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.

View past winners.

To view the Achievement Awards awarded by the Provost’s office, click here.

2022 Research Achievement Award Recipients

Mohamed Al Guindy

Sprott School of Business

Project: Dynamic networks in financial markets

The goal of this research is to construct a dynamic network representation of the economy based on social media discussions and to use this network to study the diffusion and propagation of economic shocks. This research explores how networks and clusters of firms form, evolve, and fade, and examines the ensuing network structure in a time-varying manner. In doing so, this research utilizes the wisdom of the crowd garnered from over 350 million financial tweets.

John Anderson

Department of Cognitive Science

Project: How bilingualism dynamically restructures the function and microstructure of the human cortex

There is a saying that when neurons fire together, they wire together. This truism, by Canadian neuroscientist Donald Hebb, describes learning at the neuronal synapse. Neuroimaging has now advanced so that we can measure this type of neuronal branching (dendrites), indicating learning in living humans. This project proposes to use this advanced diffusion-weighted technology and measure cortical changes linked to learning a second language in regions identified as language-specific with fMRI.

Jenny Bruin

Department of Biology

Project: Investigating the link between exposure to fluorinated pollutants and inflammation during pregnancy

The Bruin lab investigates how environmental factors, such as pollutants, contribute to diabetes pathogenesis. This project focuses on a class of fluorinated pollutants called poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which are detectable in >99% of Canadians. Our study will use data from the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) cohort to investigate the relationship between circulating PFAS levels and inflammatory biomarkers during pregnancy in women with and without gestational diabetes.

Rachel Burns

Department of Psychology

Project: Undercovering the links between spousal mental health and health behaviours among couples in which one partner has diabetes  

Our health behaviours are shaped by our spouses. However, the extent to which the mental health of one’s spouse influences one’s health behaviours has not been well explored. Therefore, this project will examine associations between spousal mental health and health behaviours. Given that health behaviours, such as physical activity, diet, and medication adherence, are essential to diabetes management, this research question will be examined in the context of couples in which one partner has diabetes.

Matthew Johnson

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Project: Reclaiming the First 0.3°C: Defining Canada’s path to eliminating methane emissions in the oil and gas sector

Leveraging an unprecedented national-scale aerial measurement campaign of 8000+ active oil and gas production sites led by Carleton University’s Energy & Emissions Research Lab (EERL), the goal of this project is to create a first-ever measurement-based methane inventory for the Canadian oil and gas sector. Results will have far-reaching implications for current regulations and near-term policy decisions designed to achieve Canada’s 75% reduction commitment entered at the recent United Nations COP26 meeting.

Heath MacMillan

Department of Biology

Project: Mosquito population suppression in a chilly early spring: Improving field performance of a mass-reared insect

Insect performance is closely tied to temperature, and temperatures fluctuate on several timescales in subtropical and temperate climates. This project aims to learn what pre-treatments can improve low temperature performance of mosquitos in the early spring. With this knowledge, these researchers aim to improve the methods used to raise sterilized mosquitos for release in a common approach to insect population control called the sterile insect technique.

Ashraf Matrawy

School of Information Technology

Project: Evaluating sensitive information leakage in smart homes

Beyond the notable risk of eavesdropping, intruders can adopt machine learning techniques to infer sensitive information and activities from smart home devices, resulting in a new dimension of privacy concerns and attack variables to smart home users. These attacks are referred to as inference attacks. The main objective of this project will be to create an evaluation framework and a testbed for mitigation techniques against the leakage of sensitive information in smart homes.

Leila Mostaço-Guidolin

Department of Systems and Computer Engineering

Project: 3D-Bioprinting & Image Analysis: Understanding how cells repair tissues upon injuries and diseases

Biological tissues are not uniquely composed of cells. A substantial part of their volume is largely filled by an intricate network of macromolecules constituting the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM serves as the scaffolding for tissues and organs throughout the body, playing an essential role in their structural and functional integrity. This project combines tissue engineering with microscopy imaging to allow us to understand some of the mechanisms involved in injury, diseases, and ECM repair.

Dipto Sarkar

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Project: Fuel Briquettes: Promoting forest regeneration and people-park relationships

Kibale National Park in Uganda is renowned as the primate capital of the world. Decades of conservation efforts have protected the park and biodiversity while maintaining a positive relationship with the park’s adjacent communities. However, diminishing investments in conservation due to the pandemic threaten the balance. This project explores removing invasive species from the forest to make fuel briquettes. This will promote forest regeneration and provide the community with employment and an affordable, clean-burning alternative to firewood.

Paul Villeneuve

School of Mathematics, Department of Health Sciences, and Department of Neuroscience

Project: Fine particulate matter air pollution, Saharan dust episodes, and hospitalization for respiratory disease in Grenada (West Indies)

Most Caribbean nations do not have extensive outdoor air pollution monitoring programs in place. The goals of this project are to enhance the spatiotemporal monitoring of air quality in Grenada (West Indies). This includes the modelling of long-range transport of Saharan dust particles, as well as local sources of pollution from bush burning and vehicle and ship emissions. Working with collaborators at St. George’s University in Grenada, we will develop methodological approaches to evaluate associations between these sources of pollution and cardio-respiratory hospitalization.

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