Convocation May 2016

Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership and Policy)

  • Dr. Peter Gordon Skipper: "Dr. Skipper studied how teachers develop insights and knowledge about their practice. He examined personal, professional and social influences that contribute to individual understandings of teaching. His research addresses the complex considerations that drive teacher professional identities."
  • Dr. Lyn Daniels: "Dr. Daniels compared the personal memories from Aboriginal students of public schools and of Indian residential schools. By examining these intergenerational memories, she gained insights into Indigenous peoples' education in Canada. This research opens up possibilities for decolonizing present-day educational research, policies and practices."
  • Dr. Christopher Hamilton Gratham: "What roles should digital technologies have in universities? Dr. Gratham's research found that answers were related to place in the system. He found that policy treats technologies as means to a more efficient and competitive system. In contrast, many professors experience technologies as distracting to their aims of building relationships with students."

Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy

  • Dr. Clara Yolande Westwell-Roper: "Dr. Westwell-Roper showed that protein aggregation within the pancreas in type 2 diabetes causes tissue damage due to inflammation. Blocking immune cell activation prevented disease development in animal models. This work helps us understand why insulin secretion decreases over time and points to new therapeutic targets for type 2 diabetes."
  • Dr. Long Viet Nguyen: "Dr. Nguyen investigated the regenerative activity of normal and malignant breast stem cells and developed a model to generate breast tumours from normal human breast cells. This work was instrumental in understanding the early changes that occur during tumour formation and how the diversity of breast cancer arises from normal starting cells."

Doctor of Philosophy (Anthropology)

  • Dr. Sungsook Lim: "Dr. Lim examines how older Sakhalin Koreans reconfigure personhood through practices of kinship and citizenship moving between Russia, and South Korea. This dissertation offers a grounded understanding of how post-colonial, post-Cold War, and post-socialist transformations have shaped personhood in Northeast Asia and more broadly Eurasia."
  • Dr. Rafael Esteban Wainer: "Dr. Wainer investigated the role of children's bodies in creating social relationships among the children, parents and physicians during cancer treatment. This information will help us understand the kinds of struggles children, families, and professionals face during treatment and will provide better tools to generate social and institutional changes."
  • Dr. Ana Ines Vivaldi Pasqua: "Dr. Vivaldi conducted research among migrant indigenous people in the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work shows the importance of mobility and the creation of spatial networks for confronting socioeconomic marginalization and urban segregation. This research contributes to thinking and promoting urban inclusion and indigenous decolonization."
  • Dr. Christina Cheung: "Dr. Cheung examined the social dynamics of early Bronze Age China using multi-isotope analysis. Focusing on the ancient networks surrounding the late Shang capital Yinxu, her thesis has provided novel insights into the social organization of Yinxu, as well as the complex political geography of early Bronze Age China."
  • Dr. Daniel Rodrigues Brasil: "Dr. Brasil analyzed how transformation of the historical consciousness of the Hwlitsum indigenous people (Canada), the Quilombo of Periperi (Brazil), and the neighborhood of La Marina (Cuba), has shaped collective identification through resilience. His research offers new ways to think about community political struggles foregrounding narratives of resistance."

Doctor of Philosophy (Art History)

  • Dr. Michael Trevor Coughlin: "Dr. Coughlin analyzed works of painting and architecture in the 16th-century Veneto to demonstrate the operation of prudence in visual realms. By evaluating how pictorial and architectural representations often substituted for written interpretations, he considers the crucial role visual imagery played in philosophical debates at the time."

Doctor of Philosophy (Asian Studies)

  • Dr. Yuki Ohsawa: "Dr. Ohsawa examined the relationship between popular culture and social change in modern Japan. She explored the conceptualization of the human body and mind in relation to technologically enhanced beings in postwar Japanese science fiction. This research contributes to debates around the ethics of future mind/body/machine relations."
  • Dr. Wayne Gary Kreger: "Dr. Kreger examined the philosophical and religious aspects of the Chinese text the Liezi. His findings show that the text takes Nonbeing, or absolute nothingness, as not only the basic nature of reality, but also as an ethical teaching. This research clarifies our understanding of philosophical discourse in early medieval China."

Doctor of Philosophy (Astronomy)

  • Dr. Todd Phillip Mackenzie: "Dr. MacKenzie advanced the methods used to study star forming galaxies in the early universe using far-infrared telescopes. His new methods helped overcome the limited resolving power associated with observing at these wavelengths."

Doctor of Philosophy (Atmospheric Science)

  • Dr. Paul Cottle: "Dr. Cottle developed a novel algorithm for using single-wavelength, dual polarization, LIDAR to identify aerosol and cloud types. He then employed this algorithm to study multiple instances of medium and long range aerosol transport events."

Doctor of Philosophy (Audiology and Speech Sciences)

  • Dr. Glenda Mason: "Dr. Mason studied school-aged children's speech in long words, that may impact learning to read. Her results indicated that children with a history of speech therapy had difficulty with multi-syllabic words even though they were able to pronounce short words. Her work also contributed a clinical measure for assessing speech in long words."

Doctor of Philosophy (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

  • Dr. Dustin Thomas Edward King: "Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a growing global issue. Dr. King studied the structure and function of a class of enzymes specifically resistant to antibiotics. This work has helped to uncover the molecular basis underlying this global resistance problem and will aid in the design and development of appropriate inhibitors of these enzymes."
  • Dr. Kristina Lillian McBurney: "Dr. McBurney explored pathways by which chromatin structure is regulated using budding yeast as a model organism. Her studies provide insight into the complicated mechanisms by which genes are expressed or repressed, helping us understand one of the most basic processes of all living organisms."

Doctor of Philosophy (Bioinformatics)

  • Dr. Emilia Lee Yian Lim: "Dr. Lim studied gene and microRNA expressions in cancer. She discovered patterns that are associated with cancer development & treatment resistance. Her results can be used towards the design of diagnostic tests to identify patients who are unlikely to respond to standard therapy and may be better served with more aggressive & experimental therapies."
  • Dr. Andrew Roth: "Dr. Roth developed statistical models for studying the genomes of cancer cells. These models have been widely applied in the cancer genomics community to study the evolution of tumours. This work contributes significantly to our ability to diagnose and treat cancer."
  • Dr. Daniel Lai: "Dr. Lai used computer science to study how RNA molecules fold inside of the body. By reviewing the latest methods, he published new benchmarks and guidelines for the prediction of RNA structures. This knowledge can help researchers in finding and understanding novel RNA molecules within unexplored regions of the human genome."

Doctor of Philosophy (Botany)

  • Dr. Katherine Lee Ostevik: "Dr. Ostevik's research focused on the ways in which populations adapt to new habitats and how those changes can facilitate the creation of new species. She found that this process can happen quickly and that these changes can be similar during repeated events. Her work helps us understand the creation and maintenance of biological diversity."
  • Dr. David Christopher Tack: "Dr. Tack examined the evolution of alternative splicing in duplicated genes in the Brassicaceae family, showing divergence of alternative splicing between duplicates to be the most common outcome. He found rapid changes to alternative splicing upon allopolyploidization, and that these changes in new allopolyploids are distinct from changes found in established allopolyploids."
  • Dr. Kathryn Madeleine Storey: "Dr. Storey studied two enzyme pathways in white spruce trees, one important to growth and development, the other to defense against pests. She found that the two had distinct expression patterns, differing between seasons, parts of the plant and in response to stress. The work broadened our understanding of the allocation of resources in spruce."
  • Dr. Ryan Christopher Eng: "Dr. Eng characterized proteins that are essential for regulating microtubule dynamics and cell morphogenesis in plants. He demonstrated that a kinesin specific motor protein has the ability to destabilize microtubules. Dr. Eng's work contributes to the understanding of the growth and development of plants at the cellular and molecular level."
  • Dr. Meixuezi Tong: "Dr. Tong studied how the E3 ligases and helper NLRs affect plant immunity.These studies help us to better understand how plants defend against pathogens."

Doctor of Philosophy (Cell and Developmental Biology)

  • Dr. Ashley Diane Sanders: "An important question in biology is how our genomes inform who we are and the diseases we get. Dr. Sanders developed new tools to visualize the organization and structure of DNA in a single cell. With this advance, she found the structural composition of human genomes is highly complex and unique. Now, we can test how these differences impact human health."
  • Dr. Victoria Catherine Garside: "Dr. Garside examined the role of the transcription factor SOX9 during mouse embryonic heart valve development using a number of genomic approaches. Through her analyses of genome-wide datasets on embryonic valves, she discovered that SOX9 plays a key role in regulating a critical network of transcription factors essential for heart valve formation."
  • Dr. Leo Chun Ting Ng: "Dr. Ng studied a cardiac ion channel responsible for pacemaking. He examined various molecules and mutations that influence how the channel works. This research provides insights on therapeutically controlling heart rate, especially in patients suffering from cardiac arrhythmia."
  • Dr. Christopher Michael Smendziuk: "Dr. Smendziuk studied stem cell regulation in the fruit fly testis. He identified the gap junction proteins that help the soma and germline communicate with each other during sperm development and characterized their roles in the stem cell niche. These studies assist us in understanding how stem cell behaviour is controlled in all animals."
  • Dr. Michael James Bround: "Dr. Bround studied the role of the RYR2 protein in heart cells. He found that the same signals that cause heart contraction are also involved in maintaining heart rate and promoting energy production. His work provides both insights into how heart cells coordinate their activity as well as a greater understanding of heart health and disease."
  • Dr. Nicole Templeman: "Dr. Templeman examined the lifelong effects of lowering insulin in mice, a commonly used mammalian model organism. Her studies demonstrated that slightly reducing circulating insulin levels can lead to enhanced insulin sensitivity and improved metabolic health with aging, and is sufficient to extend mammalian lifespan."
  • Dr. Bryan Ruthven Tennant: "Dr. Tennant examined the role of a specific protein called Myt3 in the context of pancreas development and diabetes. His work identified this protein as a novel regulator of cell survival in the cells responsible for controlling blood glucose. His research points to Myt3 as a potential therapeutic target for improving the lives of diabetic patients."

Doctor of Philosophy (Chemical and Biological Engineering)

  • Dr. Wei Wang: "Dr. Wang studied fouling in oil processing. He developed mathematical models of high temperature deposition growth involving sulphide corrosion and coking. These models assist us in understanding the fouling mechanism in heavy oil processing at elevated temperatures and calculating the long term corrosion and deposition rates in refinery equipment."
  • Dr. Fatemeh Ekram: "Dr. Ekram's doctoral studies addressed the problem of blood glucose regulation in type 2 diabetic patients. She used mathematical modelling to represent a simulated patient and help with the selection of an efficient treatment. Her proposed control strategies provide better regulation of the blood glucose and improve the patients' quality of life."
  • Dr. Mohammad Mahdi Bazri: "Dr. Bazri investigated the feasibility of using a novel treatment technology to remove naturally occurring precursors for carcinogenic disinfection by-products from various drinking water sources. The significance of his research will contribute to the development of robust treatment solutions to improve the quality of drinking water."
  • Dr. Amir Mehdi Dehkhoda: "Dr. Dehkhoda produced a new material from wood waste, which is an intriguing carbon char material. He has shown that water can be cleaned with this char and electricity. With the help of his new material, water and wastewater treatment could be more affordable for industrial and drinking applications."
  • Dr. Ladan Jafari Naimi: "Dr. Naimi investigated the relationship between energy consumption and particle size, and the impact of biomass properties on size reduction. She developed a model that predicts the grinding energy required to reach a specific particle size for efficient biofuel production. Her research has advanced our knowledge in an inevitable, yet unknown step in biomass pretreatment."
  • Dr. Mehdi Bagheri: "Clean water is essential for life on earth. Dr. Bagheri studied the design of a new generation of Ultra-Violet reactors for effective and affordable removal of contaminants from water. His research identified and evaluated key design parameters that led to an enhanced performance and energy-efficient method of removing pollutants from water."
  • Dr. Sina Tebianian: "Dr. Tebianian compared the advanced experimental methods for characterizing fluidized beds used to react gases with solid particles. By working with research centres in Canada, England, and the U.S, he revealed the strengths and limits of each method. His work provided insights into these systems and a unique database for testing theoretical models."

Doctor of Philosophy (Chemistry)

  • Dr. Susan Michaela Vickers: "Dr. Vickers designed, synthesized and studied new materials that could be used in the catalytic converters of vehicles. These catalysts were tested for use with natural gas engines to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and make the vehicles more environmentally friendly."
  • Dr. Chengzhi He: "Dr. He studied the unfolding and folding of proteins at the single-molecule level. He combined single-molecule force spectroscopy and steered molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the topological changes of a protein slipknot during its unfolding and folding. This research will help understand the folding mechanism of slipknot proteins."
  • Dr. Yajun Wang: "Dr. Wang studied DNAzymes that can function under physiological conditions. Using in vitro selection, she developed chemically modified DNAzymes to mimic the function of RNase A. Her work will have significant implications for therapeutics used for HIV-1 inhibition."
  • Dr. Mahsa Alizadeh Noghani: "Dr. Alizadeh developed and studied a drug delivery system for the treatment of head injuries. Her research involved a polymeric system to deliver progesterone to the brain and investigate the effects of the transport system on blood properties and the brain. Her results provide opportunities to treat head trauma in a safer and more effective way."
  • Dr. Na Kong: "Dr. Kong explored the design of biomaterials based on engineered polyprotein. She designed hydrogels with dynamic, mechanical properties and discovered novel strategies for crosslinking hydrogel networks. This research expands the horizons of materials that can be applied to tissue engineering and drug delivery systems."
  • Dr. Yurou Sang: "Dr. Sang studied the membrane protein U24 from HHV-7 and examined whether it can interfere with neuron growth at a molecular level. Her work identified a group of growth-promoting proteins that strongly interact with U24. Her findings shed further light into potential causes of multiple sclerosis."
  • Dr. Ryan Huntley Mason: "Aerosols are an important component of the atmosphere that influence weather and climate. Dr. Mason's research examined how aerosols may modify cloud formation, lifetime, and reflectivity by causing ice formation. In developing a new technique and deploying it in field studies, his results provide insight into the properties of ice-active aerosols."
  • Dr. Claire Chatalova Sazepin: "Dr. Chatalova Sazepin conducted her research in Organic Chemistry. She developed new ways of connecting fluorine atoms to organic molecules, and used copper as a catalyst to allow a rapid access to complex structures from readily available feedstock. Ultimately, her research should enable the development of more efficient drugs and materials."
  • Dr. Niusha Mahmoodi: "Dr. Mahmoodi focused on the development of an inhibitor of an enzyme that plays an important role in the modification of certain proteins. This modification has been shown to relate to cancer processes in the cell. Her results may help in the development of a new class of anti-cancer drugs."
  • Dr. Rhett Baillie: "Dr. Baillie was able to effect the conversion of methane, a greenhouse gas, into transportable, value-added chemicals using organometallic complexes of tungsten. He also established the individual steps involved in these transformations, thereby enhancing the possibility of performing this environmentally important chemistry in a catalytic manner."
  • Dr. Fang Gao: "Dr. Gao developed a novel method using molecularly imprinted polymers to separate small molecules in food samples and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to detect them. This method is rapid and sensitive."
  • Dr. James William Grayson: "Dr. Grayson studied organic aerosols known to be important in the Earth's atmosphere. While these aerosols were previously assumed to be liquids, he demonstrated they may exist as semi-solids or solids. These studies improve our understanding of organic aerosols and as a result their impacts in the Earth's atmosphere."

Doctor of Philosophy (Civil Engineering)

  • Dr. Abbas Javaherian Yazdi: "Dr. Javaherian's doctoral studies focused on the prediction of post-earthquake damage to buildings. He developed a mathematical model that predicts the probability of damage considering the influence of multiple variables for reinforced concrete walls. He also extended a computer program to visualize building damage after an earthquake."
  • Dr. Joel Fraser Atwater: "Dr. Atwater developed a methodology to assess the viability of tidal energy production. His research concluded that there are significant technological and economic limitations of this energy source."
  • Dr. Elnaz Amirzehni: "Dr. Amirzeheni used computational methods to study the seismic performance of basement walls during an earthquake. Her research provided insights and recommendations for an appropriate fraction of the code-mandated loads in seismic design as they relate to current practice in BC. Her findings contribute to more economical seismic designs in BC."

Doctor of Philosophy (Computer Science)

  • Dr. Matthew Michael Brehmer: "Dr. Brehmer studied why and how people use data visualization tools and techniques to process information. He introduced a framework for classifying visualization tasks and used it to conduct design and evaluation projects in the domains of journalism and energy management. His research can be applied when developing new data visualization tools."
  • Dr. Ives Jose de Albuquerque Macedo Jr.: "Dr. Macedo developed novel mathematical tools and numerical algorithms for the solution of optimizing problems arising in scientific imaging. His work outlines a nonstandard theoretical approach to such problems as well as a concrete computational realization capable of solving large scale instances in practical scenarios."
  • Dr. Essex Edwards: "Dr. Edwards developed numerical methods for the physical simulation of fluids. His work improves upon the accuracy and efficiency of previous methods. Applied to computer graphics, this work help to improve what is possible in special effects."
  • Dr. Alice Izsak: "Dr. Izsak studied sheaves on graphs, which similar to maps, are tools that help track data. Her research resulted in several foundational theorems and answered a question about the difficulty of checking an important sheaf property. Her results are useful in the study of open problems in group theory, graph theory and computational complexity."
  • Dr. Shailen Agrawal: "Dr. Agrawal developed new methods to generate realistic, animated, character motion efficiently. His work uses physics-based simulation, motion-capture and optimization in order to create motion for applications including games, film, and training simulations."

