Articles tagged with: Biotechnology

  • March 4 – Master of Science Thesis Defence – Eunike Hilson

    Master of Science thesis defence

    Eunike Ilona (Ilona) Hilson, a Master of Science candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology, will defend her thesis titled “Analysis of cellular responses to microwave irradiation in E. coli and change of oxygen level and culture medium in human cancer cell lines using RNA-seq based transcriptomic profiling” on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at 9 a.m. in virtual format.

    The examination committee includes Cheryl McCormick, Chair; Ping Liang, Supervisor; Qianqian Zhu, External Examiner (Roswell Park Cancer Institute, NY); and Jeffrey Stuart and Hongbin (Tony) Yan, Committee Members.

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  • March 12 – Doctor of Philosophy thesis defence – Steven C. Gayder – Biotechnology

    Doctor of Philosophy thesis defence

    Steven C. Gayder, Doctor of Philosophy candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology, will defend his thesis titled “Interactions and Population Dynamics Between Erwinia amylovoraPantoea agglomerans, and their Bacteriophages for Effective Phage Therapy” on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 1 p.m., in virtual format.

    The examination committee includes Brian D. Roy, Chair; Alan Castle and Antonet Svircev, Co-Supervisors; Jason J. Gill, External Examiner (Texas A&M University); Ana Sanchez, Internal External Examiner; Jeffrey Atkinson and Jonathan Griffiths, Committee Members.

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  • Master of Science Thesis Defences – Haimeng (Jerry) Tang Feb 10 – Tyler Crane Feb 11

    Master of Science thesis defence

    Haimeng (Jerry) Tang, a Master of Science candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology, will defend his thesis titled “Analysis of the effect of genetic heterogeneity on de novo genome assembly using Xylocopa virginica as a model” on Wed, Feb. 10, 2021, at 9 a.m. in virtual format.

    The examination committee includes Cheryl McCormick, Chair; Ping Liang, Supervisor; Yifeng Li, External Examiner (Dept. of Computer Sciences, Brock University); and Adonis Skandalis and Feng Li, Committee Members.

    Master of Science thesis defence

    Tyler Crane, a Master of Science candidate in the Department of Computer Science, will defend his thesis titled “Analysis of the Niching Particle Swarm

    Optimization Algorithm” on Thurs, Feb. 11, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. in virtual format.

    The examination committee includes Cheryl McCormick, Chair; Betty Ombuki-Berman, Supervisor; Charlie Obimbo, External Examiner (Guelph University); and Brian Ross and Robson De Grande, Committee Members.

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  • May 22 – PhD Thesis Defence – Larissa Barelli – Biotechnology

    Doctor of Philosophy thesis defence

    Larissa Barelli, PhD candidate in Biotechnology, will defend her thesis titled “A study on the dynamics of the symbiosis between Metarhizium and plants“ on Friday, May 22 at 1 p.m. in virtual format.

    The examination committee includes: Wendy Ward, Chair; Michael Bidochka, Supervisor; Tariq Butt, External Examiner (Swansea University); and Doug Bruce and Paul Zelisko, Supervisory Committee Members.

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  • Dec 20 – Nickolas Messner – Master of Science Thesis Defence

    Holt Nickolas Messner, a Master of Science candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology, will defend his thesis titled “An in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro exploration of the use of chronic hypoxia/physioxia and ROS/RNS-mediated alteration of physiological function in mitochondrial disease” on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019 at 10 a.m. in MC H313.

    The examination committee includes Tony Yan, Chair; Jeffrey Stuart, Supervisor; Rebecca Macpherson, External Examiner (Brock University, Dept. Health Sciences); and Cheryl McCormick and Val Andrew Fajardo, Committee Members.

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  • Record crowd expected for MNK Conference

    The Faculty of Graduate Studies will host the 13th annual Mapping the New Knowledges Graduate Student Research Conference on Thursday, April 12.

    The day-long event will be the largest in the conference’s history, with more 135 graduate students presenting either an oral or poster presentation. For the second year, the conference will also welcome ten undergraduate thesis students in their final year to present oral presentations.

    Kicking off the event will be a keynote address from Brock Professor of Sociology, June Corman. A past winner of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Graduate Mentorship Award, Corman will share stories of her personal mentorship experiences during her time as a graduate student, and how those experiences shape her teaching and supervisory philosophy today.

    “MNK gives graduate students the opportunity to present, some of them for the first time, in a friendly, encouraging environment,” says Diane Dupont, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies. “We want students to get comfortable talking about their research, no matter what stage of their project they may be in. While MNK is largely an opportunity for professional development, it is also a chance for students to see how their individual studies are part of a larger community of research at Brock.”

