The Canadian Association for Graduate Studies (CAGS) is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2019 CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award.
The CAGS-ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award has been recognizing outstanding Canadian doctoral dissertations for more than twenty years. The initiative seeks to showcase original research that makes significant contributions, both to their respective academic communities and to Canadian society at large. There are two awards presented annually: one for Engineering, Medical Sciences and Natural Sciences; and one for Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Winners of this year’s award will receive a $1,500 cash prize, a Citation Certificate, and an invitation to attend a special ceremony held at the CAGS 57th Annual Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Winner – Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences:
Dr. Janelle Marie Baker, Anthropology Department, McGill University
Dr. Baker completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology at McGill University in 2018. Her dissertation was conducted under the supervision of Professor Colin H. Scott, Department of Anthropology, and is titled Eating in the Oil Sands: Sâkawiyiniwak (Northern Bush Cree) Experiences with Wild Food Contamination in Alberta’s Oil Sands.
Dr. Baker’s dissertation is an exploration of sakâwiyiniwak (Northern Bush Cree) experiences with wild or ‘bush’ food contamination in what is now known as Alberta’s oil sands region. It is based on ethnographic research and collaborative experiences with members of Bigstone Cree Nation and Fort McKay First Nation in their traditional territories, and during community-based environmental monitoring studies of wild food contamination. As a highly original work of engaged ethnography, Baker’s dissertation probes indigenous diagnostics and etiologies of degraded food quality and discloses a complex of social, cultural, and environmental effects commonly overlooked in conventional impact studies.
Dr. Baker’s research is already making an impact in her research field and in communities across Canada and the world. She has published four journal articles and two book chapters, and has five book chapters and an article forthcoming. Dr. Baker is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Athabasca University.
Winner – Engineering, Medical Sciences and Natural Sciences:
Dr. Soren Mellerup, Department of Chemistry, Queen’s University
Dr. Soren Mellerup completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry at Queen’s University in 2018. His dissertation was conducted under the supervision of Professor Suning Wang, Department of Chemistry, and is titled Chiral N,C-Chelate Organoboron Compounds: Photoreactivity and Optoelectronic Applications.
Dr. Mellerup’s research is broadly concerned with exploring the interactions between light and photoresponsive boron-containing materials in order to build a complete understanding of the relationship between molecular structure, reactivity, and function. His research has implications for applications such as self-tinting sunglasses and windows, as well as for molecular data storage. Dr. Mellerup’s research excellence and outstanding achievements have been recognized by several highly prestigious national and international, including the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the extremely competitive Doctoral Award by the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs.
Dr. Mellerup’s innovative project has broken new ground in the field of main group chemistry, and has generated a renewed interest in the photochemistry of organoboron compounds. He has published ten first authored original research papers in high impact journals, including Chemical Science, Angewandte Chemie, and Organic Letters. Dr. Mellerup is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Würzburg, Germany.