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Acadia University's Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in in Food, Heath, and Social Justice, Professor Lesley Frank, has been profiled by Research Nova Scotia. You can watch her speak to her important research on infant-food security in both breastfed and formula-fed babies in Canada through Research Nova Scotia's Youtube channel.

Dr. Mark Malloy, Acadia University’s Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Coastal Wetland Ecosystems has contributed to an important study that was recently published in one of the world’s leading scholarly journals, Science. The study notes the tremendous effect that climate change is having on Arctic animal behavior as some species are changing everything from spring migration to reproduction times.

Read about the team and their fascinating study on the website of the CBC or in the Globe & Mail.

The Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has just announced that Acadia Psychology Professors, Dr. Anne-Sophie Champod and Dr. Daniel Lametti, have been awarded $371,012 through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) toward a $927,533 project to construct and equip the Acadia University Centre for Neuroscience and Cognitive Health.

This critical CFI funding has been matched by Research Nova Scotia (RNS) funding support of $371,014 and will serve to meet a high priority health focus area of the province of Nova Scotia. The Centre will be an invaluable asset for the Department of Psychology and the Acadia community at large. The project will  involve major renovations in the lower level of Horton Hall to create an open and shared research space to facilitate interaction between students, faculty, and outside researchers, and to house new cutting-edge neuroscience equipment currently unavailable in the region (including functional neuroimaging, biological motion tracking, and non-invasive brain stimulation).

The new Centre will support innovative and high-impact research programs that will advance the knowledge of the neural mechanisms that underlie cognitive and motor functions in healthy individuals, how these mechanisms are altered with learning or by disease, and how they respond to various interventions.

The Acadia University Centre for Neuroscience and Cognitive Health will create an environment in which Drs Champod, Lametti, and their colleagues can collaborate on projects involving a range of healthy populations and patient groups with important implications for the understanding and treatment of various health conditions (e.g., for stroke recovery and speech therapy).  It will also significantly increase the breadth of training and opportunities they can offer students in the fields of cognitive and clinical neuroscience and will enable and inspire future discovery as well as faculty and student recruitment.

This prestigious funding is an important moment for Acadia University as it expands the institution’s research capacity. An elated Dean of Research & Graduate Studies, Dr. Anna Redden, notes that the centre is aligned with Acadia’s Strategic Research Plan, and “will help the school retain and recruit faculty and create a much-needed anchor facility in the Department of Psychology to impact the academic unit well into the future.” “Importantly,” Redden adds, the Centre “will provide tremendous momentum for a neuroscience research cluster at Acadia that collaborates with internal researchers and external organizations both at home and abroad to collectively address critical challenges in brain science.”

Through CFI, the Government of Canada is giving more than $96 million in funding to support 377 new research infrastructure projects at 55 institutions from coast to coast. This total includes more than $22 million under the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund to assist institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

 

[Dr. Boyd and the Acadia University Singers]

When we think of historians, we often envision researchers sitting in an archive surrounded by old books and documents. While the written word is critical to historical analysis, Dr. Michelle Boyd has found another way to help students understand and experience the past - music.

An instructor in the Acadia School of Music, Boyd has always been fascinated by how humans interact with music and how that interaction has shaped our society. Interested in the history of Nova Scotia, she completed the first extended examination of the province’s 19th century music through a PhD dissertation (Toronto) on the socio-cultural context of music-making in pre-Confederation Nova Scotia. Within a transatlantic context, Boyd addressed the roles that music played as the region transitioned into a Canadian province.

As an accomplished pianist, Boyd understands how interaction with music can change its meaning, and like all historical scholarship, context is crucial. Like a military historian who walks old battlefields to experience the topography upon which long-dead soldiers fought, understanding the various ways that songs were preformed often changes its meaning and provides an appreciation of people’s emotional connection with the composition.

In 2015, Boyd became interested in the musical versions of John McCrae’s celebrated Great War poem “In Flanders Fields.” Researching for a class, she not only found that some 50 adaptations of the song existed but also that many differed from the version with which we are all familiar. By preforming these variations, McCrae’s poem took on new meaning. Boyd’s digital lecture (funded by a SIG Grant and a Harrison McCain Award) called The Larks Still Bravely Sing: Musical Settings of ‘In Flanders Fields’, which featured the Acadia choir singing as well as excerpts of performances by Paula Rockwell, was chosen for the Society for American Music's Digital Lectures Channel on youtube (one of the three lectures chosen for 2019).  With a second Harrison McCain grant and 25.55 funding, Dr. Boyd began preparations to take Acadia music students on a concert tour to the Great War battlefields of France and Belgium.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily suspended travel to Flanders, Dr. Boyd has used this delay to chart the Acadia University Singers’ transformation into a virtual choir. As social distancing has forced performers to re-imagine the ways that musicians collaborate, Boyd is using a special Acadia COVID-19 grant to understand if digital technologies can ease the isolation and sustain a choral community.

Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF)

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) is a Tri-Agency program announced in May 2020 as part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. The initial (Stage 1) focus of this fund is on the provision of wage/stipend support for eligible research personnel who were/are paid by non-governmental sources. It can cover up to 75% of salaries paid to research personnel or trainees through research projects funded by sources such as industry, foundations, etc.

To qualify for payment, salaries must have been associated with projects that have either lost industry, NGO or foundation funding or have been interrupted due to the impacts of research curtailment, between March 15 and August 29, 2020.  CRCEF can fund salaries for a maximum of 12 weeks per individual within the eligibility period.

This Emergency Fund was previously communicated to Acadia faculty and staff via email. In addition, researchers identified in Acadia’s research database as potentially eligible for CRCEF Stage 1 support have been contacted with a request to submit a wage support application.

To ensure that no one who might be eligible is excluded from applying, all researchers should review the eligibility criteria.

There are two conditions for eligibility of research personnel for CRCEF Stage 1 support:

  • they are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (either from reduced funding or a negative impact on research activities); and
  • their salary or portion of salary is paid by non-governmental sources (CRCEF will provide 75% of that portion and for a maximum of $847).

For more detailed information on the CRCEF program, please visit https://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/crcef-fucrc/index-eng.aspx  

For more information on CRCEF at Acadia and how to apply, please contact Leigh Huestis at leigh.huestis@acadiau.ca.

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