Doctor of Philosophy (Counselling Psychology)

  • Dr. Karlee Dawn Fellner: "Dr. Fellner used Cree/Métis research to explore how mental health services can better serve urban Indigenous communities. She developed a decolonizing framework based in Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing, to guide changes in research, training, practice, and policy that may contribute to healing and wellness with Indigenous communities."

Doctor of Philosophy (Cross-Faculty Inquiry in Education)

  • Dr. Stefan Sunandan Honisch: "Dr. Stefan Honisch completed his doctoral studies in Education. He examined a performance by blind pianist Nobuyuki Tsujii at the University of British Columbia, focusing on the performer and audience's interpretations of their experiences. His research helps explain the educational possibilities of performances by musicians with disabilities."
  • Dr. Jocelyne Robinson: "Dr. Robinson studied the perspectives of Elders, Indigenous and Non-Indigenous scientists through the mediums of story, myth, and song. Focussing on their complex systems of existence, knowledge and thought, she developed an interactive educational interface and vibrant learning framework merging Indigenous and Western science."
  • Dr. Alnoor Gova: "Against the backdrop of rising levels of anti-Muslim/Arab racism in Canada, Dr. Gova's research interprets responses to this racism by affected Muslim and Arab communities themselves. His research is reflexive for these communities and for policy makers in the areas of national security, citizenship, immigration and the law."

Doctor of Philosophy (Curriculum Studies)

  • Dr. Natalie Elizabeth LeBlanc: "Are abandoned buildings nothing but wastelands? Dr. LeBlanc's artistic explorations of various closed schools puncturing the Canadian landscape suggest otherwise. Utilizing documentary and conceptual photographic practices, she examined how art can provoke viewers to re-imagine relationships between space, time, place, and memory."
  • Dr. Jenny Arntzen: "Dr. Arntzen studied the use of digital technologies in teacher education. She developed a theory to explain the relationship between instructional discourse and teacher candidates' development of imaginative capacity with digital technologies. This theory will be used to help inform the integration of digital technology into teacher education."
  • Dr. Jeff Jordan Baker: "Dr. Baker studied Indigenous Science Education for addressing issues of equity and sustainability. His research led to a slow pedagogy of relations involving land, language, story, and ceremony that fosters miskasowin, a Cree term denoting the development of relational identities. His research highlights the need to engage diverse worldviews in schools."
  • Dr. Tathali Urueta Ortiz: "Intrigued by the learning possibilities that food gardens offer, Dr. Urueta explored the identities constructed by urban youth who had participated in a one-year, intergenerational garden-based learning project at the UBC Farm. Her findings contribute to understanding the pedagogical possibilities and challenges of food gardens."

Doctor of Philosophy (Economics)

  • Dr. Xiaoqi He: "Dr. He studied the identification and estimation of nonlinear models, especially duration models and varying coefficient models. Results of the duration models in a game setup help to learn the effect of oligopoly competition on the survival analysis of the introduction of a new product into the market. The study of varying coefficient models with matching data from two independent samples provides useful inference on the data combination literature."
  • Dr. Shampa Bhattacharjee: "Dr. Bhattacharjee's thesis looks at determinants of infant health outcomes, female fertility decisions and the evolution of gender gap in labor market outcomes in India. Her research shows that in some sectors, infant health outcomes are sensitive to political cycles and female fertility decisions are affected by female employment."
  • Dr. Hugo Jales: "Dr. Jales developed a statistical method to estimate the economic effects of the minimum wage in developing countries."

Doctor of Philosophy (Educational Studies)

  • Dr. Rheanna Robinson: "Dr. Robinson studied the integration of Indigenous knowledge at three Aboriginal post-secondary institutes in BC. Her research highlights the critical role of Elders in academia, the role of partnerships, and the resiliency of Aboriginal post-secondary institutes. This research will benefit Aboriginal education policy in Canada."
  • Dr. Maren Elfert: "Dr. Elfert examined the origins, features and shifts of UNESCO's approach to education and lifelong learning between 1945-2015. Her study contributes not only to the understanding of the conceptual and intellectual history of lifelong learning, but more broadly to the changes in global educational cooperation over the past 70 years."

Doctor of Philosophy (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

  • Dr. Ghasem Naddafzadeh Shirazi: "Dr. Naddafzadeh Shirazi studied different aspects of wireless communication technologies and optimized them for supporting large networks and automated communications. He developed novel communication protocols for reducing the cost of operations and increasing the lifetime of wireless devices. Dr. Naddafzadeh Shirazi holds 7 US Patents."
  • Dr. Peiran Wu: "Dr. Wu studied in depth the transceiver optimization problem for modern broadband cooperative wireless communication networks. His research outcomes provide important physical insights and valuable guidelines for the design of practical cooperative wireless systems."
  • Dr. Negar Mohaghegh Harandi: "Dr. Harandi developed a framework for 3D, subject-specific bio-mechanical modeling and simulation of the oro-pharyngeal structures, based on medical images. Using this framework, she was able to measure and quantify inter-speaker variability in the muscle-activation patterns responsible for production of the /s/ sound."
  • Dr. Neda Eskandari Naddaf: "In this age of digital technology, the information content of the display and how we present it can have an impact on our health and safety. Dr. Eskandari studied the effectiveness of displayed information. Her research will contribute to safer and more efficient methods for designing user-interfaces."
  • Dr. Sara Khosravi: "Dr. Khosravi introduced a novel design for a constrained model predictive control system for the automatic control of hypnosis during general anesthesia. The proposed control strategy can potentially reduce the risk of inadequate anesthesia and improve safety for most patients."
  • Dr. Maziyar Hamdi: "Dr. Hamdi employed statistical learning, signal processing, and graph-theoretic tools to analyze and develop algorithms that are aimed at estimation and learning problems in social networks. His research focused on building information aggregation protocols that improve the performance of social sensors in online social networks."
  • Dr. Karim Rostamzadeh: "Dr. Rostamzadeh developed a comprehensive mathematical model to study the different factors that impact information dissemination in Intelligent Transportation Systems. He also proposed a new framework where safety-related information is exchanged among cars. Results from this work can help save lives, reduce traffic accidents, and lower congestion."
  • Dr. Siamak Hafizi Moori: "In a world increasingly reliant on technology, Dr. Hafizi Moori studied electronic circuits and developed a unique design to measure capacitance value of sensors with a better sensitivity. Capacitive sensors, which work based on electric charge storage, are commonly used in technologies like touch-screens, compasses and humidity sensors."
  • Dr. Robert Karoly Boeck: "Dr. Boeck's research was focused on silicon photonics, which is an emerging technology for processing data using light. He created silicon photonic devices that will enable next generation computing, sensing, and telecom applications. His research was aimed at achieving commercially viable devices and will be central to the future of high-tech."
  • Dr. Wei Cai: "Cloud gaming is a future form of digital entertainment that enables gamers to play the latest computer games anywhere and anytime. Dr. Cai completed his research in optimizing the quality of service delivery including video encoding and software decomposition. His research provided insightful ideas for designing next generation cloud gaming systems."
  • Dr. Xiping Hu: "Dr. Hu created a crowdsensing platform which addresses the research challenges in the overall workflow of crowdsensing in vehicular social networks (VSNs) in terms of task allocation and task execution. This platform supports the creation of different context-aware mobile crowdsensing applications and facilitates their real-world deployments in VSNs."
  • Dr. Ahmet Burak Yoldemir: "Dr. Yoldemir developed novel mathematical techniques to investigate the architecture of the human brain. By analyzing anatomy and function of the brain in a combined framework, Dr. Yoldemir advanced our understanding of the highly complex brain connectivity patterns which enable the emergence of coherent cognitive and behavioral states."
  • Dr. Mona Erfani Joorabchi: "Dr. Erfani explored current practices and challenges of mobile app development through a series of empirical and qualitative studies. Based on her findings, she proposed automated techniques to generate state models and detect inconsistencies in multi-platform mobile apps. Her research will provide new ideas and models for mobile app development."
  • Dr. Roya Arab Loodaricheh: "Dr. Arab Loodaricheh studied two communication technologies, namely cooperative relaying, and energy harvesting systems. She designed efficient resource allocation techniques for wireless systems based on these two communication technologies. Her findings will contribute to the future generation of wireless communication networks."

Doctor of Philosophy (English)

  • Dr. Lucia Marie Lorenzi: "Dr. Lorenzi examined how sexual violence is represented in contemporary Canadian literature and drama. By focusing on authors' innovative uses of silence, she developed a methodology for understanding how trauma can be articulated to both readers and audiences. Her research also benefits survivors seeking new ways to tell their stories."
  • Dr. Donato Mancini: "Dr. Mancini explored how linguistics research on the production and reception of speech can contribute to understanding poetry, literature and literary history. He found that rumour, reported speech and unhappy laughter have been important forces in shaping literary canons. His work contributes to dialogue between social sciences and humanities."
  • Dr. Sarah Crover: "Dr. Crover studied the cultural history of the early modern Thames through plays, frost fairs, chronicle histories, and civic records. Her work revealed that the Thames shaped the construction of English national identity as much as desires for cultural dominance shaped English notions of the Thames."
  • Dr. June Lillian Scudeler: "Dr. Scudeler used Cree methodologies, such as kinship, and getting along with others, to examine how Cree Two-Spirit, gay and queer writers and artists use narrative to combat racism and homophobia. Dr. Scudeler argues that these artists' work is a holistic Cree response to colonisation, including sexual colonisation."
  • Dr. Daniella Jean Trimboli: "Daniella Jean Trimboli examined digital storytelling as a social technology concerned with cultural diversity in Australia. She found that digital storytelling both bolsters official multiculturalism and engages with the complex realties of everyday multiculturalism. Her findings are an original contribution to conceptualising participatory and plural forms of cultural representation."

