Discovery Grants back 75 Western research projects

For many, the meaning of a text isn’t as plain as the words written on the page.

Led by Western Education professor Deanna Friesen, a new project will investigate the wide range of reading abilities in children and adults in order to understand what factors lead to better comprehension of the written word.

By monitoring eye-movements, researchers study how different groups of readers confront challenges when reading. Through that, Friesen will assess skills known as important prerequisites for reading comprehension success, including attention span, language proficiency and ability to make inferences in texts.

“By better understanding where things break down for different groups of readers, we can make recommendations to target successful reading comprehension development,” she said.

Individual Differences in Comprehension Monitoring During Text Processing was among 75 university research projects across seven faculties receiving more than $13.8 million in Discovery Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Discovery Grants support ongoing programs of research with long-term goals, rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects.

Other Western Discovery recipients include:

  • Donglin Bai, Physiology and Pharmacology, Molecular domains determining gap junction channel properties, $36,000;
  • Robert Bartha, Robarts Research Institute, Magnetic Resonance Chemical Exchange Saturation Transfer Imaging of Intracellular pH, $50,000;
  • Johanna Blacquiere, Chemistry, Structurally- and Proton-Responsive Ligands for Sustainable Catalysis, $48,000;
  • Lindsay Bodell, Psychology, Biobehavioral Mechanisms Underlying Non-homeostatic Eating, $28,000;
  • Christopher Brandl, Biochemistry, Mistranslation and Synthetic Biology, $32,000;
  • Cristian Bravo Roman, Statistical and Actuarial Sciences, Artificial Intelligence Methods for Fair and Transparent Credit Risk Rating Systems, $36,000;
  • Luiz Capretz, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Software Testing is Serious Business: A Holistic Approach, $24,000;
  • Alex Chortos, Chemistry, Elastomer Development and Processing for 3D Electrostatic Actuators, $33,000;
  • Lauren Cipriano, Richard Ivey School of Business, Optimal resource allocation and technology adoption in dynamic systems, $31,000;
  • Robert Corless, Applied Mathematics, Hybrid Symbolic-Numeric Algorithms for Complex Nonlinear Systems, $29,000;
  • Mark Daley, Computer Science, Natural computing in the brain: geometry, criticality, and fusion, $38,748;
  • Matthew Davison, Statistical and Actuarial Sciences, Real Options for Planning, Operating, and Analyzing Energy Systems, $36,000;
  • Sandrine de Ribaupierre, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Imaging the development of the auditory network – from fetus to toddler, $47,000;
  • Gianni Di Guglielmo, Physiology and Pharmacology, Molecular mechanisms regulating lung development, $32,000;
  • Hesham El Naggar, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Design of sustainable and resilient geotechnical infrastructure for transportation systems, $88,000;
  • Marcos Escobar Anel, Statistical and Actuarial Sciences, Dynamic Portfolio Optimization Problems in Finance and Insurance, $31,000;
  • Aleksander Essex, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Privacy, Identity and Trust in Electronic Voting Technologies, $41,000;
  • Giovanni Fanchini, Physics and Astronomy, Laboratory of semiconducting and photoactive “post- graphene” 2D materials, nanomaterials and nanocomposites, $41,000;
  • Paula Foster, Robarts Research Institute, Development of Magnetic Particle Imaging, $75,000;
  • Matthias Franz, Mathematics, Higher homotopy algebras in transformation groups, $18,000;
  • Deanna Friesen, Education, Individual Differences in Comprehension Monitoring During Text Processing, $24,000;
  • Stewart Gaede, Medical Biophysics, Development of a non-invasive real-time tumour motion tracking method using surface-guided radiation therapy, $24,000;
  • Lyudmila Goncharova, Physics and Astronomy, Ion beams: creating functionalities and probing interfaces in materials, $28,000;
  • Christopher Guglielmo, Biology, Migration physiology and energetics of birds and bats, $78,000;
  • Douglas Hamilton, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Combining substratum compliance and topography to investigate cell adhesion and contraction, $32,000;
  • Elizabeth Hampson, Psychology, Androgens and Estrogens in the Human Nervous System, $55,000;
  • Hugh Henry, Biology, Winter as a driver of nitrogen cycle responses to environmental change: responses of leguminous plants to variability in freezing, $47,000;
  • David Holdsworth, Medical Biophysics, Image-based 3D-printing for biomedical applications, $32,000;
  • John Jardine, Mathematics, Applications of Homotopy Theory, $21,000;
  • François, Lagugné-Labarthet, Chemistry, Plasmonic metamaterials: enabling new routes for localized surface chemistry, $64,000;
  • Gilles Lajoie, Biochemistry, Development of new and innovative strategies in biological mass spectrometry and proteomics, $50,000;
  • David Litchfield, Biochemistry, Application of a Chemical Biology Toolkit to Decipher Kinase Activity in Time and Space, $49,000;
  • Lijia Liu, Chemistry, Characterization of Light-Emitting Inorganic Nanomaterials using Synchrotron Radiation Spectroscopy, $24,000;
  • Jed Long, Geography, Data fusion methods for combining remote sensing and wildlife tracking data, $25,000;
