2019 Areas of Research

For the 2019 Program the following faculty members, their department and a
brief description of the research project that they have developed for students follows. Once the students have been matched with faculty they will receive a detailed description of the research project.

University of Victoria, Victoria BC
University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC
Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Langley Campus, Langley BC
University of Alberta, Edmonton AB
University of Calgary, Calgary AB
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon SK
First Nations University of Canada, Regina SK
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg MB
University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON


University of Victoria, Victoria BC

Dr. Yvonne Coady, Professor
Computer Sciences

Current research interests include mixed reality systems, citizen science, advanced modularity across the software stack and distributed clouds, and new programming paradigms and pedagogy for immersive applications.

Dr. Steve Evans, Associate Dean
Graduate Studies

All diseases and all disease therapies ultimately stem from a molecular basis. We use x-ray crystallography and other physical techniques to study the structures of molecules involved in disease with the goal of understanding how these molecules function to produce or inhibit disease states.

Dr. Karun Thanjavur, Senior Laboratory Instructor
Department of Physics and Astronomy

As an observational cosmologist, discovering new gravitational lenses and developing innovative techniques to harness them as observational tools are amongst my diverse research interests. As part of my doctoral thesis at UVic in 2009, I developed an automated technique to search for lenses in the wide field, pan-chromatic imaging. These explorations of the distant universe come after a full career as a mechanical engineer, specializing in control systems and robotics.

Dr. J. Michael Roney, Professor and Director of Canada’s Institute of Particle Physics
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Is your curiosity sparked by questions about the smallest building-blocks in Nature and the forces connecting them? Walk with these researchers on their path to discovering completely new things about the quantum universe. This is an awesome chance to get some hands-on experience with subatomic particle detectors, data analysis and radiation safety as you put together and perform amazing experiments. On the way, you will observe cosmic rays and explore properties of photons, electrons, quarks, neutrinos and Nature’s other quantum particles.

Dr. George Tzanetakis, Professor
Computer Sciences

The majority of my work focuses on the computer analysis of audio and music signals. It combines ideas from digital signal processing, machine learning, and human and computer interaction. I also love computer programming, shooting hoops, and playing music usually without using computers.

Dr. Jens H. Weber, Professor
Computer Sciences

Security engineering, medical informatics, requirements engineering, computational intelligence, data and knowledge engineering, software engineering. Research interests lie at the intersection of software engineering and health informatics.


University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC

Dr. Cole Burton, Assistant Professor
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Study how humans and wildlife co-exist
Research in the WildCo Lab is motivated by the fundamental question of how best to conserve, manage, and restore biodiversity in a rapidly changing, human-dominated world. Students will learn how large mammals and humans can co-exist in different ecosystems using data collected from the Wild Cam network (Wildlife Cameras for Adaptive Management). Website: http://wildlife.forestry.ubc.ca/

Dr. Harry Brumer, Professor
Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia

Project title: Understanding enzymes in biology and biotechnology
Students participating in this project will perform the recombinant production and biochemical analysis of a newly discovered enzyme from nature, and use this enzyme in a biocatalytic reaction to make an aromatic flavour molecule. The project will demonstrate how we can learn from nature’s diversity to develop new, environmentally considerate biotechnology to make materials that improve our lives.

Dr. Erik Eberhardt, Professor and Director
Geological Engineering and Faculty of Sciences, University of British Columbia

About Dr. Eberhardt

Dr. Jennifer Love, Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia

About Dr. Love

John Bass, Associate Professor and Chair
Architecture Program, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia

This is an opportunity for students interested in architecture and design. Working with First Nations community members, students will assist in the development of culturally specific designs for an elders’ house.

Dr. Madjid Mohseni, Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering Laboratories, University of British Columbia

Project title: Understanding conventional and leading-edge drinking water treatment technologies for Small Rural Communities and First Nations
The student will be learning various treatment methods such as:

    •  Coagulation / flocculation
    • UV disinfection
    • UV based oxidation (general components which may include both UV/H2O2 and VUV)
    • Electro-coagulation
  • Ion exchange

Dr. Pierre Bérubé, Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia

The Filtration Technologies Laboratory at UBC (membrane.civil.ubc.ca) develops and optimizes approaches to treat water for domestic (e.g. potable water) or industrial (e.g. oil extraction) applications. Current activities focusing on potable water treatment are aimed at developing simple and low-cost technologies for use in rural and remote communities in Canada and abroad. Students in the Kirkness Science and Engineering Program will work as part of a research team to build and test prototypes of novel water treatment technologies prior to field deployment.