Doctor of Philosophy (Experimental Medicine)

  • Dr. Ann P Pederson: "Dr. Pederson studied whether health behaviour interventions for women considered the context of women's lives such as their economic status, ethnicity or age. Finding that only limited attention was paid to such factors, Dr. Pederson proposed a framework to help plan interventions to women's improve health behaviours as well as their social status and applied it to the case of older women and physical activity."
  • Dr. Malihe Sadat Poormasjedi Meibod: "Dr. Poormasjedi-Meibod completed her doctoral studies in the field of drug delivery and wound healing. She developed a new generation of wound dressings with anti-scarring properties. The findings of her study will improve the wound healing outcome and the quality of life in millions of burn survivors."
  • Dr. David Jorg Hans Fraser Knapp: "Dr. Knapp examined the molecular underpinnings of mouse and human blood stem cells and how they control key decisions, including the decision to survive, grow, or differentiate. These studies lay a foundation on which future blood stem cell expansion strategies can be constructed, and have implications for the development of leukemia."
  • Dr. Ravi Shashi Nayana Munuganti: "Dr. Munuganti developed novel anti-prostate cancer therapeutics using computational modeling methods to target androgen receptors, a protein that drives prostate cancer. He demonstrated that these drug candidates bind to a new location on the receptor which is different from the conventional drug binding site and thereby overcome drug resistance."
  • Dr. Paul Harry Miller: "Dr. Miller studied the cellular components of stem cell transplants. His research led to the development of improved methods to quantify cells responsible for early recovery. The application of his research will lead to a better understanding of increasing the presence of these cells and lowering mortality rates in stem cell transplant populations."
  • Dr. Yuanshen Huang: "Dr. Huang studied novel molecular markers for skin lymphoma. She demonstrated the clinical value and functional importance of a gene, TOX, in the most common skin lymphoma. Her research assists us in understanding the cause of this disease, improving management of patients, and developing novel therapies for this skin cancer."
  • Dr. Seyed Rouhollah Mousavizadeh Ahmadabadi: "Dr. Mousavizadeh studied the effect of physical stimuli on tendon vascularization. He established the role and mechanism of a protein that promotes vascular changes in tendons. These findings constitute an important advance in our understanding of tendon tissue biology and may form the basis of therapeutic applications in the future."
  • Dr. Eyler Ndumeya Ngoh: "Dr. Ngoh examined the role of a protein called Interleukin-1 in intestinal inflammation. He found that a subgroup of Crohn's disease subjects develop intestinal auto-inflammation because they fail to regulate this particular protein. Dr. Ngoh's research demonstrates that these subjects could benefit from therapy that targets Interleukin-1."
  • Dr. Ashish Arunkumar Sharma: "Dr. Sharma studied the development of the innate immune system in preterm neonates. His research will help in the creation of new strategies to fight infections in this highly vulnerable subset of human population."
  • Dr. Anthony Chin Yui Tam: "Dr. Tam investigated why women may be more susceptible to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. His research findings indicate that female sex hormones are associated with increased airway tissue scarring and decreased antioxidant response to cigarette smoke. This work highlights several targets that may advance current drug treatment efficacy."
  • Dr. Elham Hosseini Beheshti: "Dr. Hosseini-Beheshti investigated the role of extracellular-vesicles in progression and development of prostate-cancer. Her results demonstrated that exosomes secreted from prostate-cancer cells carry protein and lipid biomarkers. She further has established that these vesicles influence surrounding normal cells, contributing to cancer progression."
  • Dr. Shahram Khosravi: "Dr. Khosravi discovered the importance of two proteins in the development and progression of human cutaneous melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. His findings will lead to improving treatment regimes and saving the lives of melanoma patients."
  • Dr. Kirandeep Kaur Bhullar: "Dr. Bhullar examined the complex interactions between intestinal pathogens and mucus layer, an important protective barrier in the gut. Understanding how pathogens interact with the mucus layer can help in designing novel ways to combat these infections and has the potential to reduce food and water borne diseases caused by E. coli and Salmonella."
  • Dr. Mazyar Ghaffari: "Dr. Ghaffari has studied the role of Hedgehog pathway in prostate cancer. Reactivation of this developmental pathway enhances progression and metastasis of this disease. His research has led to insights in utilizing novel therapeutic approaches in inhibiting this pathway in combination with chemotherapy to hinder the advancement of prostate cancer."

Doctor of Philosophy (Forestry)

  • Dr. Gwendolyn Marie Huber: "Dr. Huber explored the floral and reproductive biology of highbush blueberry, an important fruit in British Columbia. She identified variation in floral characteristics and fertility that has implications for pollination and fruit yield improvements. The findings from her research could benefit blueberry growers and breeders."
  • Dr. Stephanie Anne Tomscha: "Dr. Tomscha mapped how ecosystem services (the benefits people receive from ecosystems) have changed over time in a floodplain ecosystem using a novel air photo-based approach. She found that frontier settlement disproportionately occurred in riparian and floodplain ecosystems. She also demonstrated that historical information is key to better understanding how ecosystem services interact."
  • Dr. Ajith Chandran: "Dr. Chandran studied the challenges of communicating with local communities while managing forests. His research examined the relationship between management practices and local cultures, resulting in the creation of a model for Communications and Governance. This model has helped to design inclusive communication strategies for multiple stakeholders."
  • Dr. Monika Singh: "Dr. Singh examined the relationship between tribal communities and forests in India. Her research establishes the criminalization of tribal way-of-life on account of inconsistent forest laws. The research offers insights into participatory forest management to protect tribal rights and forests, advocating a serious overhaul of forest laws."
  • Dr. Mehdi Piltan: "Dr. Piltan developed a model for evaluating the performance of business partnerships as well as a model for evaluating factors influencing the partnership performance over time. He applied his models to a partnership in the Canadian forest products supply chain. His results help managers make more informed decisions for their business partnerships."
  • Dr. Hyung-Suk Lim: "Dr. Lim examined the suitability of an engineered wood product as structural members of shear walls. Shear walls are designed to accommodate the lateral load of buildings. These in-depth studies assist us in understanding which and how material properties affect the performance of connection and shear wall systems."
  • Dr. Lin Cao: "Dr. Cao investigated novel approaches for using and examining the effectiveness of LiDAR technologies in order to classify tree species and estimate forest biomass and dynamics in a subtropical forest. These approaches provide methodologies for sustainable forest management, forest carbon cycling studies and carbon accounting projects."
  • Dr. Paul Pickell: "Dr. Pickell examined the impacts of human appropriation of Canada's boreal forest on the spatial patterns of forested ecosystems. He developed new approaches for evaluating forest land management strategies and remotely monitoring the ecological condition of our forests."

Doctor of Philosophy (Genome Science and Technology)

  • Dr. Helen Louise Lund: "The emergence of personalized medicine, due to advances in genomics and proteomics, has created a clinical demand for increasingly specific diagnostic testing. Dr. Lund developed and validated 2 such tests, aimed at specific forms of both leukemia and lung cancer. This unique approach has the potential to directly impact cancer diagnostics."
  • Dr. Adam White: "Microfluidic technology is transforming processes in molecular biology. Dr. White developed microfluidic devices to measure RNA, and applied this technology to examine cell-to-cell variability in a variety of tissues. This work contributes to our understanding of gene expression, which has application in both research and clinical settings."

Doctor of Philosophy (Geography)

  • Dr. Claudia Sepulveda: "Dr. Sepulveda explored how the suffering provoked to a colony of black-necked swans by an ecological disaster occurred in a protected wetland, in Valdivia, Chile, became a landmark event that forced historical changes in the country's environmental frame and its until then dominant business model."
  • Dr. Emilia Kennedy: "Dr. Kennedy examined how carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology became the central plank in Alberta's climate change strategy. She found that CCS evolved from decades of support from government, industry and research communities, but failed to address industry emissions, as well as social legitimacy and market access concerns."
  • Dr. Dawn Hoogeveen: "Dr. Hoogeveen examined mining regulations and conflicts over territory between Indigenous peoples and mining companies in the interior of British Columbia. She demonstrates how the state facilitates a model of property rights that favour the extraction industry from the staking stage through to environmental assessment."

Doctor of Philosophy (Geophysics)

  • Dr. Tim Tai-Yi Lin: "Dr. Lin studied the echoes that seismic waves create as they move through the earth. He examined how they can be mapped back to their sources with the help of computer clusters and clever algorithms. This mapping can then be used to help understand and image underground geological structures in more detail than ever before."

