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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
March 29, 2017
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Laurier researchers and students receive NSERC funding

May 21/13| For Immediate Release


Abby Goodrum, Vice-President, Research
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3601 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Fourteen Wilfrid Laurier University science researchers have received a total of $1,496,000 in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). In addition, five Laurier students have been awarded $175,000 in Canada Graduate Scholarships.

The results from the 2013 competition were announced May 21 at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), and Janet Walden, acting president of NSERC. The results announced today included 3800 research grants and scholarships totaling more than $413 million.

“Laurier projects included in today’s announcement represent an impressive range of both fundamental and applied research,” said Abby Goodrum, vice-president: research. “We are proud of these researchers and the contributions they are making to scientific discovery in Canada.”

The Discovery Grants Program is NSERC's largest and longest-standing program and a key element of Canada's support for excellence in science research and training at Canadian universities. The following Laurier researchers have been awarded Discovery Grant funding:

  • Diano-Fabio Marrone, associate professor of Psychology, is looking at gradients in the implementation of lasting memory in the brain.
  • Deborah MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and professor of Biology, is seeking to improve understanding of the sensitivity of fish to environmental endocrine disruptors.
  • Dmitri Goussev, professor of Chemistry, is developing “green” catalytic methods for organic compounds in the synthesis of agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, flavours and fragrances, and specialty chemicals.
  • Geoff Horsman, assistant professor of Chemistry, is working on the discovery and characterization of novel small molecule enzymes and the identification of potential biotechnological applications.
  • Ross Cressman, professor of Mathematics, will examine dynamic evolutionary game theory and its application to biology and economics.
  • Donna Kotsopoulos, associate professor of Education, together with Joanne Lee, associate professor of Psychology, will apply mathematics research to cross-disciplinary issues related to visual-spatial processing in young children.
  • Roman Makarov, associate professor of Mathematics, is developing mathematical models and algorithms to provide frameworks for evaluating risk in finance.
  • Zilin Wang, assistant professor of Mathematics, is developing methodologies for analyzing complex survey data, genomic data, genetic networks, and forest fire data.
  • Chính Hoàng, professor of Physics and Computer Science, is doing research on algorithmic graph theory.
  • Li Wei, associate professor of Physics and Computer Science, is developing novel nanomaterial fiber lasers for industrial applications.
  • Todd Ferretti, associate professor of Psychology, is studying the cognitive processes of language comprehension, autobiographical memory retrieval, and imagined events.
  • Philip Servos, professor of Psychology, will be studying processing of spatial and temporal sensory signals in the human brain.

In addition to the Discovery Grants, Laurier received NSERC Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants to support Faculty of Science researchers Stephanie DeWitte-Orr, assistant professor, Biology and Health Studies; Geoff Horsman, assistant professor, Chemistry, and Diane Gregory, assistant professor, Kinesiology and Physical Education and Health Studies.

NSERC-sponsored Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships were awarded to students Brianna Cowling (Kinesiology and Physical Education), Rachel Keunen (Chemistry), Fiona Lester (Biology and Mathematics) and James Parker (Chemistry) in the master’s category, and to Jimmie Gmaz (Psychology) in the doctoral (3 years) category.

About the Discovery Grants Program: An integral component of Canada's support for research and training excellence at Canadian universities, the Discovery Grants Program funds ongoing programs of research in every scientific and engineering discipline.  

About the RTI grants: RTI grants foster and enhance the discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering by supporting the purchase of research equipment and installations.

About the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship Program:  Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) are offered to the top-ranked applicants at each level (master’s and doctoral) and provide financial support to high calibre scholars who are engaged in master's or doctoral programs in the natural sciences or engineering.

NSERC announcement: To view the NSERC news release, please click here.


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