Dr. Sheryl Staub-French, Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), Building Information Modeling (BIM), collaboration and integrated project delivery, design and construction coordination, 4D (3D + time) visualization, interactive workspaces.

Dr. Lori Daniels, Professor
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Study cultural use and ecology of western red cedar
The tree-rings of old-growth western red cedar trees store a wealth of information. Students will visit the coastal forests to collect samples then learn to “read between the lines” to interpret history over decades to centuries and answer questions about the ecology and cultural use of this amazing tree. Website: http://treering.forestry.ubc.ca/

Dr. Scott Hinch, Professor
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Study the impact of climate change on salmon survival
The Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Lab is committed to the study of salmon ecology, behaviour and sustainable use of fish resources. Students will learn about salmon migration patterns, environmental impacts on salmon, and how salmon are affected by stress and disease. Website: http://faculty.forestry.ubc.ca/hinch/Home.html

Dr. Rob Guy, Professor
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Study stress in plants and trees
Students will learn about the structure, diversity and development of trees and other plants. This lab specializes in flowering plants, as well as the chemical and physical functions of balsam poplar trees from temperate, boreal and arctic environments Website: https://experts.news.ubc.ca/expert/robert-guy/


Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Langley Campus, Langley BC

Joanne Massey
Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)

Spend a week in the life of a Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) student in Joanne Massey’s CADD Lab, and discover how geometry can be used to draw almost everything that is built or manufactured, including artwork and sculptures. CADD is an interdisciplinary program that puts ideas and concepts into models and drawings so that clients and builders will have the same vision. In this lab, you will gain university level experience translating concepts in to design through sketching, an introduction to using 2D and 3D drawing software, 3D printers and Virtual Reality (VR).

Cameron Lait
Plant Health, Entomology

My plan for the students is for them to actively participate in much-needed insect collection and curation activities for our university entomology teaching collection. A second project will relate to honey bee spring build up and evaluation of treatment options for Nosema disease, a devastating condition affecting pollinators in the Fraser Valley. Indigenous student participation in either of these projects would be a perfect fit and I am looking forward to meeting the students!

Kathy Dunster
Urban Ecosystems

This is a hands-on opportunity for students interested in design and nature, making cities healthier and happier places for all that dwell in them. We have two project areas where you can learn about the food, medicine, and technology plants used by the Coast Salish people. Along our salmon-bearing stream, students will assist in the ongoing decolonization of the Logan Creek floodplain by helping re-indigenize with native plants. On the Library roof, you will learn about green roof technology, grassland habitat, and the food and medicinal plants we are currently researching.

Deborah Henderson, Director
Institute for Sustainable Horticulture

Students will participate in a research laboratory setting investigating the identification and function of eco-friendly, biological (non-chemical) means to irradiate insects that prey on important greenhouse and agricultural crops.

Stan Kazymerchyk
Turf Science and Management

Spend a week in the life of a Professional Turf Manager, as Golf Course Superintendent or Sports field Manager. See what its’ like to be responsible for the health, grooming and stewardship of large acreages of recreational turf areas. Understand the dynamics of a turf ecosystem. Learn the use of turf management equipment and procedures. Experience manual cultural tools and turf assessment instruments. Learn and practice equipment operation training along with Personnel Management skills. Develop a management plan involving standards, scheduling, supplies and budget. Analyze a sports turf site and develop an Environmental Stewardship plan for the property. Examine the Professional Development skills needed to become successful in the Turf Management business.


University of Alberta, Edmonton AB

Eleni Stroulia
Faculty of Science, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta

The student(s) will work on the “VR visits to Smart Buildings” project – see demo at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMg-IeX1Zuw&t=425. The objective will be to build a (BIM) model of an example of indigenous architecture and to annotate it with comments to explain the building, its materials and the traditions behind them.

Carrie Demmans Epp
Faculty of Science, Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta

They will participate in the development and testing of educational software. They will have the choice of working on a visual report card, a system to help people learn to read in English, and a system to help people learn Cree.

Erin Bayne
Faculty of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta

My lab studies how audio recordings of nature can be used to track wildlife populations.  Students will learn how to use computers to process audio data, learn how to identify species, and be introduced to the ways wildlife data are using in environmental planning.

