Margaret A. Gilliam Fellowship in Food Security

Established in 2011 by Margaret A. Gilliam, BSc'59.

Awarded to an outstanding graduate student working in an area of research that falls under the mandate of the Institute for Global Food Security at Macdonald campus. Awarded based on the Director of the Institute's recommendation to the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Scholarship Committee.


2018

Maria Kyriakidou, PhD candidate Plant Science (Bioinformatics)
Genome assembly and structural variation analyses of complex plant genomes
Supervisor: Professor Martina Strömvik

Maria Kyriakidou did her BSc in Plant Science and Biotechnology at Cyprus University of Technology (Limassol, Cyprus) where she studied post-harvest drug resistance in citrus fruits. She then earned her MSc in Bioinformatics at the University of Leicester (Leicester, England), where she studied allele specific expression and methylation in the bumble bee. Maria's current research interests include the design and application of bioinformatics approaches for genomic and transcriptomic data to aid the understanding of plant problems. She is conducting research on potato DNA to find genetic diversity that can help make potatoes more resilient to the threats of climate change. She is working with the International Potato Research Centre in Lima, Peru, who has selected 12 cultivated potato lines that are very different from ours. Maria's part in this is to study the whole genome sequence and identify the differences in how the plant fights diseases and harsh climate events. Once her research is completed, Maria will have identified disease resistance genes and other important pieces of DNA that plant breeders, such as collaborators in Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, can use to make better lines to ensure that we can rely on potato being part of global food security in the future.

2017

Diana Dallmann, PhD candidate Human Nutrition
Gender equity and food security in Ghana
Supervisor: Professor Grace Marquis

Diana Dallmann is a PhD candidate in the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University. Her research aims to assess the delivery and utilization of an integrated agriculture and nutrition education, which took place in Ghana.

Diana is a Nutritionist (BSc) and graduated from the National University of Asuncion in Paraguay with a thesis focused on a policy regulating school cafeterias. In 2014 she received a Master degree on Public Health Nutrition with a research study validating a food security measurement tool in Paraguay. Before moving to Canada, she worked as the head of Monitoring and Evaluation at the National Institute for Food and Nutrition, and as a consultant in food security for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture in Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Paraguay.

2016

Anna Colavecchio, MSc’15, PhD candidate Food Science & Agricultural Chemistry
Anna Colavecchio completed her B.Sc. in Microbiology and Immunology at Université de Montréal in 2013 and during this time became very interested in Food Microbiology. Upon graduation, she pursued a M.Sc. in the Non-thesis Food Science and Food Safety Program at McGill University. During the course of this degree, she was introduced to Dr. Lawrence Goodridge, the Director of the Food Safety and Quality program at McGill University, and became very interested in his research. In 2015, Anna decided to pursue a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Goodridge and her research focus was characterising a novel class of bacteriophages, called phage-like plasmids, which harbour antimicrobial and heavy metal resistance genes and determining their potential to transfer these resistance genes to foodborne pathogens. Anna is currently writing her thesis and intends on working as a Food Microbiologist or Food Safety specialist in the Québec food industry.

2015

June Po, PhD’17 (Renewable Resources)
Understanding the relationships between women's access to land resources and household food security in Eastern Kenya
Supervisor: Professor Gordon Hickey

Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Université Laval

“I am exploring some of the potential mechanisms enabling women to access land resources within the context of severe environmental constraints, historical colonization, customary values, rules and practices around gender roles and resource management in semi-arid regions of Kenya.”

2014

Meghan Miller, MSc’15
Food security & social support: exploring relationships between social resources & access to adequate food

Currently working at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Designated by FAO as the liaison person between the Voices of the Hungry initiative at FAO and McGill.

2013

Ramesh Murugesan, MSc’10, PhD’15 (Bioresource Engineering)
Use of Millets for Partial Wheat Replacement in Bakery Products
Supervisor: Professor Valérie Orsat

Currently Director of Process Development, Inocucor Technologies Inc.