From left, SFU professors Deanna Reder and Hugo Cardoso have been named members of the Royal Society of Canada College, while professors Fiona Brinkman, Richard Lockhart and Jin-me Yoon are the latest 2018 RSC Fellows.

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Five SFU faculty members named to Royal Society of Canada Fellowship and College

September 11, 2018
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Three Simon Fraser University faculty members have been named Fellows to The Royal Society of Canada (RSC), while an additional two SFU faculty members have been named as College Members, Artists and Scientists. Fellowship in the RSC is Canada’s highest academic honour.

The society was established under an Act of Parliament in 1883 as Canada’s National Academy. Its primary objective is to promote research and learning in the arts, humanities and sciences. The RSC Fellowship is awarded to peer-elected, distinguished individuals who have made substantial contributions in these fields.

The College of New Scholars is the first national system for Canada’s emerging generation of intellectual leadership. New college members are nominated by existing members of the College, RSC fellows and institutional members.

Nominations are based on demonstrated levels of high achievement in their early careers.

Award recipients will be officially recognized at the inductee ceremony in November 2018.

SFU’s RSC 2018 Fellows include:

Fiona Brinkman, professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science and associate member, School of Computing Science and Faculty of Health Sciences.

Fiona Brinkman is a world-leading bioinformatics expert who has led research efforts, including large consortiums, to tackle the global health threats posed by infectious and inflammatory diseases and antibiotic resistance. Her research and widely used open-source computational tools have led to fundamental insights into how microbes evolve, and are enabling health agencies to implement more sustainable control of infectious diseases and to preserve microbiota essential for human and environmental health.

“I have always been fascinated by the beauty and balanced complexity of nature,” says Brinkman. “I love learning how it functions and in that context developing more sustainable approaches for control of diseases in a ‘One Health’ context — with applications to human health, agricultural health and environmental health.”

“I also have enjoyed learning more about the hidden world of microbes all around us — the good microbes and the bad. I enjoy the puzzle of deciphering their DNA code, and discovering so many fascinating facts about them—and ourselves—through how they interact with us.”

Richard Lockhart, professor, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Faculty of Science.

Richard Lockhart wants to understand when and why statistical methods do or do not work. He seeks approximate solutions to a wide variety of problems of inference in the face of uncertainty and then tries to delimit the sphere of problems in which those approximations may be expected to work. These attitudes have taken him to applications in fields from physics to number theory.

“I have always been inspired by my PhD supervisor, David Blackwell, the first black member of the United States National Academy of Science,” says Lockhart. “Blackwell once said, ‘I am not interested in doing research. I am interested in understanding, which is quite a different thing’.  I believe that is the essential joy of being a theorist.”

Jin-me Yoon, professor, School for the Contemporary Arts, Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology.

Jin-me Yoon is a Korean-born Canadian contemporary artist-researcher. Her early photographic work unpacked dominant discourses and stereotypical assumptions about citizenship, nationhood, culture, gender and race. Expanding her practice to include video and installation, Yoon's ongoing work utilizes a transnational lens to witness and consider local histories, environments, identities and bodies in the context of entangled and interdependent global relations. Her work has been presented in more than 180 exhibitions and is held in 17 public collections in Canada and internationally, including the National Art Gallery, Royal Ontario Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery and Seoul Museum of Art.

“My lens-based practice in photography, video and installation re-examines questions concerning history, place, identity and the body, supported by an underlying interest in how these very questions are based on entangled and interdependent relations,” says Yoon. “I have always been interested in how circulating images contribute to our understanding of the world and our place within it.”

“I believe that art has a transformative potential to not only reflect the world as it is, but also bring forth other worlds yet to come. This capacity to think about the past, in the present, towards a future in the making, inspires me to do the work I do.”

SFU’s 2018 College Members include:

Hugo Cardoso, professor, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Environment.

Hugo Cardoso is fascinated by the stories that children’s bones tell about the biological and social conditions of life in the past. He has contributed critical analyses and methodologies to better understand the experiences of children in history, as well as to assist with the identification of children in forensic investigations. He is committed to voicing the social inequalities and violence lived by children in the recent and ancient past.

“My research provides a framework of tools that assist in the identification of child remains in forensic investigations in a global context, such as human rights abuse or mass disasters,” says Cardoso. “My work also assists the unraveling of our collective history through the study of ancient human remains, including its darkest pages, such as the impact of colonization, or the investigation into Indian residential schools.”

Deanna Reder, professor, Indigenous literature, Department of First Nations Studies and English, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Deanna Reder, a Cree-Métis scholar, exemplifies outstanding leadership and scholarship in her many contributions to the growing field of Indigenous literary studies. Her research focuses on previously unpublished work by Indigenous writers—Edward Ahenakew, Vera Manuel, James Brady, Maria Campbell, Alootook Ipellie—in order to bring attention to the longstanding and critically neglected Indigenous archive.

Her work challenges the assumption of a binary division between the oral and the literary, and champions autobiography as Indigenous intellectual tradition and theoretical practice. She has focused on collaborative work to produce some of the first anthologies on Indigenous fiction and literary criticism in Canada, as well as a major database project on Indigenous writing in northern North America, up until 1992. She is a founding member of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA), established in 2013, and was its second president. She is also the co-chair of the Indigenous Voices Awards, designed to support emerging voices.

“Canadians have been deprived of impressive, provocative, challenging and visionary writing by Indigenous authors, some who have written before Canada began,” says Reder. “My work is to bring these authors back into scholarly conversations and public access while at the same time celebrating a new generation of upcoming writers.”