Doctor of Philosophy (Hispanic Studies)

  • Dr. Javier Enrique Alvarez Jaimes: "Dr. Alvarez-Jaimes completed his doctorate in Hispanic Studies. He investigated how the perception produced by the news about poverty and violence in an urban community in Colombia motivated the practice of hip hop. His research offers a new understanding of how dialogue can shape political actions and influence the transformation of marginalized spaces."

Doctor of Philosophy (History)

  • Dr. Noa Grass: "Dr. Grass explored the principles of fiscal policy in Ming China whereby reducing expenses rather than increasing revenue avoided greater demands on the economy. She concludes that this principle poses an alternative approach to fiscal policy that prioritizes local conditions over those of the political center."
  • Dr. Alexey Golubev: "Dr. Golubev challenged an established tradition of approaching Soviet society as a product of the Soviet ideological experiment. He argued that material objects were key elements in the organization of the Soviet historical and spatial imagination, and positioned the models and practices of Soviet selfhood within the global experience of modernity."

Doctor of Philosophy (Human Development, Learning, and Culture)

  • Dr. Monique Helene Gagne: "Dr. Gagne examined variations in the academic achievement and well-being of foreign-born adolescents in BC and sought to identify predictors of this variation. Through her research, she identified a number of assets and risks associated with variations in outcomes supporting the idea that migration itself is not the main variant."
  • Dr. Gigi Michelle Hofer: "Little is known about what makes for effective alternative education programs, or AEPs. From the perspective of former students, Dr. Hofer identified effective aspects of AEPs, including caring teachers and life skills learning. Her study revealed AEPs to be positive contexts to support some youth-at-risk, refuting current negative views of AEPs."
  • Dr. Michaela Birgitta Wooldridge: "Dr. Wooldridge studied how infants and toddlers accessed and used mobile devices at home. She found that infants are provided with tablets and smartphones by parents based on parental technology beliefs, developmental knowledge, and device use habits. This represents a significant shift in the primary ecology for human development from birth."

Doctor of Philosophy (Human Nutrition)

  • Dr. Kyly Christine Whitfield: "Dr. Whitfield conducted her research in rural Cambodia, where infantile beriberi, a fatal disease in breastfed babies, is common. She showed that mothers consuming fish sauce with added vitamin B1 produced breast milk with higher B1 content, improving the status of their babies. This fish sauce could save babies lives throughout Southeast Asia."

Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems)

  • Dr. Amynah Janmohamed: "Dr. Janmohamed's research involved examining the nutritional effects of a prenatal dietary supplement among women in rural Cambodia. The product she investigated is commonly used in global food aid programs by the United Nations. Her study is the first to evaluate the product's ability to improve health outcomes for mothers and their newborns."

Doctor of Philosophy (Interdisciplinary Oncology)

  • Dr. Jeffrey Lam: "Dr. Lam studied myelodysplastic syndromes, a group of debilitating blood cancers, as well as characterized genes important in the regulation of blood stem cells. Using a mouse model, he linked these genes to the development of myelodysplastic syndromes when disregulated. This research advances our understanding of blood stem cells and how cancers may arise."
  • Dr. Samuel David Gusscott: "Dr. Gusscott investigated molecular signaling pathways in T cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was able to characterize multiple mechanisms by which the IGF1R pathway is controlled and further establish its importance in this disease setting."

Doctor of Philosophy (Interdisciplinary Studies)

  • Dr. Osman Sevket Ipsiroglu: "Dr. Ipsiroglu investigated the possible causes of intractable insomnia in children and youth with neurodevelopmental conditions. Through the application of family ecology and ethnography in clinical and home studies, Dr. Ipsiroglu illustrates how conventional categorical diagnoses that ignore the inter-relationship of night-time and daytime behaviours can produce systemic gaps in healthcare."
  • Dr. Alycia Jayne Fridkin: "Dr. Fridkin explored issues surrounding the meaningful involvement of First Nations people in health policy decision-making in BC and Canada. She analyzed the findings to identify seven key elements of meaningful involvement and developed a framework for fostering meaningful involvement of First Nations people in a range of health policy contexts."
  • Dr. Antonieta Ma. del la Paz Garcia Ocampo de Rivera: "Dr. Rivera focused on the design principles of Aztec urban planning. She developed a methodology that allowed accurate analyses of the astronomical and topographic orientations of ceremonial architecture by integrating a wide range of digital applications. This knowledge will aid in the understanding of ancient settlements anywhere in the world."

Doctor of Philosophy (Kinesiology)

  • Dr. Benjamin Donald Sylvester: "Dr. Sylvester examined whether variety is truly a spice of life when it comes to exercise. He found that variety does influence how people feel in exercise settings, and can change their exercise behaviour. This knowledge will aid health promotion specialists to help more people enjoy exercise and reap the health benefits from physical activity."

Doctor of Philosophy (Language and Literacy Education)

  • Dr. Laura Ann Cranmer: "Guided by her Elders and drawing on memories evoked by her grandmother's photos, Dr. Cranmer's research focuses on the challenges facing an adult heritage language learner in reclaiming her language, Kwak'wala. The study contributes to both learning and teaching insights for other residential school survivors to reconnect with their languages."
  • Dr. Timothy Brett Anderson: "Dr. Anderson examined the academic socialization dialogue of international and permanent resident Chinese PhD students at a Canadian University. His research highlights the importance of providing support and mentorship opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse doctoral students to increase access into their respective academic communities."

Doctor of Philosophy (Law)

  • Dr. Asad Ghaffar Kiyani: "Dr. Kiyani applied postcolonial theory and Third World Approaches to International Law to central questions of criminal law theory. This new theoretical framework will provide a platform for critiquing existing rules and practices, and the basis for alternative understandings of the appropriate responses to international crime."
  • Dr. Ying Ji: "Dr. Ji studied reasons for the preventive shift in Chinese criminal law. She claimed that the rise of risk control through criminal justice methods was a state response to uncertainties generated by reforms. Her research not only promotes Chinese socio-legal study, but also makes contributions to international comparative study of criminal law."
  • Dr. Kirsten Lara Manley-Casimir: "Dr. Manley-Casimir examined case law relating to the duty to consult and accommodate Indigenous people. She developed a relational framework to this duty based on four principles: respect, recognition, reciprocity and reconciliation. Implementing this framework provides a promising pathway forward to rebuild Indigenous/non-Indigenous relationships."
  • Dr. Anna Jane Samis Lund: "Dr. Lund studied how licensed insolvency trustees, the professionals who administer personal bankruptcies, determine whether or not an individual is entitled to debt relief. This research illuminates the impact that financial and emotional constraints have on legal actors when they interpret and apply the law."

Doctor of Philosophy (Library, Archival and Information Studies)

  • Dr. Elaine Mei Yee Goh: "Dr. Goh studied how archival legislation in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Singapore influence the implementation of records management programs. She found that archival legislation lacks clarity and that there are complexities in making changes. Her findings provide insights for a revised legislation to improve the management of public records."
  • Dr. Jessica Elaine Bushey: "Dr. Bushey explored how smartphones and social media sites are transforming photography. Her research examined the impact of technologies and social practices on the ownership and privacy of personal photographs and online images as legal evidence and archival sources. This research will inform how we share and store photos in social media sites."

Doctor of Philosophy (Linguistics)

  • Dr. Kevin James McMullin: "Dr. McMullin constructed a set of artificial languages for people to learn in the laboratory, and showed that the way humans learn linguistic sound patterns influences the range of patterns found across the world's languages. His dissertation argues that current linguistic theory cannot account for this, and proposes a mathematically principled definition of what constitutes a possible language."
  • Dr. Patrick William Littell: "Dr. Littell investigated dialogue patterns in Kwak'wala, a critically endangered aboriginal language of British Columbia, based on field interviews with Kwakwaka'wakw elders. This research helps future learners of conversational Kwak'wala know how to ask and answer questions, draw parallels and contrasts, and express agreement and disagreement."
  • Dr. Cheng-hao Chiu: "Dr. Chiu studied how speech is planned and what details of an utterance are included in speech plans. He found that planned syllables are uttered rapidly and accurately when participants are startled by a loud sound. His findings provide insights into speech motor planning and coordination of speech movements."

