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2018-19 Travelers' log

Argentina

Jocelyne Whitehead

Neuroscience
Presenting a talk at the Bernardo Houssay Institute of Physiology and Biophysics; University of Buenos Aires

"Having the ability to work face-to-face with collaborators in Buenos Aires, allowed for efficient advances in our project, even enabling a supplementary behavioural study to be conducted during the time. Moreover, I had the opportunity to present our work-to-date, (Investigating the neural correlates of processing socio-emotional threat across modalities), as well as to meet and establish relationships with leading researchers in the Argentine Neuroimaging community. Beyond elevating the research for my dissertation, I was able to gain a local’s perspective as to the rich culture in Argentina...

"I couldn't be more grateful to have had this opportunity, in which the Graduate Mobility Award provided"

Austria

Sarayu Rao

Civil Engineering

At the Schonbrunn Palace: Summer palace of the Habsburg rulers.
"I lived in a German speaking European country for the first time and had to adapt to the culture very quickly in order to build a routine. It was challenging as well as very exciting for me. After successfully completing all my objectives in their lab, I felt extremely accomplished as I finished all my work not only in a very short period of time, but also in a new country with a different culture as well as a different work environment!

"This is a great source of funding for graduate students and I am so thankful that I got it. The mobility award made this exchange possible!"

Canada

Jackie Roberge-Dao

Physical and Occupational Therapy

The KT Summer Institute Cohort 2019

"I participated in a 3-day training program called the KT Canada Summer Institute. I increased my understanding of knowledge translation research as well as opportunities and challenges in this field. I was provided with the opportunity to network with other trainees and national and international mentors. The theme of the Institute was (Evaluations in knowledge translation)...

"In addition to learning about how to piece together an evaluation plan, I learned about group dynamics (i.e. facilitating group discussions, focusing on priority points) and putting together a presentation to the cohort in a very short period of time. I also presented a poster based on a recent publication and was amazed by the stimulating discussions and questions regarding my work. I had the absolute best time at the summer institute and am grateful for the Graduate Mobility Award which allowed me to participate in such a great training program."


Kristen Lalla

Natural Resource Science

Purple martin banding
"I was able to meet my co-supervisor and potential collaborators during this trip. This trip allowed me to form a side project on purple martin nest box occupancy/breeding success and nest box and spatial characteristics that will allow me to publish on this subject...

"I also learned techniques for my master's thesis that I would have not otherwise been able to learn before starting my field season, allowing me to gain new perspectives and insight on my project, as well as facilitate the planning and execution of my fieldwork mainly with new knowledge of how to deploy and analyse GPS and radio tag data with my study species and knowledge on how to do nest box checks without disturbing the birds. I really appreciated the opportunity to work on an exciting new project as well as learn a lot about my study species (knowledge that will be invaluable for my thesis)."


China

Shanshan Hua

Integrated Studies in Education

A rural school.
"My research is a narrative inquiry into the experience of being a beginning teacher in rural China. During the 40-day stay in China, I completed a fieldwork of interviewing 5 Chinese rural beginning teachers in the villages of southern China. This fieldwork provided all the first-hand qualitative data that I will use in my research. Since I grew up in rural China, I am always concerned about Chinese rural education. Thanks to the graduate mobility award, I had a wonderful experience of going back to China and living in the rural areas for more than one month. From this mobility experience, I gained a deeper understanding of Chinese rural education and rural teachers, which greatly benefited my research."

Denmark

Christopher Kucha

Bioresource Engineering
Trainees took a visit to The round tower building in Copenhagen, the oldest functioning observatory in Europe.

"My research work involves the assessment of pork quality using a non-destructive hyperspectral imaging technique...

"Thanks to [the] McGill Mobility Travel Award, [I had the] unique opportunity to attend the Copenhagen School of Chemometrics, which is designed specifically to train students on how to process, analyze and extract useful information from hyperspectral images. Through the 45 days of stay in Copenhagen, Denmark, I acquired hands-on practical knowledge and experience in advance techniques of handling and extracting useful and informative data from hyperspectral images. I am glad to have gained this analytical skill through this unforgettable experience. This experience and skill will significantly contribute to the quality of my PhD."

France

Aditya Baksi

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Presenting my poster in the summer school poster sessions.
"The FDSE summer was a joyful learning experience. The lectures were very useful to me and gave me a wider look on the subject. They also helped me focus on my current topic of research. I was also able to interact with a few professors in my area of research and got some very useful insights from them. The laboratory sessions helped me have a physical look at the theoretical aspect of turbulence. The department of Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences at McGill unfortunate lacks the experimental setup required to visualize many aspects of atmospheric dynamics and turbulence. My concepts were made pretty clear with the help of the laboratory sessions in the summer school."


