Research Expo

A sincere thank you to everyone for helping to make Saint Mary's eleventh annual Research EXPO such a great success! Panelist and attendee involvement was tremendous. There was an incredible variety of research shared during the three minute pitch presentations, which was a fantastic opportunity to show the broader community some of the research happening at Saint Mary's University.

If you did not get a chance to connect with a panelist during EXPO or would like to provide feedback on the event, please contact Danielle Goodfellow in the Office of Innovation and Community Engagement at

Congratulations to Patricia Langille from the Patrick Power Library, who is this years recepient of the Staff Research Recognition Award!

We look forward to seeing you at Research Expo 2022!


1:00pm     Opening remarks     
                 Dr. Adam Sarty, Associate, Vice-President, Research
                 Mr. Kevin Buchan, Director, Office of Innovation and Community Engagement

1:10pm      Session1 
                  Dr. Yigit Aydede, Economics
                  Dr. Ivana Damjanov, Astronomy and Physics
                  Dr. Jacob Hanley, Geology
                  Dr. Khan Rahaman, Wicked Problems Lab
                  Dr. Danielle Tokarz, Chemistry

1:30pm       Question and Answer 

1:40pm       Session 2 
                   Dr. Teresa Heffernan, English
                   Dr. Myles McCallum, Modern Languages and Classics
                   Dr. Claudia De Fuentes, Management
                   Dr. Nicolas Roulin, Psychology
                   Dr. Andrés Arteaga, Modern Languages and Classics

2:00pm       Question and Answer 

2:10pm       Session 3 
                   Dr. Arla Day, Psychology
                   Dr. Cristian Suteanu, Geography and Environmental Studies/Environmental Science
                   Dr. Alison Barclay, Modern Languages and Classics
                   Dr. Daphne Rixon, Accounting
                   Mrs. Shawna Murphy, Patrick Power Library
                   Dr. Ather Akbari, Economics

2:30 pm       Question and Answer

2:40 pm       Closing remarks     
                    Dr. Adam Sarty, Associate, Vice-President Research

3:00 pm       Wrap-up

Presenter Biographies

Mobility and Covid-19 Spread: Why is it so hard to analyze the relationship?

Dr. Yigit Aydede

Dr. Yigit Aydede is Associate Professor of Economics at Saint Mary’s University.

His research interest is economics of population in the area of applied microeconomics. He teaches machine learning, econometrics and data analytics courses.

His current research projects are related to machine learning applications on health care and chronic disease surveillance systems. Mostly recently, his research team was selected by the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Research Coalition. Their research is trying to understand the role that environmental factors play on local transmission rates.

He is a founding members of  MLportal (Research Portal on Machine Learning for Social and Health Policy), a joint initiative by researchers from Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s universities and collaborators all over the world.

His presentation topic is Mobility and COVID-19 Spread: Why is it so hard to analyze the relationship? 


Measuring the Invisible Universe: Dark Matter in Luminous Galaxies

Dr. Ivana Damjanov

Dr. Ivana Damjanov came to Saint Mary's University from Harvard University in 2017 and is a Canada Research Chair in Astronomy and Astrophysics (Tier II).

She seeks to expand the spectroscopic and imaging surveys of galaxies to cover large areas of the sky and provide the highest-quality data.

In carefully analyzing datasets the associate professor and her team hope to reveal:  the nature and origin of the densest galaxies in the universe, the shape and extent of dark matter halos in which they are embedded, and the connections between the changes that luminous and dark matter experience as galaxies grow and the universe ages.

In her presentation, Ivana will describe how we can use stars shining from distant galaxies to learn about matter that fills the universe and yet remains invisible to the eyes of our telescopes. 

The Bay of Fundy region: a copper-producing center in pre-contact Maritime Basin history

Dr. Jacob Hanley

Dr. Jacob Hanley is a Professor and the Principle Researcher and Manager of the Mineral Exploration and Ore Fluids Laboratory at Saint Mary’s University.

His group’s research focuses on the application of microanalytical techniques (notably fluid and melt inclusion methods, LA-ICPMS, Raman, SIMS) to understand ore deposit formation with a focus on precious metal deposits (PGE, Au) in magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE, porphyry and orogenic gold settings, mainly in Canada but also in South Africa, the United States, Australia and Indonesia.

Jacob has received numerous national awards including the 2016 Mineralogical Association of Canada Young Scientist Award.

Recently, in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History and the Metepanagiag First Nation, he has developed new analytical techniques in archaeometry to understand where Indigenous peoples in northeastern North America obtained ore metals prior to contact with Europeans.

