Small but mighty research institutions

A goldfish swims with a shark fin strapped to its back

Small but mighty research institutions

A collection of three research projects from small universities that prove that when it comes to staying at the cutting-edge, size doesn’t matter
February 28, 2017

Universities across Canada benefit from the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund, designed to help institutions bring in the world’s best research talent and keep them here. As this collection of projects — each of which is supported by the Evans fund — proves, big universities aren’t alone at the leading edge.

  • Last summer, Pokemon Go took the world by storm and demonstrated how people could successfully engage via augmented reality. Millions of people got off the couch and headed out to local parks and street corners to capture “pocket monsters” virtually overlaid into their actual environment. The mobile game app also raised questions about rights to physical versus augmented spaces, and how to socially interact in these spaces. Maria Lantin, director of the Stereoscopic 3D Centre at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, investigates how such virtual and augmented realities affect how we...
  • The ability to heal ourselves. It may sound like a superpower, but in fact, our skeletal muscle can heal itself and regenerate. How this miracle happens remains a mystery, but it's one that Adam Johnston aims to solve. By understanding how our tissues undergo repair following injury and how exercise can support the building of new proteins, we can “improve human health through preventative and regenerative medicine strategies,” says the assistant professor in the University of Prince Edward Island's (UPEI) Department of Applied Human Sciences. “As we age, our bodies lose the ability to...
  • Nowhere has seen a more drastic and rapid environmental change than the Arctic because of global warming. Yet, it's still difficult to determine exactly what this warming means. “One of the major issues surrounding our ability to understand the nature and consequences of this warming is the fact that we don't have many good long-term records,” says Paul Szpak, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Archaeology and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Trent University. That's why Szpak wants to reconstruct past marine ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic. By doing so, he...