Doctor of Philosophy (Materials Engineering)

  • Dr. Jennifer Madeleine Reichert: "Dr. Reichert studied the microstructures of high-strength steels. She developed tools to help predict the mechanical properties of critical structural parts. Findings from her research will be used to establish structure-property relationships for commercial line pipe steel."
  • Dr. Jun Ou: "Dr. Ou investigated the melting of solids in liquid titanium during electron beam processing. His work has helped us to understand the melting of aluminum-rich materials during the processing of titanium alloys. This knowledge is critically important to the structure and safety of aerospace products."
  • Dr. Mariam Melashvili: "Dr. Melashvili studied the leaching of gold with thiosulphate that had been generated by the simultaneous oxidation of pyrite. She derives an equation predicting thiosulphate yield based on a conceptual model for the progress of a series of reactions. Her findings offer an interesting possibility for process development in the gold sector."
  • Dr. Ghazal Nayyeri: "Dr. Nayyeri investigated the basic mechanical properties of magnesium alloys. She used a quick, simple and non-destructive test to measure plasticity in magnesium alloys and proved that the results obtained from this newly-developed method are in agreement with previous results obtained from traditional mechanical testing methods."
  • Dr. Aulia Tegar Wicaksono: "Dr. Wicaksono investigated the interaction between metals and added impurities. Using networks of computers, he tracked the movement of individual atoms to develop models that incorporate atomistic information about the microstructural design of the materials. This work has the potential to improve the structural performance of metal materials."
  • Dr. Michael John Mahon: "Dr. Mahon developed a computer model to simulate zinc electrowinning cell houses. The resulting simulation was used to investigate optimal electrolyte conditions, process control applications, and reagent consumption. His work will improve energy efficiency and data analysis in zinc production facilities."
  • Dr. Jianglan Duan: "Dr. Duan conducted her research in the optimization of the aluminum alloy wheel casting process. She developed a new methodology to improve the process parameters of this process. This research will shorten process development time and improve product quality."
  • Dr. Yiheng Lin: "Dr. Lin studied the diffusion of atoms in silicon materials. His research not only quantified the mutual impacts of different chemical elements, but also demonstrated a new methodology to investigate the diffusion mechanism. This work advances our understanding of the movement of atoms and improves high speed applications like cell phones."
  • Dr. Maysam Mohammadi: "Dr. Mohammadi conducted his research on developing a composite material for electrodes that is used in the extraction process of zinc metal. This composite electrode reduces the cost of the extraction process through decreasing electrical energy consumption and providing better corrosion resistance than conventional electrodes."
  • Dr. Alban de Vaucorbeil: "Dr. de Vaucorbeil studied the origin of strengthening in certain aluminum alloys during room temperature aging. Even if this mechanism was discovered more than a century ago, the mechanisms by which it happened remained uncertain. He found that this strengthening comes primarily from the difference of size between the atoms constituting the alloys."

Doctor of Philosophy (Mathematics)

  • Dr. Jia Gou: "Dr. Gou formulated and investigated a class of mathematical models that describe the coupling of spatially segregated, dynamically active units through a signaling molecule that diffuses in the bulk medium between active units. These studies assist us in understanding the pattern formation phenomena observed in many biological systems."
  • Dr. Dimitrios Karslidis: "The research of Dr. Karslidis was in the field of Harmonic Analysis. He worked on a functional inequality, called the small ball inequality, which has numerous applications in probability and approximation theory. He proved the optimal version of this inequality under mild hypotheses."
  • Dr. Tongseok Lim: "Dr. Lim studied the mathematical behavior of financial options that depend on multiple underlying stocks, and how the prices for the underlying stocks can move in such a manner to optimize the price of the option. He showed that such optimal movements exhibit a certain natural extremal structure which is visible in higher dimensional spaces."

Doctor of Philosophy (Measurement, Evaluation and Research Methodology)

  • Dr. Mihaela Launeanu: "Dr. Launeanu's research examined how people make decisions when they respond to survey questions. The results suggest that respondents' answers are shaped by cognitive as well as personal and sociocultural factors. These findings will inform the development of better survey questions, and will contribute to an accurate understanding of what the survey responses mean."

Doctor of Philosophy (Mechanical Engineering)

  • Dr. Ehsan Faghani: "Dr. Faghani studied the emission formation in natural gas engines focussing on particulate matter emissions. He developed two injection strategies for natural gas engines resulting in very low emissions. The outome of his thesis will aid in the development of natural gas and diesel engines and contribute to the issue of global warming."
  • Dr. Muhammad Tufail: "Dr. Tufail developed a haptic teleoperation system that is applicable in home-care robotics for the elderly. He focused on controlling the robotic manipulators so that they could interact with objects in the environment in a safe and compliant manner."
  • Dr. Irfan-ur-rab Usman: "What's the best way to move an object? Dr. Usman developed a new magnetic levitation motor that controls the position of a single floating body without contact or additional moving structure. This novel high performance levitation device has many immediate applications in industrial automation and robotics."
  • Dr. Ali Roustaei: "Dr. Roustaei studied fundamental and theoretical fluid mechanics related to the oil and gas well construction to make them safer, last longer and more environmentally friendly."
  • Dr. Devin Todd: "Our carbon-fuelled transportation infrastructure drives global warming and climate change. Dr. Todd studied hydrogen fuel cells as a sustainable alternative to power our vehicles. He developed new methods to manufacture and characterize fuel cell transport layers. His research supports integration of renewable energy with society's mobility needs."
  • Dr. Sina Radmard: "Robots that can efficiently seek out objects are useful in applications ranging from manufacturing lines to home care robotics. Dr. Radmard's work enables camera-equipped robots to search for interesting things in their environment. His research improves robot autonomy and permits practical and user-friendly human-robot interaction."
  • Dr. Jeffrey Michael Abeysekera: "Dr. Abeysekera investigated how to measure tissue elasticity and viscosity. Using 3-D ultrasound his research allowed him to capture images showing changes in soft tissue that might indicate tissue pathologies such as cancer. His methods were used to investigate the soft tissue of the placenta which may benefit in diagnosing pregnancy abnormalities."
  • Dr. Farbod Khameneifar: "Dr. Khameneifar's doctoral research focused on precision inspection of jet engine blades. He developed advanced geometric computing algorithms that enable accurate automated geometric inspection of airfoil blades based on digitized surface data. His research contributions significantly enhance productivity and quality in aerospace manufacturing."
  • Dr. Maximilian Konrad Heinric Schwager: "Depleting carbon-fuel reserves and increasing environmental impacts drive the development of clean alternatives. Fuel cells promise clean energy for mobility. Dr. Schwager developed novel methods to analyze fuel cell degradation. This work contributes valuable information to improve fuel cell performance and reliability."

Doctor of Philosophy (Medical Genetics)

  • Dr. Sheng Liu: "Dr. Liu examines how retrotransposons are silenced in germ cells. He developed a high-throughput method to map chemical modifications on histones in germ cells; with this method, he found loss of a special histone modification leads to retrotransposon reactivation and germ cell death, demonstrating its vital importance in mammalian development."
  • Dr. Colum Connolly: "Dr. Connolly studied how the mutant protein in Huntington's Disease affects inflammation of the brain. He found that although monocytes both in the brain and periphery have altered function, this does not play a role in the progression of Huntington's. This knowledge will aid the design of future studies and therapies for people who have this devastating disease."
  • Dr. Peter Jeffrey Thompson: "Dr. Thompson studied a class of enzymes called KMTs, which regulate the expression of our genes. He discovered a novel protein co-factor that supports the function of KMTs in gene regulation by helping them recognize specific DNA sequences. His work has implications for developing therapies for genetic disorders and cancers in which KMTs are disrupted."
  • Dr. Safia Ladha: "Dr. Ladha studied the role of an important enzyme involved in the origins and effects of Huntington's disease. Although partially knocking out the gene for this enzyme did not alter the course of the disease in a mouse model, she did find that this enzyme plays a previously unknown role in regulating inflammation in Huntington's disease."
  • Dr. George Chih Hsuen Chung: "Dr. Chung identified genes, which function in the repair and the recombination of DNA by studying the roundworm. He demonstrated that a reduced number of DNA breaks influences the overall outcome of recombination. His findings illuminate an important step in the re-shuffling of genetic material that occurs naturally in organisms from fungi to humans."
  • Dr. Jila Dastan: "Dr. Dastan used genomic technologies to study the phenotypic variability in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders carrying a small genomic gain in chromosome 16. Her findings help clinicians to provide more accurate genetic counselling, and personalized management options for such families."

Doctor of Philosophy (Microbiology and Immunology)

  • Dr. Alexander Bauer Westbye: "Dr. Westbye studied how bacteria transfer DNA using specialized particles. He characterized regulation of particle production and release from cells. The findings contribute to our understanding of bacterial diversity."
  • Dr. Marek Kobylarz: "Dr. Kobylarz studied specialized iron chelators of the human superbug Staphylococcus aureus. His studies showed how the production of these chelators is linked to growth and revealed a unique approach for bacterial survival in blood. This research opens new prospects for diagnostics for S. aureus."
  • Dr. Rodgoun Attarian: "Dr. Attarian studied the fungal pathogen that causes meningitis in patients living with HIV/AIDS and identified potential targets for therapeutic interventions. Her research contributed to our understanding of the cryptococcal disease process, and will benefit the HIV and infectious diseases research community."
  • Dr. Adam William Plumb: "Dr. Plumb studied the role of the immune signaling protein, Interleukin-7, in the immune response. He discovered novel roles for IL-7 in the development of T lymphocytes and in T cell response and protection against Influenza A infection. This work will inform the development of IL-7 related therapies for immune modulation and reconstitution."
  • Dr. Nicole Jeanette Afacan: "Dr. Afacan studied microbiology and immunology. Specifically she investigated the link between cellular metabolism and the activity of immune modulating peptides. Her results furthered our understanding of how these peptides act and revealed a potential new role for the peptides in the treatment of cardiovascular disease."
  • Dr. Anthony Chi-Hai Tang: "Dr. Tang's thesis work focused on the identification of cellular signalling pathways involved in diseases like cystic fibrosis and cancer. His research has shown that key inflammatory molecules can be manipulated to improve existing treatments."
  • Dr. Christina Marie Farr: "Dr. Farr designed a microbicide gel that was able to prevent vaginal infection with HIV/AIDS and genital herpes. She developed mice with human immune systems for these studies. This research could lead to the development of an effective strategy to prevent sexual transmission of these viruses, leading to considerable improvement in global health."