    The conference will celebrate the graduate studies community with the FGS awards ceremony from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The ceremony will include the presentation of the Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award and Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Awards, and special recognition of graduate students who have been selected to receive the 2018 Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards.

    All members of the Brock Community are invited to attend the conference or awards ceremony. For a detailed conference schedule, visit the MNK website.



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  • February 26: Master of Science thesis defence

    Centre for Biotechnology student Robert Baldwin will defend his Master of Science thesis, “Development of a transcritome-based genome assembly tools and whole genome sequencing analysis for autism spectrum disorders,” by video conference Monday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. in Welch Hall 147.

    The examination committee includes Cheryl McCormick, chair; Andrew Doxey, external examiner (University of Waterloo); Ping Liang, supervisor; Fiona Hunter and Dr. Feng Li, committee members.

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  • FMS celebrates best in teaching, research and experiential learning

    Faculty and staff members who have set positive examples for their colleagues were honoured by the Faculty of Mathematics and Science during Wednesday’s Celebration of Excellence. The fourth annual event, held Jan. 24 in Pond Inlet, saw awards of distinction presented for research, teaching, student experience and experiential learning.

    “This awards ceremony provides us with an opportunity to gather together and acknowledge the accomplishments of our faculty and staff in front of their Math and Science family, as well as our larger Brock family,” Dean Ejaz Ahmed told the group during his remarks at the Jan. 24 event in Pond Inlet.

    “Once again, we have much to celebrate and recognize. From research excellence and distinguished teachers and scholars to those who provide our students with exceptional experiential learning opportunities that further the Faculty’s mission, vision and values. I am proud of your dedication and commitment and I look forward to continuing to celebrate your accomplishments at this great event.”

    Following remarks from Gary Comerford, Board of Trustees Chair, and Thomas Dunk, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, the awards portion of the event began with Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies Cheryl McCormick serving as Master of Ceremonies.

    Department of Chemistry Professor Jeffrey Atkinson received this year’s Distinguished Teaching Award – Faculty for his long and successful record of supervising students, mentoring high school seniors through Brock’s Science Mentorship Program, his involvement in the design and implementation of Brock’s first PhD program in Biotechnology as well as his outreach teaching activities through BioTalent Canada.

    “During his career at Brock, Dr. Atkinson has earned a reputation for being one of our most gifted teachers,” said McCormick. “His teaching evaluations are outstanding and he routinely receives comments from students calling him an excellent professor, the best professor they’ve ever had and more equally enthusiastic and complimentary praise.”

    Atkinson’s dedication to his students and their education has helped create an environment of teaching excellence within the Faculty, she said.

    The Distinguished Teaching Award for Staff was captured by full-time instructor Paul Zelisko, also from the Department of Chemistry. Zelisko was recognized for his untiring dedication to education and graduate student recruitment.

    McCormick noted that Zelisko has been a consistent representative of the Faculty, organizing Brock representation every year for a number of events including the McMaster University Graduate Fair, undergraduate trips to the east coast and, most notably, last year’s Graduate Studies Open House. This event, created for undergraduate students at Brock thinking of transitioning to graduate research, helped increase student engagement and was well received.

    This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award – Faculty was awarded to professor Jon Radue from the Department of Computer Science, who has earned a reputation for caring deeply about many aspects of teaching and education.

    A true innovator, he incorporated technology such as clickers into the classroom to further student engagement long before it was commonplace. He has been actively involved with the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation as a faculty associate and member of the Teaching Council and his work on academic integrity extends beyond the department and throughout the University.

    “In the Department of Computer Science, Radue spearheaded the development of the Applied Computing minor along with many of its courses. His knowledge and dedication made him an easy choice for teaching large first-year context courses taken by a wide variety of students from all disciplines,” said McCormick.

    “His passion for education, combined with his knowledge and dedication have become part of his legacy at Brock.”

    The Distinguished Research Award for Faculty was presented to Henryk Fuks from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics for his excellent record of accomplishment in research, focused in the areas of mathematical modelling, complex networks as well as the history of mathematics and numismatics, the study of currency.

    Along with serving on editorial boards for several prestigious journals and on scientific program committees for international conferences, Fuks also regularly receives international recognition for his research. Last August, the Royal Canadian Numismatic Society honoured him with the Guy Potter Literary Award, recognizing two of his articles which popularized the history of mathematics in the area of numismatics.