Emily Curry

Parasitology

Exploring Toulouse on our day off for Toussaint (All Saints' Day).
"The primary focus of my research stay at INRA was to become proficient in the maintenance and manipulation of Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans are an ideal control model for D. immitis due to the fact that they share a highly conserved genome... During my six-week stay at INRA working with Dr. Lespine’s lab, I was able to acquire the skills to independently culture, maintain, and manipulate multiple C. elegans strains. The skills I acquired include: The preparation of classic and ivermectin treated NGM agar petri dishes; the preparation of the various culture medias such as NGM, LB, M9, and S Basal, Liquid Culture Media; the preparation of culture bacteria; the protocol to re-plate C. elegans; the C. elegans freeze protocol; and the larval development assay (LDA) protocol."


Julio de Souza Terra

Chemistry

Enjoying a day off in Paris in the spring.
"I've depeloped nanoparticles at McGill to be used as photocatalysts. Our group here has expertise in nanoparticle design and catalysis, but we haven't worked with photochemistry yet. Professor Amara's group, in France, has expertise in photochemistry and organic reactions, so being at his lab was a significant learning experience and got me started on how to work with photochemistry. I've got initial results there and a lot of experience to be able to set up our own photocatalysis experiments here at McGill."


Germany

Boer Cui

Civil Engineering
Bikes parked at the train station

"I had the opportunity to partake in an international research workshop as part of an existing research partnership between McGill University and the University of Applied Sciences at Karlsruhe, Germany...

"The main objective of the workshop was to develop a set of solutions towards a Carbon-Neutral campus at the University of Applied Sciences at Karlsruhe. In doing so, I worked in a team comprising of students from various universities around the world, including University of Waterloo, University Center of Brusque and University of Applied Sciences at Karlsruhe...

"I had never participated in such a workshop where we were required to work closely and efficiently with the team in a short period of time to develop a solution."


Jonathan Embry

Music Performance

At the Stellwagen Organ.
"I was able to play the Stellwagen organ which inspired Distler's compositions. I gained insight on how to interpret his music in ways that would not have been possible with having access to the instrument. I also worked in the Distler Archives. I discussed my thesis with the world expert on Distler's music. In relation to my other comprehensive topics, I visited the Beckerath organ factory in Hamburg, and was granted access to their archives."


Preeti Vyas

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Work: Max(robot) and I

"I spen[t] three months in Haptic Intelligence department in MPI-IS and worked under the supervision of Prof. Katherine Kuchenbecker, one of the prominent researchers in the field of haptics. Haptics and human-computer interaction are the two major areas of interests for our lab at McGill University. During my project, I worked with an upper-body humanoid robot (a Rethink Robotics Baxter Robot) and developed a system that can facilitate intuitive human interactions for physical therapy and exercises. I worked both on the hardware and software side of the project. It was a great learning experience. Apart from my project, I also learned about other research works going on at MPI-IS. It was really exciting to know the researchers personally and see their work which I have read in publications earlier. MPI-IS is a very diverse institute. I met many researchers from different parts of the world and got to know about their country, language, culture, and food. I picked up a bit of German. I also tried local cuisines and attended local festivals. Overall, it was a great experience."


Israel

Dan Buss

Anatomy and cell Biology

Dan Buss visits Temple Mount and old Jerusalem in Israel during a research exchange stay at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
"Stayed and worked in lab at Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel. Worked in both the wet lab learning new staining/immunostaining techniques that will allow me to conduct these techniques with greater confidence in the McGill lab. Discussed my research and exchanged new ideas with other students and professors related to techniques and research findings that will aid in my general knowledge and expansion of knowledge specific to my project (they were very developmental bio focused which is an area that I don't always deal with in my normal research but it is important for this new project)...

"Gained knowledge on the operation of this microscope that will help for future FIB-SEM data collection at McGill's FEMR facility. Traveled around Israel and explored the rich history of the region."

 

Italy

Siba Moussa

Chemistry

At the Gardens of Palazzo Estense in Varese, Italy. (Completed in 1787)

"During my three months stay in Italy, I was able to produce and characterize enzymes and their mutants only made by the lab I was working in. I will be using these enzymes to make electrochemical biosensors for application in neuroscience research. Under the extensive training and supervision of various assistant professors and research associates in the Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences at the University of Insubria, I learned various biochemistry techniques...