Lianne Lefsrud, Jonathan Banks, Andie Palmer
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta

This project will focus on geothermal development with First Nations communities.

Jaime Wong and Alexandra Komrakova
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta

Students will explore the basic building-blocks of fluid mechanics and aerodynamics, and the experimental and computational techniques researchers use to investigate them. Moreover, students will see how these very different methods are brought together to form a complete picture of fluid-mechanical problems.

Ania Ulrich
Faculty of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta

This is an environmental engineering research laboratory. In this lab, a lot of the research involves the remediation of water (cleaning of contaminated water) using different methods. From a general point of view the student will learn to do some simple laboratory techniques that are used to analyze water and may even be able to help with some current experiments.


University of Calgary, Calgary AB

Dr. Faizal Careem, Professor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Title of the project: Avian corona virus replication dynamics in laying hens
Project description: Avian corona virus, namely infectious bronchitis virus infects various tissues in chickens including tissues of the respiratory, gastrointestinal and reproductive tissues. Consequently, the infected hens will show various signs including shell distorted egg production and egg production drops. During the short stay, the high school students will be trained to visualize and quantify corona virus infection in various tissues of the hens using immunological and molecular techniques. They also will involve with research projects of other graduate trainees in the group and learn data analysis and presentation. The students will not be involved in the animal experiments but processing tissues collected. The students will work in a biosafety level 2 laboratory environment.

Dr. Sabine Gilch, Professor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Title of the project: Chronic wasting disease and the role of cervid prion protein polymorphisms on prion strain evolution
Project description: Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases that are strictly fatal and can occur in humans and animals. They are caused by prions, infectious particles that only consist of a misfolded form of the cellular prion protein PrPC , termed PrPSc . Prions amplify by interacting with PrPC and forcing it to adopt the misfolded and pathogenic PrPSc conformation. Various PrPSc conformations or prion strains exist which differ in their biological and biochemical characteristics.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease affecting wild and farmed deer, elk, moose and reindeer in Canada, the United States and Europe. The goal of our research is to characterize CWD strains and to study how the presence of specific polymorphisms in PrPC that have been associated with reduced susceptibility to CWD infection affect the transport of prions to the brain. We focus on polymorphisms found in white-tailed deer and caribou, respectively, with the latter being at risk to contract CWD in the future. This research will significantly enhance our knowledge of prion strain evolution and help to understand the risk of transmission to noncervid species.

Dr. Karen Liljebjelke, Professor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Title of the project: Investigation of antibiotic resistance in E. coli cultured from store-bought meat
Project description: Antibiotic resistance is a world-wide public health problem. Food-borne illness in people is very common, and antibiotic resistance can make treatment of infections difficult. Fecal contamination of the animal carcass is the source of most bacteria which cause food-borne illness. The same species of fecal bacteria, including E. coli, are also food safety risks for people eating meat from hunted game animals. The resistance profiles of E. coli cultured from store-bought meat will be determined using the Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. A panel of medically important antibiotics will be used, so that the potential impact of antibiotic resistance on the treatment of food-borne illness can be evaluated and discussed.

Dr. Nathan Peters, Professor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Title of the project: Investigating early interactions between mammalian immune cells and Leishmania parasites.
Project description: Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease that effects 12 million people in the developing world, with 350 million people currently at risk of infection. Mammals become infected by Leishmania when this parasite is deposited into the mammals’ skin by the bite of an infected sand fly. Once inside the skin, the parasite is taken up by cells of the hosts’ immune system which – instead of protecting the host from infection, as they are supposed to do – are manipulated into becoming a safe-haven for the parasite, known as the “Trojan horse” strategy for parasitic infection. The means by which the parasite manipulates these host cells to create a safe-haven are unknown. Once the infection has been established, these parasites persist indefinitely within the effected mammal; therefore, investigating how Leishmania manipulate host-cells during the earliest stages of infection is of critical importance for the development of vaccines and/or treatments targeting leishmaniasis.

Dr. Bruce Stover , Professor
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Title of the project: Parasite patterns in Alberta’s Free Roaming Horses
Project description: Studying parasite burdens in the Free Roaming horse population can help us better understand the evolution of parasites. We can achieve a better comprehension of the ‘host-parasite’ interaction as it occurs naturally without the interference of human intervention, such as with the use of commercial dewormers.
Understanding the risk factors that lead to high parasite burdens can lead to custom tailoring of treatment protocols for domestic horses. This targeted approach to treatment can help minimize the effects of treatment resistance which is of ever-increasing concern.
During the week, students will have the opportunity to learn about common parasites found in the equine species including life cycles and pathology. We will visit Free Roaming horse populations west of Sundre, AB where we will collect samples for analysis and look at Free Roaming horse habitat and behaviour. Students will then analyze the samples in a laboratory before compiling and interpreting their results.


