Stylized waves of color

Research Chairs in the Faculty of Science

Jenn Adams

Jennifer Adams

Associate Professor
SSHRC CRC II in Creativity in STEM Education
Chemistry

Dr. Jennifer D. Adams’ research broadly focuses on diversity, equity, inclusion and creativity in STEM education. Specifically, she examines the experiences of Black and other cultural identities who have been historically marginalized from and underrepresented in STEM majors and careers.  Underlying her work are critical, decolonizing and desettling stances to understanding systemic barriers and broadening representation in STEM. Other areas of research include:

  • Creativity in STEM teaching and learning
  • Urban place-based environmental education and civic engagement
  • STEM educator learning and development
  • BIPOC youth STEM identity and engagement in informal science or out-of-school programs 

View contact information


Karoly Bezdek

Professor
NSERC CRC I in Computational and Discrete Geometry
Mathematics and Statistics

Karoly Bezdek's main field of research is convex and discrete geometry, which is a rapidly developing discipline on the boundary of mathematics and computer science.  Dr. Bezdek is also the director of the Center for Computational and Discrete Geometry (CCDG) at the University of Calgary (U of C). He started the Fejes Toth lectures series in 2009, which brought to U of C many world-class mathematicians, whose visits generated important joint research works. The refereed e-journal Contributions to Discrete Mathematics (CDM) is dedicated to publishing significant results in several areas of pure and applied mathematics. Bezdek started CDM in 2006 and since then he has been serving as a Co-Editor-in-Chief.  View contact information.

 

Karoly Bezdek

Jan Ciborowski

Jan Ciborowski

Professor
NSERC/COSIA Industrial Research Chair in Oil Sands Wetland Reclamation
Biological Sciences

Dr. Ciborowski’s research seeks to develop a transformational methodology to characterize and assess the ecological condition of wetlands in the Athabasca Oil Sands reclamation landscapes, and to ultimately enable industry to better reclaim land and promote biodiversity. His IRC program will answer the following questions:

  • How can industry best predict the early development, biodiversity, and persistence of wetlands in a reclaimed landscape, using knowledge of the environment and landscape?
  • What environmental or biological indicators best reflect long-term resilience and/or persistence in young wetlands?
  • What reclamation features will promote young wetlands’ formation, resilience and persistence?

He and his team will study the functionality (based on wetland size, depth and water exchanges), water quality (amounts of salts and other compounds) and surrounding disturbance features of newly forming wetlands in the post-mining landscape. Biological surveys (aquatic invertebrates, plants, and birds) will show which of these features are most important in sustaining biodiversity as wetlands age.  View contact information.


Christopher Cully

Associate Professor
NSERC CRC II in Space Physics
Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Christopher Cully’s research interests include:

  • Wave-particle interactions in space plasmas
  • Electric field structure in the magnetosphere and ionosphere
  • Space plasma electric field instruments
  • Kinetic plasma solutions
  • Ion outflow

He is the principal investigator for ABOVE. Dr. Cully is also a co-investigator on ESA's Cluster and Solar Orbiter missions, a science team member on NASA's Themis and CSA's ePOP missions, and a member of the EFW instrument team on NASA's Van Allen Probes.  View contact information.

Christopher Cully

Joe Harrison

Joe Harrison

Associate Professor
CIHR CRC II in Biofilm Microbiology and Genomics
Biological Sciences

Dr. Harrison is a microbiologist, biochemist and molecular geneticist that holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Biofilm Microbiology and Genomics from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). His research aims to better understand chronic infectious diseases and to devise new ways to defeat them. Harrison chairs the Biofilm Research Group (BRG) and has helped to define institutional strategic research policy as part of the “Infections, Inflammation and Chronic Diseases” and “One Health” thought leaders’ groups. Harrison is a co-lead for Integrated Microbiome Platforms for Advancing Causation Testing and Translation (IMPACTT), which is the CIHR-funded Canadian Microbiome Core. During his PhD, Dr. Harrison had a key role in developing and commercializing the MBEC assay, which is used for biofilm antimicrobial susceptibility testing. This technology was commercialized to create a spinoff company acquired in 2006 by Innovotech Incorporated, which is now listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Harrison has sat on many scientific advisory and peer-review committees nationally and internationally and Chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee for Cystic Fibrosis Canada in 2020.  View contact information.