  • Wei-Yang Lu, Robarts Research Institute, Regulation of Esophageal Motility by NO-producing Neurons in the Brainstem, $33,000;
  • Sarah Mattonen, Medical Biophysics, Heterogeneous data fusion and machine learning for image understanding in lung cancer, $24,000;
  • Jeremy McNeil, Biology, Monarch fall migration, overwintering mortality and the effects of defence compounds released by decomposing butterflies on the soil ecosystem, $33,000;
  • W. James Melling, Kinesiology, Sex differences in the glucoregulatory response to acute and recurrent exercise, $28,000;
  • Robert Mercer, Computer Science, Argumentation in scholarly biomedical literature: Computational theory, implementation, and supporting deep learning software, $41,000;
  • Amanda Moehring, Biology, The genetic and neural basis of female behaviours in Drosophila, $69,000;
  • Yolanda Morbey, Biology, Models of avian migration: development and empirical tests using automated radio-telemetry, $28,000;
  • Timothy Newson, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Development of foundations for renewable energy technologies, $26,000;
  • Klaus-Peter Ossenkopp, Psychology, Immune, Hormonal and Neural Mechanisms of Ingestive Behavior, $28,000;
  • Arghya Paul, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Engineered Mineral Nanoparticles and Nanocomposites: A Versatile Multifunctional Platform for 3D Bioprinting and Tissue Engineering, $38,000;
  • Els Peeters, Physics and Astronomy, Infrared studies of large carbonaceous molecules, $50,000;
  • Terence Peters, Robarts Research Institute, Development and Evaluation of Hybrid Virtual Reality Simulators for Clinical Training, $55,000;
  • Geoffrey Pickering, Robarts Research Institute, Endothelial Cell Dynamics in Low Flow, $42,000;
  • Martin Pinsonnault, Mathematics, Symplectic topology and equivariant geometry, $18,000;
  • Ilia Polouchine, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Scattering-based control design for interconnected and networked systems, $46,000;
  • Christopher Power, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Advancing non-invasive geoelectrical methods for imaging soil and groundwater contaminants, $26,000;
  • Frank Prato, Medical Biophysics, Advances in Hybrid PET/MRI Cardiac Imaging, $34,000;
  • Lars Rehmann, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Biochemical and physiochemical processes for resource valorization, $39,000;
  • Arash Reyhani-Masoleh, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Arithmetic for Cryptography and Reliable Security: Algorithms and Architectures, $33,000;
  • Cheryle Seguin, Physiology and Pharmacology, Regulation of mechanotransduction in the intervertebral disc, $42,000;
  • Hristo Sendov, Statistical and Actuarial Sciences, Geometry of Polynomials, Operator-Valued Maps, Polar and Non-Commutative Convex Analysis, $27,000;
  • Rasul Shafikov, Mathematics, Geometric Methods in Complex Analysis, $21,000;
  • Robert Shcherbakov, Earth Sciences, Physics and Statistics of Earthquake Processes, $30,000;
  • Roberto Solis-Oba, Computer Science, Approximation Algorithms for Combinatorial Optimization Problems, $24,000;
  • Yang Song, Chemistry, Enabling and advancing novel functional materials under extreme conditions for energy applications, $24,000;
  • James Staples, Biology, Metabolic suppression in mammalian hibernation – Mechanisms and implications, $55,000;
  • Viktor Staroverov, Chemistry, Development and Application of Nonempirical Density- Functional Methods, $64,000;
  • Peter Stathopulos, Physiology and Pharmacology, Molecular mechanisms regulating the form and function of atypical calcium sensor proteins, $36,000;
  • Lars Stentoft, Economics, Option Pricing with Multivariate GARCH Models, $27,000;
  • Martin Stillman, Chemistry, Bioinorganic chemistry of metalloproteins, $36,000;
  • Bobby Stojanoski, Psychology, Investigating the development of higher-level cognition from childhood to adolescence, $24,000;
  • Graham Thompson, Biology, Genetic basis of social behavior in honey bee and other insect models, $50,000;
  • Livio Tornabene, Earth Sciences, An intensive study of impact craters to “”probe”” and “”gauge”” the complex geologic history of Mars and to further understand cratering as a formative process on terrestrial bodies, $30,000;
  • Ana Luisa Trejos, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wearable Mechatronic Garments for Motion Assistance, $39,000;
  • Olga Trichtchenko, Physics and Astronomy, Methods for Solving Nonlinear Differential Equations Describing Water Waves, $18,000;
  • Francesca Vidotto, Applied Mathematics, Loop Quantum Gravity: from Computation to Phenomenology, $24,000;
  • Aiming Wang, Biology, Molecular Plant-Virus Interactions: Defence and Counter- defence, $58,000;
  • Boyu Wang, Computer Science, Knowledge Transfer in Artificial Intelligence Systems, $29,000;
  • Maged Youssef, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Structural Assessment and Repair of Superelastic-Shape- Memory-Alloy Reinforced-Concrete Framed Structures Following Exposure to Seismic and/or Fire Events, $31,000;
  • Pei Yu, Applied Mathematics, Complex Dynamics in Biological Systems: A Bifurcation Theory Approach, $27,000; and
  • Yayuan Zhu, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Advanced Regression and Prediction Methods in Event History Data Analysis, $18,000.

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