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Research Grants

Recipients of the RCGS Graduate Research Scholarships


Anthony Piscitelli
Placing Intimate Partner Violence in Brantford

Research has shown that human experience can help to shape locations, which in turn shape our experiences of the world. This project will explore how the concept of “place” has contributed to Brantford, Ont., having the highest rates of family violence in southern Ontario. The study will rely upon qualitative interviews through the perspective of social service provider’s perceptions of what causes Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) to be so high in Brantford.

Christopher Greyson-Gaito
The potential of mixed forests to reduce the severity of spruce budworm outbreaks in Atlantic Canada

Approximately every 30 years, spruce budworm have massive outbreaks across Atlantic Canada. Although these outbreaks are natural, severe outbreaks cause extensive tree mortality, which may have detrimental effects on wildlife. Maintaining forests with more hardwood trees, otherwise known as mixed forests, could mitigate severe outbreaks of spruce budworm because mixed forests are thought to contain more of the types of insects that kill spruce budworms. These insects, called parasitoids, lay eggs inside spruce budworms, and the eggs grow and eat the caterpillars from the inside out, eventually killing the caterpillar.

This research project will use innovative bio-tracers to examine why there are more parasitoids in mixed forests. This is an extremely relevant issue in present day because spruce budworm densities are starting to climb again in Atlantic Canada.

Nicholas Brown
Estimation of ice loss in permafrost from temperature time-series measurements

In permafrost, some quantity of water typically remains unfrozen even at temperatures below 0°C. The presence of this unfrozen water can negatively impact the stability and load-bearing strength of the ground, but direct measurements of subsurface water content are not usually available. This research study aims to evaluate whether it is possible to estimate unfrozen water content from ground temperature measurements, which can be collected more frequently at monitoring sites.

Rebecca Segal
Combining remote sensing and community sea ice information to inform safe travel in Nunavut's Kitikmeot region

In southern Canada, people use roads to travel and transport goods. In coastal communities in the Arctic, pavement is often replaced by sea ice for travel and subsistence. In recent years, residents across the Arctic have observed that sea ice and weather conditions have become less predictable as a result of a changing climate. Finding a way to identify where the sea ice is safe to use is becoming increasingly important to northern communities to ensure resident safety.  This research project will use remotely sensed images (Synthetic Aperture Radar, or SAR images) to study sea ice features, like roughness, that impact travel near the communities of Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk, Nunavut. The research team will work with residents to independently assess local ice conditions for their navigational needs.

Sarah St. Germain
The Evolution of a Supraglacial Stream Canyon on Bylot Island, Nunavut

Climate change is having a devastating impact on Canada’s Arctic glaciers. To date, little research has been done to assess the impact of increased glacial ice melt on the development of supraglacial streams.  This research project will study the supraglacial stream that is carved into Fountain Glacier, which forms a canyon on Bylot Island, Nunavut. The study will focus on how the supraglacial stream and canyon change over time. Over the course of three years, the researcher will conduct annual surveys of the canyon using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to collect imagery of the stream. Strategically placed yellow plastic targets, known as ground control points, are positioned on the glacier surface, where high precision GPS can then determine their location. The imagery and ground control points allow for the creation of orthorectified images and digital elevation models (DEMs). The information derived from these images and models will help to determine any changes in the canyon during the study period.

Kyle Plotsky
Geographic Determinants of Canid Responses to Depredation Mitigation

This research project will examine the critical issue of conflict between wolves/coyotes and humans, specifically regarding livestock, and the use of contemporary non-lethal techniques to resolve these conflicts in Western Canada and the United States.


Erin Hanson
Coast Salish Natural Resource Management post-Tsilhqot’in: A case study with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Emma Davis
Vegetation dynamics of alpine treelines in protected areas of the Canadian Cordillera


Jeanette Carney, Memorial University
Asbestos Hill Mine: History and Legacy

Jeanette Carney’s research is on the operational history of the Asbestos Hill mine in Nunavik (northern Québec), as well as the mine’s past and current impacts on Inuit. The purpose of this research is to contribute to the knowledge of mining impacts in Nunavik and on Inuit in the Canadian North and to provide a historical context to current mineral development issues in the region.

Frances Stewart, University of Victoria
The Moraine Mesocarnivore Project; Assessing the value of Canadian human-altered landscapes for native mesocarnivore species

Frances Stewart’s research will scientifically document the wildlife community in Alberta’s Cooking Lake Moraine (CLM), a mixed-use agricultural landscape. The research could serve as a model for human-wildlife coexistence across Canada. The research aims to assess the value of Alberta’s CLM, an example human-modified landscape for all areas of human wildlife coexistence in Canada, by scientifically quantifying it’s ecological contribution to maintaining mammalian biodiversity as a fragmented landscape.


Andrew Spring, Wilfred Laurier University
Food security in the Northwest Territories

Andrew Spring's research will examine the impacts of climate change on the availability of country foods; how development pressures are impacting community approaches to traditional activities; and how community-defined programs can build adaptive capacity to increase community resilience and enhance the traditional economy.

Dasvinder Kambo, Queens University
Fine-scale mechanisms of tree establishment and growth in an alpine forest-tundra eco-zone

Dasvinder Kambo’s research goal is to examine how differences in fine-scale factors influence treeline dynamics for the purpose of improving forecasts of change.

Sarah Nelson, University of Northern British Columbia
Race, culture, identity, health: Understanding the challenges of service provision within urban Aboriginal health care services

Sarah Nelson’s research focuses on understanding the challenges, and the strategies for addressing these challenges, encountered in the provision of Aboriginal-focused health care services in two Canadian urban centres: Prince George, BC, and Toronto, ON.

Brielle Beaudin, University of Winnipeg
Métis food sovereignty in Manitoba: Perspectives from harvesters on traditional foods and Métis harvesting rights

Brielle Beaudin’s research purpose is to address Métis food sovereignty by understanding Métis harvesters’ perspectives on the recent changes to the MMF and Manitoba province’s partnership on Métis Natural Resource Harvesting Zones and recognized Métis harvesting rights.

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