He speaks on community-based, interdisciplinary research that reveals the Bay of Fundy region as the most important copper-producing centre in pre-contact Maritime Basin history. 


Wicked Problems Lab: Addressing Local and Regional Problems through Learning and Research

Dr. Khan Rahaman


Dr. Khan Rahaman is an Adjunct Professor in the Geography and Environmental Studies Department at Saint Mary’s University.

He is also a Research Analyst at the Wicked Problems Lab, a Saint Mary's hub for teaching and research opportunities.

Using the latest software and curated datasets, Khan helps faculty and students collect, manage and analyze data to address “wicked problems” like how to rebuild communities after disaster in the face of climate change.

Khan's presentation is titled Wicked Problems Lab: Addressing Local & Global Challenges Through Teaching & Research. 


Seeing the Invisible: Optically Active Molecules for Nonlinear Microscopy

Dr. Danielle Tokarz


Dr. Danielle Tokarz, Assistant Chemistry Professor at Saint Mary's University, specializes in the development of ultrafast, laser scanning microscopes.

The Toronto-born chemist completed her Ph.D in 2014 at the University of Toronto where she studied the nonlinear optical properties of carotenoid and chlorophyll molecules as dyes for nonlinear optical microscopy.

In 2015, she moved to Boston to take up a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellowship at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where she developed a new three-photon microscope for intravital imaging of bone in mice skulls.

Danielle will discuss ultrafast, laser scanning microscopes which have many potential medical and industrial uses including differentiating tumor tissue from healthy normal tissue as well as improving biomass processing.


The Science and Fiction of Artificial Intelligence

Dr. Teresa Heffernan


English Professor Dr. Teresa Heffernan studies the entanglement of the science and fiction of robotics and artificial intelligence.

She considers why science uses fiction even as it marginalizes the literary imagination in discussions of a technological future, why animals are so often problematically collapsed with robots given the rise of machines and the dramatic loss of biodiversity and how the categories and narratives about robots and animals differently narrate the human.

In addition to many journal articles, her books include: Cyborg Futures: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (edited collection, 2019); Veiled Figures: Women, Modernity, and the Spectres of Orientalism (2016) and Post-Apocalyptic Culture: Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Twentieth-Century Novel (2008/2012). 

Her presentation is titled The Science and Fiction of Artificial Intelligence. 


Re-examing Roman Villas: Research in the Velino Valley of Central Italy

Dr. Myles McCallum

Dr. Myles McCallum is an Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics at Saint Mary's University.

He received his Ph.D in Classics from the University at Buffalo, SUNY, in 2005, and specializes in Roman archaeology and history.

He is co-director of both the Villa of Titus Project in the Apennines of Lazio and the Basentello Valley Archaeological Research Project in Puglia.

He has published on archaeological ceramics, Pompeii, Roman imperialism in southern Italy, Italian urbanism, Roman villas and Roman imperial properties. His presentation is titled Re-examining Roman Villas: Research in the Velino Valley of Central Italy. 


Crowding-in or crowding-out? Analysis of innovation government support for firms located in Canada

Dr. Claudia De Fuentes


Dr. Claudia De Fuentes is Associate Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary's University.

Her international research experience includes innovation in firms, systems of innovation, the creation and use of knowledge in a globalized economy, innovation in global value chains, new forms of academia–industry collaboration and science, technology and innovation policy.

She will talk about a current study funded by the Treasury Board of Canada of five Canadian public funding programs including Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agencies Business Development Program to answer three questions: Do public subsidies stimulate additional private investment in innovation for firms in Canada? What is the connection between firm innovation dynamics and firm financial structure? What are the effects of government support instruments at different stages – innovation intensity, employment, highly qualified employees? 


Hiring with Video Interviews: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Dr. Nicolas Roulin

Dr. Nicolas Roulin is Associate Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Saint Mary’s University.

His research examines the use of new technologies (e.g. social media, video interviews, AI) in the hiring process, applicant impression management tactics and faking, personality assessment and employment discrimination.

His work has been published in top psychology and management journals such as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology and Human Resource Management Review.

Nicolas is author of the book, The Psychology of Job Interviews. His presentation is titled Hiring with Video Interviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. 


Colombian Post-Traumatic Literature

Dr. Andrés Arteaga


Originally from Colombia, Dr. Andrés Arteaga is passionate about teaching Spanish language, literature and culture.

