Annual Report

A PDF version is available


I am excited to share our 2014-15 Annual Report with you!

With your support, Science Atlantic provided another year of conferences, speaker tours, and awards for approximately 1,000 students and faculty in Atlantic Canada. As well, we’ve continued working on our newest project, the Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database (AFRED). Please read more about these activities in the following report.

We’ve also taken this opportunity to share with you the many ways students contribute to Science Atlantic. Over the past year, five co-op students have been hard at work making improvements to conference planning resources for volunteers, developing the marketing materials and database structure for AFRED, enhancing our communication and outreach efforts, and more.

Thank you for your continuing membership, donations, and sponsorships, as well as for volunteering your time and skills. Our many projects and activities would not be possible without the support of our sponsors, faculty representatives, students, deans, and others involved with Science Atlantic.

Please take a moment to read this year in review and see the hard work and contributions of you and your colleagues, and to reflect on the vision of a robust research and education environment that your involvement is helping to create.

L Whitehead signature

Lois Whitehead
Executive Director

The mission of Science Atlantic

is to advance post-secondary science education and research in Atlantic Canada by:

• Providing opportunities that foster and enrich students

• Supporting and inspiring researchers and educators

• Using our collective voice to address important regional science issues

Member Institutions

Acadia University
Cape Breton University
Crandall University
Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University, Faculty of Agriculture
Grenfell Campus (MUN)
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Mount Allison University
Mount Saint Vincent University

NSERC Atlantic
Saint Mary’s University
St. Francis Xavier University
St. Thomas University
Université de Moncton
University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
University of New Brunswick, Saint John
University of Prince Edward Island

Executive Members

Rob Raeside, Chair (April 2014 – November 2014)
Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Science
Acadia University

David McCorquodale, Chair (November 2014 –)
Dean of Science
Cape Breton University

Chris Moore, Vice Chair
Dean of Science
Dalhousie University

Debbie MacLellan, Treasurer
Dean of Science
University of Prince Edward Island

David MaGee, Member-at-Large (July 2014 –)
Dean of Science
University of New Brunswick, Fredericton

Andy Foster, Member-at-Large
Associate Dean of Science
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Robert van den Hoogen, Member-at-Large
Dean of Science
St. Francis Xavier University

Steven Smith, Member-at-Large
Dean of Science
Saint Mary’s University


Science Atlantic hosts a number of annual disciplinary and interdisciplinary academic student conferences, coordinated by volunteer teams of professors and students. While all conferences have in common the opportunity for students to present their research, many conferences also have unique aspects, including field trips, industry events, and competitions.

Conference Attendance


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Our Annual Conferences


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Science Atlantic Aquaculture & Fisheries and Biology Conference (AFB)

Atlantic Universities Geoscience Conference (AUGC)

Science Atlantic – CIC Chemistry Conference (ChemCon)

Science Atlantic Environment Conference

Science Atlantic Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Conference (MSCS)

Atlantic Universities Physics & Astronomy Conference (AUPAC)

Science Atlantic Psychology Conference

Our students consider the conference the highlight of the year. The committee’s discussions are our department’s most important communication link with our colleagues in other Atlantic undergraduate biology programmes and help us improve updates to our own offerings.
– Dr. Robert Hooper, Memorial University



Awards are given at each student conference to recognize exceptional research and science communication skills. Additionally, a number of awards specific to each discipline are sponsored by industry as well as various academic and research societies.

Emily Peters presenting her research

Student Highlight

At the March 2015 Environment Conference, Emily Peters, Saint Mary’s University, was awarded the Science Atlantic Science Communication Award, sponsored by Canadian Science Publishing (CSP), for her outstanding oral presentation, “Utilization of growth-promoters in Arundo donax.

Regarding the importance of science communication, Emily says, “Participating in conferences are great experiences to really learn the relevance of specific research endeavours … and how important others think [the research] is.”

As part of the award, Emily also had the opportunity to write a blog post on the CSP website about her biofuel research.

