Research News

Promoting resilience in the Canadian humanitarian and development sector during the pandemic

A headshot of Dr. Andrea Paras

Dr. Andrea Paras 

By Mya Kidson

“The new norm” is the reality for many Canadian humanitarian organizations that rapidly pivoted their services online in response to COVID-19, U of G researchers have found.

During summer 2020, Dr. Andrea Paras, a professor in the Department of Political Science, and her research team studied the pandemic’s impact on NGOs in Canada’s humanitarian and development sector. They found that while the pandemic posed some challenges for these organizations, it also created some opportunities for adaptation and innovation. 

“These...

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U of G researchers develop, test simulation tool for fighting the pandemic

Dr. Danielle Gillis standing in front of a tree

Dr. Daniel Gillis

By Otaiba Ahsan

From physical distancing to phased reopening of businesses, figuring out which mitigation strategies work best for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is the goal of a novel simulation tool developed by University of Guelph researchers. 

The team is now testing the tool, designed to help policy makers gauge which public health measures will control the spread of the disease most effectively. 

“We hope to provide public health opportunities at the local and provincial levels to put into action the best mitigation strategies available...

Read more: U of G researchers develop, test simulation tool for fighting the pandemic

Equine Robo-Gut Helps OVC Researchers Study Gastrointestinal Diseases In Horses

A horse standing in a field

Photo Credit: Mya Kidson

By Mya Kidson

An imbalance in intestinal bacterial communities can lead to gastrointestinal (GI) illness in horses. Department of Clinical Sciences professor, Dr. Luis Arroyo, investigates the underlying issues leading to GI disease through a replica of the horse’s digestive system called the equine robo-gut.  In a recent article, SPARK writer Mya Kidson discusses the importance of this research in preventing equine GI diseases through a holistic lens...

Read more: Equine Robo-Gut Helps OVC Researchers Study Gastrointestinal Diseases In Horses

CareMongering supports communities during the pandemic

Three people with arrows pointing towards them - graphic

Photo Credit: Dr. Alex Sawatzky

By Otaiba Ahsan

“CareMongering” - a worldwide movement that started as a Toronto-based Facebook group supporting those experiencing fear associated with the COVID-19 virus – can help address socioeconomic vulnerabilities worsened by the pandemic, according to University of Guelph researchers.

Dr. Roberta Hawkins, a professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, and Amy Kipp, a PhD student in U of G’s new Social Practice and Transformational Change program, wanted to understand how this global movement is playing out locally. They...

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Nutraceuticals hold promise for preventing COVID-19 from taking hold

A headshot of Dr. Paul Spagnuolo in his lab

Dr. Paul Spagnuolo

By Mya Kidson

COVID-19 prevention could mean more than social distancing until more people can get vaccinated against this novel virus. For example, what if you could simply take a pill before going into a public space that would prohibit the virus' entry into human cells?

That’s what research underway at the University of Guelph is trying to uncover. Food Science professor, Dr. Paul Spagnuolo, and his team are looking at how COVID-19 enters and affects host cells. 

Understanding the virus' mechanisms can then enable researchers to inhibit...

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Addressing the social injustice within alternative food outlets

A person holding three red peppers.

Photo Credit: Jodie Aldred Photography for Arrell Food Institute

By Mya Kidson

As consumers become increasingly aware of the ways in which the agriculture sector contributes to growing carbon emissions as well as a decline in soil health, we have witnessed a heightened demand for local, sustainably cultivated and ethically sourced food. Such businesses – popularly varied alternative food businesses - include organic health-food stores and farmers’ markets. But although they positively enforce moral values, they often lack consumer diversity beyond upper- or middle-class consumers.

Dr. Evan Fraser, Department of...

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How trauma stories from elsewhere can help us through the pandemic

A woman wearing a mask and reading a book

(Unsplash)

By Otaiba Ahsan

Reading about how other nations have dealt with past trauma may help us handle pandemic anxiety here in Canada, say instructors in U of G’s College of Arts.

Drs. Gordana Yovanovich, Pablo Ramirez and Joubert Satyre are working with students on a collection of essays that show how Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx literatures shape the role and nature of community during traumatic experiences such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We believe there are many parallels between experiences the general public is facing during this...

Read more: How trauma stories from elsewhere can help us through the pandemic

U of G Prof Investigating Ethics of COVID-19 Immunity Passports

A cell phone and a passport on a piece of a wood

(Lukas/ Unsplash)

By Mya Kidson

As vaccines continue to be distributed to individuals globally, U of G research is looking at the possibility of giving individuals who have been vaccinated an immunity passport. This passport would give these individuals more freedoms, such as the ability to travel and attend concerts. Department of Philosophy professor, Dr. Andrew Bailey, is investigating the ethics of these vaccine passports. In a recent article, SPARK writer Mya Kidson discusses the impacts of this research and the importance of an immunity passport to reduce the spread of...

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A Sonic Tapestry: U of G Researchers Curate Guelph Musicians’ Reactions to COVID-19

Blue, pink and orange A Sonic Tapestry poster with the text, Guelph Musicians' Reactions to COVID-19

A poster for A Sonic Tapestry

By Caitlin Ford

Two professors in the School of Fine Arts and Music have curated a 52-minute video called A Sonic Tapestry to provide a musical commentary on the impact of COVID-19 on the music industry. SPARK writer Caitlin Ford interviewed Dr. Alyssa Woods and Dr. Kimberly Francis about the project, which aimed to creatively connect artists and strengthen ties between U of G and musicians in the community...

Read more: A Sonic Tapestry: U of G Researchers Curate Guelph Musicians’ Reactions to COVID-19

U of G Researchers Use AI for Rapid Bedside COVID-19 Diagnosis

Black and White chest xray on the left, colour chest xray on the right with the text: "Can artificial intelligence be used to enhance COVID-19 testing" written on top

Images courtesy Dr. Ukwatta

By Caitlin Ford

COVID-19 can be diagnosed with medical imaging, but this can be time consuming and subject to human error. To mitigate wait times for test results, a team led by School of Engineering professor Dr. Eranga Ukwatta has developed artificial intelligence software to provide automated diagnoses. SPARK writer Caitlin Ford explores the impacts of this research...

Read more: U of G Researchers Use AI for Rapid Bedside COVID-19 Diagnosis