What's New in Research

What's New in Research


New Brock-led research discovers lizard that creates body heat

January 22, 2016

A Brock University-led research team has discovered a type of lizard that can temporarily produce and retain its own body heat, increasing our understanding of so-called “cold-blooded” animals.

Scientists have long classified lizards as being ecothermic, animals that rely on the sun or shade – rather than their internal metabolism – to warm or cool their bodies.

Endothermic, or warm-blooded animals, on the other hand, use internal mechanisms such as metabolism to maintain their bodies at ideal temperatures.

Brock University biologist Prof. Glenn Tattersall and his team showed that the tegu lizard was able to generate its own body heat during the mating season, which lasts for two to three months.

Read the full story.


Brock’s grape and wine research centre giving Ontario’s economy a big boost: study

January 21, 2016

A new study shows that Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) contributed more than $91-million and the equivalent of 307 jobs to Ontario’s economy in 2014-15.

Conducted by the management consulting firm MDB Insight, the economic impact study found that investments in CCOVI’s industry-driven research and education are translating into job and business growth across Ontario.

CCOVI is an internationally recognized research unit focused on addressing the needs of Canada’s grape and wine industry. The only research centre of its kind in Canada, CCOVI’s activities range from complex laboratory research to in-the-field programs that alert grape growers to imminent threats from severe weather.

Its director, Debbie Inglis, says the economic impact is a culmination of the programs and services that CCOVI has developed and transferred to the industry over the past decade.

Read the full story.


New study shows impact of Brock’s Developmental Psychology researchers

January 11, 2016

A new study published Monday, Jan. 11 in Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne ranks Brock University’s developmental psychology researchers among the most productive and most frequently cited in Canada.

The study (found here) examines the research productivity and impact of Canadian developmental psychology programs that offer graduate degrees. It was designed to help potential graduate students determine the richness of research environments at different institutions based on hard data.

The study’s two lead authors, Ann Farrell and Thalia Semplonius, are themselves graduate students — both PhD students in Brock’s Department of Psychology.

The two students say they conducted the research because existing studies focus on psychology departments in general.

Read the full story.


Brock research shows fruits, vegetables may help us heal after gum surgery

January 6, 2016

An apple a day may also keep the dentist away.

Recent Brock University research has revealed fruits and vegetables may play a role in helping non-smokers heal after they undergo treatment for periodontal disease.

“Studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables, along with specific antioxidant nutrients, may reduce a person’s risk for periodontal disease,” says Wendy Ward, Canada Research Chair in Bone and Muscle Development and Professor in the Department of Kinesiology.

“But very few studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between dietary intake and healing after periodontal surgery,” says Ward.

Periodontal – or “gum” – disease occurs when bacteria form a sticky, colourless substance called plaque that sticks to teeth and can build up around the gum line.

Read the full story.


Brock looking for Niagara youth to sit on research committee

December 16, 2015

Brock University doesn’t want to just study youth. It wants to recruit them to help researchers look into the issues they face throughout adolescence.

The Brock Healthy Youth Program, or B-HYP, is seeking Niagara-based volunteers aged 14-24 to sit on a new engagement committee.

“They are going to be a sounding board,” said knowledge mobilization officer Jayne Morrish. “It’s going to help tailor the research and interpret the findings.”

She said B-HYP is set to start its first research program following more than 3,000 Niagara youth over seven years to evaluate how mental and physical health interact during adolescence.

“We are interested not only in finding out ways to prevent health problems over time, but also in finding out ways to promote youth health and well-being. Our definition of health is not only the absence of disease but it is a state of physical, mental and social well-being,” said Psychology Professor Teena Willoughby, scientific director of B-HYP.


Read the full story.

Brock U prof gives practical advice on using iPads in the classroom

December 14, 2015

Reinforce lessons learned. Use it as a research platform. Offer flexibility and choice. Draw upon built-in rewards.

These are some of the hands-on tips Brock University researcher Kimberly Maich offers in new research on using iPads in classrooms that include students with multiple needs such as autism spectrum disorder and learning disabilities.

“Using an iPad can be a baptism by fire for both teachers and students,” says Maich. “Unfortunately, this excitement can be overwhelming.”

Maich’s research paper, “Implementing iPads in the Inclusive Classroom Setting,” provides a step-by-step process that teachers can follow when introducing iPads into their classrooms.

Read the full story.

Brock University joins national herbarium research network

December 11, 2015

It’s a library, it’s a museum, it’s… a herbarium.

Deep in the heart of a Mackenzie Chown laboratory, Brock University biologist Liette Vasseur and her students have been quietly organizing and cataloguing plant samples that have been collected and preserved from across Ontario, including from the Ontario School of Agriculture in Vineland, and even the Canadian Arctic by several researchers over time.

Now with over 2,500 specimens, some dating back to the 1930s, the Brock University Herbarium has taken a big leap forward by becoming a member of the national herbarium research network Canadensys.

The Canadensys network collects, stores and shares data on plant, animal and fungal species in Canada. The network is part of the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

Read the full story.