"It was also the first time for me to work in a lab in Europe and live in a city where English is not the primary language. Communication at times was difficult, but it also pushed me to be more adaptable. I came out learning so much more about a new culture and the Italian way of life. I learned a great deal during my stay, developed long lasting connections with other scientists and would love to come back in the future!"

Nepal

Nicoletta Giulivi

Agricultural Economics

Teej Festival (Women's festival). Religious festivity where women pray for healthy husbands or good men to marry.
"Thanks to the mobility award I was able to manage and lead the design and implementation of an RCT project from start to end. I gained valuable experience conducting research in developing countries and strengthen my networks in my field of studies...

"Working in partnership with CIMMYT, Radio Nepal, Viamo and Geo Krishi, gave me an insight into the challenges and perks of working in a developing country, as well as a multidisciplinary perspective to approach my work.

"Overall, the experience has been amazing, it was definitely a stepping stone to my future career and an unforgettable experience. The friends I made in Nepal, will always carry a special place in my heart.

"Thank you very much for funding my fieldwork abroad."

Norway

Matthew Henry

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

On our way to the Hardangerjøkulen glacier.
"I went to Finse in Norway at a research station for a summer school called 'Advanced Climate Dynamics Course' or ACDC! The two weeks were spent doing lectures, a group project, some field work, and getting to know fellow PhD students and faculty. The topic of the summer school was "hemispheric asymmetry in the climate", and the different faculty presented lectures on their specialization relating to this topic. For example, Cecila Bitz talked about differences in sea ice, Jake Gebbie about differences in ocean circulation and so on.

"I had a truly fantastic time interacting with students and faculty at this summer school, I made some long-lasting connections."


Philipe Macnab-Séguin

Music Research

Frogner Park, on the way to the Norwegian Academy of Music.

"In Norway, I met with Lasse Thoresen, a composer and theorist at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, for discussions on the topic of Aural Sonology, a method of musical analysis he developed that aims to describe, transcribe, and analyze our direct experience of music, unmediated by a musical score. This method uncovers many crucial aspects of music that traditional music theory often neglects, such as timbre, energetic motion, layers, etc. In these meetings, I was able to receive feedback from Prof. Thoresen on three projects...

"I was able to receive some very valuable feedback on my own compositional work, from the details of my harmonic language to the way in which my music fits in to society as a whole. I cannot thank Lasse enough for warmly welcoming me to Oslo and being so generous with his time. Not only has my musical knowledge and imagination expanded incredibly, but our conversations always have the amazing quality of touching upon seemingly all aspects of human inquiry; philosophy, science, religion, psychology, etc. Every time I meet with him, I come back with a profound shift in my worldview"


Tuhin Das

Mining and Materials Engineering

Me (left) with a friend from NTNU (right) on the old town bridge while exploring the city

"The International Graduate Mobility Award (GMA) supported my visit to the department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). I had a wonderful time working in the nano-mechanical testing laboratory with Prof. Barnoush's research group. All the group members were very friendly and cooperative. NTNU is also situated in the beautiful city of Trondheim with hills, valleys and mountains all around the place. Everyday, I used to walk to the institute from my place of residence which was very scenic. The beauty of river Nidelva running through the heart of city was mesmerizing. I really enjoyed my stay in Trondheim...

"Over the two weeks of my visit, I learnt a lot, gathered useful experiences and understanding by performing the experiments. I also made new friends and contacts...

"I gratefully acknowledge the Faculty of Engineering, GPS and Government of Quebec for the Graduate Mobility Award."

Switzerland

Christina Nelson

Physics

The ATLAS Jet/ETmiss group.
"Traveling to CERN and collaborating with the ATLAS Jet Substructure and Jet Etmiss group was very beneficial for my learning, advancing my career in this field, building new professional relationships, and for my positive and innovative representation of McGill University.

"Overall my experience was wonderful. It was a great amount of work and learning, but everyone in the Jet/Etmiss group and subgroups at CERN made me feel very welcome and at home. It was especially motivating in working together because the attitude of the group really fosters questions, innovation, discussion and collaboration. I look forward to working with them more."

Tunisia

Elio Abi Younes

Mathematics and Statistics

DigitArab Team, Regional Finals of Hult Prize Competition

"As this was our first time both participating in a social entrepreneurship competition and traveling to Tunisia, the experience that we have had is simply indescribable. We have had the chance to partake in the Regional Finals of one of the most prestigious competitions all over the world: the Hult Prize Competition...

"We developed several skills, among which are presentation skills as we had to present twice in front a large number of participants and judges. Furthermore, we developed our communication skills by connecting with our peers, volunteers and judges. Finally, the hard work that we did over the entire semester would not have been fruitful without the teamwork abilities that we all improved."

