Updated weekly, SFU's Scholarly Impact of the Week is selected by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and International to celebrate scholarly milestones and research impacts from across the SFU research community.
Examples can include: publishing a paper in a high-impact journal; patenting an invention; debuting a new performance piece; publishing a monograph or book; changing a government policy; or changing the way we think about or understand the world around us. We expect most of these to be "recent" impacts, but will also publish a transformative impact from the past, from time to time.
Information and collaboration key to addressing opioid crisis
Bohdan NosykFaculty of Health Sciences
Bohdan Nosyk is an associate professor of health sciences at SFU and the St. Paul's Hospital CANFAR Chair in HIV/AIDS Research. He leads a team of researchers focused on the impacts of health policy on substance abuse and treatment, and the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis.
Nosyk is a founding member of the Opioid Use Disorder Modelling Group - a consortium of health researchers who are studying the effectiveness of various interventions across jurisdictions to improve the quality of care for people who use opioids. The group recently published the paper: How simulation modeling can support the public health response to the opioid crisis in North America: Setting priorities and assessing value.
UK Biobank data advances human genetics
Lloyd ElliottFaculty of Science
Curious about how your genetics affect your health? So are the scientists using the UK Biobank – an extensive biomedical database containing in-depth genetic and health information from half a million volunteers. In order to advance modern medicine and discovery, the database had been made accessible to approved researchers from around the globe.
SFU statistics and actuarial professor Lloyd Elliott, Stephen Smith from the University of Oxford and their colleagues are mining the database to study and map the associations between human genetic variants and diseases. So far, they’ve looked at almost 40,000 brain images and observed a diverse set of variations associated with brain development and disease. Their paper, An expanded set of genome-wide association studies of brain imaging phenotypes in UK Biobank, outlines their findings.
University-community collaboration extends reach of ancient clam gardens
Dana LepofskyFaculty of Environment
Dana Lepofsky is a professor of archaeology at SFU and one of the coordinators of the Clam Garden Network and the Herring School, collectives of people from Indigenous and academic communities, government and non-governmental organizations who are passionate about these two cultural keystone species. The collectives work alongside local and Indigenous knowledge keepers to understand and apply traditional knowledge to current issues.
Lepofsky and her research team recently conducted an in-depth survey of clam gardens on Quadra Island that are known to be thousands of years old. Their paper, Ancient Anthropogenic Clam Gardens of the Northwest Coast Expand Clam Habitat, provides insight into traditional sustainable mariculture – knowledge that is being revitalised to increase food sovereignty in coastal communities.
CO2 removals are not equal to CO2 emissions
Kirsten ZickfeldFaculty of Environment
Kirsten Zickfeld is an SFU Distinguished Professor of climate science and director of the SFU Climate Research Lab. Her research focuses on the long-term effects of human activities on climate. She recently led a study that found CO2 emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere are not equal to the climate changes from deliberate CO2 removals, a finding that could affect climate targets. Asymmetry in the climate–carbon cycle response to positive and negative CO2 emissions was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
What makes a problem hard?
Pavol HellFaculty of Applied Sciences
How do you schedule, in as few days as possible, thousands of students for hundreds of exams without anyone being scheduled for two exams at the same time? This is a hard problem to solve. Yet the problem of calculating the shortest distances amongst even tens of thousands of towns is easy to solve quickly.
For over five decades, mathematician Pavol Hell has been interested in understanding what makes some problems hard, while other similar sounding problems are easy. He recently retired from SFU, where he taught computing science and published prolifically, including some of the most highly cited mathematical papers. His recent article, Distance-two colourings of Barnette graphs, is an example of how the field of graph theory can aid in analyzing the difference between hard and easy problems.
Competition or cooperation? Bonding rituals can help
Rekha KrishnanBeedie School of Business
Rajiv KozhikodeBeedie School of Business
Rekha Krishnan is an associate professor of international business, innovation and entrepreneurship at SFU’s Beedie School of Business. Her research focuses on interaction rituals, social networks, status dynamics, entrepreneurship and emerging economies.
Rajiv Kozhikode is an associate professor of international business, management and organization studies, also at Beedie. His main research interest is understanding how markets, states, and civil society interact to shape a variety of organizational and entrepreneurial choices.
In their latest research, Krishnan spent several months observing a Silicon Valley accelerator seeking insight into workspaces that are collaborative yet also competitive. Their paper, An Interaction Ritual Theory of Social Resource Exchange: Evidence from a Silicon Valley Accelerator, provides lessons on how to build cooperative working environments.
Art, healing, discovery and the Marrow of Longing
Celeste SnowberFaculty of Education
Celeste Nazeli Snowber is a dancer, poet, writer and award-winning education professor. Her scholarship is dedicated to bringing the body to ways of knowing and learning in relationship to researching, writing, creating and teaching.
She recently published The Marrow of Longing, a book of poetry that traces the inherited trauma of the Armenian genocide, memories of her ancestors, lessons learned in kitchen conversations, prayers in the night, and bodily yearnings. A descendant of genocide survivors, Snowber explores relationships between longing, belonging, and identity to uncover universal themes that guide readers to what has shaped their own lives.
Exploring the transnational choreography of human movement
Henry DanielFaculty of Communication, Art and Technology
Henry Daniel is an artist and scholar specializing in dance, performance studies and new technology. His research concentrates on strengthening notions of Practice-as-Research, Arts-based Research, and Research/Creation in Canada.
Professor Daniel’s current multi-year research project Contemporary Nomads, investigates the large-scale movement of bodies across international spaces as a kind of chaotic transnational choreography, one that speaks to the deep fragmentation existing between communities across national borders, between nationalized and personalized bodies, and between the social and political institutions that were originally designed to serve their communities.
“Art is important to us as a society: it is about the human condition, about who we are, and how we got here.” he says. “And especially in times like these, it is about where we are headed.”
Appearance matters: Perceptions of police using PPE in times of health crisis
Rylan SimpsonFaculty of Arts and Social Sciences
As essential frontline workers during the pandemic, police have adopted the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). What are the public’s perceptions of police wearing PPE during the health crisis? Criminology professor Rylan Simpson researches various areas of policing such as perceptions of police and social psychology. His recent study, The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by police during a public health crisis: An experimental test of public perception, asks whether police are perceived favourably when using PPE.
Quest for HIV vaccine a scientific ‘holy grail’ of vaccine research
Ralph PantophletFaculty of Health Sciences
Ralph Pantophlet is a professor of health sciences and current scientific director of SFU’s Containment Level 3 Lab. He specialises in antibody research on viruses such as HIV-1, influenza, human cytomegalovirus and SARS-CoV-2, with the goal of developing vaccine strategies that protect against these viral pathogens. Pantophlet’s recent study, A glycoside analog of mammalian oligomannose formulated with a TLR4-stimulating adjuvant elicits HIV-1 cross-reactive antibodies, adds to the body of knowledge in the quest for an HIV vaccine.