FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 9, 2013
CAFA DISTINGUISHED ACADEMIC AWARDS, 2013
(EDMONTON) – The Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations (CAFA), the provincial organization representing academic staff associations at the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Calgary, and Athabasca University, is pleased to announce the recipients of the CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards for 2013.
Dr. Bryan Kolb, Professor in the Department of Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge, is the recipient of the 2013 CAFA Distinguished Academic Award.
Dr. Morris Flynn, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, has been chosen to receive this year’s CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award.
The CAFA Distinguished Academic Award recognizes academic staff members who through their research and/or other scholarly, creative or professional activities have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community beyond the university.
The CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award recognizes academic staff members who, at an early stage of their careers, through their research and/or other scholarly, creative or professional activities have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community beyond the university.
“Through the annual CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards, the academic staff associations of Alberta’s four research-intensive universities celebrate the exceptional contribution made by our members, through their research, scholarly and creative activities, to the community beyond the academy,” noted Dr. Robert Sutherland, the President of CAFA. “This year CAFA is proud to highlight the achievements of Dr. Bryan Kolb of the University of Lethbridge, and Dr. Morris Flynn of the University of Alberta, whose work, in their respective fields, is having a remarkable impact on the wider community outside their universities.”
The 2013 CAFA Distinguished Academic Awards will be presented at a banquet at the Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton, on Thursday, September 12, 2013. For further information on this year’s Award recipients, please see the attached backgrounders.
John Nicholls, Executive Director, CAFA
Tel (780) 492-5630 e-mail email@example.com
CAFA Distinguished Academic Award, 2013
Dr. Bryan Kolb, Department of Neuroscience, University of Lethbridge
Dr. Bryan Kolb, a Calgary native, has been described as ‘a founding father of behavioural neuroscience in this country and one of the most influential neuroscientists in the world.’ In the course of a long and distinguished career, Dr. Kolb, who joined the University of Lethbridge in 1976, has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of the brain and behavior, principles of brain development, and the ability of the brain to recover from injury or disease.
When Bryan Kolb began his career forty years ago, the study of the functional organization of the human brain and how it affects behavior was primitive by today’s standards; there were no courses or textbooks in the field. As a post-doctoral fellow at the Montreal Neurological Institute in the 1970s, Dr. Kolb developed Canada’s first course in human neuropsychology; and in 1980 he collaborated with his colleague Dr. Ian Whishaw to write the definitive neuropsychology textbook, Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology, now in its sixth edition, which is used in universities around the world.
One of Dr. Kolb’s greatest contributions has been the development of animal models of cognitive behavior to solve human problems related to early brain development, brain injury, stroke recovery and drug addiction. His research has shown how the cerebral cortex changes its structure in response to experiences, drugs, hormones and injury, and how these changes affect behaviour. This work provides insight into factors that affect the cerebral cortex in an embryo, as well as during the early years of development, which has led to strategies for improving recovery from early brain injury and precautions for pregnant women.
Dr. Kolb and his team were the first researchers to show that the mammalian brain has the capacity to repair itself after injury. This research holds promise for treating conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. As principal investigator in the Canadian Stroke Network, Dr. Kolb has spearheaded an unprecedented collaboration of scientists and physicians to combat the devastating results of strokes.
Through Dr.Kolb’s leadership, a group of world-class behavioural neuroscientists has evolved at the University of Lethbridge over the past two decades. He was the driving force in the creation of the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience (CCBN), which is housed at the U of L, and is the premiere institute of its kind in Canada. The CCBN attracts visiting researchers from all over the world to Lethbridge.
Dr. Kolb has consulted widely with and provided workshops to hospitals, rehab facilities, and groups of clinical practitioners. His work on early environmental stimulation and stimulation of brian growth factors has triggered much clinical work and has moulded interventions with children with brain injuries or brain development problems. Dr. Kolb has also acted as a consultant on the development of best practices and innovative approaches to treating brain injury, mental health problems, and drug addiction.
