• Experiential education exemplified through Earth Sciences field trip

    The cold weather didn’t stop a group of students from making a trip up north this April.

    Hernan Ugalde, Adjunct Professor for the Department of Earth Sciences, led the group of nine students to 10 different locations in the Bracebridge area as part of a field trip for ERSC 4P01 – Advanced Structural Geology.

    After securing a Teaching and Learning Innovation (TALI) grant, Ugalde planned out the trip so his students could apply the concepts they learned in class to real-world scenarios.

    In its third-year prerequisite, students focus more on the basic concepts of how rocks fracture and deform from a strain or stress point of view. This course further teaches students about additional concepts regarding the deformation of rock, with more of an emphasis on ductile deformation (i.e. how rocks fold) and the field recognition and description of all these features.

    “Geology is all about recognizing features in the field,” said Ugalde. “And while you can show pictures of how things look like in real life, that is never the same as seeing them on a fresh or weathered rock face.”

    “Most of the time you have a combination of features (e.g. a fold that has been deformed by joints or fractures after), and you can’t really replicate these features with photos on the screen,” he added.

    One week before the trip, Ugalde travelled to the area and scouted out locations for the students to examine. At each location, students are given a brief explanation on the geological context for that site and are then asked to look at the rock face and give an overview of what they saw (e.g. what kind of rocks, what kind of deformation features).

    Students then took measurements with their compasses which were later processed through compilation diagrams. These diagrams give an idea on the main directions of stress that each site has suffered. The measurements also help in forming a 3D view from the outcrop itself and provide insight into important quantitative measurements as well.

    As a follow-up, the students who attended the trip work on a report that will provide a summary of the location, geology, sketches, measurements for all 10 sites.

    The trip itself is an example of the many experiential education opportunities that are available for students in the Faculty of Math and Science both inside and outside the classroom.

    What Students Have to Say:

    “I found it very beneficial to apply the theoretical knowledge learned in lectures and labs, to real-life situations you would see in the workforce.” – Brendan Llew-Williams

    “I feel that I have learned more than I have over a semester of learning. Being able to visualize and find diagnostic properties within a rock formation rather than looking at diagrams from a lecture was, to me, so much more beneficial.” – Thomas Henley

    “The field trip was invaluable, especially for structural geology.  Some of the concepts learned in a lecture setting aren’t easily grasped until you can see them in real life.” – Nate Sabourin



    Categories: News

  • Exploring Careers in Biology

    The first-ever Exploring Careers in Biology event will take place Wednesday, March 6 in Pond Inlet from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

    Students will engage with industry professionals at this round table networking event to gain insight and advice from people who are currently working in the field.

    Registration for the event is now open and has been limited to 50 spots. Additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list and notified should a spot open up for them.

    Food will be available. Door prizes to be presented.

    Register today.

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  • Celebrate 50 Years of Earth Sciences

    Originally founded in 1968 as the Department of Geological Sciences, 50 years later, it’s time to celebrate!
    As a graduate of one of our programs, we hope that you’ll join us during Homecoming Weekend in September to reconnect and reminisce with fellow alumni, faculty and staff. We’ve arranged several events specifically for you and you won’t want to miss out!

    50 Years of Earth Sciences Symposium
    Date: Friday, September 21, 2018
    Time: 2 to 6pm
    Location: Pond Inlet, Brock University

    Learn what your fellow graduates have accomplished since graduating from Brock. We also encourage everyone to share memories of their years at Brock at the Symposium, with opportunities to socialize with one another, students, faculty and staff throughout the afternoon.
    A cash bar will be available and light refreshments will be provided.

    Earth Sciences Networking Brunch
    Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
    Time: 11am to 1pm
    Location: Pond Inlet, Brock University

    Join us for a complimentary bite to eat – the day after our Symposium – before you head out to participate in other Homecoming activities. Share your insights and experiences with current students and recent graduates and meet the geoscientists of tomorrow as well as your fellow alumni in a more casual setting.


    See you in September!

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  • July 17-20: Women in Physics Canada 2018 Conference

    The 7th edition of the Women in Physics Canada conference (WIPC2018) will feature interactive workshops to help you further your career, an entire afternoon dedicated to diversity issues in physics, discussion panels and scientific talks from an array of physics disciplines!

    $5000 in travel funding available – Present your funding demand before May 20, 2018.

    DATE: July 17-20, 2018

    LOCATION: Universite de Sherbrooke, Quebec

    For more information: Women in Physics Conference

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    Categories: Events

  • June 5 – PhD Thesis Defence – Charles Barraco

    Doctoral thesis defence in Biotechnology

    Charles Barraco, a PhD in Biotechnology candidate, will defend his thesis titled “The bipartite function of Clade I TGAs: involvement in basal immunity and systemic acquired resistance” on Monday, June 5 at 10:30 a.m., in Plaza 600F.

    The examination committee members are Brian Roy, Chair; Charles Després, Supervisor; Darrell Desveaux, External Examiner (University of Toronto); Cheryl McCormick, Internal Examiner; and Tony Yan and Aleksandar Necakov, supervisory committee members.

