Graduate Student Profiles

  • Zhang, Lucas
  • Liang, Xunyu
    My research is focused on a novel candidate of dark matter, named axion quark nugget (AQN), which could resolve more than one of the biggest open questions (e.g. dark matter, baryogenesis, and the strong CP problem) in physics. I study the formation mechanism and potential detection of AQN today.
  • Rong, Weitao "Nick"
    This research is an extension of my master’s degree research. Previously as part of my MSc thesis research, I investigated the forest harvesting (logging and/or road building) effects on the large peakflow by analyzing the long-term hydrological data of some watersheds in the Rain-On-Snow (ROS) environment of Oregon, USA. Rain-On-Snow events are known to be responsible for many of the extreme floods in the Pacific Northwest region (as well as parts of Europe) and therefore ROS has been an important topic in hydrological research for decades. My thesis research was an extension of my supervisor (Dr. Younes Alila)’s research in which he has spent more than a decade on because of its potential significance on our scientific understanding on the relationship between forests and floods. In short, in a publication my supervisor and his previous graduate students published in 2009, Dr. Alila challenged decades’ worth of literatures in the field of forest hydrology when he pointed out that previous research in forests and floods neglected the effects of harvesting on changing flood frequency (i.e.: reduced return period of extreme floods). My M.Sc. thesis research provided the necessary empirical evidence as well a cohesive physical processes framework to support Dr. Alila’s claim that it is critical to invoke the frequency distribution when investigating the effects of any disturbances on floods. Together with another piece Dr. Alila published with his previous PhD student Dr. Kim Green in 2012 (a piece that has been showcased by the American Geophysical Union to the public as a press release), my M.Sc. research work has concluded the need for a new stochastic research framework in forest hydrology (“a new paradigm”). However, the implication of my M.Sc. work is limited by the small headwater watersheds I studied. Therefore, the primary goal of my PhD research is to extend this new stochastic research framework to investigate the effects of deforestation, afforestation, and forest harvesting practices on larger catchments.
  • Lee, Yeeun
    Broadly, my research aim is to gain deeper insights into the ways people pursue positive life outcomes (e.g., health, happiness) through prosociality and social connection, given limited resources (e.g., money, time, and attention). For instance, I am interested in examining the influence of prosocial (vs. non-prosocial) behaviors on well-being and health-related outcomes (e.g., stress reactivity, immune functioning, and sleep quality) and its psychological and physiological mechanisms, by employing a multi-method approach. I am also interested in investigating how mobile device and social media use may shape human daily social behaviors and experiences and, consequently, their health and well-being.
  • Chen, Jialin (Lydia)
    My humanities-based research will explore the relationship between love and education in the field of philosophy of education. It is important for educational research to explore humanistic ideas such as love and education in a conceptual way. In this research, I will briefly define love and education in a short series of claims and sources. I will also relate humanistic notions (e.g., freedom, justice, equity, etc) to love and education, to increase analogically association through which the link between them will be explored.
  • Ji, Yujie
    My research aims to document and preserve Chone Tibetans’ most important form of oral literature, Shadpa, practiced and performed in Kanlho Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gansu Province, China. Due to the seven-decade promotion of Chinese and the recent development of standard Amdo Tibetan, Chone Tibetan dialect has been considered to be non-standard and low-status vis-à-vis the national language (Chinese) and the newly standardized minority language (Amdo Tibetan). Consequently, there has been a dramatic disparagement and loss of Chone Tibetan and the inter-generational transmission of oral literature, including Shadpa, has been disrupted. Local Tibetans are facing a growing sense of linguistic and cultural anxiety, inferiority and alienation. By working in a respectful and collaborative partnership with the two Shadpa narrators, this community-led project will support the documentation, preservation, and promotion of the cultural masterpiece that is the Shadpa.
  • Pai, Sandeep
    In Alberta, Canada, the provincial government has created a climate leadership plan to facilitate a complete transition away from coal-based electricity. Today, almost 50% of the province’s electricity is supplied by coal-fired power plants. By 2030, Alberta aims to produce 30% of its electricity using renewable energy sources, and the rest with natural gas. This switch will have a transformative social impact. Approximately 4000 workers will lose their jobs, along with many community members working in retail and other industries that support coal workers. My research project is the first empirical study that aims to investigate the challenges coal workers in Alberta are facing as they attempt to transition to jobs in other industries. My research has two objectives: 1) to understand the hurdles Albertan coal workers face in making an employment transition; 2) to understand the extent to which federal and provincial policies combine to adequately address these hurdles.
  • Low, Sokyee Angela
    Parenthood can be both rewarding and challenging. While some parents report reduced well-being and decreased life and marital satisfaction, others find enhanced feelings of meaning and reward with parenthood. How can we help parents build the emotional resilience needed to experience parenthood as a period of growth and thriving instead of overwhelming stress and burnout? My research focuses on happiness and self-compassion as factors for promoting emotional resilience in parenthood. Emerging research suggests that engaging in intentional activities can enhance one’s level of happiness, which is associated with successful relationships and better physical and mental health. At the same time, when parenting challenges lead to feelings of frustration or shame, self-compassion practices can reduce negative affect and increase well-being. In consultation with parents and frontline staff of community organizations, I am developing two self-care interventions (focusing on either happiness or self-compassion) which will be evaluated using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) for their relative efficacy in influencing parental efficacy and well-being, and improving parent-child relationship and satisfaction.
  • Tembrevilla, Gerald
    The overarching goal of my doctoral work is to find out more about the challenges science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers in rural areas of developing countries face and consider ways to understand and use modern technologies that are critical for 21st century education. Through PSI, my research will help clarify and build upon significant aspects of my dissertation which include: 1) What are the difficulties encountered by STEM teachers in rural areas in the Philippines as they integrate local knowledge into digital video productions? 2) What Canadian approaches and expertise may be relevant for STEM educators in rural areas in the Philippines? and 3) How can findings regarding rural STEM education in the Philippines help inform STEM educators in Canada?
  • Javed, Sumreen
    My research is focused on small feet like structures that help tumor cells to move from one part of the body to the other. These are called invadopodia. I will be studying their role in tumor cells dissemination through lymphatics, particularly in metastatic breast cancer. This will be done by using cell lines, chicken embryos, and mouse model. My project also involves screening FDA-approved small molecules library to observe if inhibiting invadopodia could be a preeminent target to be considered for therapeutic development.

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