Campus Life

Board of Governors Research Chairs revealed

The University of Lethbridge Board of Governors appointed or reappointed seven Board of Governors Research Chairs at its regular meeting. The Board of Governors Research Chair program acknowledges the research accomplishments of University faculty members.

“We’re proud to recognize these researchers for their consistently excellent work and the contributions they have made to their field of study,” says Dr. Erasmus Okine, Vice-President (Research). “They are representative of the outstanding research activities taking place across disciplines and throughout campus. Their studies are making substantial contributions to the quality of life locally, provincially, nationally and beyond.”

New Appointments

Dr. Aaron Gruber – Tier II Board of Governors Research Chair in Neuroscience
Dr. Gruber’s laboratory utilizes a wide array of computational and experimental techniques to study how the brain uses past experience to make good choices. The lab’s current focus is to use modern technologies for recording and manipulating large-scale neural activity to study how molecular actions of dopamine receptors affect brain dynamics to influence behaviour.

Dr. Maura Hanrahan – Tier II Board of Governors Research Chair in Native American Studies
Dr. Hanrahan brings a wealth of academic, policy and practical knowledge to the University of Lethbridge. She conducts interdisciplinary work in water security, foodways and nutrition history, Indigenous health, Indigenous land-use and Arctic exploration. Her work employs methods rooted in anthropology, ethnohistory, the humanities and Indigenous learning.

Dr. Jean-Baptiste Leca – Tier II Board of Governors Research Chair in Psychology
Dr. Leca’s research program on non-human primate behaviour aims to offer insights into the biological and culture underpinnings of human evolution. He is particularly interested in the proximate and ultimate causes of adaptive, questionably adaptive and non-adaptive behavioural patterns in free-ranging monkeys.


Dr. Igor Kovalchuk – Tier I Board of Governors Research Chair in Biological Sciences
The research in Dr. I. Kovalchuk’s lab is devoted to the analysis of epigenetic and genetic regulation of plant genome stability under normal and stressful conditions. In particular, he is interested in epigenetic regulation of transgenerational adaptation to stress and developing novel methods for improvement of plant transformation.

Dr. Olga Kovalchuk – Tier I Board of Governors Research Chair in Biological Sciences
Dr. O. Kovalchuk investigates the role of epigenetics in carcinogenesis and cancer treatment responses as well as the influence of epigenetics in radiation induced genome instability, DNA repair and carcinogenesis.

Dr. David Naylor – Tier I Board of Governors Research Chair in Physics & Astronomy
As the Director of the Astronomical Instrumentational Group, Dr. Naylor is recognized as a world leader in the development of novel instrumentation to explore the universe at far-infrared wavelengths. He is playing a leading role in training up-and-coming astronomers and engineers while contributing to Canada’s ability to play leading roles in future space astronomy missions.

Dr. Sergio Pellis – Tier I Board of Governors Research Chair in Neuroscience
Using a broad comparative approach, involving a range of rodents, primates and other animals, research in Dr. Pellis’ laboratory seeks to understand the evolutionary conditions that make it possible for play to be co-opted as a tool to sharpen social skills.