Casey Hubert

Associate Professor
Campus Alberta Innovation Program Chair in Geomicrobiology
Biological Sciences

Dr. Hubert’s research interests include extremophiles (anaerobic thermophiles) such as dormant thermophilic bacteria in permanently cold Arctic marine sediments that appear to derive from deep hot petroleum deposits. Understanding microbial communities in subsurface petroleum reservoir habitats will lead to a better understanding of the distribution of these organisms and will underpin geo-biotechnologies for the geoenergy industry, e.g., in areas such as reservoir souring control via nitrate injection, enhanced and greener recovery of energy assets aided by in situ microbial conversions, and using microbes as bioindicators in oil and gas exploration. The role of seabed hydrocarbon seeps in determining marine microbial diversity is also of interest with respect to understanding biogeography and microbial dispersal vectors (e.g. do seeping fluids facilitate deep-to-shallow transport of cells?), and also with respect to the presence of a microbial seed bank in the ocean capable of hydrocarbon biodegradation, e.g., in the event of an oil spill.  View contact information.

Casey Hubert

Susana Kimura-Hara

Susana Kimura-Hara

Assistant Professor
NSERC CRC II in Analytic and Aquatic Chemistry
Chemistry

Dr. Kimura-Hara’s research interests are in the areas of drinking water treatment, analytical chemistry and toxicology. She is interested in the identification and formation mechanisms of unregulated disinfection by-products using advanced mass spectrometry instrumentation and techniques. She has a particular interest on the formation and toxicity of emerging disinfection by-products and contaminants of concern derived from oxidation and membrane-based technologies developed to remove contaminants from municipal wastewater effluents. View contact information.


Ian Lewis

Associate Professor
Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Translational Health Chair in Metabolomics
Biological Sciences

The Lewis laboratory specializes in harnessing metabolomics technology to understand the role metabolism plays in infectious diseases. The goal of this research is to develop new diagnostic methods to identify high risk patients and novel antimicrobial therapies to control infections. One of the key challenges Lewis's laboratory faces is unraveling the complex host-pathogen metabolic dynamics that occur during infections. To address this challenge, they use state-of-the-art mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology to comprehensively quantify the flow of molecules between pathogens and their hosts. Recently, Dr. Lewis launched the Calgary Metabolomics Research Facility (CMRF)–a mass spectrometry facility that was designed specifically to meet the unique challenges faced in metabolomics. This metabolomics facility is a powerful new resource for connecting metabolic phenomena with specific genes and is essential for understanding the metabolic determinants of virulence.  View contact information.

Ian Lewis

Justin MacCallum

Justin MacCallum

Associate Professor
CIHR CRC II in Biomolecular Structure and Design
Chemistry

Dr. MacCallum’s lab studies protein structure and biomolecular recognition using a combination of computational modeling and biophysical experiments. He aims to understand basic driving forces and to use this knowledge for practical applications, including new approaches to structure determination and the design of new biomolecules. The lab’s focus is on the development and application of powerful computational modeling tools, which we validate and improve through complementary experimental studies. Current efforts in the lab focus on two main directions: (1) alternative approaches to structure determination and (2) design of protein-protein and protein-peptide interactions using physical modeling and free energy simulations.  View contact information.


Robert Marriott

Associate Professor
NSERC/ASRL Industrial Research Chair in Applied Sulfur Chemistry
Chemistry

Dr. Marriott’s research group focuses on optimizing gas conditioning in the presence of H2S, bulk fluid separation by ionic liquids, high-pressure water-hydrocarbon solution chemistry (including hydrates) and fundamental properties of elemental sulfur under industrial conditions.  The research is carried out adjacent to the Alberta Sulphur Research Ltd. laboratories at the University Research Centre (URC) and in many cases complement ASRL’s Core Research Program. View contact information.

Robert Marriott

Kelly Munkittrick

Kelly Munkittrick

Professor
Campus Alberta Innovation Program Chair in Aquatic Ecosystem Health
Biological Sciences

Dr. Munkittrick’s research is primarily field-based and focused on measuring the responses of wild fishes to natural and anthropogenic stressors including pulp mills, oil refineries, oil sands operations, agriculture), and municipalities, on examining the suitability of laboratory studies for predicting field effects, and on the use of alternate approaches for detecting impacts.  Most recently his focus has been on developing adaptive, tiered and triggered monitoring frameworks, and in linking the various monitoring programs exist to a common philosophical foundation and integrated management framework.  Long term data sets are used to define “normal ranges” for monitoring parameters ranging from water quality measurements and benthic invertebrate community information, to fish population metrics.  His academic studies are focused on testing hypotheses about the role that variation in fish reproductive life histories plays in species differences in sensitivity to environmental contamination.  He developed an effects-based ecosystem health assessment approach focused on fish life history information on growth rates, reproductive rates, survival, and indicators of condition which is used to generate and test site-specific hypotheses related to identifying stressors responsible for changes in fish populations.  View contact information.