In the words of a colleague, ‘I know of no other academic in Alberta who has risen to such prominence based on fundamental research and who has also been so successful in translating that research into community impact for the public good.’
Dr. Kolb has published a number of books, as well as roughly 350 scholarly articles and chapters. He is a long-time member of the prestigious ‘Group of One Hundred’ of the leading behavioural neuroscientists in the world – only nine of whom are Canadian. Among his many other distinctions, Bryan Kolb is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the holder of honorary doctorates from the University of British Columbia and Thompson Rivers University. In 2004, Dr. Kolb received the Outstanding Leadership in Alberta Science Award of the Alberta Science and Technology Leadership Foundation, and this year he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal of the Royal Society of Canada.
CAFA Distinguished Academic Early Career Award 2013
Dr. Morris Flynn, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta
Dr. Morris R. Flynn (P.Eng.), an Alberta native, received his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering (2000) and an M.Sc. in Applied Mathematics (2003), both from the University of Alberta. He completed a Ph.D. (2006) in Engineering Science at the University of California, San Diego, working under the supervision of Drs. Colm P. Caulfield and Paul F. Linden. Dr. Flynn's doctoral research examined buoyancy-driven flow with applications to environmental transport and convective heat transfer in low-energy buildings.
After the completion of his Ph.D., Morris Flynn became an instructor in the Dept. of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Inst. of Technology. At MIT, he worked with Drs. John W. M. Bush, R. Ruben Rosales and
T. Peacock and studied, respectively, the mechanics of underwater breathing by aquatic arthropods; the mathematical modeling of "phantom jams," traffic jams that appear in the absence of bottlenecks and for no apparent reason; and tidal conversion, the process by which internal waves are generated at seamounts by the tidal-induced sloshing of stratified seawater.
Each of these analyses proved to have a far-reaching impact. Dr. Flynn’s's work on underwater breathing, for example, was featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Globe and
Mail, news.nationalgeographic.com, and CBC's weekly-radio program Quirks and Quarks. Much media attention was devoted as well to Dr. Flynn's investigation of traffic flow modeling, write-ups of which appeared in Wired and The Financial Times. This research project was selected by Discover magazine as one of the top 100 science news stories of 2009. Dr. Flynn’s's research concerning oceanic internal waves was published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, broadly considered to be the world's preeminent vehicle for reporting on novel research related to fluid flow. From the time of its publication in 2009, the associated paper has been much cited by other researchers.
Dr. Flynn returned to the University of Alberta in July 2008 as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Since becoming a faculty member, he has continued to collaborate with numerous talented researchers at home and abroad and to pursue research in diverse fields, including, for example, the stability of thin films, the fluid mechanics of CO2 sequestration in geological formations, and the possibility of wind energy harvesting using flexible tree-like structures. While Dr. Flynn’s research is, in the words of one of his colleagues, ‘profoundly fundamental and exceptionally rigorous in formulation’, and he continues to publish in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, he has also been notably successful in making his findings accessible to a general audience.
Dr. Flynn presently supervises four Master's students and two Ph.D. students and devotes careful attention to problems of environmental and economic importance to the province of Alberta. For instance, and in addition to the list of research projects listed above, he recently completed a consulting project for a major oil sands producer that examined a particular technical question regarding stratified mixing in tailings ponds; this topic was previously identified by the World Wildlife Foundation as being of special significance insofar as addressing the ponds' long-term ecological impact.
Dr. Flynn's interest in fluid mechanics and its many applications is one that he shares with students at many different levels. In addition to his regular undergraduate and graduate teaching responsibilities, he served as an instructor and principal laboratory coordinator for the 2012 Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences Fluid Dynamics Summer School. This week-long event was hosted by the University of Alberta and brought together 19 aspiring senior undergraduate and junior graduate students from England and across North America. The goal of the summer school was to combine classroom learning with hands-on training that emphasized the application of particular theoretical concepts. Through events such as these, Dr. Flynn passes along his passion for theoretical and applied mechanics as well as cutting-edge scientific research.