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Aug. 15, 2017
For Immediate Release

Waterloo – Three Wilfrid Laurier University faculty members are receiving federal funding to improve their research infrastructure, which will allow them to carry out research into human appetite regulation, environmental change analytics, and arts-oriented, community-based research.

The funding is coming from the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund. The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, minister of science, made the announcement Aug. 15 during an event at Laurentian University. The funding totals $52 million across Canada and is going toward 220 new infrastructure projects at 51 universities.

“This important funding will allow Laurier researchers to develop the infrastructure essential to conduct world-class and meaningful research,” said Rob Gordon, Laurier’s vice-president research.

Tom Hazell, assistant professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education, is receiving $43,737 for research that aims to improve understanding of human appetite regulation by examining the influence of sex hormones and the effect of exercise intensity.

The funding will go toward equipment that will allow Hazell and his team to process, store and analyze biological markers in blood samples.

“The infrastructure will permit innovative research that will directly benefit the health of Canadians,” said Hazell. “Research results will help improve strategies to induce body fat loss and aid the treatment of metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

Colin Robertson, associate professor of Geography and Environmental Studies, is receiving $72,433 to build centralized observatories for geospatial data that document how the Earth is changing in specific locations.

“Through these observatories, researchers and citizens will be able to collaboratively record observations about changing environments and build predictive models of change in natural systems in ways that are currently not possible said Robertson.

With the funding, Robertson and his team plan to develop a geographic information observatory with plenty of computational power. The observatory, based at Laurier’s Waterloo campus, will provide environmental data storage and analytics services to researchers and the general public.

Ciann Wilson, assistant professor of Community Psychology, is receiving $49,964 to establish a community-based research media lab at Laurier’s Waterloo campus. It will be the first facility of its kind in Waterloo Region.

The lab will feature state-of-the-art arts- and digital-media equipment for research and analysis both on site and in the field. It will support faculty, students and community partners, including members of disenfranchised communities, in arts-based and digital media projects that highlight local realities and lived experience. It will also allow the resulting work to be shared both on site and remotely through virtual and social media platforms.

“The creation of an institutional space to facilitate this innovative and collaborative research will be essential for fostering community-university partnerships,” said Wilson.

“Ensuring that our scientists are well-prepared with the absolute paramount in tools and equipment for research and discovery is what we’re here for,” said Duncan. “These journeys can lead to achievements such as an improved economy and a better job market, and can also fuel an active research community here in Canada and internationally.”

About the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

For 20 years, the CFI has been giving researchers the tools they need to think big and innovate. A robust innovation system translates into jobs and new enterprises, better health, cleaner environments and, ultimately, vibrant communities. By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions, the CFI also helps to attract and retain the world’s top talent, to train the next generation of researchers and to support world-class research that strengthens the economy and improves the quality of life for all Canadians.

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Media Contacts:

Kevin Crowley, Director

Communications and Public Affairs

E: kcrowley@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x3070

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