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Permanent Table: CUE Research Presentations

Posted on: Nov 29, 2016

Dear colleagues at Concordia University of Edmonton. This new post will appear anew every week, and will be updated during the weekwhenever we receive new info to be shared on activities, presentations, conferences of our researchers, research clusters, centres and institutes. Please remember that our EICR is the one institution at Concordia that organizes and fosters our Applied and Community based Research.

Please contact the VP International and Research (manfred.zeuch@concordia.ab.ca) for news and info and for scheduling new research forums.






Wed. November 16, 12:00-1:00 pm.  HA 020.  Emma Rochester, Ph.D. candidate, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University (Australia).  “Pathways travelled by a woman artist-scholar” (co-hosted by Travel and Focus on Women Research Clusters)

Ms. Rochester will reflect on the many travels, opportunities, challenges, and insights she has had in artistic and academic career to date.

Emma Christina Lucia Rochester is a context-based interdisciplinary artist-schoalr who uses her body as a channel to investigate the iconic power of nature – a terminal through which explorations of imagination, memory, and sensorial understandings of gendered landscapes are filtered and structured into multilayered works. Exploring ideas of the feminine as allegory for natural environs and the sacred, she creates site-specific projects that comprise fiber forms, drawings, textile design, sculpture, video art and performance artefacts. Her current PhD project is an inquiry into the affirmative potential for the depiction and experiencing of the divine as woman. Titled “The Embodied Artefact – a nomadic approach to gendered sites of reverence through an interdisciplinary art practice”, Rochester undertakes pilgrimages to scapes of prayer and petition for those who identify as female/woman. These include but are not limited to Black Madonna shrines, caves, springs, lakes, Neolithic fertility sites and Aphrodite Temples.



Wed. November 16, 2016, 4:00-5:00 pm, HA 206 – Presenter: Dr. Jens Walter: “The Fiber Gap and the Disappearing Gut Microbiome: Implications for Human Health” (Research Cluster on Wellness)

Humans have evolved with dense microbial populations (the gut microbiome) that colonize our gastrointestinal tract and are integral to our health. It is therefore concerning that recent research has convincingly demonstrated that modern lifestyle, and specifically a western diet low in dietary fiber, has led to a substantial depletion of the gut microbiome. In addition, lack of dietary fiber deprives the gut microbiota of accessible nutrients, reducing metabolic end products of microbial fermentation that are known to have beneficial metabolic and immunological effects. These processes are implicated in immune dysregulation and may explain the rampant increase of chronic diseases in industrialized societies that share inflammation as an underlying mechanism, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, atopic disease, autism, and autoimmune diseases. Virtually all nutritional organizations already encourage consumption of dietary fiber in an attempt to prevent these diseases, but average dietary fiber intake remains low, generating what is referred to as the “fiber gap”. The recent findings on the biological importance of the gut microbiome do now provide an additional incentive to increase our efforts to boost dietary fiber consumption in an attempt to adequately nourish the symbiotic microbial communities that are so essential to our health.

Dr. Jens Walter – Associate Professor, University of Alberta

Campus Alberta Innovation Program (CAIP) Chair: Nutrition, Microbes & Gastrointestinal Health, Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science/Department of Biological Sciences

Email: jwalter1@ualberta.ca

Bio: After receiving his doctoral degree from the University of Hohenheim in Germany, Jens Walter performed postdoctoral research in genetic and functional metagenomic approaches to study gut microbial ecology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. After his postdoctoral training, he joined the faculty of the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska, where he received tenure. Dr. Walter is now an Associate Professor and Campus Alberta Innovation Program Chair for Nutrition, Microbes, and Gastrointestinal Health at the University of Alberta with a joint appointment in the Departments of ‘Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science’ and ‘Biological Sciences’.

Dr. Walter’s highly interdisciplinary and collaborative research group is dedicated to the investigation of the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape host–microbial symbioses in the vertebrate gut, and specifically the effect of ecological factors (diet, host genetics, lifestyle) on the composition and function of the gut microbiome in the context of health. There are currently three major areas of research in the Walter lab: 1) understanding the impact of diet on the gut microbiome, and the role of diet-microbiome interactions in the health effects of nutritional strategies, 2) determination of the ecological processes that shape community assembly and characteristics of the gut microbiota, and the specific factors (diet, host genetics, lifestyle, colonization history) that impact such processes, and 3) elucidate the biology of the symbiosis between vertebrates (including humans) and the bacterial inhabitants of their gastrointestinal tract, and specifically how these relationships are established, maintained, and evolve, using gut lactobacilli as a model. One of the long-term goals of the Walter lab is to develop microbiome-targeted nutritional strategies to improve human health based on rigorous scientific and ecological criteria.



