Government of Canada celebrates research innovation at Brock University

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Government of Canada celebrates research innovation at Brock University

Published on June 17 2011

A Brock researcher whose work helps us understand how we recognize one another was given national acknowledgement today during a federal funding announcement at Brock University.

Catherine Mondloch, a psychology professor, was honoured during the announcement as the recipient of one of only a handful of Discovery Accelerator Supplements from across Canada. The grant is given annually by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), came to St. Catharines Friday to make the announcement, which included more than $411 million in funds awarded to researchers across Canada through several NSERC programs.

In all, 11 Brock researchers and nine Brock graduate students were awarded funds under the programs for their ongoing work on complex projects that have implications for human health and a better understanding of the natural world.

Mondloch received a five-year Discovery grant, as well as the three-year Accelerator grant, which will allow her to hire a postdoctoral student with the expertise to run the complex 3D and 4D cameras and related computer software used in her work on face perception.

Her research group is interested in how children develop the ability to recognize faces, and how that ability is influenced by experience with different face categories. This research becomes important in an increasingly mobile and global world, since investigations to date have shown that peoples’ ability to recognize others decreases for other-race faces.

In 2009, the implications of this inability came to light when Suaad Hagi Mohamud, holder of a Canadian passport, was detained in Kenya on suspicion of identity fraud. Officials held her for three months in Nairobi, claiming she did not look like the person in the passport photo, before DNA testing cleared her and she was allowed to return to Canada.

“The Discovery Accelerator Supplement will catapult our work on face recognition to the next level as my research group capitalizes on the resources made available by this program,” noted Mondloch during the funding announcement.

“We are delighted to see our researchers being recognized in this highly competitive environment,” said Ian Brindle, vice-president Research at Brock. “We appreciate that there is stress involved because there are so many people across Canada applying for this funding. This shows an acknowledgement of the high quality of research coming out of Brock, including the prestige of the Accelerator grant for Catherine Mondloch.”

“Our government is investing in the people and ideas that will produce tomorrow’s breakthroughs in order to keep Canada’s economy growing and create new jobs,” said Minister Goodyear. “This research will improve the quality of life of Canadians, while helping universities develop, attract and retain leading scientists and engineers.”

Friday’s announcement included grants in the Discovery and Discovery Accelerator Supplements, as well as announcements of postgraduate scholarships, postdoctoral fellowships and the Alexander Graham Bell Canada graduate scholarships.


2011 NSERC grants and projects at Brock University

Discovery Grants (researcher, department, funding and project)

  • Allan Adkin, Physical Education and Kinesiology, $24,000 for a one-year project “Regulation of human balance control”
  • Ivo Düntsch, Computer Science, $100,000 for a five-year project “Reasoning about perceptual systems”
  • Martin Head, Earth Sciences, $140,000 for a five-year project “Plio-Pleistocene dinoflagellate cysts and paleoceanography of the North Atlantic region”
  • Omar Kihel, Mathematics, $10,000 for a one-year project “Permutation polynomials”
  • Martin Lemaire, Chemistry, $125,000 for a five-year project “Toward molecular spintronics: synthesis of new magnetic conductors and high spin molecules”
  • Catherine Mondloch, Psychology, $200,000 for a five-year project “The nature and development of expert face perception”
  • Sandra Peters, Physical Education and Kinesiology, $120,000 for a five-year project “Regulation of fuel utilization in mammalian skeletal muscle: effect of diet and exercise”
  • Ke Qui, Computer Science, $90,000 for a five-year project “Parallel computing on interconnection networks and for sequence analysis”
  • Brian Ross, Computer Science, $70,000 for a five-year project “Multi-objective grammar-guided genetic programming for bio-network modelling and evolutionary design”

Research Tools and Instruments (researchers, department, funding and equipment)

  • Paul Leblanc, principal applicant, Community Health Sciences, Brian Roy and Rene Vandenboom, Physical Education and Kinesiology, $27,160 for a dissecting microscope with imaging capability
  • Gaynor Spencer, principal applicant, and Doug Bruce, Biological Sciences, $36,170 for a phase imaging upgrade for inverted Olympus confocal microscope


2011 NSERC Graduate student awards at Brock University

Postgraduate scholarships

  • Rebecca MacPherson, Physical Education and Kinesiology
  • Stefon Van Noordt, Psychology
  • Jessica Vickruck, Biological Sciences

Canada Graduate Scholarships

  • Carly Barron, Applied Health Sciences
  • Vincenzo Coia, Mathematics
  • Matthew Czerwinski, Biological Sciences
  • Mary Jasinski, Biological Sciences
  • Michelle Przedborski, Physics
  • Tyler Weaver, Applied Heath


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