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Oct. 10, 2018
For Immediate Release

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Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University science researchers have been awarded a total of $1.2 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Discovery Grants Program to support their continued excellence.

The recipients include researchers from the departments of biology; chemistry and biochemistry; geography and environmental studies; mathematics; physics and computer science; and the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced the results of the competition on Oct. 9, at the University of Windsor.

“These NSERC grant recipients are making substantial breakthroughs in their fields and demonstrate that Laurier’s researchers are leaders both nationally and internationally,” said Jeffery Jones, interim associate vice-president: research.

Among the recipients is Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor Dmitri Goussev, who has been doing industry-changing research in clean catalytic technologies.

Goussev is already well known in his field for creating highly efficient catalysts that help convert esters into alcohol using hydrogenation. “Gusev catalysts” – as they’ve been become known – have quickly become popular among the global research community.

Goussev is continuing to build on that research by developing sustainable and clean catalysts for the dehydrogenative coupling of alcohols and reduction of carbonyl functionalities.

In recognition of the superior nature of his research, Goussev has also received a Discovery Accelerator Supplement of $120,000 over three years, to maximize the impact of his discoveries and help him compete with the best in the world.

The Discovery Accelerator Supplement is reserved for researchers who have an established and unique research program and who show strong potential to become international leaders in their field. 

The other Laurier recipients of Discovery Grants are:

  • Mihai Costea, associate professor, Biology, “Systematics and evolution of parasitic plants.”
  • Gabriel Moreno-Hagelsieb, professor, Biology, “Computational prediction of genetic systems in prokaryotes.”
  • Jason Venkiteswaran, assistant professor, Geography and Environmental Studies (also the recipient of an Early Researcher Supplement) “Understanding the Effects of Climate Change on Carbon Fate in Headwater Lakes.”
  • Giuseppe Campolieti, professor, Mathematics, “Solvable and Other Stochastic Models for Risk Modeling and Asset Pricing in Quantitative Finance.”
  • Chinh Hoang, professor, Physics and Computer Science, “Algorithmic Graph Theory.”
  • Yang Liu, associate professor, Physics and Computer Science, “Mining Urban Trajectories.”
  • Xuan (Jen) Zhao, professor, the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, “New Issues in Supply Chain Management: Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and Cognitive Bias.”

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.

Each grant is awarded based on recommendations from peer review committees of experts in each of 12 science and engineering fields. The research is also supported by the Research Support Fund.

For more information about NSERC’s programs and to view its news release, please visit the NSERC website. For more information about Laurier’s research, visit the research website.

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Media Contacts:

Jeffery Jones

Interim Associate Vice President Research

T: 519.884.0710 x2192

Kevin Crowley, Director,

Communications and Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070


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