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Your one-stop online destination for upcoming deadlines, current events, innovative training, and more to help you navigate the many exciting opportunities available to you as a Western graduate student, postdoctoral scholar, faculty member, or staff member.

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March 01, 2024

SDG Week Canada | March 4 - 8, 2024

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SDG Week Canada is a national collaboration from March 4 - 8, 2024 to increase awareness and engagement with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on university and college campuses.

It is an annual collaborative initiative that invites all of Canada's universities and colleges to host events and programming on the SDGs. The overall organization of SDG Week Canada is brought to you by the Sustainability Hub at UBC, SDSN Canada hosted by the University of Waterloo, and Colleges and Institutes Canada.

Western's SDG Week includes a few events outside of the national week, and we are excited to invite all of campus community to participate in the following events!

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INSPIRING MINDS | Pedro Marinho, PhD candidate, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

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Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.


Pedro Marinho
PhD candidate, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Long-term effects of adolescent cannabis use and its interaction with schizophrenia

As cannabis legalization becomes more widespread, there is a great availability of cannabis products, devices, and roots of administration. For instance, there has been an increase in cannabis vaping consumption among adolescents. Adolescence is a critical stage for brain development, and it is during this period where most drug experimentation starts. Due to the vulnerability of the adolescent brain, despite its proposed therapeutical effects, cannabis use may present detrimental consequences. Along with that, cannabis consumption is a contributing factor for psychiatric vulnerability and up to 83% of patients with schizophrenia use cannabis. In my project, I investigate the intersection between cannabis, adolescence, and the development of schizophrenia. Specifically, I investigate the long-term neurobiological consequences of adolescent cannabis use in the adult brain. It will allow for the development of therapeutics to treat cannabis-induced detrimental effects, and to develop prevention strategies to reduce the harm of cannabis consumption in vulnerable individuals.


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February 27, 2024

Meromictic Art Exhibition | Grand Opening February 29, 2024

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Image: Lisa Hirmer, We Are All Atmosphere, documentation of a public art project, 2022

The meromictic Art Exhibition is hosting their grand opening on February 29, 2024 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Exhibition: February 29 – March 14, 2024
Curated by MCS4605E; Exhibition Manager: Dr. Amanda White (postdoctoral associate); Professor: Dr. Kirsty Robertson

Kionywarihwaen, or Crawford Lake, is a small body of water that formed in a limestone cliff sinkhole near Milton, Ontario, just over 100km away from the Artlab Gallery. This exhibition responds to the 2023 selection of Crawford Lake by the International Commission on Stratigraphy as the "golden spike" that marks the start of a new proposed geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The lake is meromictic, meaning the layers of water within it do not mix, allowing for the preservation of sediment deposits in the lakebed. Because of this, layers of sediment lie untouched at the bottom of the lake, showing, among other things, evidence of human impact on the world in a layer of radioactive plutonium from nuclear weapons tests - the marker that has been decided represents the moment human impact becomes evident in the strata of the geologic record; that is, the Anthropocene.

How can we understand the impact of this moment? This exhibition uses stratigraphy as an organizing principle, pulling back layers to try to understand the complicated relations involved in naming a geologic era and marking it through a lake in Ontario. Seven artists investigating water, earth, air, soil, wood, rocks, and minerals, are paired with specimens and samples loaned from collections across Southwestern Ontario. Each pairing brings an additional level of complexity to the exhibition and illustrates the ultimate challenge of trying to fully grasp an epoch in a layer of sediment. meromictic focuses on both the opportunity to learn from the siting of the golden spike, and on all that escapes from accepted forms of knowledge.

Featuring artworks by Janice Brant Kahehtoktha, Greg Curnoe, Simon Fuh, Stefan Herda, Lisa Hirmer, Tomonari Nishikawa, Nico Williams, Kelly Wood.

With contributions from Biodiversity Gallery/Nina Zitani, Conservation Halton, Neal Ferris, Jessica Johnson/Smithsonian Institute, McCarthy Lab/Brock University, the Museum of Ontario Archeology, Patterson Lab/Carleton University, Corcoran Lab/UWO, the Richard W. Hutchison Geoscience Collaborative Suite/UWO, Aaron Shugar/Queen’s University, Amanda White/FOFA Gallery.

This project was made possible with support from The Strategic Priorities Fund (Western University), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Rodger Research and Development Fund, The Department of Visual Arts (Western University), and The Centre for Sustainable Curating.

February 23, 2024

INSPIRING MINDS | Kathryn Lamoureux, MSc candidate, Faculty of Science

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Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.


Kathryn Lamoureux
MSc candidate, Faculty of Science

Preserving the plant partner: how copper affects plant-bacteria symbiosis

Many plants form a symbiosis with soil bacteria. This mutually beneficial partnership provides a home for the bacteria, which in turn produce hard-to-get-nutrients and protect the plant from disease. Legumes like soybeans and chickpeas partner with specific bacteria called rhizobia that give them nitrogen. Nitrogen is an essential element for all life, but it normally exists in an inaccessible form. Legumes create protective nodules in their roots to house the rhizobia, and in return the rhizobia make the nitrogen accessible using an enzyme. This enzyme is essential to symbiosis but is also very sensitive to degradation by oxygen. Heavy metals like copper are often released into the environment. These metals may have a detrimental effect on the symbiosis between legumes and rhizobia because of their ability to induce oxidative stress. I am studying the oxidative stress caused by copper and how this affects the plant-bacteria partnership.


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February 20, 2024

INSPIRING MINDS | Koami Soulemane Hayibo, PhD candidate, Faculty of Engineering

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Inspiring Minds seeks to broaden awareness and impact of graduate student research, while enhancing transferable skills. Students were challenged to describe their research, scholarship or creative activity in 150 or fewer words to share with our community.


Koami Soulemane Hayibo
PhD candidate, Faculty of Engineering

Shining a Light on Foam-Based Floating Solar Panels and their Interactions with a Body of Water in Canada

My research focuses on improving the materials used to float photovoltaic panels on bodies of water (FPV) to limit water evaporation. From my preliminary results, installing solar panels on water surfaces produces 15% more energy than solar panels installed on land with the same configuration, and at the same time is 90% more efficient in preventing evaporation. However, we know little about the interactions between water and the different materials used for FPV. Such interactions must be assessed given the current demand for green electricity because any systems that produce power at the expense of water quality and availability are nevertheless detrimental to human needs. My research aims to understand how foam-based flexible FPV operate in different water conditions in Canada, including freezing weather, and their effect on water quality to ensure that the technology continues to provide viable green energy while also maintaining our water availability.


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