D. Khoa Nguyen

Assistant Professor
NSERC CRC II in Number Theory and Arithmetic Geometry
Mathematics and Statistics

Numbers, fractals, and dynamical systems are ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Integers are whole numbers such as 0, 1, 2, 999, 2147483647, etc. that not only appear in every ancient civilization but also continue to play a fundamental role in our modern society through coding theory and data security. Fractals are stunning objects with repeating patterns such as the shapes of snowflake, tree roots, etc. A dynamical system consists of the state a(n) such as the coordinate, weight, temperature, etc. of an object after n units of time in which the state a(n) depends on the previous state a(n-1) by a predetermined rule. Dr. Nguyen’s research area involves all of the above subjects under the principle of unlikely intersections which suggests that two random objects in dynamics should have a small intersection. This principle gives rise to the Pollard’s rho algorithms for the factorization and the discrete logarithm problems which are crucial in cryptography. Dr. Nguyen's research group uses tools from algebra, number theory, and dynamics to obtain progress in the mentioned theme of unlikely intersections and related aspects. More specifically, they investigate the dynamics of d-dimensional algebraic objects such as affine spaces and tori. Such systems model the physical world when d=3 and the data are taken from the real numbers. On the other hand, when our data are taken from finite fields (i.e. certain structures with only finitely many elements in which we can perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), their research has potential applications to information theory.  View contact information.

D. Khoa Nguyen

Warren Piers

Warren Piers

Professor
NSERC CRC I in Mechanisms of Homogeneous Catalytic Reactions
Chemistry

Dr. Piers’ research aims at developing robust, selective and sustainable catalysts for generating fuels from the end products of combustion, reactions driven by renewable energy. This includes the development of synthetic applications of perfluoroaryl boranes, mechanistic organometallic chemistry in catalysis, and the development of novel boron-based organometallic materials.

His current research focus is on:

  • Rigid electron-rich PCP pincer ligands for small molecule activation
  • Pentadentate ligand platforms for small molecule activation
  • Perfluorarylboranes and boron-nitrogen heterocycles
  • Electrocatalytic reduction of CO2

View contact information.


Rei Safavi-Naeini

Professor
NSERC/TELUS Industrial Research Chair in Information Security
Computer Science

Rei Safavi-Naini's research interests are cryptography, information theoretic security, security protocols and systems, and data privacy. Her research is driven by, (i) security questions that arise by advances in computer and communication technologies and their applications in everyday life, and (ii) fundamental information theoretic questions and limits of providing security in different scenarios. Her recent research directions are, cloud security, communications security, user authentication, and data sanitization and protection.  View contact information.

Rei Safavi-Naeini

Emma Spanswick

Emma Spanswick

Assistant Professor
NSERC CRC II in Geospace Dynamics and Space Plasma Physics
Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Spanwick seeks to further develop observational techniques that broaden the scope of available information about the near-Earth space environment, using these techniques to study a range of fundamental space science problems and advancing applications for space weather monitoring and prediction.

Focus areas include:

  • Dynamics of the Near-Earth Space Environment
  • Ground-Based Remote Sensing of the Space Environment
  • Ground-Based Remote Instrumentation Development
  • Satellite Auroral Imager Design and Development

View contact information.


Marc Strous

Professor
Campus Alberta Innovation Program Chair in Energy Bio-Engineering
Geoscience

Dr. Strous’ research group is focused on the development of new bioprocesses for renewable energy and environmental mitigation in the energy and agricultural industry. Their goal is to pioneer unexplored microbiology processes and techniques to help advance Canada's transition to cleaner energy systems.  View contact information.

