Past Research Lectures

Dr. Amandeep Sandhu
The Great Economic Transformation of the 21st Century: How the globalization of service jobs will determine your career and life

On April 9, 2014, Dr. Amandeep Sandhu spoke on career strategies for the new global economy and answered the question, "Is it better to be a generalist or a specialist?" Sandhu also talked about the current job market and how to prepare for the future during this time of major economic change.

Dr. Sandhu is UFV's BC Regional Innovation Chair in Canada-India Business & Economic Development and a faculty member in the UFV School of Business. The Research Chair is housed in the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at UFV. Read more

Dr. Amandeep Sandhu 

Dr. Lenore Newman with Dr. Denver Nixon
Agricultural Land Reserve at 40: Land loss and fragmentation in the Fraser River Basin

  Dr. Lenore Newman

Watch a video of Dr. Newman's presentation.

See the Storify summary -- twitter posts and more!

What would the Lower Mainland look like today if it wasn’t for the Agricultural Land Reserve?"

At the Feb 5, 2014 Research Lecture Series hosted by UFV's Research Office, more than 130 people came out to learn the answer.

According to Dr. Lenore Newman, who holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and the Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley, urban sprawl would now cover virtually all farmland between Vancouver and the Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford if not for the protection of the ALR.

“If the Agriculture Land Reserve hadn’t have been put in place, we would have lost 80 percent of the agricultural land in our region by now,” she contends, extrapolating from the rate at which rural land was being developed for housing, industry, and other urban uses before the ALR was established.

About Dr. Lenore Newman and Dr. Denver Nixon

Dr. Lenore Newman holds the Canada Research Chair in Food Security and the Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley where she is an associalte professor in teh Geography department. She holds a BSc (Hons) from UBC, and an MES and PhD from York University in Ontario.

Newman's love affair with food began on her family's fishing boats, where she gained an early introduction into the world of direct marketing of local products. She runs a research program focused on Canadian regional cuisines, local food sovereignty, culturally preferred foods, and urban food systems. She has written extensively on the resurgence of farmers' markets in Canada, and is a strong advocate for fresh, local food. Lenore sits on the board of the Vancouver Farmers' Markets, is a past president of the Environmental Studies Association of Canada, and sits on the board of several academic journals dealing with food and food studies. She writes both academic and popular works about food, and was happy to return to the west coast to pursue her love of hiking and cooking.  

Dr. Denver Nixon has been a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Newman at UFV for the past year. He holds a BSc double major in Geography and Sociology from the University of Victoria, an MES from York University, and an MLIS and PhD in Geography from the University of Western Ontario

Dr. Stan Manu, Mathematics
Roles of Language(s) in Bilingual Students' Understanding of Mathematics

   Dr. Stan Manu

Every teacher is a language teacher. In other words, the lifeblood of learning in many content areas. The K-12 mathematics curriculum has a language for describing “mathematical practices” that focuses primarily on mathematical understanding and reasoning. In classroom situations where English-language learners are involved, the tasks can be immensely complex. Addressing issues of language in content learning and teaching these is crucial. This lecture will attempt to share and contribute to the above discussion by looking at a particular bilingual situation where young mathematics students switch or alternate frequently between two languages during problem-solving discussions. In this type of bilingual situation, students learn mathematics in a dominant second language that has no direct or precise translation to their own native language. If teachers have a thorough understanding of how language and content interact within a specific content area, they are better equipped to make well-informed decisions about learning and teaching. As found with the Tongan bilingual students, if these students are allowed the flexibility of language switching, and thus access to appropriate terms and images in either language, they can be declared in no way mathematically disadvantaged from their monolingual counterparts.

Dr. Stan Manu has been with the UFV Mathematics and Statistics department January 2011. He is originally from the South Pacific island nation of Tonga, where he did his undergrad in maths and physics. He did his master’s at the University of Idaho, and his PhD in mathematics education at UBC. His research interests are in the areas of curriculum development, assessment, and teaching and learning of mathematics, and the use of language(s) in mathematics particularly within a bilingual context.

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Dr. Noham Weinberg, Chemistry
Molecular Modeling and Bizarre Chemistry of High Pressures

  Dr. Noham Weinberg

It is well established and generally recognized that temperature has a profound effect on chemical reactions. Every Grade 12 chemistry student reaction rates double, triple, or even quadruple with every 10 degrees increase in temperature; it does not require high school chemistry to know that food is safer if kept in coolers or refrigerators. Chemical effects of high pressures are far less known, even to professional chemists. However, although more subtle, these effects are no less profound than the effects of temperature. To people not familiar with them, some of these effects may appear quite weird and unusual. For example, exposed to very high pressures, typical non-metals, such as hydrogen or nitrogen, become metals, like iron or mercury. In the UFV Molecular Modeling Lab, we use methods of computational chemistry to predict chemical effects of high pressures and gauge them quantitatively.