University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Duncan Cree, Department of Engineering
University of Saskatchewan

Students will obtain hands-on experience with a small design project related to engineering. The students will learn how to go from a computer software drawing (Solidworks) to a finished three-dimensional part. The students will get all the training required, no previous experience required, just bring your enthusiasm for learning!

Dr. Alison Oates, Dr. Marta Erlandson, Dr. Leah Ferguson
College of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan

Kinesiology is the study of human movement and how movement impacts how we feel and respond physically, mentally and socially. Students who engage with faculty members from Kinesiology will have the opportunity to learn about physical activity and sedentary behaviour, learn how to use equipment to monitor balance and movement and learn how our body’s mechanics affect that movement. They will also have a chance to examine the effect of physical activity on bone and muscle health using novel imaging machines and have their bones measured, as well as learn about how to interview athletes about the psychological well-being and sport experiences.

Dr. Christopher Phenix, Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan

The students who chose to participate in my lab will learn how radioactive isotopes are used in medicine to diagnose and treat disease, in basic science to understand molecular mechanisms of cellular metabolism and in plants to investigate why some species can produce and utilize a hormone that leads to tolerance to drought.  In addition, we will spend time at the new Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences to learn how radioactive isotopes are produced and their safe handling.

Christine Holstein
Western College of Veterinary Medicine

Students will have an opportunity to do what veterinarians do. They will help examine cats, dogs and other pets in our Veterinary Medical Centre; visit horses, cattle and other farm animals with our Field Service veterinarians; and learn about diagnostic testing such as medical imaging, clinical pathology, and autopsy.

Dr. Melissa Arcand, Assistant Professor
College of Agriculture and Bioresources

Students will learn about soil and the design of nutrient and energy efficient cropping systems. This is important to work in resource management and land governance in Indigenous communities across Canada.


First Nations University of Canada, Regina SK

Dr. Ed Doolittle, Associate Professor
Mathematics, Department of Indigenous Science, the Environment and Economic Development (DISEED)

Building and programming a robot using LEGO robotics to play hand games.

Dr. Vincent Ziffle, Assistant Professor
Department of Indigenous Science, the Environment and Economic Development (DISEED)

Research on the makeup of Western and Indigenous foods. to determine their caloric and carbohydrate content. Locally sourced ingredients will be tied back to the environment through an ecological approach to food science, ending in a better understanding of food chemistry through several delicious experiments.

Leanne Stricker, Lecturer
Environmental Health and Science, Department of Indigenous Science, The Environment and Economic Development

Are you interested in the environment and how it affects human health? Consider a week of activities exploring diseases that are transmitted from insects, the chemical properties of food, food safety, and the characteristics of safe drinking water and recreational water.

Dr. Arzu Sardarli, Professor
Physics and Mathematics, Department of Indigenous Science, the Environment, and Economic Development

Mathematical modelling of environmental processes using Indigenous Knowledge


University of Manitoba

Dr. Rotimi Aluko, Professor
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

Students will learn how to extract bioactive peptides that have the potential to be new medicines from plant proteins such as peas, flax seed and hemp seed.

Dr. Nancy Ames, Adjunct Professor
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

For students interested in how research is developing more nutritional foods that taste good.  Students will have the opportunity to develop new recipes for traditional foods using more nutritious ingredients.  For more information, you can see Dr. Ames and Georgina Balfour (2012 Kirkness Program participant) on our website. It’s the first video in Program Description.

Dr. Subramaniam Balakrishnan, Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Manitoba

For students interested in how robotics can be applied in mechanical engineering.

Dr. Nazim Cicek, Professor
Department of Engineering, University of Manitoba

Students will learn about biological wastewater treatment and the recovery of nutrients like phosphorus from waste streams.

Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst, Professor
Department of Soil Science, University of Manitoba

For students who are interested in spending time both in a laboratory and travelling off campus to learn about soil, water and air quality.  Students will do experiments that will give them an idea of what it would be like to study environmental science, agricultural science or soil science.

