Campus Life

July 1 marks the start for six new U of L Board of Governors Research Chairs

Six diverse scholars will begin their appointments as Board of Governors Research Chairs, highlighting their exceptional work and impacts on their chosen fields of study.

“I am very pleased these individuals are being recognized as the outstanding scholars that they are,” says Dr. Robert Wood, interim vice-president (research). “They reflect the exceptional quality of research being done across the academic disciplines at the U of L and their important work enhances our reputation as one of Canada’s most influential research institutions.”

Dr. Debra Basil, a professor in the Dhillon School of Business, will begin a five-year term as a Tier I Research Chair in Marketing and Management. Her research examines social responsibility with marketing and management, with a focus on the nexus of non-profit and for-profit organizations. She has held several major external grants and her works have been presented in numerous national and international journals and conferences. She is currently completing a book titled Social Marketing in Action: Cases from Around the World.

Also appointed at the Tier I level is Dr. Chris Hopkinson, a professor in the Department of Geography & Environment. He will be the Research Chair in Terrestrial Ecosystem Remote Sensing. Hopkinson founded the ARTeMIS Lab for ecosystem change in 2013, when he joined the University of Lethbridge after working as an Environmental Research Scientist with the Australian Government. With a background in engineering and geography, Hopkinson integrates hydro-meteorological, remote sensing, spatial and temporal data sources to better understand multi-dimensional natural resource and ecosystem process dynamics in cold region environments.

Mary Kavanagh begins a five-year term as a Tier I Research Chair in Fine Arts. Kavanagh is a visual artist and professor in the Department of Art, where she teaches drawing, interdisciplinary studio, spatial art practice and critical theory. For more than 20 years, her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, and she has consistently contributed to academic forums including publishing, lecturing, conference publications and adjudicating.

Beginning a four-year appointment as a Tier II Research Chair in Addiction is Dr. Darren Christensen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences. He researches the etiology, prevention, and treatment of addiction.  His research includes developing behavioural treatments for problem gambling, evaluations of the effectiveness of harm minimization measures, and an investigation of regular opioid antagonist dosing on gambling urge and brain function.

Dr. Richard Larouche, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Public Health Program, has been appointed a Tier II Research Chair in Children’s Physical Activity for a four-year term. He joined the Faculty in 2017 after a postdoctoral fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. His research program revolves around physical activity among children and youth, with special interest in different types of physical activity such as active transportation (e.g., walking and cycling to and from places) and outdoor play. Larouche published his first book in 2018 with Elsevier entitled, Children’s Active Transportation.

Also at the Tier II level, Dr. Jenny McCune has been appointed as Board of Governors Research Chair in Plant Conservation for four years. McCune, a faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences, completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph and graduate degrees at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom and the University of British Columbia. Between degrees, she worked as a professional ecologist for an environmental NGO in California and as a biologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Prior to joining the U of L, she held a Liber Ero fellowship, which supported her work in the conservation of rare plants in Canada.