Feds invest $341,000 in discovery research at StFX University

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ANTIGONISH – Fresh ideas have the power to change the way we view the world and can lead to discoveries that will help solve some of our biggest challenges. When we invest in the innovative and creative work being done by our scientists and researchers, we are helping to ensure that our health, environment, communities and economy thrive.

On Thursday, Central Nova MP Sean Fraser, who is also Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science and Sport, highlighted $341,000 in new support for discovery research at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX). This investment is part of an unprecedented investment of more than $588 million through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Discovery Grants Program that was announced by Duncan on May 21.

The funding, part of the historic $4 billion for research committed in Budget 2018, will also support graduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships for students in the natural sciences and engineering.

This funding will go to more than 4,850 researchers and students across the country as they pursue their world-leading discovery work. It also includes support for nearly 500 early career researchers who will bring a diversity of new voices and new insights to their fields.

StFX is receiving $341,000 for researchers and students working in areas including earth sciences, chemistry, human kinetics and computer science.  Dr. Melanie Lam in Human Kinetics has received $127,500 over five years for an exploration of the behavioural, electrophysiological, and neural mechanisms underlying joint action; Dr. Jacob Levman, Canada Research Chair in Bioinformatics within Computer Science has received $127,500 over five years to develop methods for reliable machine learning with applications in medical imaging.  Dr. David Risk received $51,000 for a one year project to study thermogenic methane distribution, sources, and drivers in the MacKenzie Delta region.  StFX graduate student Dreenan Shea (Chemistry) received a Canada Graduate Scholarship worth $17,500 over one year to support her research on nanoparticle materials for the photodegradation of pollutants and biomass waste.  Sean Freeborn, a new StFX graduate student in Earth Sciences, has received a Canada Graduate Scholarship worth $17,500 over one year to support his research on magmatism and the evolution of mountain-building.  This investment is part of Canada’s Science Vision and the Government of Canada’s commitment of more than $10 billion to science, which includes the largest-ever increase in funding for fundamental research.