U of G In the News

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Research by food scientists Prof. Alejandro Marangoni, Pere Ramel and Fernanda Peyronel was featured in the Feb. 27 Washington Post. The story was picked up by other media outlets, including the Toronto Star. Marangoni and his research team use X-rays and electron microscopes to better understand the microscopic building blocks of fats and how processing affects structure. The findings can be used to improve the appearance, taste and nutritional value of fats and to develop alternatives. The work was published this month in the journal Food Chemistry.

Two OVC professors were featured on Global News Feb. 24.  Profs. Lynne O’Sullivan, Clinical Services, and Glen Pyle, Biomedical Sciences, were interviewed about their recent study on inherited dilated cardiomyopathy, a fatal heart disorder in dogs, especially Doberman pinschers. The story also highlighted OVC’s Doberman screening program. O’Sullivan is a pet cardiologist, while Pyle researches cardiac muscle mechanics and heart failure.

Prof. Mike Dixon, Environmental Sciences, was interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen Feb. 16. Dixon discussed his research on how different lights affect plants. He studies environment sensor technology, biological life support and space exploration. He is working on the Martian Garden Project, which aims to enable space explorers to grow food on other planets.

Prof. Andrew Hathaway, Criminal Justice and Public Policy, was interviewed by the Globe and Mail – Report on Business Feb. 16 about the prospects for marijuana legalization. Hathaway studies cannabis policy, criminal justice and harm reduction.

Prof. Pat Barclay, Psychology, was interviewed by the Globe and Mail on Dec. 6. Barclay discussed what makes some people more generous and others more selfish. Barclay said benefits from being altruistic include building a positive reputation or earning favours in return. He uses evolutionary and social psychology to study altruism, reputation, punishment, friendship, partner choice and trust.

Graduate student Jamie Rothenburger was interviewed by the National Post on Dec. 4 for a story on pets and assisted dying. The story examined the expertise veterinarians can offer in euthanasia for people, given their expertise with pets. Rothenburger, who studies pathology, wrote on the topic for the Western Producer earlier this year. She said veterinarians can offer experience in dealing with families and with the emotional toll of such decisions.

Profs. Evan Fraser and Sylvain Charlebois published an opinion column in the Globe and Mail Nov. 30. The professors say agriculture has been left out of recent discussions on climate change, and that food and farming systems must help resolve rather than contribute to climate problems. Fraser, a geography professor, is the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security. He studies food price volatility and ways to reduce waste in global food systems. Charlebois, Marketing and Consumer Studies, also was interviewed in the Financial Post  Feb. 10 about Canada’s dairy quota system. He studies food economics, distribution and policy. Both professors are members of U of G’s Food Institute.

Prof. Brady Deaton and sessional lecturer Bethany Lipka, Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, wrote an op-ed column Nov. 23 on ways to improve drinking water on remote First Nations reserves. Lipka was also interviewed by CBC Radio – Up North Nov. 25. A 2011 study found 28 per cent of reserves were under a boil-water advisory; the researchers say creating partnerships with nearby municipalities could help solve this problem. Deaton is the McCain Family Chair in Food Security and Lipka studied clean drinking water on reserves for her master’s thesis.

Prof. Myrna Dawson, Sociology and Anthropology, was featured in a Canadian Press story that was picked up by numerous news outlets Nov. 23, including the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and CBC News. Dawson led a study that found men who kill women known to them are convicted more often but receive shorter prison terms than strangers who commit similar crimes. The study’s publication coincides with the United Nations’ International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women Nov. 25 and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign that launches Wednesday. Dawson studies violence against women, the criminal justice system and public policy.

Master of fine art student Patrick Cruz was featured on CBC.ca on Nov. 23 after his painting won a national competition. Cruz spoke about how his upbringing, including moving  to Canada from the Philippines when he was a child, and his time at U of G have affected his painting style.

Prof. Ross McKitrick, Economics, was quoted in a Nov. 23 Maclean’s story on pollution and emission targets. McKitrick said the recent scandal involving Volkswagen would affect both the setting of fair emissions targets and measuring of progress. He studies environmental economics, fines and pollution compliance.

Prof. Mark Fenske, Psychology, was profiled in a Nov. 22 Toronto Star article on “great gets” in Canadian academia. The story looked at international researchers who came to Canada to teach and work. Fenske held joint appointments at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital before coming to U of G. He uses neuroimaging techniques and behavioural experiments to study healthy cognitive and emotional functioning.

Prof. Nigel Raine, Environmental Sciences, was featured on CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks Nov.21. He discussed his new research, published in Nature, that found low-level neonicotinoid pesticide exposure affects pollination services provided by bumblebees. The study was widely covered by international media, including the Globe and Mail, CBC News, Global News, BBC News and New Scientist.  Raine holds the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation at U of G.

Prof. Steve Newmaster, Integrative Biology, was interviewed on CBC’s The Fifth Estate Nov. 20. Newmaster discussed the adulteration of many herbal products, including the inclusion of ingredients not listed on the label. He and other researchers at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario conducted a study in 2013 that found nearly 60 per cent of herbal products contained unlabelled plant species.

Prof. Andreas Boecker, Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, was interviewed by CBC Radio’s Mainstreet  Nov. 20. Boecker discussed consumer acceptance of genetically modified salmon; a plant in Prince Edward Island recently started producing the fish. Boecker studies consumer acceptance of genetically modified foods, risk perception and supply chain management.

John Prescott, an emeritus professor in the Department of Pathobiology, was on CTV’s Canada AM Nov. 20, discussing the importance of curbing the use of antibiotics. This week is World Antibiotic Awareness Week, and the College of Veterinarians of Ontario released a report on the subject. Prescott has studied antibiotics and resistant bacteria, helped develop guidelines for practitioners and contributed to public policy. He and other Ontario Veterinary College scientists, including Profs. Scott McEwen in the Department of Population Medicine and Patrick Boerlin and Scott Weese in Pathobiology, have helped make OVC a leader in the field.

The decision on whether to lift the ban on fracking in New Brunswick was the subject of a CBC News – New Brunswick story on Nov. 17 featuring adjunct professor John Cherry. In the story, Cherry, who is director of U of G’s University Consortium for Field Focused Groundwater Contamination Research, said more studies are needed before the ban is lifted. He was chair of the 2014 Council of Canadian Academies report “Environmental Impacts of Shale Gas Extraction in Canada.”

Prof. Eveline Adomait, Economics and Finance, wrote an op-ed column for the Globe and Mail on Nov. 14. She discussed the move by Justin Trudeau to ensure half of his federal cabinet was female, in the context of economic theories on contracts. She suggested that this could lead to more women running for public office. Adomait teaches macroeconomics, money and banking, and industrial relations.

Prof. Rene Van Acker, Plant Agriculture, was interviewed by the Ottawa Citizen on Nov. 13. Van Acker discussed the importance of using actual fields when conducting plant studies, noting that fields provide conditions that cannot be duplicated in a greenhouse. This includes testing the interplay between genes and the environment, he said. He studies weed management and bio-safety.

Prof. Judith Thompson, Theatre Studies, was recognized by a graduate in a CBC – Exhibitionists video on Nov. 13. In the video, graduate Nina Lee Aquino recounts how her instructor encouraged her to direct a play written by Thompson. Thompson is a noted playwright, director, screenwriter, actor and producer.

Prof. Sylvain Charlebois, Marketing and Consumer Studies, was interviewed by CBC News – Windsor on Nov. 12 about non-compliant food labels, on MSN.com on Nov. 11 about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and by Business News Network on Nov. 10 discussing ways to end food fraud. Charlebois studies food distribution and the economics of food retailers.