Strategic Focus

"The 2018-2019 academic year saw researchers from the Faculty of Science distinguish themselves through ground-breaking findings and prestigious prizes. Timely research questions addressing the environment and climate change, among others, required input from the many disciplines represented in our Faculty. Professors from Biology examined how species respond to climate change. A research team in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences discovered that detection of chemicals in water and soil can be used to trace migratory butterflies and thus was able to identify a butterfly species with the longest migratory range. One of our bio-mathematicians produced models to determine how cities can best influence urban design to protect species affected by climate change. This last research advance, made possible through collaborations with colleagues in the United Kingdom and in the United States, exemplifies the benefits of our international partnerships. In fact, through collaboration with researchers from Kenya, and South Africa, one of our Chemistry Professors is studying how to use solar energy for water remediation. The discovery of a new source of light by researchers in our Department of Physics will allow the development of more efficient and safer lightbulbs and lasers. Over the past several years, our dynamic faculty has truly distinguished itself by pushing the boundaries of science and creating impact in our evolving world.

The last year also saw several of our researchers receive recognition through prizes awarded by international institutes in addition to remarkable success rates in competitions for funding from the main Canadian agencies. Many of our students, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, were offered unique opportunities to showcase their work and participate in prestigious gatherings of experts, while others conducted exciting projects in remote locations. These successes illustrate how the Faculty of Science thrives to provide its members with one of the most stimulating research environments that fosters innovation and discoveries."

- Marc Ekker, Vice-Dean, Research

Mandate

The Research Office was established to support and promote research at the Faculty of Science. It serves as the main liaison between granting agencies and researchers, as well as with University of Ottawa research services.

The office also assists researchers in preparing grant and scholarship applications, as well as research chair applications and award nominations.

Strategic Priorities

  • Increasing Faculty visibility and improving relations with alumni
  • Encouraging partnerships with industry
  • Promoting interdisciplinary research
  • Spurring international partnerships and funding from international sources
  • Seeking out alternative and unconventional funding sources.

Key research areas

The six key research areas identified in the Faculty of Science 2016–2021 Strategic Research Plan involve our researchers in some of the great scientific challenges of the 21st century.

Our focus on supporting basic research reinforces interdisciplinary research, research partnerships with industry and emerging research areas.

Fundamental and applied mathematics and statistics

Our faculty is home to internationally-renowned researchers in pure mathematics, and we are on track to rank among the top five departments of our kind in Canada for research intensity. Our mathematics professors are involved in various interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers in other faculties. In the coming years, we will focus our research on pure mathematics, data science, financial mathematics, multiscale analysis and scientific computation.

Biomolecular sciences and augmented biology

A growing number of professors are using their expertise in explaining and manipulating chemical reactions to better understand, control and alter biological mechanisms. We see this growing tendency towards interdisciplinary research in the Department of Physics, where a cluster of excellent biophysicists is pursuing research at the crossroads of biology, physics and engineering, including the development of new biomaterials. This is a unique opportunity to engineer living systems, open new research fields in biotechnology and create economic opportunity.

Advanced materials and photonics

Internationally renowned researchers and state-of-the-art facilities, combined with the synergy between photonics and materials research, are leading to world-class innovation in areas such as plasmonic materials and devices, and molecular magnetic and electronic materials. Major discoveries are also emerging from our research in the areas of advanced imaging, light-matter interaction, and leading-edge optical materials and nanophotonics, which combine our expertise in physics, chemistry and engineering of photosensitive materials.

Environment and resources

Many Faculty of Science research projects deal with the environmental impact of human activity, such as pollution resulting from natural resource exploitation. Research interests include the impact of natural resource exploitation, ecotoxicology, biodiversity and environmental change, accelerator mass spectrometry and environmental science big data.

Catalysis and renewable energy

Catalysis is an essential technology for the manufacture of chemical products and materials, therapeutic drugs and fuel cells and other energy conversion systems that have greatly contributed to enhancing our quality of life. Catalysis research areas at the Faculty of Science include catalyst development and chemical reactions to fabricate medicinal compounds, CO2 capture, continuous flow chemistry and fuel-producing biomass.

Quantum information

Quantum information is the interdisciplinary study of the connection between information theory and quantum physics. This discipline, which studies the microscopic laws of nature, can also provide solutions to intractable computational tasks and enhance security of communication. Our researchers are undertaking projects in fields such as quantum information, quantum cryptography and quantum communication.

2018-19 Faculty of Science Research Committee

  • Marc Ekker (Chair); Vice-Dean, Research
  • André Beauchemin (Vice-Chair); Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies and Entrepreneurship
  • Emily Standen; Associate Professor, Department of Biology
  • Albert Stolow; Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, and Physics
  • Pascal Audet; Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Kirill Zaynullin; Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Andrew Pelling; Professor, Department of Physics (until Aug. 2018)
  • Jean-Michel-Ménard, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics (starting Sept. 2018)
  • Jasmine Lefebvre (non-voting member); Research Facilitator
  • Céline Marie (non-voting member); Research Facilitator
  • France Malette (non-voting member); Chief Administrative Officer

2018-19 Department Chairs

  • Frances Pick – Department of Biology
  • David Bryce – Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
  • William Arnott – Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Rafal Kulik – Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • André Longtin – Department of Physics
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