2017 Graduate Award Recipients

 

One of the highlights of the School of the Environment's annual Research Day is the awarding of scholarships to our graduate students. The following awards were presented at Research Day 2017, held on April 19, and at the Eric Krause Memorial Lecture, held on April 5, 2017.


SCHOOL OF THE ENVIRONMENT 2017 GRADUATE AWARDS:

1. Beatrice and Arthur Minden Graduate Research Fellowship

2. Alan H. Weatherley Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Leadership

3. Alexander B. Leman Memorial Award

4. Arthur and Sonia Labatt Graduate Fellowships

5. George Burwash Langford Prize

6. John R. Brown Award

7. Sperrin Chant Award in Toxicology

8. Eric David Baker Krause Graduate Fellowship


BEATRICE AND ARTHUR MINDEN GRADUATE RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

Minden Fellowship

(L-R) Joaquin Bardallo Bandera with Jo-Ann Minden at Research Day 2017 (photo: N. Taylor)
 
This fellowship is awarded annually to one or more PhD students enrolled in the School of the Environment's graduate programs to provide them with support during the research stage of their dissertations, including enabling their involvement in conferences, summer schools, field work and collaborative visits to research groups across Canada and around the world.

Preference is given to graduate students who have demonstrated academic excellence and whose PhD research is specifically focused on environmental issues, and to projects that open up new intellectual avenues and/or foster interdisciplinary activity related to the environment.

The four exceptional students who received the Minden Graduate Research Fellowship span the physical and life sciences, social science and health studies, showing the outstanding breadth of environmental research happening at U of T and at the School of the Environment. These students have proposed projects involving field data collection, community-based interviews, or presenting research results internationally, and each one includes multiple perspectives on research topics that are timely and relevant. These exciting and innovative projects have great potential to contribute to several key environmental issues.

The second annual Minden Fellowship awards were presented by Kimberly Strong, Professor of Physics and Director of the School of the Environment, with Ms. Jo-Ann Minden, daughter of Beatrice and Arthur Minden.

The recipients of the Beatrice and Arthur Minden Graduate Research Fellowship are:

• JOAQUIN BARDALLO BANDERA, a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Political Science, and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Joaquin's research examines relationships between natural resource extraction, and the protection of social and environmental rights in Latin America. The Minden Award will allow Joaquin to conduct field-based interviews in Peru, Bolivia and Chile to develop new insights into the role of policy in protecting social and environmental rights.

Minden Fellowship

(L-R) Ellen Gute and Jo-Ann Minden, daughter of Beatrice and Arthur Minden (photo: N. Taylor)
 
• ELLEN GUTE, a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Environmental and Physical Sciences at University of Toronto at Scarborough, and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Ellen's research focusses on atmospheric processes involved in cloud formation using cutting-edge measurements and experiments. Ultimately this work will enable better predictive models of cloud formation and associated climate impacts. The Minden Award will allow Ellen to pilot test new instruments for measuring aerosols as part of the CLACE (Clouds and Aerosol Characterization Experiment) field campaign at the High Altitude Research Station at Jungfraujoch, Switzerland.

Minden Fellowship

(L-R) Nicole Spiegelaar and Jo-Ann Minden (photo: N. Taylor)
 
• NICOLE SPIEGELAAR, a 4th year PhD student in Environment and Health at U of T. Nicole is engaged in multi-disciplinary research on mental health in indigenous communities in Northern Ontario through the lens of environmental psychology. Through collaborations with the James Bay Cree, Nicole is developing a resilience-building conceptual framework for mental health using principles of Ecosystems Psychology. The Minden Award will enable Nicole to present her findings at an international conference in the emerging area of environmental psychology.
 
• MALCOLM RAMSAY, a 1st year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Malcolm's doctoral research looks at the effects of forest fragmentation on endangered mouse lemurs in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar. The Minden Award will be used to support field work in Madagascar where he will collect data on lemur populations in the poorly studied dry forest region.

Back to top

ALAN H. WEATHERLEY GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP

Weatherley Fellowship

(L-R) Dan Weaver and Robena Weatherley (photo: N. Taylor)
 
The Alan H. Weatherley Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Leadership is awarded annually to one PhD student enrolled in the School of the Environment's graduate programs, to encourage their research and academic achievement. The fellowship is awarded to a student who demonstrates exceptional academic and/or practical leadership in the area of environmental issues, in addition to having a strong academic record.
 
This leadership may be demonstrated in a variety of ways, including; environmental research, activism on environmental issues, environmental management, involvement in significant conservation projects, participation in public debates, professional engagement with environmental government, non-governmental organizations, or business. This year, the second annual award was presented by Professor Kimberly Strong and Mrs. Robena Weatherley, wife of Alan H. Weatherley.
 