Dr. Noham Weinberg received an MSc in physical chemistry from Moscow State University in 1976 and a PhD in theoretical chemistry from Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, in 1981. He joined the Chemistry department of the then University College of the Fraser Valley in 1994. The UFV Molecular Modeling Lab was established on his initiative in 2001. More than 50 UFV students received research training in this lab.

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Dr. Hugh Brody, Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies
Found in Translation: How Many Words are there for Snow? Reflections on the place of language in the destiny of culture.

  Dr. Hugh Brody

This year, Hugh Brody has begun to explore some of the experience and ideas that have come with his work on language — both loss and recovery.

In this lecture, he will look at what it means to have a language that comes from hunting rather than farming; and how the impacts of cultural change and loss can be accompanied by extraordinary strengths and creativity.His lecture will begin with words for snow, but move into the power of shamanic dreaming and the way so many aboriginal peoples use the new to give fresh meaning to the old.

Born in the north of England, where he spent much of his childhood exploring landscape and fishing, Hugh Brody was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, and subsequently taught at Queen’s University, Belfast, and the University of Cambridge. He came to Canada for the first time in 1969, when, as a government researcher, he lived on Edmonton’s skid. Before coming to UFV, he was a freelance anthropologist, writer, and film maker. He has been involved in land rights and aboriginal research in the USA, India, Australia, and Southern Africa, as well as across Canada. His books include Maps and Dreams, Living Arctic, and The Other Side of Eden. His films include Nineteen Nineteen, Time Immemorial, The Washing of Tears, Hunters and Bombers, Inside Australia, and The Meaning of Life.

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Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch, English/Theatre
Competing Performances, Competing Histories: Survival Cannibalism and the Franklin Expedition

  Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch

When Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition in search of a Northwest Passage disappeared in the central Arctic, it left few hysical traces but a remarkable archive of performative remains. These performances generate critical insights into how hose affected by the expedition’s disappearance understood the losses they experienced, and show how performance unctions as a repository of cultural knowledge.This lecture will trace how allegations that survival cannibalism occurred among the expedition’s final survivors were vehemently denied by Charles Dickens in a series of rhetorically compelling editorials, preserved in Inuit oral histories of finding human remains at macabre campsites, and overwritten by Dickens’s electrifying performance in Wilkie Collins’s 1857 play The Frozen Deep. These three examples testify to the remarkable power of performance to preserve cultural memory, but also reveal that this power can be dangerous: today Dickens’s performances serve as an ethical injunction against the misuse of performance as a tool of historical revision.Heather Davis-Fisch is cross-appointed faculty member in the UFV Theatre and English departments. She received her PhD in Theatre from the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph and was, in 2010-11, a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Theatre and Film department at the University of British Columbia. She is the author of Loss and Cultural Remains in Performance: The Ghosts of the Franklin Expedition (Palgrave Macmillan).

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Dr. Gregory Schmaltz, Biology
Competition and maternal effects in group-living birds

Dr. Gregory Schmaltz  

Competition and maternal effects in group-living birds.Although most bird species exhibit a mating system similar to humans (social monogamy), there are exceptions to the rule. Smooth-billed anis are communally breeding birds that live in groups of up to 17 adults. What is unusual is that all female group members lay their eggs in the same nest. This nest-sharing habit has important consequences for these birds. For instance, females compete for access to the incubated clutch of eggs by burying each other’s eggs under leaves and nesting material. Males or females may also decide to toss eggs out of the joint nest.

Nonetheless, group members co-operate after the egg tossing/burial stage and share incubation, territory defence, and care of young, though not evenly. During his talk, Greg Schmaltz will examine some of the potential reasons as to why these birds decide to live in groups. He will also highlight various types of conflicts that are part of this unusual mating system.

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Davida Kidd, Visual Arts
Who Needs Art When You Have a View Like This

Davida Kidd’s latest body of work features an array of images that engage in biting double entendres. 

Davida Kidd  

It was inspired by a billboard Kidd read when driving across the Cambie Street Bridge that exclaimed “Who Needs Art When You Have a View Like This!” In keeping with Kidd’s practice of constructing sets and staging subjects, she creates large-scale photographic images that use digital collage to combine multiple objects, images, and views. 

Davida Kidd’s practice addresses themes of the blurred line between illusion and reality. She cultivates the ambiguous moments at which subjects become invented by the viewer.

Born in Edmonton, Davida Kidd received her BFA and MVA in Print Media from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Print Media, Photography, Digital Imaging and Installation. Kidd is currently an instructor in the UFV Visual Arts department. She was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix at the 2003 International Print Triennial in Poland and recently received a major project grant from the Canada Council of the Arts. 