Dr. Kevin Fraser, Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba

For students interested in conservation biology, bird tracking and how birds migrate.

Dr. James Friel, Professor
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

For students interested in learning about the importance of infant nutrition they will learn about the importance of a class of compounds called antioxidants that play a special role in human health. Our particular focus is in feeding and biology of mother’s milk. Students will participate in ongoing research with mothers and infants either in the laboratory or in the field.

Dr. Joannie Halas, Professor
Department of Kinesiology, University of Manitoba

For students who are interested in understanding how physical activity relates to health. You will participate in several activities in clinical and on-campus settings, with opportunities to visit up to three labs, including one that measures human movement. As the main focus, students will have opportunities to learn more about the role that physical activity can play in helping to prevent and manage diabetes in First Nation populations.

Dr. Norman Halden, Dean
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Manitoba

For students interested in conservation and management of fish stocks you will have a chance to test fish from your own community and learn about environmental factors that affect behaviour and growth. At the end of the week, you will have a report that you can take back and share with your fellow students and members of your community

Dr. Witold Kinsner, Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba

For students interested in robotics, part of the project introduces the concept of a robot, and particularly the BEAM robot. It discusses the various components of a robot, as well as their interactions and constraints. It then attempts to design a small robot and implement it using inexpensive components. The objective of this part is to show that mathematics, physics, electronics, circuits, and design principles are all needed to accomplish such a task.

Dr. Ayush Kumar, Associate Professor
Departments of Microbiology and Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba

Students will have an opportunity to learn about antibiotic resistance in bacteria (superbugs) and why this is one of the biggest challenges to the human health today. They will also learn basic molecular biology techniques like extracting a plasmid from bacteria and then analyzing it by gel electrophoresis.

Dr. Juliette Mammei, Assistant Professor
Department of Physics, University of Manitoba

For the students who have always wondered about Geiger counters, radioactive material and how to see cosmic rays, this is your opportunity. Students will do a variety of experiments and build a cloud chamber.

Dr. Kateryn Rochon, Assistant Professor
Department of Entomology, University of Manitoba

For students who are interested in insects in livestock pest management and tick-borne diseases. Students will collect specimens in the field for identification in the laboratory. Students will prepare a final presentation which will include photographs and images of the collected specimens.

Dr. Miyoung Suh, Associate Professor
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

Dr. Suh’s research program aims to provide the basic knowledge of the fundamental roles of nutrition in specialized tissues such as the retina; find mechanisms to explain how essential components of biomembrane work in concert; identify the role of nutrition intervention on the pathogenesis of diseases.

Dr. Jillian Detwiler
University of Manitoba

To see the biology research you would be doing with Dr. Detwiler go to https://detwilerlab.weebly.com/.


University of Ottawa

Dr. Melike Erol-Kantarci, Professor
Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Erol-Kantarci
More About Dr. Erol-Kantarci
Learn how the communications systems we use in our everyday lives work. You will use a network simulator to see how packets of information travel in a network. Then you will get to set up a communication network of your own and run tests like researchers do to develop better systems.

Dr. Clémence Fauteux-Lefebvre, Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Fauteux-Lefebvre
Work in a chemical engineering lab and learn about catalyst reactions involved in foods, dyes and even cars. Students will get to prepare a catalyst, test it for reaction, and characterize it using optical and electronic microscopy. You will then learn to evaluate the catalyst for its efficiency and purity of the resulting product.

Dr. Jeffrey Keillor, Professor
The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Keillor
About Keillor Research Group
Experience the early stages of drug discovery and validation first hand! Make and evaluate your very own potential anti-cancer drug. Learn how medicinal chemists synthesize and evaluate molecules for their utility in medicine by studying enzyme kinetics and inhibition in a test tube.

Dr. Jeremy Kerr, Professor
The Department of Biology, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Kerr
About the Kerr Lab
Learn field ecological techniques doing field research on butterflies and bees. Learn about aspects of biological diversity and conservation while working with biologists.

Dr. Jeff Lundeen, Professor
Department of Physics, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Lundeen
About the Lundeen Lab
The information on the internet is carried around the world by light pulses travelling through glass fibres. In this project, you will work with lasers and learn hands-on how to get light signals into these hair-thin fibres. You will demonstrate in our research lab how quantum physics can make these signals unreadable to hackers, thereby keeping your personal information secure.

