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June 18, 2015

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June 18, 2015
For Immediate Release

WATERLOO – Three Laurier professors will receive research funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation. Mark Humphries, director of the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies (LCMSDS) and Dunkley chair in War and the Canadian Experience, and Kim Anderson, associate professor in the Indigenous Studies program, will both receive Early Researcher Awards. David White, associate professor in Laurier’s Psychology program, will receive funding through the Small Infrastructure Fund.

The funding was announced by Kathryn McGarry, Member of Provincial Parliament for Cambridge and parliamentary assistant to the minister of transportation, at an event June 18, which was also attended by Daiene Vernille, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener Centre and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Research and Innovation.

“These outstanding Laurier researchers are on the cutting edge of their fields—fields that are of critical importance to understanding Canada’s past and Canada’s present and our natural world,” said Deborah MacLatchy, vice-president: academic and provost and acting vice-president: research. “They are representative of the exceptional calibre of research undertaken at Laurier’s Brantford and Waterloo campuses.”

Humphries and Anderson will each receive $100,000 in funding for their research projects over a five-year term and White will receive almost $60,000 in funding.

Humphries’ research will preserve, digitize and analyze more than 300,000 pension records of Canadian First World War veterans to better understand how the war changed their lives.

By creating a large digital database of these records, currently slated for destruction, Humphries, along with his team, will preserve a part of Canada’s history. The information will enable other researchers to look at the life of veterans and their families.

"These records provide vital insight into how soldiers returned home, reintegrated into society and then lived lives in the receding shadow of the Great War,” said Humphries. “I hope that by studying how various programs succeeded or failed for these veterans in the past, we can help improve the lives of current members of the Canadian Forces and their families."

Anderson’s research investigates the role of gender and age in Indigenous non-governmental organizations, specifically looking at how to integrate women, youth and elders into leadership roles in Indigenous settings.

The project will analyze current governance models at Indigenous non-governmental organizations to understand the role gender and age has played in influencing the organization. Anderson’s research hopes to provide an example of how to incorporate these traditionally marginalized perspectives into the governance and leadership at NGO’s.

“When we understand the current leadership structure in governing organizations we can begin to address the gaps in representation,” said Anderson.

White’s research, “The Songbird Project: An integrative examination of social behaviour,” will study birds in large, semi-natural social environments using a high-tech “social sensor web” to track their social interactions in a “smart” aviary.

Using high-tech sensor technology, White will be able to monitor the social behaviours of birds to study how they develop into adults in a social environment. White’s study will challenge long-held beliefs about how learning and development evolves.

White received $59, 117 in funding from The Canadian Foundation for Innovation’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund in January 2015.

“Over the years that I’ve been studying songbirds, I have found that the social experiences most important for learning and development are extremely rapid, infrequent and occur throughout the subjects’ lifetimes,” said White. “The ‘smart’ aviary will capture it all, giving my students and I the opportunity to track all of the brief learning experiences that shape effective and ineffective social behaviour.”

At the event, Michael Suits, assistant professor of Chemistry, Allison McDonald, associate professor of Biology, and Jonathan Wilson, assistant professor of Biology, were also recognized as the 2014 recipients of the Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure.

About the Early Researcher Awards program: Established in 2005, the program helps to attract and retain top talent in the province and help promising researchers build their teams. The province has awarded $209 million in funding to support 280 projects that were selected based on their research excellence and their economic and societal benefits for Ontario.

About the Small Infrastructure Fund: The Ontario Research Fund - Small Infrastructure helps attract, retain and develop leading researchers at publicly funded Ontario research institutions through the acquisition and renewal of leading-edge technology and equipment.

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Deborah MacLatchy
Provost and Vice-President: Academic
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x2859


Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070



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