The Faculty of Science honours alumni

The 2017 alumni awards recipients

Created in 2015, these awards of excellence recognize the outstanding achievements of Faculty of Science alumni. In 2016, the Faculty introduced a new category aimed at recognizing young alumni.

2017 Alumni Award of Excellence

David Bergvinson (PhD in Biology, 1993)

David Bergvinson

Dr. David Bergvinson, director general, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

David is a Canadian national who has worked in international agriculture research for development for over 25 years. He joined ICRISAT in January 2015, to lead its strategic development and combine science, demand-driven innovation and strategic partnerships to create prosperity for rural families in the dryland tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to joining ICRISAT, David worked on the agriculture development team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led its digital agriculture initiative. As director general of ICRISAT, David continues to build partnerships that leverage the power of digital technology to accelerate development and delivery of farmer-preferred products and services. To this end, ICRISAT works closely with national partners along the value chains of ICRISAT’s mandate crops (sorghum, pearl and finger millet, chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut) to ensure science improves farmers’ lives and consumers’ nutrition. ICRISAT refers to its mandate crops as “smart food” — good for consumers nutritionally, good for the planet in terms of farm diversification and good for smallholder farmers in terms of increasing the latter’s resilience and offering diverse market opportunities.

David is currently the Director General of the International Centre for Research in Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India, where he has continued to innovate and develop strategies to develop sustainable agriculture solutions to combat climate change and poverty in developing countries. Among his recent innovations is the complete genome sequencing of over 1000 varieties of dry land crops.

David and his team are confronting some of the most challenging problems of our time which have contributed to migration, food insecurity and conflict in Africa and Asia. David’s scientific work has had an exceptional positive impact on millions of people worldwide.

2017 Young Alumni Award of Excellence

Siba Haykal Hunter (BSc in Biochemistry, 2004, MD 2007)

Siba Haykal Hunter in an operation room

In 2003, Dr. Siba Haykal (MD PhD) graduated from the Faculty of Science with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Since then, she has become a leader in the field of reconstructive surgery, both as a fundamental researcher and as a clinician. Although she is currently an assistant professor in plastic reconstructive surgery at the Albany Medical Center, Siba Haykal started her academic career in the summer of 2000 by enrolling in the Faculty of Science at uOttawa as an undergraduate research scholarship winner. She was admitted to the uOttawa MD program in 2003, and four years later, she graduated as the 2007 silver medalist and class valedictorian, also winning the Faculty of Medicine’s Aesculapian Award for contributions to student life.

She then undertook a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Toronto, during which time she earned a PhD through the Surgeon Scientist program, where she held a prestigious CIHR Vanier Scholarship. Dr. Haykal has been recognized for her outstanding research, winning the Hoyle Campbell Award for best science research paper within UToronto’s Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery several years in a row. In 2014, she won the Division’s Dr. Hugh G. Thomson Humanitarian Award and her humanitarian work has been featured on The National in a CBC documentary, Reconstructing a Revolution, which highlighted the efforts of Operation Rainbow Canada in the Ukraine.

Past recipients


Alumni Award of Excellence

David Bergvinson
PhD in Biology - 1993

Young Alumni Award of Excellence

Siba Haykal Hunter
BSc in Biochemistry - 2004
MD - 2007


Alumni Award of Excellence

Jean-Paul Bédard
BSc 1986 - Biology

Young Alumni Award of Excellence

Louis-Charles Campeau
BSc 2003 - Biopharmaceutical Science; PhD 2008 - Chemistry

Katherine Gibbs
PhD 2012 - Biology

Marie-Claude Robert
BSc 2004 - Biochemistry; MD, 2008


Denise Amyot
BSc 1976 – Biology, BEd 1977, MEd 1991

Robert J. Gorman
BSc 1975 – Biology

Debbie Pinard
BSc 1979 – Physics and Mathematics

Ashok K. Vijh, OC, FRSC, OQ
PhD 1966 – Chemistry

Ruey J. Yu, OMD
PhD 1966  – Chemistry

Contact Information

Anne-Sophie Ducellier
Alumni Relations Officer
Tel.: 613-562-5800 ext. 3880
Cell.: 613-462-2705

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