Dr. Paul Mayer, Professor
The Department of Chemistry, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Mayer
More About Dr. Mayer
Gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) is one of the most widely used analytical tools in science, employed to analyze everything from pesticides on apples, fuels, propellants, forensic samples (send it to trace!) and trace contaminants in water, soil and air. It has even been sent to Mars on the Rover, and the Cassini spacecraft that just left Saturn deployed the Huygens probe into Titan’s atmosphere that contained a GC-MS. Students will get hands on experience preparing selected samples for analysis (there will be an emphasis on common household items such as bug spray, citrus fruit and coffee), using the GC-MS and interpreting the data.

Dr. Poupak Mehrani, Professor
The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Mehrani
More About Dr. Mehrani
Work at the Gas-Solid Fluidization laboratory at uOttawa Chemical Engineering Department to learn about the production of polyethylene (a common plastic used in our daily lives). Students will gain hands-on experience in operating a reactor as well as a powder flow line. In both cases, they will learn about electrostatic charge generation which results in solids sticking to each other.

Dr. Monica Nevins, Professor
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Nevins
More About Dr. Nevins
Mathematics is about so much more than just numbers – it’s about solving puzzles and finding patterns. Some of the most exciting mathematical research today is in cryptography, which is the science and art of secret communication. In this project, you’ll work hands-on with codes and learn the math of the most powerful public key cryptosystem in use today.

Dr. Frances Pick, Professor, PhD in Indigenous Heritage
The Department of Biology, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Pick
More About Dr. Pick
Work with biologists researching urban ecology. For example, you may investigate the capacity of stormwater ponds to protect downstream water quality or to serve as a natural habitat for wildlife in urban environments. Students may do fieldwork across the National Capital Region, lab-based analyses of water chemistry, microscopy, species identifications, and/or data analyses using computers.

Dr. Colin Rennie, Professor
The Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Rennie
More About Dr. Rennie
Perform research in an environmental hydraulics lab for a week. Learn how engineers study the flow patterns that occur in rivers and waterways using an indoor water channel. The information learned from these studies is important towards understanding riverbed erosion and preservation, patterns of fish migration, and flow conditions that can be dangerous to humans (e.g. kayakers) or other species.

Dr. Darrin Richeson, Professor
The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Richeson
More About Dr. Richeson
Chemistry is part of everything in our lives. Everything that exists is made of matter and chemists study the properties of matter and how it can be changed. In our labs you would learn about molecules that absorb light and transfer it to a catalyst that change one chemical into a new species. Our goals are to design new ways to produce clean fuels, like hydrogen, or to transform a byproduct like carbon dioxide into more useful chemicals.

Dr. Mateja Sajna, Professor
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Sajna
More About Dr. Sajna
Be a statistician for a week. Learn how statisticians and mathematicians collect and organize data using fuzzy cognitive maps. Students will collect data in order to better understand an issue of interest in their chosen community. They will learn how fuzzy cognitive maps can be used to understand the relationships involved in complex issues, and how they can be used to inform decision making.

Dr. Jason Adam Shuhendler, Professor
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Shuhendler
About the Molecular Medicine Lab
In the Molecular Medicine Lab, we design and implement chemical tools that can probe biochemistry either through non-invasive imaging techniques (e.g. MRI and PET), or by way of point-of-care diagnosis of diseases. We accomplish this by designing and synthesizing chemical probes, testing them in “test tube” conditions, and then apply them to animal models of human diseases.
In this lab, you will get to test novel probe molecules that our researchers have created. Using optical or nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, you will learn to evaluate the molecules’ ability to serve as diagnostic agents.
The results of these studies will be used to better diagnose heart disease, cancer therapy response, and the outcomes of concussion injury.

Dr. Emily Standen, Professor
The Department of Biology, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Standen
About the Standen Lab
Study how animals move under different environmental conditions. In this lab, you will work with graduate student researchers to film animals swimming and walking, using high-speed video cameras. You may work with amphibious fish or salamanders, or other animals.

Dr. Leandro F.M. Sanchez, Professor
The Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Sanchez
Sustainability in the Civil Construction Industry
While working on this project, you will learn all about the importance and impact of sustainability in the civil construction. In this lab, you will learn how to design civil engineering materials that present suitable performance although may be considered “green,” the so-called eco-friendly materials, for a better future of all human beings.

Durability of Structures
While working on this project, you will learn all about the importance and impact of durability (or in other words, how many years a given civil engineering structure may withstand loads in service) in civil construction. You will learn how to evaluate a damaged material/structure and options for maintenance/rehabilitation for them.

