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UTSC researchers win major NSERC funding

 

For researchers across the country, the annual round of nail-biting and sleepless nights is finally over. The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has announced its funding decisions for 2011, and UTSC faculty have many reasons to celebrate.
Our researchers pulled in 24 awards, including 17 NSERC Discovery grants, three Research Tools and Instruments grants and one Northern Research Supplement. In total, our scientists received more than $3.1 million in NSERC funding (scroll down to see the complete list of researchers and project titles).
Most impressively, three of our Discovery grant winners also received Discovery Accelerator Supplements (DAS). Congratulations to professor of biology and vice-principal of research Malcolm Campbell, assistant professor of environmental science Mathew Wells and incoming psychology faculty member Andy Lee.
Valued at $120,000 over three years, DAS grants are awarded to top-ranked researchers who have been judged by their peers to show strong potential for becoming international leaders in their field, and whose research proposals explore novel, transformative or paradigm-shifting concepts and questions. DAS winners are generally considered to be engaged in high-impact, potentially groundbreaking work. NSERC awarded just 123 DAS grants this year, with 17 going to U of T faculty across the tri-campus.
"I am most honoured by the recognition of my lab’s research trajectory through the awarding of the DAS,” says professor Campbell. “The DAS is simply a wonderful validation from colleagues and NSERC that the superb students and post-docs in my lab are on the right track, obtaining proper training opportunities, and generating useful and interesting research contributions. The DAS will enhance my lab’s capacity as a training platform for the next generation of research leaders, and as a catalyst for scientific discovery.  As its name implies, the DAS will accelerate the launch of the careers of the personnel in my lab and propel our research discoveries onto a larger stage."
Professor Wells was similarly thrilled. “I was very excited to receive a Discovery Accelerator Supplement. The award comes at a great time for my group, as I am expanding my field based research program on physical limnology (the study of water movements in lakes). My research group looks at how water currents transport nutrients and biota in lakes, and uses field observations to test mathematical models of the physical processes. We are particularly interested in the role of temperature stratification in controlling mixing and dispersion of nutrients in lakes such as Lake Simcoe and Lake Opeongo.”
Professor Lee was unavailable for comment at press-time.
Congratulations to the following:

NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplements
Malcolm Campbell – Biological Sciences: Comparative functional genomics of plant resource acquisition, perception, and allocation
Mathew Wells – Physical and Environmental Sciences: Transport and mixing in density stratified environmental flows
Andy Lee – Psychology: Investigating the role of the medial temporal lobe in memory and perception
NSERC Discovery Grants
Rudy Boonstra – Biological Sciences: The role of stress in natural populations
Marc Cadotte – Biological Sciences: Community assembly and ecosystem processes in the light of evolutionary history: The formation and function of plant communities
Malcolm Campbell – Biological Sciences: Comparative functional genomics of plant resource acquisition, perception and allocation
Wayne Enright – Computer and Mathematical Sciences: Robust and reliable software for the investigation of approximate solutions of systems of ordinary differential equations
Vassos Hadzilacos – Computer and Mathematical Sciences: Synchronisation and fault tolerance in distributed computing
Ken Howard – Physical and Environmental Sciences: Impact of climate variability on groundwater in coastal cities
Rutsuko Ito – Psychology: Assessing the role of corticostriatal interactions in appetitive and aversive conditioning – relevance to addiction and schizophrenia
Lisa Jeffrey – Computer and Mathematical Sciences: Applications of symplectic geometry
Steve Joordens – Psychology: Conscious and unconscious influences
Andy Lee – Psychology: Investigating the role of the medial temporal lobe in memory and perception
Nathan Lovejoy – Biological Sciences: Phylogenetics, biogeography and evolution of fishes
Joanne Nash – Biological Sciences: Understanding the molecular mechanisms of motor control
Mark Schmuckler – Psychology: Perceptual motor coupling in obvious and non-obvious domains /tonality and contour in music cognition
Paul Selick – Computer and Mathematical Sciences: Homotopy theory
Jason Weir – Biological Sciences: Latitudinal gradients in rates of evolution
Mathew Wells – Physical and Environmental Sciences: Transport and mixing in density stratified
environmental flows
Robert Young – Computer and Mathematical Sciences: Asymptotic geometry, filling functions and non-positive curvature
NSERC Northern Research Supplement
Rudy Boonstra – Biological Sciences: The role of stress in natural populations
NSERC Research Tools and Instruments Grants
Malcolm Campbell – Biological Sciences: Real-time PCR thermal cycler for environmental response transcriptomics and epigenetics
Myrna Simpson – Physical and Environmental Sciences: GC/MS upgrade and microbalance for molecular-level organic matter analysis
David Fleet – Computer and Mathematical Sciences: Data capture and processing for computer vision




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