Student Conference Award Winners

Below, all 2014-15 award winners are listed by award. To see photos and presentation titles for each winner, please see each discipline’s awards page:

Undergraduate Research Award

Daniel Abarbanel (DAL), Physics & Astronomy
Andrew Cameron (UPEI), Physics & Astronomy
Jonathan Cunningham (StFX), Psychology
Dylan Day (Acadia), Mathematics & Statistics
Brandon Doherty (UNB), Mathematics & Statistics
Kelly Foran (MtA), Physics & Astronomy
Marley Geddes (DAL), Environment
Jordan Gibson (Acadia), Chemistry
Monique Goguen (UNB), Environment
Peter Graves-Akerley (SMU), Mathematics & Statistics
Laryssa Halat (StFX), Biology
Gregory Haller (MSVU), Biology
Zhengcheng He (UPEI), Biology
Zhouqin (Mary) He (StFX), Mathematics & Statistics
Kathleen Hipwell (SMU), Biology
Jillian Leigh Kendrick (DAL), Earth Science
Karen Korstanje (MtA), Computer Science
Maryani Lasmana (UNB), Psychology
Krista Latimer (UNB), Aquaculture & Fisheries
Rejean Leblanc (MtA), Mathematics & Statistics
Trevor McGrath (SMU), Chemistry
Simon Meynell  (DAL), Physics & Astronomy
Federico Mora (MtA), Computer Science
Kathleen O’Donnell (UNB), Aquaculture & Fisheries
Zoe O’Malley (UNB), Biology
Sasha Power (SMU), Biology
Joshua Quinlan (MUN), Psychology
Ashley Robinson (SMU), Chemistry
Emily Rosta (CBU), Mathematics & Statistics
Anna Scheidler  (STU), Psychology
Nicole Shanahan (MUN), Environment
Mariah Martin Shein (MtA), Computer Science
Jon Smith (Acadia), Mathematics & Statistics
Matt Trace (Acadia), Mathematics & Statistics
Matthew van Bommel (Acadia), Mathematics & Statistics
Sarah Van de Reep (StFX), Aquaculture & Fisheries
Nikita Volodin (UPEI), Computer Science
Yuhuai Wu (UNB), Mathematics & Statistics

Science Communication Award, sponsored by Canadian Science Publishing

Philip Aucoin (MSVU), Psychology
Michael Buckland-Nicks (SMU), Environment
Catherine Gallagher (StFX), Psychology
Laryssa Halat (StFX), Biology
Kyle Marshall (Acadia), Physics
Emily Peters (SMU), Environment
Christopher Small (UNB), Aquaculture & Fisheries
Matthew Timm (MSVU), Chemistry

ACEmat Award, sponsored by ACENET

Alexander Rudiuk (CBU), Chemistry
Hong Yi Shi Yang (DAL), Physics & Astronomy

Canadian Botanical Association Award

Michael Buckland-Nicks (SMU), Biology
Hardy Storm (UPEI), Biology

Graduate Research Award

Alicia Cassidy (UdeM), Aquaculture & Fisheries
Scott Harroun (SMU), Chemistry
Marie-France Jones (UNB), Environment
Reem Karaballi (SMU), Chemistry
Jing Lu (DAL), Aquaculture & Fisheries
Sarah MacLeod (DAL), Environment
Jennifer Murphy (MUN), Chemistry
Kieran Murphy (StFX), Aquaculture & Fisheries
Graeme Soper (SMU), Chemistry

Chemical Institute of Canada Undergraduate Awards

Kori Andrea (CBU)
Grant Charlton (UNB)
Kirstin Doyle (SMU)
Chris Frazee (UNB)
Charlotte Fuller (Acadia)
Teles Furlani (MUN)
Marc Hetu (Acadia)
David Hogan (MUN)
Sasha Power (SMU)
Mitch Pinto (Acadia)
Matthew Roy (UNB)
Alex Veinot (Acadia)

Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists Award

Andrew Blagdon (MUN), Earth Science

Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Award

Dillon White (SMU), Earth Science

E. Gordon Young Award

Luke Murphy (SMU), Chemistry

Frank Shea Memorial Award

Nikolett Kovacs (MUN), Earth Science

Imperial Oil Best Poster Award

Haley LeBlanc (SMU), Earth Science

Karen Nicholson Award in Neuropsychology

Morgan Johnson (DAL), Psychology

Computer Science Programming Competition

First: E. MacNeil, C. Madsen, S. Scott (MtA)
Second: J. Blanchard, A. Gordon, B. Smith (UNB)
Third: T. Blair, R. Bronfman-Nadas, A. Zinck (DAL)

Mathematics Problem Solving Competition

First: Dylan Day, Matthew van Bommel ( Acadia)
Second: John MacMillan, Kathleen MacMillan (MtA)
Third: Christopher Pardy, Brandon Throne (MUN)

Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame was created in 2012, in honour of Science Atlantic’s 50th anniversary, to recognize current and former members who have shown exemplary service to the organization, as well as alumni who can trace the start of their careers to an influential experience as a student at a Science Atlantic or APICS event.

The categories for recognition are Outstanding Member, Outstanding Contributing Member, and Outstanding Alumna/Alumnus.

In 2014, two members were inducted into the Science Atlantic Hall of Fame, Dr. Zoë Hayes, retired psychology professor from St. Francis Xavier University, and Dr. Merzik Kamel, retired Mathematics professor from University of New Brunswick, Saint John. Please click on each winner’s photo to read their biography:


Dr. Zoë L. Hayes

Outstanding Contributing Member


Dr. Merzik Kamel

Outstanding Contributing Member

We are pleased to recognize Dr. Zoë L. Hayes and Dr. Merzik Kamel for their many years of dedicated service to Science Atlantic and the scientific community.

I am thrilled to learn that the Selection Committee for the Science Atlantic Hall of Fame has selected me to be inducted as an ‘Outstanding Contributing Member.’ It was a great pleasure to serve Science Atlantic in my capacity as a Chair, a Vice Chair, and a committee member. The Mathematics and Statistics Committee members have made significant contributions to the growth and the development of the committee’s activities. Without their help and cooperation, much of what was accomplished could not have been achieved.
– Dr. Merzik Kamel, University of New Brunswick, Saint John

Speaker Tours

Several committees partner with other organizations to host speaker tours of notable scientists. Each speaker visits a minimum of three different post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada, and lectures are free and open to all interested. The 2014-15 speaker tours featured talks on:

Chemistry (co-sponsored with the Chemical Institute of Canada):

  • Exploring the Use of Indium(III) Dithiolates as Green Lewis Acid Catalysts, Glen Briand (MtA)
  • Multiscale Computational Chemistry, Christopher Rowley (MUN)

Geology (co-sponsored with the Atlantic Geoscience Society):

  • Uncluttering and reactivating and the western Laurentian basement: lessons from the margins of the Thor-Odin dome in southeastern British Columbia, Deanne Van Rooyen (CBU)
  • Talk 1: Hydrothermal alteration: the role and record of coupled dissolution-reprecipitation, Talk 2: From grain scale to mountain scale: timing and timescales of evolving orogenic processes, Chris McFarlane (UNB)

Physics and Astronomy (co-sponsored with the Canadian Association of Physicists):

  • Quantum Physics in Your Light Bulb: A Colourful Story, Kristin Poduska (MUN)
  • In Search of New Quantum Fluids of Light and Matter, Carlos Silva (U de Montréal)
  • Tightly Squeezing Light in Small Spaces, Pablo Bianucci (Concordia)

Student Contributions

From student conference attendees to co-op student employees, students have always been our central focus and their contributions are significant to the success of Science Atlantic. Each year, student volunteers generously dedicate their time to organizing our conferences, and our student employees take on important projects while also gaining valuable skills and experience.