Forecasting Infrastructure Reliability with the Use of Artificial Intelligence
While working on this project, you will learn all about the importance and impact of managing critical concrete structures (i.e. bridges, tunnels, stadiums, etc.) in Canada and worldwide. You will learn how to use artificial intelligence techniques to detect the current problem and forecast future problems in concrete structures.

Dr. Adina Luican-Mayer, Professor
The Department of Physics, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Luican-Mayer
About the Luican-Mayer Lab
In this project, the students will first be taught about the science of 2D materials. Then, they will obtain hands-on experience by making their own atomically thin crystals and comparing their roughness on different substrates. They will use optical microscopy and assist in using instrumentation for measuring surface roughness. They will be exposed to characterization techniques that visualize properties of materials at the level of a single atom. They will use software for data analysis of such microscopy images.
Learn about the science of 2D materials and obtain hands-on experience by making your own atomically thin crystals and comparing their roughness on different substrates. You will use optical microscopy and assist in using instrumentation for measuring surface roughness. you will also be exposed to characterization techniques that visualize properties of materials at the level of a single atom and will use software for data analysis of such microscopy images.

Dr. Vincent Careau, Professor
The Department of Biology, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Careau
About the Careau Lab
Measure Metabolic rate in small insects using a respirometry system in the lab. Collect insects of varying body mass (ants, crickets, caterpillars, flies, pincher bugs, roly-poly, etc.) and measure their CO2 production overnight. Estimate the exact allometric exponent at which metabolic rate scales with body mass, by estimating the slope of the relationship on a logarithmic plot. Learn how to how to collect insects, operate highly technical respirometer equipment, manipulate datasets, and estimate the slope of a linear relationship between two variables (metabolic rate as a function of body mass).

Dr. David Bryce, Professor
The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Bryce
About the Bryce Lab
Work in a chemistry lab and prepare new chemicals. Mechanochemistry is an environmentally friendly method to develop new materials with a range of applications as pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, and more. You will have hands-on experience in solid-state chemistry and materials characterization.

Dr. Fabien Gagosz, Professor
The Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Gagosz
About the Gagosz Lab
Our group is synthesizing and evaluating the catalytic activity of metallic gold species. If you are interested in knowing what is catalysis and what can be done with gold from a synthetic point of view, come to the lab and experiment the formation of coloured azulene compounds.

Dr. Kathleen Gilmour, Professor
The Department of Biology, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Gilmour
About the Gilmour Lab
Work with zebrafish to learn about the interactions between behaviour and physiology, using social interactions as a model system. Fish form “pecking order” social hierarchies, with dominant fish at the top of a hierarchy being aggressive towards more subordinate fish. Specifically, you will examine how chronic stress caused by social interactions affects basic physiological processes such as growth and metabolism, and how the physiology of a fish affects its behaviour – for example, whether a basic trait such as metabolic rate determines whether fish become dominant or subordinate in social interactions.

Dr. Arnaud Weck, Professor
The Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Weck
About the Weck Lab
During one week in the Weck Lab, students will learn about ultrafast lasers and how we use them to control the surface properties of materials including colours, wettability, biocompatibility, etc. Graduate students and myself will present our work during group meetings to introduce our research. Students will then go in the lab and use the laser to texture the surface of various materials to control their wetting properties (i.e. to what extent the surface repels water). Optical and electron microscopes will be used to characterize the surface morphology, and spectroscopy techniques to learn about the surface chemistry. Wettability will be obtained using a water contact angle measurement system.
Work with ultrafast lasers to change the surface morphology and chemistry of materials and characterize the laser-textured surfaces using microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. The ultimate goal is to control the surface wettability, i.e. how efficient the surface is at repelling water.

Dr. Martin Noël, Professor
The Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Noël
About the Noël Lab
Learn how construction materials like concrete and steel are used and improved to design safe, long-lasting buildings and bridges. You will mix your own concrete, test the strength of materials, and investigate how structures can carry heavy loads and stay standing after extreme events like earthquakes or bomb blasts.

Dr. Daniel Benoit, Professor
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

About Dr. Benoit
About the Benoit Lab
In this lab, you will get work towards understanding the cause of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, which is one of the main ligament in the knee joint. This will contribute to injury prevention methods that will help future athletes avoid suffering from an ACL injury and will help develop rehabilitation programs.