The recipient of the Alan H. Weatherley Fellowship in Environmental Leadership is:

• DAN WEAVER, a senior PhD student in the Department of Physics and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Dan's research focusses on climate change, the Arctic atmosphere, and measurements of water vapour. Dan's research involves the use of infrared spectroscopy to measure atmospheric composition in order to improve our understanding of the processes controlling the Arctic atmosphere and its evolution. He has led an international team in a meticulous assessment of water vapour products from a suite of instruments in the Canadian high Arctic, which he has visited on four field campaigns.

In addition to Dan's academic leadership and contributions to understanding the science of climate change in the Arctic, he is an exceptional student leader and has done much to promote awareness and positive change on environmental issues, including leading town hall meetings on climate change research, speaking to elementary and high school students in Nunavut, teaching at the Toronto Public Library, serving as a trainer for teaching assistants at U of T and teaching in a highly inter-disciplinary U of T course "Science for Change." President the Graduate Environmental Students Association, directing the Science Rendezvous for Educators Program, and serving as secretary and treasurer for Evidence for Democracy, a national organization promoting transparent use of evidence in government decision-making in Canada.

ALEXANDER B. LEMAN MEMORIAL AWARD

Leman Award

(L-R) Jielan Xu and Tamara Stefanovic (photo: N. Taylor)
 
This award was established by the Leman family, friends and colleagues of Alexander B. Leman, an architect and urban planner who founded his own architectural firm (as well as Leman Group Inc., an urban development and planning consulting company). It is awarded to a graduate student enrolled in a Collaborative Specialization at the School of the Environment and the Department of Geography's Program in Planning, and is based on academic merit and financial need. This year's award was presented by Professor Kimberly Strong, with Ms. Tamara Stefanovic, grand-daughter of Alexander Leman (and daughter of Ingrid Stefanovic, former Director of the Centre for Environment).


The recipient of the Alexander B. Leman Memorial Award recipient is:

• JIELAN XU, a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Geography's Program in Planning and School of the Environment's Collaborative Specialization in Environment and Health. His research looks at how the built-environment can potentially affect active lifestyles and the health and well-being of the aging population.

Back to top

ARTHUR AND SONIA LABATT GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS

Labatt Fellowships

(L-R) Labatt Fellowship recipients Alissa Saieva, Mark Hathaway, Cadhla Gray, Esmerelda Bukuroshi, and Guanyu Song (photo: N. Taylor)
 
This graduate fellowship was established through a generous donation from Arthur and Sonia Labatt, and is awarded on an annual basis to support students enrolled in one of the collaborative graduate programs of the School of the Environment or in the Juris Doctor Certificate in Environmental Studies program offered by the Faculty of Law and the School of the Environment. Students are asked to submit a paper that explores practical solutions to environmental issues and/or examines the marketplace for solutions to environmental issues. Selection is also based on the applicant's record of academic excellence and financial need. This year the award was presented to six recipients by Sarah Finkelstein, Academic Associate Director of the School of the Environment.

The following six students are recipients of the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Graduate Fellowships:

• ESMERELDA BUKUROSHI, a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Esmerelda's research is in the area of emerging solar energy technologies. She is working on designing new kinds of complex organic molecules that can be incorporated into solar cells to vastly improve their efficiency and scalability.

• CADHLA GRAY, a 2nd year Masters student at the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Cadhla's research interests focus on formulating and advancing policy solutions to environmental issues, with a particular focus on climate-induced displacement and practical policy instruments for managing mass movements of people as climate change impacts grow.

• MARK HATHAWAY, a senior PhD student in adult education at OISE and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Mark's research interests involve developing a practical pedagogical methodology for promoting meaningful responses to the ecological crisis and ending environmental denial. This work has been published in The Journal of Transformative Education.

• ALISSA SAIEVA, a 3rd year law student at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law enrolled in the JD/Certificate in Environmental Studies and the Certificate in Indigenous Studies. Alissa's research and writing interests centre on the Crown's obligation to Indigenous people to address climate change, making a powerful legal case for climate change action.

• GUANYU SONG, a 2nd year Masters student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and the Environment and Health Collaborative Specialization. Guanyu's interests focus on developing new strategies for particulate matter detection based on Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), and on product commercialization for enhanced breathing masks to improve occupational health.

• SAMANTHA STEAD, a 1st year Masters student in the Department of Anthropology and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Her research interests focus on primate social behavior in response to ecological changes. Her field area is the Albertine Graben region of Uganda where oil extraction activities have led to declines in environmental and social wellbeing. Samantha's research offers practical conservation science to assist land use planning and species protection in a contested region and biodiversity hotspot.

