June 23, 2016 - 12:45pm
VIU Drs. Erik Krogh and Chris Gill launch two research programs after being awarded NSERC Discovery Grants
Vancouver Island University (VIU) Chemistry professors Dr. Erik Krogh and Dr. Chris Gill are celebrating the announcement of two Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant awards totaling $250,000 that will allow them to make significant contributions to their groundbreaking work in environmental chemistry and analytical mass spectrometry – a field of study where researchers identify contaminants and determine their concentration levels in the environment.
Each year NSERC provides more than $340 million through their Discovery Grant Program so Canada’s best researchers can pursue their most promising ideas and breakthrough discoveries. An announcement ceremony took place Thursday at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario to announce awards to more than 3,800 researchers at over 70 universities across Canada.
Dr. Krogh and Dr. Gill are Co-Directors of VIU’s Applied Environmental Research Laboratories (AERL). The $250,000 will be distributed over five years to fund research programs they are leading. This funding is used to directly support student centered research projects leading to scientific discoveries and important innovations.
“Thanks to NSERC support, we will be able to push the limits of what we know is possible with mass spectrometry. The research programs we are launching are aimed at developing new approaches for the direct, real time measurement of trace level molecules in different environments, which has important applications in environmental, medical and material sciences,” said Dr. Gill. “The work we are doing at AERL includes specially designing sample introduction membranes for use with mass spectrometers. By using these membranes with the sensitive measurement capabilities of mass spectrometry, we can do direct chemical analyses on air, water and other complicated samples on site in a mobile lab. This has profound implications for risk assessment, emergency response to critical contamination situations, and eco-toxicology.”
VIU Provost and Vice-President Academic, Dr. David Witty, said the internationally recognized work being done in VIU’s AERL not only advances the University’s commitment to supporting research but ensures VIU students continue to have access to world-class opportunities.
“Thanks to the latest funding announcement from NSERC, Drs. Krogh and Gill will be able to expand their important work while continuing to provide opportunities to VIU undergraduate and graduate student researchers both in the field and in the lab,” said Dr. Witty. “NSERC funding provides the flexibility and independence researchers require to fully explore and expand their research. It allows exceptional scientists like Drs. Gill and Krogh to continue to be leading innovators in their field and assist the next generation of researchers who work in their lab to become future leaders and innovators.”
Dr. B. Mario Pinto is the President of NSERC. He says NSERC’s Discovery Grants Program invests in a full range of science and engineering disciplines to build a strong foundation for innovation.
"Discoveries build the necessary foundation for an innovative, prosperous and sustainable society. A diversified and high-quality research base requires us to provide equality of opportunity across gender and culture. Bringing together multiple points of view strengthens our science, technology and innovation ecosystem and extends its many benefits more equally," said Dr. Pinto.
Dane Gibson, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University
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