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High five!

A quintet of next-generation Memorial researchers just earned prestigious federal grants

By Jeff Green

It’s a banner year.

Five emerging scholars are continuing their promising research at Memorial University thanks in large part to funding from the Government of Canada.

Four are recipients of Banting Post-doctoral Fellowships and one is receiving a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Check back to the Gazette for future stories profiling the recipients.

The researchers are studying diverse global issues ranging from the impact of fishing gear on marine environments to support for LGBTQ youth in addiction recovery and more.

Banting fellowships are valued at $70,000 per year for two years; Vanier scholarships are valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies.

The awards represent a total investment of $710,000 in high-calibre expertise at Memorial University.

These latest results build on last year’s success, when Memorial welcomed three Banting fellows.

Banting recipients

Lorna Ferguson, who will be based in the School of Maritime Studies, Marine Institute, begins this fall.

Lorna Ferguson
Lorna Ferguson
Photo: Submitted

Her research focus is titled Exploring Stress in Police Search and Rescue: Impacts and Solutions.

Kristy Ferraro, who will be based in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, begins this fall.

Kristy Ferraro stands in front of a large tree
Kristy Ferraro
Photo: Submitted

Her research topic is titled A Framework for Large Mammal Conservation as a Nature-based Solution to Climate Change.

Dr. Min Yang (PhD’24), who is based in the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, began at Memorial University this spring.

A portrait of Dr. Min Yang
Dr. Min Yang
Photo: Submitted

Her subject of focus is titled Impact of Fishing Gear on Marine Environments: Release of Microplastics and Additives and Inhibition of Phytoplankton Photosynthesis and Carbon Sequestration.

Xia (Alice) Zhu
Xia (Alice) Zhu
Photo: Submitted

Xia (Alice) Zhu, who will be based in the Department of Ocean Sciences, Faculty of Science, begins this fall.

Her research subject is titled The Settling Flux of Plastic Pollution and its Influence on Carbon Sequestration in the Deep Ocean.

Vanier recipient

Kerri Mozessohn
Kerri Mozessohn
Photo: Submitted

Kerri Mozessohn, a doctoral student based in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science, is focused on a research project titled When Stigma About Sexuality and Addiction Collide: The Role of Identity Support for LGBTQ+ Youth in Addiction Recovery.

‘Freedom to explore’

“What an exciting time in the careers of these early-career scholars,” said Dr. Tana Allen, vice-president (research). “Securing these sought-after awards provides each of them the freedom to explore important issues facing our world and the opportunity to collaborate and learn from some of Memorial’s leading innovators and their teams.

“Warm congratulations to all five. I look forward to learning more about your individual projects,” she added.

Memorial University was first awarded a Vanier Scholarship 15 years ago, in 2009, and welcomed its first Banting Fellow 10 years ago, in 2014.

‘Win-win’ situation

Dr. Amy Warren, associate vice-president (academic) and dean, School of Graduate Studies, is extending her congratulations to the latest cohort of recipients.

“It is fantastic to see these talented scholars secure funding and continue to build their careers at Memorial,” she said. “These fellowship recipients will contribute so much to Memorial’s research profile.

“Given the growth in graduate student enrolment, I also know these outstanding scholars will contribute to Memorial’s culture of collaboration as they work with graduate students,” she continued. “These relationships have been shown to provide career development for both the award recipients and graduate students. It truly is a win-win. A heartfelt congratulations from the School of Graduate Studies team.”

Learn more about research at Memorial and check out Research Strategy 2023-28 to learn how we’re moving ideas forward.

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