In the 2014-15 year, five students worked for Science Atlantic. In the summer, James Curtis and Jasmine Golf, both from Dalhousie, completed their second work terms with us, providing marketing and conference support. We also hired a second year Dalhousie student, Emily Cross, who worked on Conference-in-a-Box (CIAB). In the fall, Prasad Rajandran (Acadia) returned to continue working on the Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database (AFRED) and we hired a Public Relations co-op student from Mount Saint Vincent University, Robyn Craig.

Robyn Craig

Marketing and Communications Assistant

Mount Saint Vincent University
Bachelor of Public Relations (2015)

Dalhousie University
Sociology, BA (2011)

Emily Cross

Conference-in-a-Box Coordinator

Dalhousie University
Computer Science, third year (Candidate 2016)

James Curtis

OCS Administrator

Dalhousie University
Informatics, third year (Candidate 2016)

Jasmine Golf

Marketing Coordinator

Dalhousie University
Marketing Management, BComm (2015)

Prasad Rajandran

Software Developer

Acadia University
Computer Science, third year (Candidate 2016)


Conference In A Box logoThis year we completely rebuilt Conference-in-a-Box (CIAB), our collection of planning resources and website tools for conference organizers.

Based on the recommendations of a Dalhousie Information Management student team, Emily Cross (Computer Science) created an updated and easy to use conference planning guide with conference-specific timelines. The new CIAB will provide faculty and student organizers of Science Atlantic’s annual conferences with the necessary resources to successfully plan a conference. CIAB offers detailed timelines and roles for each member of the conference planning team and now also includes subtopics and timelines that are unique to each conference.

James Curtis, an Informatics student, spent the summer improving our online abstract submission process and continuing to customize the software we use for conference website design and registration.

We look forward to making further conference-specific customizations to CIAB in the years to come.

Financial Highlights





Detailed financial statements can be downloaded here.

Looking Ahead

Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database (AFRED)

Thanks to the support of Springboard, NSERC Atlantic, BioNB, and others, 2014-15 saw the successful testing and analysis of the Atlantic Facilities and Research Equipment Database prototype.

Computer Science student Prasad Rajandran worked on improving the AFRED database for version 2.0, making changes based on feedback received from researchers and stakeholders. He also implemented technical improvements that will ensure that scalability and performance goals are met.

Once completed, AFRED will be an open access, online, searchable database designed to increase the use of specialized research infrastructure in our region by connecting potential users with the facilities that host the equipment.

We are now poised to move forward on a larger scale, including completing the technical aspects of the redesigned system, recruiting a broader range of facilities and equipment, and promoting the service to business and industry as well as post-secondary researchers.


Why Contribute?

Canadian Science Publishing is proud to support Science Atlantic’s efforts to recognize excellence in science communication. Through their student conference series, Science Atlantic provides a much-needed platform for students to communicate their research. We greatly value our collaboration and we are thrilled to help the next generation of researchers gain experience in sharing their science with the world.
– Dr. Michael Donaldson, Canadian Science Publishing

Thank you, Sponsors

Aquaculture Association of Canada
Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences
Atlantic Elver Fisheries
Atlantic Geoscience Society
Canadian Botanical Association
Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation
Canadian Mathematical Society Student Committee
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
Canadian Science Publishing
Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists
Chemical Institute of Canada
Chemical Institute of Canada, Chemical Education Trust Fund
Chemical Institute of Canada, Maritime Division
Cooke Aquaculture
Elanco Animal Health
Engineers & Geoscientists New Brunswick
Enterprise Saint John
Imperial Oil
JD Irving Ltd.
K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre
NB Power
Nelson Education Ltd.
Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association
Nova Scotia Department of Economic Development
Novartis Animal Health Canada
NSERC Atlantic Regional Office
Pearson Education
Planet Hatch
Skretting North America
Springboard Atlantic
Statistical Society of Canada
Trevali Mining Corporation
Wolfden Resources