Media releases

  • Brock researchers and long-term care residents collaborate on scientific research

    MEDIA RELEASE – R00090, 22 April 2016
    A Brock University research team is partnering with a long-term care facility in Welland to study how residents’ involvement in environmental research affects their quality of life and well-being.

    Residents at The Woodlands of Sunset and Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC) are monitoring bird-feeding stations set up at various points around the facility, which is surrounded by wetlands and forests.

    The residents are collecting data about the birds, which will be sent to Cornell University’s eBird database to be included in a section for Niagara.

    Researcher Kerrie Pickering says working with Woodlands residents to collect scientific data is one example of “citizen science,” where experts and non-specialist community members collaborate to produce research.

    “We’re exploring if engagement in citizen science, specifically bird watching, has an impact on the well-being of long-term care residents,” says Pickering, an ESRC affiliate and practising nurse.

    “We’re helping residents understand what citizen science is and hoping to show them that they are a valuable member of society by being citizen scientists.”

    Researcher Marcie Jacklin says there’s a lot of interest in the project.

    “When I walk down the hall at Woodlands and say I’m with the bird project everyone wants to stop and chat about it,” says Jacklin, Brock librarian and bird enthusiast.

    “So far it seems like the benefits of this project are going far beyond what we had initially expected.”

    The researchers will also examine if locating a long-term care facility near nature makes a difference for residents’ well-being.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University,
    905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

    * Daryl Barnhart, Communications Specialist, Niagara Region 905-685-4225 ext. 3290.

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Animal ethics organization launched by Brock University professor

    MEDIA RELEASE: R00088 – 20 April 2016
    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    A first-of-its-kind institute to lead research, education and advocacy for animal ethics worldwide has been launched by Brock University professor David Fennell.

    Based on an interdisciplinary approach, the International Institute for Animal Ethics (IIAE) focuses on how moral knowledge and best practice can stimulate change in the use of animals primarily in the tourism industry, along with other related contexts.

    “When we place only instrumental value on animals, reducing them to objects of commerce and entertainment, we concede that suffering, poor welfare and a lack of respect is acceptable,” said Fennell, a renowned researcher, author and advocate in the areas of ecotourism, and tourism and animal ethics. Fennell is the co-director and co-founder of the IIAE along with Marloes Van de Goor, a Dutch entrepreneur who also works in the field.

    A unique aspect of the Institute is that it places emphasis on both research and practice. In support of its mission, IIAE’s programming will include:
    •    Developing the widest interdisciplinary network of scholars and professionals around the world who are researching and working in the areas of tourism and animal ethics.
    •    Writing curriculum and teaching online courses (for the general public), degree programs for students and offering certificate programs for professionals in the private, governmental and non-profit sectors.
    •    Awarding funding for graduate student and other scholarly research in the areas of animal ethics and tourism.
    •    Organizing conferences and having a presence at industry events around the world to educate industry leaders and practitioners on best practices.
    •    Consulting directly with regulatory bodies such as the World Tourism Organization (WTO) or Ministries of Tourism to help bring about significant policy change around the use of animals in tourism.

    “By harnessing the power of existing scholarly research, funding current and future innovative research, educating industry professionals and the general public and being involved in interdisciplinary conferences, IIAE is poised to lead the change on animal ethics,” Fennell said.

    IIAE will hold its first major conference June 1-3, 2017 in St. Catharines, ON Canada. Conference registration opens May 2, 2016.

    For more information on IIAE, visit

    Prof. David Fennell can be reached at or 905-688-5550 ext. 4663.

    For assistance arranging interviews:
    * Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University,
    905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases