BU Student Researchers Receive Federal Funding

April 10, 2015

Brandon, MB – Seven Brandon University (BU) students have received federal funding for spring/summer research under the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Undergraduate Student Research Award (NSERC USRA) program for 2015 totaling $31,500. NSERC USRAs are meant to stimulate students’ research interests in natural sciences and engineering to encourage graduate-level study and the pursuit of a research career in these fields.

“The research work I’m doing this summer will help expand my mathematical knowledge and make me more versatile as a mathematician,” said Ryan Bergen, Mathematics and Computer Science and NSERC USRA recipient. Bergen’s research is entitled Quantum probability measures. “This will be a brand new subject for me, so I’m excited about it. I’ll be spending the first part of my time learning about quantum probability measures, and the work done previously on them; after that, I want to expand on the previous research in some way.”

NSERC USRAs allow students to gain research work experience that complements their studies in an academic setting while working under the supervision of a Brandon University NSERC Grant holder. The NSERC portion of each award is $4,500, and BU contributes an additional 25% toward funding, totaling close to $8,000.

“I feel very strongly about thPrinte NSERC USRA program because it provides such a great opportunity for students to really get a chance to be involved in math research, and see what math is research is all about,” said Dr. Sarah Plosker, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, and supervising faculty member for Bergen’s research. “Ryan will be starting a Master of Science at the University of Regina in September, 2015, working on a specialized problem in linear algebra. It is always good for a math student to study a variety of topics since it makes them more well-rounded as a mathematician.”

Students work under a faculty supervisor for 16 consecutive weeks on a full-time basis and will begin their research projects this spring. “Brandon University faculty members engage in a wide range of research areas that have high levels of impact locally, nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Heather Duncan, Acting Vice-President (Academic and Provost). “NSERC undergraduate research assistantships provide opportunity for undergraduate students to work one-on-one with faculty to develop research skills that give them a head start in career opportunities and graduate studies. Because of high levels of faculty/student interaction, many senior students at BU graduate with skills comparable to master’s levels students elsewhere; quality student experience is one of the key priorities of our new Academic Plan.”

USRA recipients for 2015 at Brandon University, and their corresponding research projects, are as follows:

1. Carrie Bergen working under Dr. Bernadette Ardelli (Biology), “Characterization of molecular chaperones in Cryptobia salmositica”

2. Ryan Bergen working under Dr. Sarah Plosker (Mathematics and Computer Science), “Quantum probability measures”

3. Nico Bonnano working under Dr. Martin Lemaire (Chemistry), “Synthesis of polynuclear complexes with redox-active ligands”

4. Lyndon Duff working under Dr. Wendy Untereiner (Biology), “Assessing the diversity of Fungi from nests of the western thatching ant”

5. Whitney Gordon working under Dr. Sarah Plosker (Mathematics and Computer Science), “The geometric measure of entanglement”

6. Brett Meggison working under Dr. Margaret Carrington (Physics and Astronomy), “Renormalization of scalar 4pi effective theories in 4 dimensions”

7. Jocelyn Young working under Dr. Wendy Untereiner (Biology), “Identification of selected Ascomycota isolated from children’s sandboxes”

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, and educates students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Heather Duncan
Acting Vice-President (Academic & Provost)
(204) 727-7455
DuncanH@brandonu.ca

Amy Wyntjes
Communications & Campaign Officer
(204) 571-8547
WyntjesA@brandonu.ca