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Highlighting interdisciplinary graduate research

November 22, 2019
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Matt Hipsey of University of Western Australia, presents to Beaty Water Research Centre students and faculty. (Supplied photo)

The Beaty Water Research Centre recently hosted its second annual Research Symposium which provided students the opportunity to highlight their interdisciplinary graduate research and to build research collaborations.

This year’s event was attended by more than 100 participants and showcased 27 student research posters and four oral student research presentations from a variety of disciplines. The keynote speaker was Matt Hipsey, a professor from the University of Western Australia, who provided an international perspective to water research and innovation.

The Beaty Water Research Centre is an interdisciplinary research, education and outreach centre focused on water quality, access, sustainability, resources and governance. Researchers include faculty members from a variety of disciplines in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s and the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC).

Creating LEADERS

Earlier in the year, the centre hosted the first LEaders in wAter anD watERshed Sustainability (LEADERS) Symposium. The LEADERS program is led by Stephen Brown, professor in the departments of Chemistry and Environmental Studies at Queen’s. The program is funded – $1.65 million over six years – through the NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) and was launched in 2018.

The first cohort of highly-qualified personnel to the program was recruited earlier this year through a competitive application process and in July these students participated in the first LEADERS Research Symposium and training workshop. This two-day event not only allowed students to present their research, it also provided them with the opportunity to receive feedback from leading researchers in disciplines such as engineering, environmental studies, chemistry, biology, policy studies, business, and public health, and provided a field method workshop at the Kennedy Station, a 200-acre scientific station located on the Salmon River Watershed near Tamworth.

A number of awards were handed out during the research symposium. Poster winners include Alexandria Cushing, first place  (third from left); Nada Sadeq, second place (not pictured); and Eden Hataley (left) and Katrina Paudyn, third place (second from left). Oral presentation winner David Patch is at right. (Supplied photo)

“The LEADERS symposium broadened my understanding of how my research project has broader implications across disciplines. The field methods workshop provided me with greater understanding of some of the challenges with field research which will help not only with my research, but also in my career post graduation,” says Madeleine Kelly a Master’s of Environmental Studies student in Dr. Brown’s research group at Queen’s.

The centre’s research symposiums and workshops allow students to broaden their understanding of their research through facilitated interdisciplinary networking sessions. 

“The Beaty Water Research Centre encourages collaborative interdisciplinary research, education and outreach, and the research symposium and the LEADERS program truly embodies our vision,” says Beaty Director Pascale Champagne, Canada Research Chair in Bioresource Engineering.

This year’s top poster awards went to Alexandria Cushing (first), Nada Sadeq (second), and Katrina Paudyn and Eden Hataley (third). The top oral presentation award went to David Patch.

Symposium sponsors included Kingston Economic Development Corporation, SHOWA, and Queen’s School of Graduate Studies. 

Note: This article originally appeared in the Queen’s Gazette.