United Kingdom

Dylan Mann-Krzisnik

Biological and biomedical Engineering

Sunny Day at Queen Square
"My research activities abroad in London, United-Kingdom allowed me to network with some of the pioneers of neuroimaging statistical parametric mapping (SPM)...

"Drs Amirhossein Jafarian, Peter Zeidman and Giandomenico Iannetti all have experience to varying extent on how to do this. In brief, the research activities have allowed me to network with leading imaging neuroscientists and learn how to use SPM for my research. In addition, I was invited by Drs Jafarian and Zeidman to eventually undertake a 3-months fellowship at University College London. This would represent an ideal occasion to solidify collaborations between McGill and UCL."


Jessica Whitehead

Social work

Jessica Whitehead, during research stay at the University of Central Lancashire (Spring, 2019)

"I completed a 2-month long research stay with the Criminal Justice Partnership at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) under the supervision of Dr. Nicola Graham-Kevan and Dr. Katherine Maurer (McGill University). This experience, supported by McGill University’s Graduate Mobility Award, gave me the opportunity to access a unique data set and allowed me to merge my background in Criminology research with my current Social Work training. It also helped to develop an ongoing research collaboration between the McGill School of Social Work’s Regulation, Affect, and Development (RAaD) Lab and UCLAN. Thank you, McGill!"


Mona Ghadirian

Human Nutrition

Future facilitators learning about participatory video through practice.
"The training introduced me to activities and training material that I can use to train my research assistants in the field and activities that will be used with the intervention participants in order to help them produce video nutrition education media.

"The hands-on experience this training provided gave me the confidence to conduct my own trainings in rural Ghana in order to raise up local participatory video facilitators. Not only did it help me raise up skilled human resources, but it also exposed me to various case studies of how participatory video was used in both program evaluation and qualitative research around the world."


Xiao Ow

Physical and Occupational Therapy

Leeds, UK
"While there were no new collaborations with the University of Leeds, I made a lot of connections with other students from all around world who are doing similar research. It was such a great opportunity to connect with so many people. The course itself was honestly one of the best courses I have ever done. Computer adaptive testing is a growing field in healthcare and I think this course provided me with the knowledge skills needed to build a computer adaptive scale using the software. I think there will be opportunities for me to use this knowledge for my work at my own lab... Overall, I have gained a lot from this one week of coursework.

"Thank you for the opportunity!"



United States

Chih-Yu Hung

Renewable resource

Dr. Deng Jia and I. Dr. Deng has cooperate projects with the company which has office in the building behind us.
"The greenhouse gases emission model was developed at U of New Hampshire and it is the reason I visit this beautiful university. Dr. Deng was very kind and answered my questions. This experience not only improves my knowledge on using this model but also let me exchange the thoughts and idea with model developers. Since I use this model more in the field of agronomy, I never think of the other applications of the model, like simulating thawing of soils. Dr. Deng also shared his experience on reviewing other papers of DNDC. I learnt a lot from him and am really glad to have this opportunity. U of NH is a very safe campus and has nice environment for research."


Rebecca McCabe

Natural Resource Sciences

Course participants and instructors from the 2019 AniMove: Statistics for Animal Tracking Data course (PC: Joseph Kolowski)
"I completed a one-week intensive course at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute focusing on statistics for animal tracking data. The course included daily lectures and exercises, in addition to working on independent projects using our own tracking datasets...

"I received 4.0 Continuing Education Credits, and have connected with 18 other researchers, post docs, and PhD students from around the world tracking everything from jaguars in Brazil, vultures in Nepal, tortoises in Galapagos, to monarch butterflies in the US."


 

Vietnam

Mélie Monnerat

Geography

Hoang (front left corner) started a family business with her dad last year, they dry their cinnamon bark before selling it.

"The aim of my research is to investigate the cinnamon commodity chains that start with ethnic minority cultivators in upland Northern Vietnam and reach consumers around the world.Specifically, I am exploring the roles of ethnicity, gender, social networks, and state policies to understand the benefits and drawbacks for the individuals involved, especially those at the initial nodes of these chains.I focus my research on the province of Yen Bai, which is the primary province producing cinnamon in Vietnam...

"I completed over 100 interviews with Yao, Hmong, Tay, and Kinh (the majority ethnic groups in Vietnam) cinnamon farmers families, cinnamon collectors and traders, local cinnamon cooperatives and international spices companies. I also conducted interviews with state's authorities at the provincial, district, commune and village levels. I am back with rich and contrasting data that I am now coding and analyzing."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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