

Grant Details: Dr. Mason was awarded $21,597 for her project entitled, Queering the Mainstream: LGBT Rights and the Development Industrial Complex.

Project Description: The global development industry is newly concerned with global LGBT rights, and my research will map and critically analyze emerging policies, programming, and campaigns related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression at the transnational level.


Principal Investigator: Dr. Allison McCulloch

Grant Details: Dr. McCulloch was awarded $38,379 for her project entitled, Power Sharing and the External Governance of Self Determination Disputes.

Project Description: The project assesses the normative and instrumental reasons why international third-party mediators recommend power-sharing arrangements as the dominant approach to ending wars and building peace in deeply divided societies, particularly when such arrangements may require prolonged international involvement.


Rachel Herron
Rachel Herron

Co-Investigator: Dr. Rachel Herron

Grant Details: Dr. Herron is a co-investigator on a $67,139 grant through University of Manitoba entitled, An Interpretive Microsociology of Violence, Victimization and Older Adults.

Project Description: The study examines how older adults interpret and experience different forms of violence and aggression across a range of settings and relationships (e.g., in assisted living facilities among fellow residents, at home with a partner with dementia, or in relation to care workers).


Emily Holland
Emily Holland

Co-Investigator: Dr. Emily Holland

Grant Details: Dr. Holland is a co-investigator on a $71,000 grant through Simon Fraser University entitled, Biological Expression of Childhood Social Realities in the Past from the Study of Juvenile Skeletal Remains.

Project Description: This collaborative project utilizes juvenile skeletal remains from two documented collections (Portugal and Italy) to investigate growth disruption as a response to social and cultural adversity in order to understand childhood experiences in the past, including gendered differences in health.


Kelly Saunders
Kelly Saunders

Co-Investigator: Dr. Kelly Saunders

Grant Details: Dr. Saunders is a co-investigator on a $57,343 grant through Simon Fraser University entitled, Aboriginal Self-Government:  A Case Study of the Metis.

Project Description: The project aims to develop a model of Metis self-government in Canada, which has never been done before in academic research (self-government has only been studied in the context of First Nations and Inuit peoples).


Knowledge Synthesis Grant – New

Principal Investigator: Dr. William Ashton

Co-Investigator: Dr. Kim Lemky

Grant Details: Dr. Ashton and his team were awarded $24,997 for their project entitled, Usage of Emerging “Big Data” Bases in Immigration Research.

Project Description: The project investigates big data related to immigration and immigrants in Canada to better understand how to encourage more researchers to access and benefit from it.


Partnership Grant – New

Co-Investigator: Dr. Doug Ramsey

Grant Details: Dr. Ramsey is a co-investigator on a $2,500,000 grant through University of Manitoba entitled, Wa Ni Ska Tan.

Project Description: The project is named Wa Ni Ska Tan, which is Cree and Ojibway for “Wake up” or “Rise up” and it examines the positive and negative implications of hydropower development for the environment and nearby Indigenous communities across Canada.


Co-Investigator: Dr. Patricia Douglas

Grant Details: Dr. Douglas is a co-investigator on a $2,500,000 grant through University of Guelph entitled, Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology and Access to Life.

Project Description: The project is an intellectual and creative partnership between leading disability arts organization Tangled Art + Disability, 12 academic institutions and 11 community-based organizations across Canada activating a swell of interdisciplinary research, technological innovation and critical inquiry to open access to life for all.


Partnership Grant – Ongoing

Lead Institution: Brandon University

Project Director: Dr. William Reimer

Co-Investigators: Dr. William Ashton, Dr. Ken Bessant, and Dr. Doug Ramsey

Grant Details: Brandon University and its research team were awarded $2,500,000 for the project entitled, Rural Policy Learning Commons:  Building Rural Policy through International Comparative Analysis.

Project Description: The Rural Policy Learning Commons seeks to improve rural and northern policy through international comparison, exchange, and collaboration among more than 90 participants from 9 countries.


Burcu Ntelioglou
Burcu Ntelioglou

Co-Investigator: Dr. Burcu Ntelioglou

Grant Details: Dr. Ntelioglou is a co-investigator on a $2,800,000 grant through University of Toronto entitled, Assessing and Supporting Children’s Oral Language and Writing Development through Play in Classrooms, Daycares and Homes in Northern Communities.

Project Description: The project aims to address the literacy achievement gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children, and between rural and urban children in Canadian classrooms, with the goal to enhance the oral and written language of young children living in northern rural and Indigenous Canadian communities.


Co-Investigator: Dr. Doug Ramsey

Grant Details: Dr. Ramsey is a co-investigator on a $2,300,000 grant through University of Victoria entitled, Borders in Globalization.

Project Description: The overall project seeks to better understand borders in the 21st century.


Partnership Letter of Intent Grant – New
Wilder Robles
Wilder Robles

Co-Investigator: Dr. Wilder Robles

Grant Details: Dr. Robles is a co-investigator on a $19,996 letter of intent grant through University of Manitoba entitled, Northern Teaching Lodges: Learning Partnership for Building Human Resources, Community Development and Improving Infrastructure in First Nation communities.

Project Description: The proposed research and education program will focus on community development and capacity building research regarding community healthy living priorities within an Indigenous Knowledge (IK) context.



The Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development.  The CRC Program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.  Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. They improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers’ work.

CRCP is a Tri-Agency initiative of the CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC.  It is administered by the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, which is housed within SSHRC.


Tier 2 Canada Research Chair Grant – Ongoing

Canada Research Chair: Dr. Jonathan Allan

Grant Details: Brandon University was awarded $500,000 to support the Canada Research Chair in Queer Theory, held by Dr. Allan.

Project Description: The research program draws on queer theory, psychoanalysis, and affect theory and asks timely questions about men’s sexualities, bodies, and health.


Canada Research Chair: Dr. Yvonne Boyer

Grant Details: Brandon University was awarded $500,000 to support the Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Health and Wellness held by Dr. Boyer.

Project Description: The research program is a four pillar approach to examining the intersect between Indigenous health and the law.


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