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  • May 31 – PhD Thesis Defence – Hyun Suk (Leeko) Lee

    Hyun Suk (Leeko) Lee, a PhD in Biological Sciences candidate, will defend the thesis “Feasibility study using remote sensing technologies to improve zonal vineyard management ” on Wednesday, May 31 at 9:30 a.m., virtually.

    The examination committee members are Brian Roy, Chair; Debbie Inglis and Jim Willwerth, Co-Supervisors; Yu Jiang, External Examiner (Cornell University); Kevin Turner, Internal Examiner; and Ralph B. Brown and Marilyne Carrey, Advisory Committee.

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  • May 29 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Hayley-Ann Bennett

    Master of Science thesis defence in Biotechnology

    Hayley-Ann Bennett, a Master of Science candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology, will defend her thesis titled “Influence of thermal treatment on aptamer structure & Synthesis and purification of modified Acinetobacter baumanii-binding aptamers” on Monday, May 29 at 10:30 AM in WH147.

    The examination committee includes Cheryl McCormick, Chair; Hongbin (Tony ) Yan, Supervisor; Richard A. Manderville, External Examiner (University of Guelph); and Aleksandar Necakov and Yifeng Li, Committee Members.

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  • May 10 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Jamie Sapera

    Master of Science thesis defence in Earth Sciences


    Jamie Sapera, a Master of Science candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences, will defend her thesis titled “Glacial Dynamics and Stratigraphy in the Southern Great Slave Lake Region, Northwest Territories” on Wednesday, May 10 at 1:00 PM., virtually.

    The examination committee includes Adonis Skandalis, Chair; John Menzies, Supervisor; Brent Ward, External Examiner (Simon Fraser University); and Francine McCarthy and Roger Paulen, Committee Members.

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  • April 26 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Jacob Medeiros

    Jacob Medeiros, a Master of Science candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences, will defend his thesis titled “Interactions between caffeic and caftaric acids, furan-derived aroma compounds, and chitosan during base wine ageing” on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 2 p.m., in virtual format.

    The examination committee includes Cheryl McCormick, Chair; Gary Pickering and Belinda Kemp, Co-Supervisors; Marc Bradshaw, External Examiner (Strewn Winery); Jim Willwerth, Committee Member.

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  • March 20 – Doctor of Philosophy thesis defence – Junpeng (Winston) Xu

    Junpeng (Winston) Xu, Doctor of Philosophy candidate in the Department of Chemistry, will defend his thesis titled “Programing strand displacement reaction pathways using small molecular DNA binders” on Monday, March 20 at 9 a.m., virtually.

    The examination committee includes Wendy Ward, Chair; Feng Li, Supervisor; Georgii Nikonov, Interim Supervisor; Chengde Mao, External Examiner (Purdue University); Shengrong Bu, Internal External Examiner; Martin Lemaire and Vaughn Mangal, Committee Members.

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  • Department of Biological Sciences Seminar Series – Friday March 10

    “Where Should we Focus to Improve Health Post-Pandemic Emergency?”
    Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji, Medical Officer of Health & Commissioner (Acting), Public Health & Emergency Services, Niagara Region
    Friday March 10th, 2023 at 12h00-13h00 EST
    Room TH 256

    Brock University_Department of BIological Sciences_Advertisement for Mustafa Hirji – Mar 10 2023

    Talk Outline:

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  • March 8 – Masters Project Presentation – Tanjim Siddiquee

    Masters Project Presentation in Statistics

    Tanjim Siddiquee, Master of Science candidate in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, will present her project titled “Machine Learning Approaches for Estimating Prevalence of Undiagnosed Hypertension among Bangladeshi Adults: Evidence from a Nationwide Survey” on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 1 p.m., in virtual format.

    Examination Committee: S. Ejaz Ahmed, Supervisor; X. Xu, Supervisory Committee Member.

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  • Join us for the next installment of the Department of Biological Sciences Seminar Series


    The next instalment of the Department of Biological Sciences Seminar Series is scheduled for next Friday, March 3rd 2023 with a talk from Dr. Elyanne Ratcliffe, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University titled “Development of the microbiota-gut-brain axis.”


    Dr. Ratcliffe’s talk will be in-person in room TH 256 from 12-1pm.

    For additional details and a trainee lunch with Dr. Ratcliffe, please email Brittany Kalbfleisch –


    Please note that, as per Brock University’s announcement on August 29 2022 (, all students and instructors will be required to wear medical-grade or N95 masks in instructional spaces. The university has indicated that cloth masks no longer satisfy the masking policy requirement.

    Categories: Events, News

  • Feb 8 – Master of Science Major Research Project – Tian Zhao

    Tian Zhao, a Master of Science candidate in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, will present his MRP (MATH 5P99) titled “When does the sum of 4 Fibonacci numbers equal a power?” on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023 at 3 pm in TH149.

    Presentation-poster-Tian Zhao

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