Faculty Make Headlines

May 04, 2014 - In the News

Political science professor Dennis Baker co-wrote an op-ed in the May 7 National Post on the conflict between the Conservative government and the Supreme Court. He was also quoted on the topic in the May 4 issue of the Globe and Mail and in the May 1 issue of the National Post.

Baker says that the design of the legislative and judicial branches invites occasional conflict between them. He studies the separation of powers, particularly the relationship between the court and representative branches. His book, Not Quite Supreme, considers the limits of the Supreme Court of Canada’s power to settle political controversies.

Prof. Catherine Carstairs is featured in articles published by CBC online story and MSN May 5 and 6 on the history of the criminalization of marijuana. The story looks at the issue in the context of "Global Marijuana March” calling for the decriminalization of marijuana that was held in Toronto over the weekend.

Carstairs, chair of the Department of History, is the author of Jailed for Possession: Illegal Drug Use, Regulation and Power in Canada, 1920-1961. She says the 1923 decision to add marijuana to the list of proscribed drugs had almost no immediate impact as almost no one smoked pot in Canada then, "but the fact that it was added has certainly had long-term consequences."

Prof. Steve Marshall, Environmental Sciences, was quoted in a May 2 CBC story -- subsequently picked up by MSN News Canada, Huffington Post Canada and Yahoo News -- on how the cold winter might have killed many honeybees. Marshall discussed how insects respond to frigid temperatures, including burrowing into soil and tree trunks or migrating to warmer climates.

Philosophy professor Karyn Freedman continues to make headlines with her new book, One Hour in Paris. The book was reviewed May 2 in the National Post. It was also the focus of articles published April 29 in the Toronto Star Toronto Star and Chronicle Review. Freedman was featured in two Globe and Mail articles April 24. Her book was reviewed in the April 25 Toronto Star, and was mentioned in a National Post article April 18 and in an April 16 Toronto Star story

Chemistry professor Mario Monteiro is featured in the cover story of the latest issue of The Canadian Chemical News. The article looks at Monteiro’s research on sugar-based vaccines, including a a first-ever vaccine for gut bacteria common in autistic children.

Monteiro and master’s student Brittany Pequegnat developed a carbohydrate-based vaccine against the gut bug Clostridium bolteae. They used bacteria grown by Mike Toh, a Guelph microbiology PhD student. It's the first vaccine designed to control constipation and diarrhea potentially caused by C. bolteae and perhaps control autism-related symptoms associated with this microbe. Monteiro has studied sugar-based vaccines for two other gastric pathogens: Campylobacter jejuni, which causes travellers’ diarrhea; and Clostridium difficile, which causes antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Geography professor Evan Fraserwas featured in the May 1 issue of The Guardian. In the article, Fraser highlights 10 things people need to know about the global food system, from food supply to price volatility to the amount of wasted food.

Fraser holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security and co-wrote the book Empires of Food: Feast, Famine and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations. He heads a project intended to draw attention to world food issues, especially how to feed the projected global population by 2050.

The recent issue of The New Yorkermagazine features U of G English professor Daniel Fischlin. In an article entitled “The Poet’s Hand,” Fischlin discusses his work over the past decade to help authenticate the Sanders portrait, believed to be the only likeness of William Shakespeare painted while the playwright was alive.Fischlin discusses the scientific work done to authenticate the painting, as well as efforts to trace family connections between Shakespeare and the ancestors of the portrait’s previous owner, Lloyd Sullivan.

Thought to depict the Bard at age 39, the Sanders portrait was the centrepiece of a months-long exhibit at Guelph’s Macdonald Stewart Art Centre in 2007. It’s also the signature image of U of G’s Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project, the world’s largest and most complete website about Shakespeare’s cultural influence that was founded by Fischlin. At a symposium hosted by U of G last fall, experts discussed evidence about the portrait . Read more about the portrait.

Prof. Emma Allen-Vercoe, Molecular and Cellular Biology, is quoted in the April 30 issue of the Globe and Mail. The article discusses a request by British Columbia’s health minister that Health Canada reconsider guidelines for fecal transplants.

Allen-Vercoe studies bacterial species in the human “inner ecosystem” from mouth to bowel. In her “robo-gut,” a scientific laboratory that mimics the environment of the large intestine, she has created synthetic “poop” to replace human fecal matter used in stool transplants. A 2013 study showed how the synthetic stool can cure gastrointestinal infections caused by Clostridium difficile, a toxin-producing bacterium.

Philosophy professor Monique Deveaux co-authored a column in the Globe and Mail on April 28 on changes to Canada’s Fair Elections Act by the Conservative government. The column praises the government for making important changes but presses for further reforms.

She was also interviewed last week by the Globe and Mailas co-author of an open letter to Parliament on key proposals in the Fair Elections Act that was being debated in Ottawa. The letter was signed by more than 450 Canadian academic experts in constitutional democracy. The letter first appeared in the National Post on March 11. Deveaux holds the Canada Research Chair in Ethics and Global Social Change and is the director of Initiatives in Global Justice at U of G.

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