The Carleton University Research Achievement Awards are administered by the Office of the Vice-President (Research and International). The purpose of these awards is to recognize outstanding research achievements. The awards were established in 1989 to enhance the quality of research and to recognize research excellence. The recipients’ terms run from May to April.

Be sure to view past Research Achievement Award winners and the Teaching Achievement Award winners too!

2023 Research Achievement Awards

Adrian Chan

Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Project: Deep learning methods to identify ganglion cells to assess Hirschsprung disease

Hirschsprung’s disease is the most common congenital intestinal motility disorder, characterized by the absence of ganglion cells in the intestines. Standard treatment involves visually assessing histopathology images of the intestines, which can be tedious, time-consuming, and subject to intra- and inter-rate variability. This project will employ deep-learning techniques to automate this assessment, increasing the efficiency and accuracy of the assessment and potentially leading to evidence-based information to improve patient outcomes.

Kristin Connor

Department of Health Sciences

Project: The gut microbiome: an underexplored mechanism in the pathogenesis and treatment of iron deficiency

Iron deficiency (ID) and anaemia (IDA) are the most common, serious micronutrient deficiencies, affecting 1/3 women globally and 52% of pregnancies. Despite treatments, many people remain deficient or treatment effects wane, suggesting the mechanisms driving micronutrient deficiencies and treatment response are poorly understood. The missing link may be the gut microbiome, which influences nutrient status. Our study addresses key gaps in understanding ID/IDA and intervention effectiveness, ensuring treatments are designed and targeted for greatest impact.

Steven Cooke

Institute of Environmental and Interdisciplinary Science and Department of Biology

Project: Producing useable science for fisheries management

It is well known that there is a gap between science and its application, including in the domain of fisheries management. Understanding the characteristics of science that impede or enable it to be useable is helpful for informing the ways in which research is conducted. Through interviews of fisheries managers, this project will identify best practices intended to bridge or narrow the gap between science and fisheries management with a focus on freshwater ecosystems.

Linda Duxbury

Sprott School of Business

Project: Employee wellbeing during the Covid-19 Pandemic

For the past 2.5 years, I have focused my attention on collecting real-time qualitative and quantitative panel data relating to changes in employee wellbeing during the different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. This project will analyze this wealth of data with the goal of helping researchers, employees, and policy makers better understand changes in employee wellbeing over time and how to address issues associated with employee wellbeing post-pandemic.

Jennifer Evans

Department of History

Project: Photography and the Sexual Revolution

This project analyzes the ways in which the medium of photography helped give expression to changing visions of subjectivity and selfhood for queer and trans people during the period often referred to as the Sexual Revolution. This research will explore how images served as a vital form of self-exploration and discovery in this period of social and legal reform.

Kelly Fritsch

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Project: Mapping the development and transformative impact of disability justice in Canada

There is an urgent need for social transformation informed by the tenets of disability justice (DJ). This project maps the development and impact of DJ in Canada over the past 20 years, documenting its historical unfolding, analyzing its proliferation, and examining novel forms of resisting ableist social relations. Project findings will inform disability studies and social movement scholarly literature, challenge ableism within social movement organizing, and preserve the knowledge and contributions of disabled people.

Liam O’Brien

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Project: Scope 3 Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Carleton University – Quantification and Policy Implications

Greenhouse gas emissions from employee commutes to work can rival building emissions, yet are often excluded from organizations’ reporting because of traditional boundaries. With increased rates of teleworking, organizations now have significant control over employee commutes. This research will use Carleton as a case study and aims to quantitatively assess student and employee commutes. We will investigate the policy implications of including emissions from commutes in Carleton’s total emissions, as well as those from other organizations more broadly.

Carlos Rossa

Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Project: Development of a cyber-physical simulator for pediatric laparoscopic surgery training  

Laparoscopic surgery (LS) involves the use of narrow instruments inserted into the abdomen through small incisions. Especially in children, LS requires a high degree of dexterity and technical skills. In collaboration with CHEO and SickKids, this project will develop a cyber-physical simulator to help medical professionals and trainees acquire and develop pediatric surgical techniques. More efficient LS training will reduce error rates and lower major complications and mortality in children who undergo the procedure.

Stephan Schott

School of Public Policy and Administration

Project: Stakeholder and Rightsholder Engagement and Decision-making for Forestry Resources and Stewardship

This research will address important topics that are all related to forestry management and stewardship with the objectives of advancing Indigenous self-governance and effective coordination between multiple levels of government, rightsholders, and stakeholders. We anticipate that it will contribute to more transparent decision-making, more adaptive forestry management, and more inclusive governance with a wider variety of objectives taken into consideration when choosing management and policy options.

Erin Tolley

Department of Political Science

Project: Black Canadians in Electoral Politics

There are nearly 1.5 million Black Canadians in Canada, but we know very little about their political presence because research tends to rely on aggregate categories like “visible minority.” In collaboration with Operation Black Vote Canada, this multi-method project is the first comprehensive study of the experiences of Black Canadians in electoral politics. Our research will identify factors that promote and impede political engagement, and will make recommendations to increase political inclusion in Canada.

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