Doctor of Philosophy (Mining Engineering)

  • Dr. Lois Esther Boxill: "Dr. Boxill identified mechanisms that inhibit effective dewatering of oil sands tailings. She demonstrated how fabric and surface characteristics affect their engineering behavior. This work will be used to develop more effective ways to treat, manage and reclaim surface mines in the Alberta oil sands."

Doctor of Philosophy (Neuroscience)

  • Dr. Kaarina Ashley Kowalec: "Dr. Kowalec identified novel differences in the human genome that are associated with experiencing adverse drug reactions in people with multiple sclerosis. This represents the first investigation into using genetics to personalize multiple sclerosis treatment and will be used to prevent severe, sometimes fatal adverse drug reactions from occurring."
  • Dr. Steven Wainwright: "Dr. Wainwright studied the hormonal and cellular underpinnings of depression. He demonstrated that altering the production and the interactions of neurons in the brain changes the likelihood to develop depression and the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs. These findings provide insights into the pathology and treatment of depression."
  • Dr. Yicheng Xie: "Dr. Xie developed new recording techniques to investigate neurons following a temporary stroke in mice. His study indicates neuronal deficits lead to extended damage of motor and sensory function despite a quick recovery of the structure. His work suggests that a temporary stroke can still cause prolonged functional deficits in the brain."

Doctor of Philosophy (Oceanography)

  • Dr. Bart De Baere: "Dr. De Baere developed a continuous-flow chemical leaching module, known within the department as the 'Belgomatic'. This novel instrumentation has been used to study the behaviour of minerals as they dissolve into a solution. The technology from this work has been applied to help predict drainage quality from mine waste."

Doctor of Philosophy (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)

  • Dr. Melissa Beth Glier: "Dr. Glier investigated the role of methyl metabolism in obesity-related heart disease. She discovered that disturbances in methyl metabolism contribute to obesity-related changes in cardiac energy metabolism and function. Her research provides insight into molecular mechanisms linking obesity and the development of heart disease."
  • Dr. Alistair Lee Chenery: "Dr. Chenery studied the effects of parasitic worm infections and vitamin A metabolism on mucosal inflammation. He found protective roles for these factors in controlling asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. These findings may support the new generation of therapeutics to treat these inflammatory diseases."
  • Dr. Paul J Hanson: "Dr. Hanson conducted research on virus-mediated heart disease at the Centre for Heart and Lung Innovation at St. Paul's Hospital. Specifically, his work focused on viral proteases and their cellular targets. These findings may be useful in future diagnosis and treatment of this disease, preventing heart failure and death in these patients."
  • Dr. Robert Kridel: "Dr. Kridel studied two scenarios that are associated with poor survival in follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His research highlighted contrasting evolutionary processes driving these processes, as well as novel genetic markers associated with prognosis. This work advances our understanding of the disease behaviour."
  • Dr. Yu-Hsuan Huang: "Epstein-Barr virus (also known as EBV) causes serious and life-threatening consequences for individuals with weakened immune systems. Dr. Huang has investigated how immunity against this virus is achieved. The knowledge acquired from her studies will aid in the design of novel immune therapies for severe EBV infection and virus-associated cancers."

Doctor of Philosophy (Pharmaceutical Sciences)

  • Dr. Mehrdad Bokharaei: "Dr. Bokharaei completed his doctoral degree in the field of nanomedicine and drug delivery at the the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He designed and optimized a novel system that produces magnetic, protein-based, drug-filled microspheres. These biocompatible particles can be used for the imaging of lung diseases or for liver cancer therapy."
  • Dr. Devinder Sharma: "Dr. Sharma investigated how a group of anti-HIV drugs may cause therapy failure or toxicity. His results linked these drugs with certain proteins that control drug elimination processes in humans. Along with offering a rational basis for selection of anti-HIV therapy, his data provide novel therapeutic prospects for these drugs in other diseases."
  • Dr. Veronika Schmitt: "Dr. Schmitt studied drug concentrations in skin tissue fluid for use in therapeutic drug detection. She found that many drugs are detectable in skin tissue fluid and that their concentrations can be quite different from blood concentrations. In the future, this can lead to the development of blood- and pain- free drug monitoring devices."
  • Dr. Astrid Knuhtsen: "Dr. Knuhtsen worked on an interdisciplinary project within the fields of peptide chemistry and epigenetics. Based on a lead a library of peptides were synthesized which was used to identify an inhibitor of the enzyme family Protein Arginine Methyl Transferases. This inhibitor was subsequently characterized further."

Doctor of Philosophy (Physics)

  • Dr. Liam Huber: "Alloying elements play an important role in determining a metal's properties. Dr. Huber used computer simulations to study the interaction between solute atoms and defects in the structure of a host metal. His research provides insight into important atomistic mechanisms and new tools for computationally aided alloy design."
  • Dr. Carlos Felipe Uribe Munoz: "Cancer patients are not optimally treated with injected radiation. Patient differences are being ignored. Dr.Uribe performed simulations and experiments, analysed patient data, and developed a protocol for personalized treatment. This will benefit millions of patients, bringing us one step closer to his dream of making cancer a non-lethal disease."
  • Dr. Jean-Francois Caron: "Drift chambers are used in high-energy physics experiments to detect charged particles. Dr. Caron built prototype drift chambers that identify particles better than previous designs. He showed that the new technique is not expensive to implement, so all future experiments with drift chambers could benefit from implementing his technique."
  • Dr. Darren Francis Smyth: "Dr. Smyth used the techniques of string theory to study poorly understood phases of matter. The resulting models represent another step forward in our effort to understand these systems within the context of string theory. This research has also advanced our understanding of the connections between condensed matter physics and string theory."
  • Dr. Chris Gong: "How are large systems such as particle accelerators studied? Dr. Gong created a new software platform for global optimization. He used it to model and study a particle accelerator-based laser. His work reveals the dynamics of the machine and forms the groundwork for the new accelerator to be constructed in Canada."
  • Dr. Charles Alden Foell: "Dr. Foell clarified the luminescent behavior of nanoparticle single photon emitters in silicon photonic circuits. The improved understanding arising from this work may facilitate development of systems with improved coordinated control of many single photons and in turn, our understanding and utilization of quantum mechanics and light."
  • Dr. Arman Akbarian Kaljahi: "Dr. Akbarian's research examined the fundamental aspects of the general theory of relativity. He used computational resources to solve Einstein's equation in black hole formation scenarios and found new solutions that contribute to a better understanding of the theory of gravity."
  • Dr. Aaron Timothy Gallant: "A good test of nuclear theory is precise and accurate mass measurements of single radioactive atoms in Penning traps. Dr. Gallant's measurements of exotic calcium and potassium nuclei, performed at TRIUMF on UBC campus, provided strict tests of modern nuclear theories. These tested theories provide insight into the workings of neutron stars."
  • Dr. Eric Mills: "Dr. Mills studied the effect of water and other small molecules on protein motion. He developed new algorithms to capture these effects, which will make computer simulations of proteins more efficient."
  • Dr. Philipp Ulrich Kolb: "Dr. Kolb studied and developed a highly efficient structure for a new linear particle accelerator at TRIUMF. This accelerator will allow for more beam to be delivered to numerous experiments in nuclear and particle physics. His work allows for future upgrades of this electron accelerator to add additional use to this machine."
  • Dr. William Gunton: "Dr. Gunton completed his research in the Quantum Degenerate Gas lab, where he studied interactions between atoms, molecules, and light in laser cooled ultra-cold gases. Control and understanding of these interactions are necessary to form ultra-cold polar molecules, which can be used for applications in quantum computation and simulation."

Doctor of Philosophy (Planning)

  • Dr. Leonard Machler: "Dr. Machler investigated whether people who lived in areas of Metro Vancouver that have a greater variety of housing types were more likely to settle in their preferred neighbourhoods. This research is important for policymakers who seek to combat the housing affordability problems of our region."