Marc Strous

Peter Tieleman

Peter Tieleman

Professor
NSERC CRC I in Molecular Simulation
Biological Sciences

Peter Tieleman’s research interests focus on biological membranes and simulation methods for membrane systems. His group is using theoretical methods and powerful computers to better understand how membrane proteins function, how cells interact, how signals are transmitted through cell membranes, and how molecules enter and leave cells. Some examples of current projects include the mechanism of ABC transporters, fundamental interactions within membrane proteins and between proteins and lipids, the mechanism of lung surfactant, nanoparticles for drug delivery, and the development of improved lipid models.  View contact information.


Daniel Trad

Associate Professor
Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists Chair in Exploration Geophysics
Geoscience

Dr. Trad specializes in signal processing and inversion, in particular in applications to improving seismic data through inverting transformations that contain the physics of seismic acquisition and wave propagation. He has developed several software packages and modules for seismic processing and migration-inversion. His pioneering work on five-dimensional interpolation has become widely used worldwide. More recently he has focused on Least-squares migration, deblending and Machine learning and Quantum computing.  View contact information.

Daniel Trad

Mathilakath Vijayan

Mathilakath Vijayan

Professor
NSERC CRC I in Environmental Physiology and Toxicology
Biological Sciences

Dr. Vijayan’s research program is focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in stress tolerance. Specifically, the goal is to discover novel cellular signaling molecules and transduction pathways activated by stressors, revealing hormonal regulation of these stress adaptive pathways, and the integration of these responses at the whole animal level to regain homeostasis

Dr. Vijayan’s research topics can be broadly categorized under:

  • Elucidating the pathways that are corticosteroid responsive and critical for developmental programming, growth and metabolism
  • Identifying pathways that are sensitive to toxicants (critical window) during the early developmental phase
  • Determining the long term, including multigenerational, implications on growth and performance associated with endocrine disruption by maternal transfer of xenobiotics in fish

View contact information.


Wesley Willett

Associate Professor
NSERC CRC II in Visual Analytics
Computer Science

Wesley Willett is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. His interests span information visualization, social computing, new media, and human computer interaction, and his research focuses on pairing data and interactivity to support collaboration, learning, and discovery. At the UofC, he leads the Data Experience Lab, and is a faculty member in the department of Computer Science and the Computational Media Design program.  View contact information.

Wesley Willett

Philipp Woelfel

Philipp Woelfel

Professor
NSERC CRC II in Randomized and Distributed Algorithms
Computer Science

Dr. Woelfel and his team aim to ensure that computers and networks work quickly and reliably, by finding efficient ways to implement scheduling, resource allocation and process coordination. Modern computing increasingly relies on the ability of multiple hardware components to work in parallel but designing efficient programs for these concurrent systems is difficult. They work to solve computer and network problems by using programs that make random choices and are significantly simpler, more robust, and more efficient than traditional programs. Focus areas include:

  • Randomized algorithms and data structures
  • Computational complexity
  • Theory of distributed computing

View contact information.


Frederick Wrona

Professor
Svare Research Chair in Integrated Watershed Processes
Biological Sciences

Dr. Fred Wrona has >30 years of experience leading or contributing to numerous environmental research and monitoring programs addressing regional, national and international environmental issues related to: climate impacts on freshwater ecosystems; cold regions hydro-ecology; multiple stressor and cumulative effects assessments; ecotoxicology; and environmental monitoring program design. Most recently, he was the inaugural Chief Scientist and Assistant Deputy Minister (Environmental Monitoring and Science Division) for the Department of Alberta Environment and Parks and was previously the Vice-President and Chief Scientist at the Alberta Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation Agency. He also served as the government co-chair for the joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Program. View contact information.

Frederick Wrona

Sam Yeaman

Sam Yeaman

Assistant Professor
Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Translational Health Chair in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Biological Sciences

Natural environments are highly variable and biological constraints often prevent a single individual from performing best in all conditions. Specialization through genetic adaptation to the local environment provides one way to cope with a heterogeneous environment, and has been observed in a wide range of species, from lodgepole pine to threespine stickleback. Dr. Yeaman’s research aims to understand how organisms adapt to both spatially and temporally heterogeneous environments and how this process shapes the genetic and genomic architecture of complex traits. He uses a combination of population genetic theory and individual-based simulations to formulate hypotheses and seek to test these hypotheses using comparative genomics and studies of genomic variation in natural populations. Understanding how evolution shapes the genomic basis of complex traits has important implications for medicine, personalized genomics, and predicting the response of natural populations to climate change.  View contact information.