Mon. November 21 4:00-5:00, T104.  “Expressive Individualism, the Cult of the Artist as Genius, and Milton’s Lucifer.  ”Patrick Madigan S.J., professor of philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London – (Institute for Christian Studies and Society)

I start off with what the American Sociologist Robert Bellah and the Canadian Philosopher Charles Taylor call ‘Expressive Individualism’, and which they present as the default life style of our time, especially in the West. I give some examples and then ask about the origin of this life style. I first trace this back to the cult of the artist revered as a ‘genius’, which flourished during the 19th-century; this cult has been democratized and universalized in our time. I then trace its origins one step further to the depiction John Milton gives of Lucifer in his poem PARADISE LOST; in Milton’s altered portrayal, Lucifer rejects not only Jesus as the highest creature, he rejects the Father as father. He declares ‘I know none before me: I am self-begot’. In so far as we embrace ‘expressive individualism’ as an ethic for our time, therefore, we are implicitly committed to Milton’s Lucifer as an archetype for human fulfilment; I suggest this might be a toxic model.  The paper is interdisciplinary and should appeal to faculty and students from all of the Arts disciplines, particularly English literature.


Thursday November 24, 12:35 –  HA 310 Talk by Tim Labron: “The Principles of Logic are not the Logic of Science and Religion”


Tuesday, November 29, 3:30-5:30  T 104.  Farzad Zare-Bawani, Psychology CUE.  “Suffering Subject, Objective Knowledge: Unbearable Mental States in the Age of Evidence.”

This talk offers a critique of contemporary psychological views on consciousness with respect to suffering and pain.   I focus on our understanding of human suffering and discuss the impact of evidence-based methodology on those things which are experienced as unwanted, abject, or unbearable.  I conclude by raising a crucial ethical question for discussion.

Tuesday November 29, 12:35 – HA 310 Talk by Travis Dumsday: “Can Neuroscience Explain Mystical Experience?”



Monday December 5, 2016 12 pm – T104 –  “Reflections by a Concordia Student: The 2016 Youth Global Humanitarianism and Participation Seminar in Taipei, Taiwan,” Kelsea Gillespie.

CUE student Kelsea Gillespie traveled to Taipei, Taiwan (Republic of China) from October 9-18 to represent Canada. Join CUE’s Travel Research Cluster to hear Kelsea’s reflections on her trip, experience, and research for the Seminar on “Building Bridges, Not Walls: The Role of Youth in Narrowing the Gap Between the Rich and the Poor.”


Tuesday December 6, 2016 – Location: A205 – Time: 12 – 1pm

Launch of the Research Cluster on Linguistics and Language Education. Reaching Everyone: How to Create Better Open Access Resources for Language Learning.” Dr. Conrad Van Dyk.

Dr. Van Dyk is an Associate Professor of English at Concordia University of Edmonton. His research spans a number of fields, including medieval studies and digital humanities. His book John Gower and the Limits of the Law (2013) deals with the intersection of law and literature in the fourteenth century, particularly in the works of the poet John Gower. In addition to writing articles, he is also a major contributor to the Online Gower Bibliography. At present he has shifted his focus to the teaching of writing and is working on creating an open access writing guide for students. The Nature of Writing is still under construction, but should be ready for use across the curriculum by the fall of 2017.  In its final form it will combine prose and video instruction in all aspects of academic writing, as well as numerous practice exercises at various levels of difficulty.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016 – 4:00-5:00 pm – HA 206 – “Mental Health Matters: Creating Flow in the Workplace”, Georgette Reed (Research Cluster on Wellness).

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in three Canadians will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. As the second highest cause for hospitalization in Canada, mental illness strikes people from all walks of life and all ethnic backgrounds, at every income and age level. Experiencing mental illness can be a very frightening and isolating experience, whether it affects you or someone you care about. Contact with the everyday world is changed when our mental health is affected and everything we do can become more of a challenge. Mental health care means more than just taking care of our physical selves. It also means ensuring the well-being of our mental, emotional and spiritual sides. So how do we support people who are struggling with mental illness or trying to recover from a mental health injury or trauma? This presentation will discuss some of the most common mental health issues and what Edmonton Fire Rescue has undertaken to assist first responders dealing with the stigma of mental illness and other occupational stress injuries.

Georgette Reed, ChPC, MA, BPE, CSCSMember (Speakers’ Bureau of Alberta©), distinguished Olympian

Bio: Georgette Reed has had a keen interest in Sport, Fitness, Health and Wellness all of her life. A certified track and field and strength and conditioning, coach with 40 years of competitive experience under her belt in the sports of athletics, bobsleigh, swimming and water polo, Georgette now puts all of the knowledge and expertise to good use as the Health and Wellness Coordinator for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services and Mental Health First Aid instructor for the City of Edmonton.

During her athletic career, Georgette represented Canada in the Olympic Games, the World Athletics Championships, the World Bobsleigh Championships, the Pan American Games, the Commonwealth Games and many other international events. As a competitor, Georgette won 17 national titles (15 in the shot put and two discus titles). Upon retiring from competing, Georgette was the head cross country, track and field coach for the University of Alberta for 10 years, and helped develop champions at the provincial, national and international levels and was a mentor/coach for Special Olympics Athletics athletes and coaches in Alberta.