Profs in New York Times, Making Headlines

June 10, 2014 - In the News

U of G professors were featured in a June 9 story in the New York Times. Kevin McCann, Integrative Biology, Evan Fraser, Geography, and Neil Rooney Environmental Sciences, are involved in a project to save the Tonlé Sap ecosystem in Cambodia, one of the world’s largest inland fisheries.

The threatened ecosystem sustains millions of lives in Southeast Asia, as the seasonal flood pulse system in the Mekong River and Tonlé Sap Lake provides the primary source of fish, rice and protein for millions of Cambodians.

The Guelph researchers are building an intricate computer model that aims to track the connections between human activity and natural systems as they change over time. The hope is that it will help predict how different developmental, economic and regulatory choices will affect the ecosystem, and in the development of adaptive strategies.

The trio received a three-year, $750,000 grant in 2013 from the freshwater security program of the Belmont Forum in Washington, D.C., to support the project.

McCann holds the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Biodiversity, and Fraser holds the CRC in Global Human Security. A former post-doctoral researcher with McCann, Rooney holds an appointment on campus sponsored by the Saugeen Ojibway-U of G faculty partnership.

Groundbreaking research by Prof. Ryan Norris, Integrative Biology, and post-doctoral researcher Tyler Flockhart is making international headlines. Their new study on the cause of the monarch butterfly decline has received extensive media coverage, including in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CTV News, CBC’s As It Happens, the Edmonton Journal, Huffington Post, News Tonight Africa, and the Environmental News Network, among others. The story was also picked up by the Canadian Press, PostMedia News, and United Press International wire services. A news report also aired on CBC’s The NationalJune 7.

A second Toronto Star story, published June 6, also features Flockhart, who completed his PhD with Norris and is now a postdoctoral research in Population Medicine, as well at Guelph plant scientist Prof. Francois Tardif. That story looked at the importance of milkweed in maintaining the monarch butterfly population, and whether it would post perils to people or their pets if planted in backyard gardens.

Prof. Amy Greer was featured by CBC and MSN news June 5, talking about why lyme disease cases are increasing in Canada. Greer, who holds joint appointments in the departments of Population Medicine and Mathematics and Statistics, studies infectious disease dynamics in humans and animals and their health, environmental and economic costs.

Greer, who joined U of G in January, holds a Canada Research Chair in population disease modeling. Before joining U of G she was a senior mathematician in the Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control at the Public Health Agency of Canada and an epidemiology professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

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