Lister Science Chats: Environmental Innovations


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Held in partnership with Let’s Talk Science at McGill University and the Lister Family Engaged Science Initiative, the Lister Science Chats connect members of the community through live science talks with researchers from the McGill Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This event features three Macdonald Campus graduate students giving an engaging 10-minute talk on their research and concludes with a Q&A period.

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Student speakers:

  • Insects to preserve food products

François Girouard, MSc student, Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry

I will present my Master's project, which is the production and evaluation of a biodegradable insect-inspired food packaging material. Small pillars at the surface of the insect’s wings were found to be effective at killing bacterial cells, this topography was then reproduced on a plant-based material to recreate this same antibacterial effect in order to potentially kill surface spoilage bacteria found on food products!

  • Trafficking jam in plant cells

Hiba Kamel, PhD candidate, Plant Science

Plants have evolved fascinating mechanisms to promote their reproductive fitness. One of them involves the generation of pollen grains, which are cells that can grow a tubular structure whose length is thousands of times that of their diameter. The processes involved in pollen tube elongation have been of great interest to scientists, one of them has to do with the synthesis and secretion of pectin, a polysaccharide you may recognize in the ingredient list of your favorite jam. My work will attempt to identify patterns of pectin secretion and to clarify our understanding of how these polysaccharides get packaged inside cells.

  • Understanding material stocks and the urban-rural interface of Montreal’s built environment

Felicity Meyer, MSc student, Bioresource Engineering

It is estimated that the construction sector emits approximately 40% of global CO2 and is expected to continue growing in the coming years. A deeper understanding of material movement across the urban-rural interface can lead to more informed and sustainable decisions in the built environment. Here we discuss the potential to estimate material stocks (e.g. concrete, steel, and wood) across Montreal, Quebec at the neighborhood level and how strategic material substitution can decrease the environmental impacts of urban growth and expansion.

This activity is part of the 2022 edition of 24 heures de science: L'environnement c'est dans ma nature! For the complete list of activities offered, please visit the official 24 heures de science programming.

Let's Talk Science is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing "hands-on, minds-on" opportunities to engage youth in STEM. The McGill Chapter of Let's Talk Science is a volunteer-based group of graduate and undergraduate students from a wide range of faculties at McGill University. 

The Lister Family Engaged Science Initiative provides science communication training to Macdonald Campus researchers to help them make their science accessible by teaching them to further hone their content, physical presence and voice to effectively engage a variety of audiences.

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