Public Release:  NSERC at 2009 AAAS Annual Meeting

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

This press release is available in French.

Ottawa, Ontario - The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is pleased to feature Canadian science and engineering research excellence during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting from February 12 to 16, 2009, in Chicago, Illinois.

The "Canadian way" of pursuing scientific research through partnerships and networks, within Canada and internationally, will be highlighted at a Canadian Reception on February 12. This reception, sponsored by the Canadian Embassy in Washington, will bring together scientists, policymakers, educators and students, as well as senior representatives from the following Canadian organizations: Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Seven Canadian will be inducted as AAAS Fellows at the Annual Fellows Forum on Saturday, February 14. AAAS Fellows are recognized for meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Canadians to be inducted are as follows:

  • Walter Craig, McMaster University: For research on partial differential equations, dispersive waves and Hamiltonian systems, which found surprising connections between fluid dynamics, solitons, singular cohomology and Diophantine approximation;
  • D. Grant Allen, University of Toronto: For distinguished contributions to biotechnology, particularly the use of biological processes to treat air emissions and wastewater, and for service to the chemical engineering profession;
  • Brendan J. Frey, University of Toronto: For distinguished contributions to the field of information processing and machine learning, and to genomics research;
  • Laura-Ann Petitto, University of Toronto: For insightful contributions to our understanding of human language, including bilingualism and sign language, using behavioral and neuroscience techniques;
  • Mary Jane Phillips, University of Toronto: For distinguished service to the engineering profession, and for her role as a pioneering woman in the profession and as a mentor to female engineers;
  • Christopher Yip, University of Toronto: For distinguished contributions to biophysical science and bioengineering, particularly single molecule biophysics, and for contributions to bioengineering education; and
  • Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria: For distinguished contributions to research in science education, particularly for development of theory and methods, and exemplary empirical research on learning and teaching science.

NSERC President, Dr. Suzanne Fortier, will be one of four presenters at the Internationalization of Science: Looking Ahead Symposium on February 15.

Throughout the AAAS Annual Meeting, guest speakers from across Canada will make presentations on a range of topics including climate change, agriculture, mathematics, animal behaviour, toxicology, aquaculture and genomics. See the complete speaking schedule at:

If you are in Chicago and want to know more about Canadian research in the natural sciences and engineering, visit NSERC's booth at the tradeshow February 13 to 16. We will be located at Booths 1119-1121, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Riverside Centre.


NSERC is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 26,500 university students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 university professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in university research projects.

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