In recent years, the Faculty of Science has experienced significant growth in its enrolment (students, faculty) and research capacity, which has created new challenges. As always, the Faculty of Science wants to remain an important and strong leader within the University of Ottawa and the country. To help us achieve our goals, the Dean, Louis Barriault has created two new Vice Dean positions. We are pleased to announce that Professor Jaclyn Brusso will be the new Vice-Dean of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Professional Development and Professor Alexandre Poulain will be the new Associate Vice-Dean of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, effective January 4, 2021. Their mandate is for a term of 5 years and is renewable. Their expertise and contribution to EDI and entrepreneurship/innovation within the Faculty of Science are important assets that will help the Faculty of Science and its members achieve ambitious goals. Please join us in welcoming them to their new position!
Jaclyn Brusso obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo under the direction of Richard Oakley in 2006. Following an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dmitrii Perepichka at McGill University and then with Steven Holdcroft’s group at Simon Fraser University, Jaclyn joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ottawa in 2010. Jaclyn’s research program focuses on addressing key challenges in the development of smaller, lighter, cheaper and more efficient optical, magnetic and electronic materials. Through the design and development of new organic/inorganic materials, which they tailor at the molecular level, they aim to understand and ultimately control self-assembly at the nanoscale. Jaclyn has received numerous awards of recognition for her scientific contributions (e.g. 2014 Ministry of Ontario Early Researcher Award, 2017 Nano Ontario Award for Outstanding Early-career Achievements in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, 2018 Japan Society for the Promotion of Science International Invitational Fellowship).
As a member of the uOttawa community, Jaclyn has been actively involved in youth and public outreach activities aimed at promoting public awareness and engagement in STEM. She consistently works towards bringing awareness to unconscious bias and empowering members of underrepresented groups. Through various activities, she aims to enhance the equity, diversity and inclusivity that the faculty, the university and greater community is aspiring to achieve. Understanding and identifying ways in which we can move forward is key to addressing these challenging and often divisive issues. She understands that initiating these tough discussions and providing resources is vital to ensure an environment in which everyone’s voice and opinion is heard. Since taking on the role of Faculty of Science EDI coordinator in June 2020, Jaclyn has facilitated discussions with faculty members and students in order to identify strengths and weaknesses within the Faculty of Science and is working towards fostering a more inclusive environment.
Alexandre Poulain joined the University of Ottawa in 2009 after a PhD at Université de Montréal in Biology during which he studied mercury cycling in the Canadian high Arctic, and a postdoc at MIT during which he studied ancient microbial metabolisms. He is a Full Professor and a member of the Biology department. He and his group investigate how microbes control the entry of inorganic contaminants into food webs. They study how microbes sense and transform metal(loid)s, particularly for detoxification, how such processes evolved, and how this information can be applied to the development of novel analytical and bioremediation tools. Together with one of his former PhD students (D. Grégoire), he co-founded Microbright, a start-up company that specializes in using naturally occurring microbes to provide environmentally sustainable solutions for water treatment. During his tenure at uOttawa, he has maintained strong ties with industry, government and NGO partners, via service contracts and student training opportunities. He also developed an international research program with partners in the USA, France, China, Japan and Cambodia. Most recently, his lab has been offering R&D support to Dairy Distillery, a company based in Almonte (ON) and that transforms milk permeate waste product from Ontario dairy producers into high quality spirits. Alex is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artist and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.