Back to top

GEORGE BURWASH LANGFORD PRIZE

Langford Prize

Brianna Botchwey, winner of the Langford Prize (photo: N Taylor)


This prize is named in honour of Dr. George Burwash Langford, the founder and first Director of the Great Lakes Institute, which became the Institute for Environmental Studies and is now the School of the Environment. It is the result of generous donations from family, friends and colleagues of George Langford. The purpose of the prize is to provide support and encouragement for student research and service to the School of the Environment. The prize is awarded annually to a graduate student in a School of the Environment collaborative program or in the Juris Doctor Certificate in Environmental Studies program offered by the Faculty of Law and the School of the Environment who best combines excellence in research in environmental studies and contributes to the work of the School. This year's award was presented by Professor Sarah Finkelstein.

The recipient of the George Burwash Langford Prize is:

• BRIANNA BOTCHWEY, a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Political Science and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Her research focusses on the politics of climate change in two of the most vulnerable East African countries: Tanzania and Ethiopia. Her research advances theory and policy around building local adaptive capacity to respond to a changing climate. In addition to Brianna's academic work, she has been actively involved with the Graduate Environmental Students Association, serving as Secretary last year and this year, as President.

JOHN R. BROWN AWARD

Brown Award

Alison Traub, winner of the Brown Award (photo: N. Taylor)


The late Dr. John R. Brown was a professor in the Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Medicine, an associate member of the former Institute of Environmental Studies (IES, now the School of the Environment) and a principal investigator of many research projects at the IES during the 1970s. Under the terms of an endowment generously contributed by Mrs. Helen M. Brown, an annual prize is awarded to a graduate student enrolled in the Gage Occupational and Environmental Health Unit (Faculty of Medicine), the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and/or the School of the Environment for the best applied research project dedicated to the analysis and improvement of occupational and environmental health. This year's award was presented by Clare Wiseman, Associate Professor, School of the Environment, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Coordinator of the Graduate Collaborative Specialization in Environment and Health.

The recipient of the John R. Brown Award is:

• ALISON TRAUB, a 1st year Masters student in Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and the Collaborative Specialization in Environment and Health. Alison's research interests focus on airborne particulate matter and associated impacts on air quality. She has already contributed to improving occupational and environmental health through her contributions to research on indoor air quality on commuter trains which has resulted in policy changes to mitigate exposure to fine particles.

SPERRIN CHANT AWARD IN TOXICOLOGY

Chant Award

(L-R) Sivani Bashkaran and award presenter Clare Wiseman (photo: N. Taylor)


This award commemorates Professor Sperrin Chant, a member of the University Lodge, who graduated from the University of Toronto and returned to teach here in the Psychology Department before moving to the University of British Columbia where he became Dean. He was involved in several Royal Commissions, one of which gave rise to Simon Fraser University. His son, Dr. Donald A. Chant, was Chair of Zoology, then Provost of the University of Toronto. His lifetime research had dealt with biological and integrated control of pests as an alternative to chemical pesticides. The award is given to a graduate student enrolled in a School of the Environment Collaborative Specialization doing research in toxicology and who demonstrates academic excellence, strength of character, and financial need. This year's award was presented by Professor Clare Wiseman.

The recipient of the Sperrin Chant Award in Toxicology is:

• SIVANI BASHKARAN is a 1st year Masters student in the Department of Chemistry and the Collaborative Specialization in Environmental Studies. Sivani's research focuses on factors controlling the potential for bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in fish. A modelling approach will be used to enable predictions of climate change impacts on POP distributions in the environment.

Back to top

ERIC DAVID BAKER KRAUSE GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP

Award recipients and Krause family members

(L-R) Katy Krause (Eric's sister), fellowship recipients Esmerelda Bukuroshi and Fantin Tawfig, and Arnald Krause (Eric's father) at the 2017 Krause memorial lecture - (photo by Lauren Differ)
 


The Fellowship is awarded annually to a student registered in a School of the Environment graduate program or in the Juris Doctor Certificate offered by the Faculty of Law and the School of the Environment.

Awards were announced at the Eric Krause Memorial Lecture on April 5, 2017, to the following recipients:

• ESMERELDA BUKUROSHI received an undergraduate degree in Biological Chemistry at University of Toronto Scarborough. She was a Dean's List Award recipient and the winner of the Chemical Industry Student Merit Award. She is presently a second-year PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, holds an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship and is enrolled in the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Esmerelda's research is in the area of emerging solar energy technologies. She is working on designing new kinds of complex organic molecules that can be incorporated into solar cells to vastly improve their efficiency and scalability.

• FATIN TAWFIG received an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Psychology from Trinity College at the University of Toronto, and was a Dean's List award recipient. Fatin is presently an MA student in the Department of Political Science and is also enrolled in the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Fatin's research interests involve the role of the European Union in the international fight against climate change, and has a very timely focus on the effect of the rise of populist parties on the EU's leadership on climate action.