He is an Assistant Professor in Spanish and Latin American Studies at the Department of Modern Languages and Classics. He specializes in literature produced after social violence and sociopolitical crises in Colombia. Currently he is conducting research on a group of 21st century Colombian émigré authors.

In 2012 he received Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funding to examine trauma and writing among Latin Americans in Canada and Colombian victims of political violence.

His presentation on Colombian post-traumatic literature includes examples of creative writing by women survivors of political violence from his research project and book, Phoenix’s Haven: The End of a Night of Agony, pursued in partnership with the Museo Casa de la Memoria in Medellin and featuring translations by his Spanish students at Saint Mary´s University.


(Post-) Pandemic Productivity: Developing Inclusive ‘Workplaces' for all Workers

Dr. Arla Day


Dr. Arla Day is a Professor in occupational health psychology at Saint Mary's University, a fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and a former Canada Research Chair in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

She is Director of the CN Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, a research and community outreach centre at Saint Mary’s.

Arla has received national funding for her work on healthy workplaces, respect and civility in the workplace, leadership, work stress, employee well-being and work-life balance.

She has been an international advisor on the Stockholm Stress Centre’s Advisory Board and Director for the EMPOWER Healthy Workplace Partnership. She hosts the university's Occupational Health Psychology Summer Institute.

Arla will speak on developing inclusive workplaces for all workers, especially during and after a pandemic.


Capturing the wind signature across time scales

Dr. Cristian Suteanu

Dr. Cristian Suteanu is a Professor in two Departments – Geography & Environmental Studies and Environmental Science – and the Chair of the Environmental Science Department.

He holds a Ph.D in Physics of the Earth and an M.Phil in Philosophy of Culture.

His research focuses on the processes by which we exchange information with our environment. This includes natural systems analysis and modeling applied to climate, renewable resources and natural hazards. His presentation concerns novel approaches to wind variability on time scales from seconds to years, designed to support the selection and characterization of wind turbine locations.

Ancient Greek Heroes Meet the Maori: the Lithographs of Marian Maguire

Dr. Alison Barclay

Alison Barclay is an Assistant Professor of Classics in the Modern Languages and Classics Department at Saint Mary’s University.

She holds a B.A. in Classics (University of Alberta, 1985), an M.A. in Greek and Roman History (University of Toronto, 1991) and a Ph.D in Greek Art and Archaeology (University of Toronto, 2002).

In her research Alison explores Greek religion, iconography and intercultural relations between Greece and the ancient Near East. She is venturing into the field of Classical Reception with a new project on New Zealand artist Marian Maguire (b. 1962).

Her presentation, Ancient Greek Heroes Meet the Maori: the Lithographs of Marian Maguire, explores Maguire's lithographs in which heroes from Greek myth are introduced into scenes from New

Measuring SDG Performance in Co-operatives and Credit Unions

Dr. Daphne Rixon

Dr. Daphne Rixon, Associate Professor of Accounting, Saint Mary’s University, has a Ph.D from the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, and is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Management Accountant.

She has over 20 years experience as a controller and director of finance and is Executive Director of the Centre of Excellence in Accounting and Reporting for Co-operatives. She is an award-winning researcher and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Co-operative Accounting and Management.

She has completed two studies for the Canadian Credit Union Association and the Filene Research Institute. With Dr. Fiona Duguid, she is leading a project to develop indicators for co-operatives that reflect the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Making Your Work Open

Mrs. Shawna Murphy

Shawna Murphy is Outreach & Engagement Librarian at the Patrick Power Library, Saint Mary’s University. She holds an MLIS from the University of Western Ontario and a BA from Acadia University.

Her research interests include evidence-based library and information practice (EBLIP), library marketing, open education and user experience in libraries.

Eager to reduce barriers to post-secondary education and to facilitate knowledge sharing, she will speak on open access (OA) publishing models: what they are, the many benefits of open access publishing, and the rights of authors when it comes to making their work open.


Immigration in Nova Scotia: Who Comes, who stays, who leaves and why?

Dr. Ather Akbari

Dr. Ather Akbari, Chair of the Atlantic Research Group on Economics of Immigration, Aging and Diversity (Sobey School of Business), is a labour economist who researches economics of immigration and education.

He has a Ph.D in Economics from Simon Fraser University and is a longtime member of the Canadian Economics Association.

Ather's books include Immigrants in Regional Labour Markets of Host Nations: Some Evidence from Atlantic Canada. His work was cited in The Economist magazine, New York Times and in a White House document.

He will address a recent project conducted for the Nova Scotia government: Immigration in Nova Scotia: Who comes, who stays, who leaves and why?



Share: Page Feedback