Research News

Connecting generations through journaling

A collage of art submissions for Art Apart

By Caitlin Ford

Kids and seniors – two groups that have been especially vulnerable to pandemic isolation – are getting together through a University of Guelph journaling project.

In summer 2020, Dr. Kimberley Martin, a professor in the Department of History, organized a journal exchange to connect seniors living in long-term care and children living in single-parent and low-income households.  

This project, Connecting Generations, grew from her previous pandemic initiative, Art...

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New festival helps artists perform during COVID-19

Poster for the ImprovFest 2021 - graphic

By Otaiba Ahsan and Cate Willis

A new University of Guelph project has enabled people to build community during the pandemic and to find solace and inspiration through art and improvisation. 

Dr. Ajay Heble, a professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies and the director of U of G’s International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation (IICSI), launched the Improvisation Festival (IF) as an online celebration of improvisational arts in August 2020.

“We thought we would mount an improvisational arts festival across the...

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Examining history to better understand social health inequalities during COVID-19

Headshots of Drs. Catherine Carstairs and Tara Abraham

Drs. Catherine Carstairs and Tara Abraham

By Otaiba Ahsan

Understanding the history of how infectious disease has exacerbated social and health inequalities can help policy makers control the spread of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable groups, say U of G historians.

Drs. Tara Abraham and Catherine Carstairs, both in the Department of History, used historical literature and media to identify groups of people with disproportionate infection rates. They found that meat-packing employees, working mothers and migrant workers were at greater risk of infection than other groups.

“COVID-19 has...

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HELD: U of G’s Literary Journal for Traditionally Marginalized Communities

The logo for Held Magazine

By Caitlin Ford

HELD Magazine, a new online artistic literary journal run by University of Guelph students, amplifies marginalized voices and creatively narrates global events. In her recent article SPARK writer, Caitlin Ford, explores the impacts of the magazine started by School of English and Theatre Studies professor Catherine Bush...

Read more: HELD: U of G’s Literary Journal for Traditionally Marginalized Communities

Creating an artistic representation of space use on campus

A 3D map of the University of Guelph campus

Photo credit: Nadia Amoroso

By Caitlin Ford

Showing how people may gather safely on outdoor campus spaces such as Johnston Green after COVID-19 is the goal of a new University of Guelph landscape architecture project.

Dr. Nadia Amoroso, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD), and two master of landscape architecture students, Christine Pedersen and Sihao Chen, visualized these outdoor spaces using a process called datascaping – creating information-driven digital mapping illustrations – to generate maps of outdoor locations on U of G’s campus based on...

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A world within a block – the impacts of COVID-19 on St. James Town

Cars stopped on a street in front of an apartment building in St. James Town.

Photo Credit: Gary J Wood

By Mya Kidson

Residents of an often-overlooked Toronto neighbourhood that was hard-hit early in the pandemic have strengthened community ties and logged high vaccination rates through COVID-19 despite their challenges, a University of Guelph researcher has found.

Often called “a world within a block,” the St. James Town community is unlike any other, in the country, and has become a research focus for Dr. Lisa Kowalchuk, professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.  

Located in downtown east of Toronto, St. James Town is a highly...

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Togetherness: no longer a distant memory of pre-pandemic times

People wearing masks and holding puppets.

Photo Credit: Troy Hourie

By Mya Kidson

Performance and art can bring healing and promote social interaction, especially during times of pandemic isolation. This was the focus of a recent research project from U of G.  

In the summer of 2020, Prof. Troy Hourie, from the School of English and Theatre Studies, collaborated with Puppeteers Andrew Gaboury and Colleen Snell as well as U of G student production interns Samantha Adams, Emily Brown and Liaba Nisar to create a Dom Roberto-style production called ODDITI(m)ES — A...

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Mechanisms Involved In Chronic Pain Similar To Those In Memory Development, Say OVC Researchers

A headshot of Dr. Giannina Descalzi

Dr. Giannina Descalzi

By Mya Kidson 

Chronic pain is prevalent in humans and their companion animals, but there is very little research that shows how it manifests. Department of Biomedical Sciences professor, Dr. Giannina Descalzi, investigates how the brain adapts to pain and has found that there are similar mechanistic changes that occur with chronic pain, as seen with learning and development. In a recent article, SPARK writer Mya Kidson discusses the importance of this research, providing insight into chronic pain development and the subsequent changes that occur in the...

Read more: Mechanisms Involved In Chronic Pain Similar To Those In Memory Development, Say OVC Researchers

Socially responsible behaviour can protect vulnerable groups during the pandemic

An infographic that says to wash your hands, keep a safe distance and wear face masks

By Otaiba Ahsan

People at lower risk of infection from COVID-19 are more likely to engage in socially irresponsible behaviours that put vulnerable groups at risk, says a new University of Guelph study, but a social nudge can help improve cooperation.

Dr. Tongzhe Li, a professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (FARE), is leading a team from her department and collaborators at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.

They hope to learn why certain people fail to take public health guidelines seriously and who is more...

Read more: Socially responsible behaviour can protect vulnerable groups during the pandemic

OVC Researchers Study Impact of Smog on Horse Lung Health

Horses on a race track.

Photo Credit: OVC 

By Olivia Willoughby 

University of Guelph researchers are examining the effects of outdoor air pollution, or smog, on the respiratory health of horses in the Guelph-Kitchener-Waterloo area. Dr. Janet Beeler-Marfisi, a professor in the Department of Pathobiology at the Ontario Veterinary College, is looking to see if the same factors that play a role in human asthma also play a role in the development of mild equine asthma (MEA) in horses...

Read more: OVC Researchers Study Impact of Smog on Horse Lung Health