    Gaynor Spencer from the Department of Biological Sciences also received the Distinguished Research Award for Faculty. Promoted to Full Professor in July, she is currently supervising three graduate students and two undergraduate thesis students in her lab.

    “Gaynor has maintained high quality research productivity while providing great service to the University and research community,” said McCormick. Her longstanding history of research excellence is evidenced in part by her strong record of NSERC Discovery Grant funding, an Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award as well as quality, peer-reviewed publications; 38 papers, five invited reviews and four book chapters.

    Additional awards distributed at the Jan. 24 celebration included:

    •  Dean’s Distinguished Scholar Award — Faculty awarded to Mei-Ling Huang (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) and Fereidoon Razavi (Department of Physics) for their contributions to research, teaching and service.
    •  Distinguished Staff Award won by Jacinta Dano (Department of Biological Sciences) for the creation and implementation of the highly successful LabSkills+ program, which recognizes the importance of experiential learning and provides students with the laboratory skills they need to market themselves in an increasingly competitive industry.
    •  Earth Sciences Professor Frank Fueten received the Student Experience, Recruitment and Outreach Award for Faculty. For more than 20 years, he has devoted countless hours to high school students through Brock’s Science Mentorship Program. Fueten has also been particularly active in experiential learning both in the classroom and in the field, lending his experience and expertise to hundreds of geology students.
    •  Daniel Lonergan received the Student Experience, Recruitment and Outreach Award for Staff. During his time as the Experiential Education Co-ordinator for the Faculty, he played a significant role in enhancing the student experience through experiential education. He also represented the Faculty at several key events including the Ontario University Fair, Open House and Fall Preview Day.
    •  The new Experiential Education Leadership Award was given to Earth Sciences Professor Uwe Brand, who received the Distinguished Research Award last year. For nearly 30 years, Brand has provided students with unique, high-quality, hands-on learning experiences. His approach to experiential education links in-class learning with practical applications designed to help prepare students for the real world.

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  • January 24: Master of Science thesis defence

    Aditya Joshi, a candidate in the Centre for Biotechnology, will present his Master of Science thesis defence by video conference on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. in WH 147.

    His thesis is titled “A systematic view on mobile elements’ contribution to human transcriptomes.”

    His examination committee members are Dr. Michael Pisaric, Chair; Dr. Teresa Crease, External Examiner, (University of Guelph); Dr. Ping Liang, Supervisor; Drs. Charles Depres and Trevor Dudding, Committee Members.

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  • Brock celebrates the ‘science of where’ on GIS Day

    Undergraduate and graduate students demonstrated how Geographical Information Systems (GIS) software can be used to visualize and analyze geographic information in order to solve the real-world problems that are the focus of their research at the annual Esri Canada Scholarship Competition.

    “The Esri Canada GIS Scholarship program aims to recognize excellence in research at institutions across Canada by supporting and encouraging students in their future work,” said Krista Amolins, Higher Education Developer and Analyst with Esri Canada, who visited Brock to hear the presentations.


    The competition was the highlight of Brock’s seventh annual GIS Day, hosted by Brock’s Map, Data & GIS Library and the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies. GIS Day falls during Geography Awareness Week.

    Competitor Brian Giordano, a PhD candidate for the Centre for Biotechnology who studies the spread of West Nile virus, finds that GIS software helps him share his findings more widely.

    “Trying to explain complex analyses to the general public can be difficult,” said Giordano. “Mapping software provides a simple yet elegant way to showcase the data in a way that the general public can relate to and easily understand.”

    Brent Thorne, who is working on a master’s degree in the Department of Earth Science, believes that GIS can be applied to almost any project.

    “I’ve had the opportunity to work on an accessibility web map application and remote sensing of Niagara region vineyards, and to conduct GIS analysis on Arctic vegetation,” said Thorne, who also completed a BSc in Physical Geography at Brock. He credits his GIS courses with opening his eyes to the possibilities of GIS software.

    Thorne now shares his GIS knowledge and experience with others by posting tutorials on his YouTube channel.

    With presentations complete, Assistant Professor Kevin Turner and instructor Brodie Hague, both of the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, and Colleen Beard and Sharon Janzen, both of the Map, Data & GIS Library, will meet to deliberate and choose a winner, who will be announced in mid-January.

    In addition to a cash award of $1,000, the winner will receive several of Esri’s ArcGIS products, including desktop software, an ArcGIS Developer subscription, publications, training, conference registration, and eligibility for future awards and opportunities — a value of more than $50,000. They will also be added to the gallery of recipients at

    Students, staff, and faculty interested in obtaining ArcGIS software can learn more on the Map, Data and GIS Library web page.

    Read the full story here

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