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Dr. Derek Harnett, Physics
Exotic Bound States of the Strong Nuclear Force

  Dr. Derek Harnett

For centuries, scientists have searched for the fundamental building blocks of matter. In this pursuit, significant progress has been made. We now know that (macroscopic) matter is composed of molecules; molecules, in turn, are built from atoms; atoms are bound states of electrons and nuclei; and nuclei are just collections of protons and neutrons.  In the 1970s, physicists discovered that protons and neutrons are themselves assembled from even smaller bits of matter called quarks.  The force responsible for bundling quarks together is called the strong nuclear force, and its mathematical description is provided by a theory called quantum chromodynamics (QCD).

In addition to protons and neutrons, QCD predicts the existence of a wealth of other strongly bound particles, many of which have been found; however, there are several varieties that continue to defy conclusive experimental detection.  These hypothetical particles are collectively referred to as exotics.  Do they actually exist?  If so, then why are we having so much difficulty finding them?  If not, then what are the implications for QCD?

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Dr. Chris Bertram, Kinesiology and Physical Education
Finding Strengths, Building Hope: Strength-based interventions for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Dr. Chris Bertram  

Intervention programs for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) have traditionally focused on the commonly cited deficits in cognitive ability, intellectual capacity, or on direct attempts to adapt social behaviors. Such programs have met with limited success and there is a growing consensus that new and innovative approaches are needed. Toward this end, we have developed two novel intervention programs (FAST Club and Brain Gamers) at the University of the Fraser Valley that seek to identify existing strengths in children with FASD, and to develop these strengths to the fullest capacity of the individual. Our project is a part of nation-wide multidisciplinary collaboration that was recently funded by two separate Network Centres of Excellence — NeuroDevNet and GRAND

An overview of the projects will be discussed along with some preliminary data that suggest that targeted approaches to intervention based on an individual's strengths can lead to neuroplastic changes in children with FASD.

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Dr. Trevor Carolan, English
Ecosystems, mandalas, watersheds, and citizenship:
The works of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and environmental activist Gary Snyder

  Dr. Trevor Carolan

As a founding father of the international Environmental Movement, Snyder’s approach to global ecology is informed by his upbringing and connection with peoples in the Cascade Range that overlooks UFV, trans-Pacific poets, land and wilderness sustainability issues, cross-cultural anthropology, Mahayana Buddhism, lived experiences with “the bush”, and his scholarly connections with the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Dr. Carolan will consider Snyder’s contributions to what citizenship might mean in the current global age, in particular his conception of planetary ecological stewardship as a form of citizenship.

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Dr. Peter Raabe, Philosophy and Political Science
Change your brain, change your mind?

  Dr. Peter Raabe

Drawing on existing psychiatry literature, empirical evidence, and a case study, Dr. Raabe’s lecture considers mental illness through a philosophical lens. It defines the ontology of mental illness or mental disorder in non-biomedical terms, as consisting of problematic propositional mental content rather than organic brain malfunction. This allows for a causal theory of mental disorder to be located within the parameters of existential difficulties rather than biological pathology, and contradicts the arguments made in defence of the necessity of psychotropic medications for the alleviation of mental distress. This in turn indicates support for the argument that mental disorders can betreated, if not cured, by means of philosophy.

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Dr. Olav Lian, Geogrpahy
Understanding the timing and nature of climatically-driven landscape change in western Canada by reading the landscape’s solar birth certificate

 Dr. Olav Lian  

Dr. Lian’s research looks at how the landscape in western Canada adjusted after the last ice age, and how it has responded to subsequent changes in climate. By understanding how the physical environment has responded to past changes in climate, it may be possible to predict the impact of future changes on the stability of our fragile landscape. To help find when these changes happened, and to be able to link them to intervals of past climate change, Dr. Lian uses a technique called luminescence dating, which allows one to date when grains of sand buried within a landscape were last exposed to sunlight — or when that landscape was last unstable. He will explain how our physical environment has changed over the past 12,000 years, and how it might change in the future.

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Dr. Adrienne Chan, Social Work and Human Services
What does social justice mean to the university?

 Dr. Adrienne Chan  

Dr. Chan's broad research goal is to identify how social justice is conceptualized and implemented through policy and practice. Most universities in Canada appear to have articulated the basic ‘pillars’ of social justice but there are continuing problems with exclusionary and discriminatory practices on campus. Policies and practices that are consistent with social justice principles include those that facilitate access, equity, and the elimination of barriers to participation in education. These terms are often simple to say and difficult to exhibit in practice.

Learn more about Dr. Chan

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