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2012 Undergraduate Research Conference

On Thursday, October 4, 2012, students from across the Faculty of Science presented their research projects at the eighth annual Undergraduate Research Conference (URC).

This year, forty-six students from across the Faculty of Science participated. They showed their results to fellow students, alumni, and members of the public. Once again this year, the spectrum of students' research projects was very broad, including topics such as:

  • The effects of climate change on ant behaviour: A citizen science approach
  • Does a physically active lifestyle enhance long-term weight changes among bariatric surgery patients?
  • Can Atlantic Canada's environmental NGOs overcome the Digital Divide?
  • A superposed epoch analysis of the impact of extreme weather on agricultural production
  • A streak camera for ultra fast electron diffraction

McGill judges had the arduous task of choosing the victors (see below). The prize ceremony took place in McGill's elegant Moyse Hall, and was followed by a very special keynote address (see also below). The day culminated with a reception for students and alumni, where everyone celebrated the accomplishments of McGill Science students.


Video: student perspectives on undergraduate research

Want to hear about undergraduate research from the student perspective? McGill's Communication Services produced a four-minute video featuring four conference participants. Watch it on YouTube!


Dr. Fortier, keynote speaker at the 2012 Undergraduate Research Conference.Webcast of keynote address: Dr. Suzanne Fortier, B.Sc. '72, Ph.D. '76

The Faculty of Science was honoured to welcome distinguished alumna Dr. Suzanne Fortier, who currently serves as President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Dr. Fortier is a crystallographer by training, specializing in the development of mathematical and artificial intelligence methodologies for protein structure determination. Following the awarding of URC prizes, she delivered the keynote address entitled:

"Exploring the Borderless World of Science and Innovation"

The URC prize ceremony and Dr Fortier's guest lecture are available as a webcast for viewing on demand.


Prizewinners

First and second prizes were awarded in six categories as follows:

Biological Sciences
First prize:
Jordon Townsend
Effects of lateralized prefrontal cortical serotonin depletion on stress-related behaviour and neuroendocrine regulation.
Supervisor: Dr. Ron Sullivan
Nominated by: Department of Physiology
Jordon Townsend (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Second prize:
Irene Yuning Xie
Structural analysis of IFIT1 and IFIT3
Supervisor: Prof. Bhushan Nagar
Nominated by: Department of Biochemistry
Irene Yuning Xie (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Earth System Science
First prize:
Caroline Aubry-Wake
Influence of evaporation on glaciated basins water budget, a case study in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru
Supervisors: Michel Baraer, Prof. Jeffrey M. McKenzie
Nominated by: Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Caroline Aubry-Wake (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Second prize:
Katia Lamer
Development of a methodology to study vertical cloud dynamics
Supervisor: Prof. Pavlos Kollias
Nominated by: Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Katia Lamer (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Health & Social Science
First prize:
Erica Yoon
Infants' Use of Cues for Finding Syllable Boundaries
Supervisors: Prof. Heather Goad, Prof. Kristine H. Onishi
Nominated by: Department of Psychology
Erica Yoon (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Second prize:
Joseph Lewnard
Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Emergence
Supervisor: Prof. Lea Berrang-Ford
Nominated by: Department of Geography
Joseph Lewnard (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Mathematical & Computational Sciences
First prize:
Colleen Alkalay-Houlihan
False-name Bidding in Combinatorial Auctions
Supervisor: Prof. Adrian Vetta
Nominated by: Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Colleen Alkalay-Houlihan (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant
Second prize:
William Hamilton
Mathematical and Computational Sciences
Efficiently Modelling Sparse Dynamical Systems
Supervisor: Prof. Joelle Pineau
Nominated by: School of Computer Science
William Hamilton (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Medical Sciences
First prize:
Edward Mason
Pancreatic homing of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in a murine model of Type-1 Diabetes
Supervisor: Prof. Ciriaco A. Piccirillo
Nominated by: Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Edward Mason (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Second prize:
Isabelle Desloges
Heterogeneity of outer membrane protease T activity in Uropathogenic Escherichia coli clinical isolates
Supervisor: Prof. Samantha Gruenheid and Prof. Hervé Le Moual
Nominated by: Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Isabelle Desloges (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Physical Sciences
First prize:
Danielle Salvatore
Electrochemical Measurements of the Charge Transfer through DNA modified with diphenyl-phenanthroline coordinated to Copper(I)
Supervisors: Prof. Hanadi Sleiman, Prof. Janine Mauzeroll
Nominated by: Department of Chemistry
Danielle Salvatore (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.
Second prize:
Jaan Altosaar
How stuffing leads to novel behaviour in spin ice
Supervisor: Professor Michel Gingras
Nominated by: Department of Physics
Jaan Altosaar (centre) with Dr. Suzanne Fortier and Dean Martin Grant.

Downloads

Download the following slides to announce the Undergraduate Research Conference in your class or elsewhere:

You can also download our poster (pdf).


Contact

Victor Chisholm, Undergraduate Research Officer, 514-398-5964