Doctor of Philosophy (Political Science)

  • Dr. Jan Boesten: "Dr. Boesten examined the court justice system in Columbia. His research investigated the rules of deliberation that led to the government's decision to rule against powerful social and political interests. This work increases our understanding of how clear procedures in court proceedings can help uphold the justice system even in violent contexts."
  • Dr. Stewart Prest: "Why do some communities avoid armed conflict even when facing a significant threat? By studying the 20-year confrontation over coca in the Chapare region of Bolivia, Dr. Prest found that communities that resolve internal challenges collectively and inclusively seek out non-violent ways to resolve conflicts with other groups, including the state."
  • Dr. Elizabeth Schwartz: "Dr. Schwartz developed a new theory to explain why only some Canadian cities create policies that are likely to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She identified the influence of dedicated environmental departments within the city administration as an important factor. Her work will help cities to fight climate change more effectively."
  • Dr. Sean William David Gray: "Dr. Gray studied why people choose not to participate in politics. He developed a theory of how not participating in politics might itself be a form of political engagement. This theory will help us to design democratic institutions to be more responsive to ordinary citizens."

Doctor of Philosophy (Population and Public Health)

  • Dr. Sarah Neil-Sztramko: "Dr. Neil-Sztramko studied the effects that physical activity has on the health and cancer risk of shift workers. Her early work led to the development of a physical activity intervention, which was feasible to implement in women shift workers. Preliminary results have shown an increase in physical activity and improvement in health of these women."
  • Dr. Lyndsay Michelle O'Hara: "Dr. O'Hara conducted a record linkage and large cohort study to estimate the rate of tuberculosis in health workers in the Free State province of South Africa over a decade. Her results show that the risk of TB in health workers is up to 3 times greater than the general population. Her findings will be used to improve infection control in hospitals."
  • Dr. Thomas Andrew Daniels: "Dr. Daniels studied public involvement in decisions to remove funding for health services in the British National Health Service. His investigation, focusing on the views of health professionals, found that there is a role for citizens in such decisions, but the nature of this role should depend on the scale and scope of the decision being taken."

Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology)

  • Dr. Benjamin Yue Cheung: "Dr. Cheung showed that people tend to misunderstand the complex relationship between genes and behaviour, often assuming that our genes determine our behaviours. His research demonstrated several important consequences and may impact how we perceive things like having less control over one's weight or expressing greater leniency towards criminals."
  • Dr. Kaitlin Elizabeth Wiggins Laidlaw: "Dr. Laidlaw explored how individuals look at and pay attention to other people. She documented several factors that influence whether and how people direct their attention to others in both everyday situations and while looking at images or videos. Her work bridges a gap between traditional theories of visual attention and everyday experiences."
  • Dr. Lillian May: "Dr. May examined the neurological and social perception of language in young infants. These studies advance our understanding of language acquisition during the first year of life."
  • Dr. Wanying Zhao: "Can infants learn about social conventions? Dr. Zhao studied how infants may learn about conventions, including using the common-ness of behaviours, and by looking at other people's emotional reactions. Her research shows that infants can learn about social conventions by observing those around them in the first year of life."
  • Dr. Jonathan Shael Blasberg: "Dr. Blasberg examined how perfectionistic personality impacts the thoughts and feelings people have when ostracized. He found people who need to be or appear perfect, react to being ostracized with more intense feelings and negative thoughts. His work helps explain how perfectionistic personality leads to emotional distress in response to ostracism."

Doctor of Philosophy (Rehabilitation Sciences)

  • Dr. Dominik Zbogar: "Dr. Zbogar investigated physical activity during inpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation. His research shows that the physical activity currently experienced during rehabilitation is inadequate for cardiovascular health benefits or motor recovery, and highlights the potential barriers and facilitators of physical activity."
  • Dr. Elise Suzanne Huisman: "Dr. Huisman's research focused on tendon degeneration. Specifically she examined the role of the protein MMP2 in response to tendons being mechanically stimulated and demonstrated that MMP2 plays a key role in the degenerative effects of tendons. This knowledge will aid in our understanding of tendon degeneration and in the treatment for tendon health."
  • Dr. Amy Ashley Kirkham: "Dr. Kirkham studied the potential for exercise to protect the heart of breast cancer patients from the damaging effects of chemotherapy treatment. Her research showed that treadmill walking can alter the typical chemotherapy-related changes in heart function. This finding has implications for the heart and cancer-related health of cancer survivors."
  • Dr. Judit Takacs: "Dr. Takacs studied balance and physical function deficits in people with knee osteoarthritis. Her work contributed to a better understanding of clinical dynamic balance assessment, and treatment of deficits in this population. Her findings provide new information that ultimately better help to address patients' assessment and training approaches."
  • Dr. Cameron Mang: "Dr. Mang demonstrated that performing a single bout of high-intensity aerobic exercise prior to practice of a novel movement skill, can enhance the learning of that skill. He examined the underlying neural substrates of these effects, the aspects of motor learning impacted, and the influence of genetic and epigenetic variation on the exercise response."

Doctor of Philosophy (Reproductive and Developmental Sciences)

  • Dr. Eva Magdalena Price: "Dr. Price developed tools to analyze millions of chemical marks on human DNA. She showed that such analyses should include factors like experimental conditions and a person's sex and age. Dr. Price used these tools to study babies with birth defects. Her thesis contributes to understanding how to apply modern DNA tools to study human development."

Doctor of Philosophy (Resource Management and Environmental Studies)

  • Dr. Philamer Carlos Torio: "Dr. Torio examined Metro Manila's water privatization. He proved that access and affordability remain critical issues for poor households, despite improved water services shown by traditional metrics. His research offers key avenues that ensure privatization programs benefit all households, regardless of socio-economic status."
  • Dr. Lisa Westerhoff: "Dr. Westerhoff explored Vancouver's own Olympic Village to evaluate its success as a sustainable urban community. She found that high liveability and social connectivity are important factors in the achievement of sustainability goals, with important implications for the design and management of both green buildings and their surrounding communities."
  • Dr. Arvind Saraswat: "Dr. Saraswat's research focused on the development of a novel framework for estimating population exposure to key urban air pollutants. In his thesis he applied this framework to New Delhi, India. His research contributes to the methods used for assessing the health effects of urban air pollution."
  • Dr. Thor Merrill Jensen: "Dr. Jensen examined the adoption of energy efficient and renewable technologies by residential, commercial, and city-scale actors. The research offers insights for improving public policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions associated with space heating, air conditioning, and hot water."
  • Dr. Jonathan Salter: "Dr. Salter studied public engagement in community energy planning. He developed a novel case study and mental models methodology for evaluating engagement activities, revealing the effects of engagement tools and processes on planning outcomes. His research has implications for municipal energy and climate change planning."

Doctor of Philosophy (Sociology)

  • Dr. Catherine Zangger: "In 2003, New Zealand decriminalized sex work vastly improving sex workers' occupational well-being. Dr. Zangger found that despite these positive changes, the whore stigma, discrimination, and the presence of restrictive by-laws remain, constraining dynamics that jeopardise the advancement of sex workers' rights in the indoor sex industry in Auckland."
  • Dr. Helene Frohard-Dourlent: "Dr. Frohard-Dourlent examined the experiences of BC educators who work with transgender students. This work shows that educators navigate entrenched structures and communication patterns that favour gender conformity and make it difficult to support students. This work also highlights changes in educational practices so that students of all genders can thrive."

Doctor of Philosophy (Statistics)

  • Dr. Yumi Kondo: "Identifying worsening individuals in on-going clinical trials and treatment responders in completed trials are important tasks in the area of personalized medicine. Dr. Kondo developed statistical models to identify such individuals in comparative longitudinal studies. Her methods are implemented as a publicly available software, and they will help clinicians understand the complex nature of the disease progression in multiple dimensions."

Doctor of Philosophy (Teaching English as a Second Language)

  • Dr. Ryan Deschambault: "Dr. Deschambault examined the impact of fee-paying international students on BC's public schools. His analysis calls into question current understandings of international students in educational policies and practices, and acknowledges the important role English language learning plays in their school experiences."
  • Dr. Timothy Brett Anderson: "Dr. Anderson examined the academic socialization dialogue of international and permanent resident Chinese PhD students at a Canadian University. His research highlights the importance of providing support and mentorship opportunities for culturally and linguistically diverse doctoral students to increase access into their respective academic communities."

Doctor of Philosophy (Zoology)

  • Dr. Lindsay Madeleine Petley-Ragan: "Dr. Petley-Ragan studied how glial cells support the development and function of the nervous system. Using the fruit fly, Lindsay found that an outer layer of glial cells produces a key component of the extracellular matrix and that these glial cells maintain the structure of the nervous system and animal health."
  • Dr. Dana Haggarty: "Dr. Haggarty evaluated British Columbia's Rockfish Conservation Areas using visual surveys and spatial modeling. She found little evidence of fish population recovery. Her analysis highlights the need for continued monitoring and showed that recreational non-compliance may be hampering the effectiveness of conservation areas and impeding rockfish recovery."
  • Dr. Gregory Sylvester Gavelis: "Dr. Gavelis showed that a single-celled organism evolved into a complex eye. He found that this strange cell used bacteria to form a miniature retina and cornea. His work sheds new light on eye evolution, showing even simple organisms can have complex adaptations."