Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Faculty Research Highlights

Recent StFX Faculty Research in the News:

Canada's methane emissions are likely undercounted, and that makes them harder to cut. Dave Risk has spent a lot of time hunting down methane, a colourless and odourless gas that's notoriously difficult to sniff out. Methane is a particularly damaging greenhouse gas that forms 13 per cent of Canada's total emissions, and the federal government has a multi-million dollar plan to reduce methane emissions to help meet its climate targets.  However, the plan to reduce methane emissions depends on accurate measurement.

St. Francis Xavier University Researcher Hopes to Blue the Boundaries Between Fresh and Frozen.  Using grant money from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation John R Evans Leaders Fund and matching fundings from Research Nova Scotia (RNS) to purchase leading-edge lab equipment, a member of the StFX Department of Chemistry, Dr. Shah Razul, focuses on how to keep lobster tasting fresh after it is frozen.

Cannabis use among youth linked to lower income and education, say researchers.  Young cannabis users may earn less income than their peers, are less likely to earn university degrees and may have poorer health outcomes, according to research.  These are some of the findings from psychology professors Kara Thompson of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. and Bonnie Leadbeater of University of Victoria that were published in the Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science and Prevention Science.

StFX scientist helps with slippery marine research.  Taking a tip from Mother Nature, a St. Francis Xavier University professor and a team of researchers in Sydney, Australia have come up with a non-toxic, super-slippery surface material with a wealth of possible marine applications.  Dr. Truis Smith-Palmer, Professor in the Department of Chemistry says that the “nanowrinkle” technology is intended to prevent the fouling of surfaces by invasive organisms, a problem that persists wherever ships and structures must be immersed in ocean waters.  

China's Arctic Ambitions: Irving Shipbuilding Chair at StFX's Mulroney Institute of Government Launches New Book. Dr. Adam Lajeunesse, Irving Shipbuilding Chair at the Mulroney Institute and co-author Whitney Lackenbauer (St. Jerome's University) examine important developments in China's circumpolar affairs. 

New e-book series launched by Mulroney Institute into Arctic Operations by the Navy and Coast Guard.   Dr. Adam Lajeunesse, Irving Shipbuilding Chair at the Mulroney Institute, is editing a new research series of e-books which includes in its first volume a history of the HMCS Labrador, Canada's first icebreaker and Artic Patrol Craft in the mid 1950s.

How Canada is dominating the field of sexuality research.   Dr. Karen Blair is identified as one of "Canada's best sexuality researchers" in this Globe and Mail article written by Zosia Bielski. Dr. Blair's research focuses on relationships, sexuality and same-sex couples. This article references her current project that explores dating experiences in the transgender community.

Golfers who keep their eyes focused on where they want the ball to go have a higher chance of sinking a putt, Nova Scotia researchers have found.  A team based at St. Francis Xavier University observed that, contrary to common practice, golfers who looked up instead of down while putting were more successful.  Human kinetics professor Sasho MacKenzie and his student Neil MacInnis recently published their findings in the International Journal of Golf Science. 

Enhancing children's development through motor activity.  What is behind children’s learning and growth? While motor skills have long been thought critical for the development of a child, scientists face a big challenge in developmental science: how can active exploration of the world with one’s moving body affect the brain and growth of non-motor skills such as social behaviour, perception and cognition?  Challenging some established theories on child development, a collection of research articles—a Frontiers Research Topic—shows how as a child learns to master motor skills, other areas of development can improve over time.  

Tracking ticks: New study forecasts spread of Lyme disease in Eastern Canada  An interdisciplinary group of researchers with backgrounds ranging from nursing and biology to climate sciences and entomology has recently concluded a study which may help to inform and stimulate adaptation planning associated with the increasing incidence of Lyme disease. StFX M.Sc. students Michelle McPherson, Almudena García-García and Francisco José Cuesta-Valero (supported by the NSERC CREATE Training program in Climate Sciences) in collaboration with Drs. Hugo Beltrami (Canada Research Chair in Climate Dynamics), Patti Hansen-Ketchum, Donna MacDougall (both professors in the StFX School of Nursing) and Nicholas Hume Ogden (National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada) worked collaboratively to estimate the future potential impacts of climate change on the presence, abundance and propagation of the Lyme disease carrying tick using the most up-to-date climate models.

Mike Myers’ nostalgia for Golden Age of nationalism highlights a Canadian identity crisis:  StFX Sociology Professor, Dr. Patricia Cormack explores the issue of Canadian identify in her new book, Desiring Canada, co-written with James F. Cosgrave, Professor of Sociology at Trent University Durham. 

Methane pollution from B.C.’s oil, gas industry higher than provincial estimates  Methane pollution from B.C.’s oil and gas industry is 2.5 times higher than provincial estimates state, according to research conducted by a team led by Dr. David Risk at StFX and partners at the David Suzuki Foundation.  The research tested 1,600 facilities including well sites in northeastern B.C.  


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