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.
Informing the made in Canada response to COVID-19
Carolijn ColijnFaculty of Science
Caroline Colijn is a Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics for Evolution, Infection and Public Health in SFU’s Department of Mathematics. She leads the MAGPIE Research Group (Mathematical Genomics and Prediction in Infection and Evolution) which carries out research that intersects mathematics, epidemiology and the evolution of pathogens.
Throughout the pandemic, Colijn and her team have worked closely with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, Genome BC, the Public Health Agency of Canada and others to develop mathematical models to inform the COVID-19 response. Her research articles have been cited and shared thousands of times, and she’s been a valued source of information for the general public in Canadian and international media.
Counselling with care to heal Indigenous trauma
Alanaise GoodwillFaculty of Education
Alanaise Goodwill is an Indigenous scientist-practitioner and educator in counselling psychology. She is one of very few Indigenous Registered Psychologists in British Columbia, and maintains active service within several Indigenous communities.
Goodwill’s approach to teaching and research integrates Indigenous language, knowledge and worldviews into the practice of family and group counselling. With this integrated approach she is decolonizing course content and broadening the field of counselling to better serve individuals, communities and practitioners themselves.
She recently collaborated on a paper with UBC colleague Marla J. Buchanan, doctoral student Roger John and graduate student Sarah Panofsky. Indigenous Trauma Intervention Research in Canada: A Narrative Literature Review, was published in the International Indigenous Policy Journal.
To design a more ethical app, consider youth well-being
Alissa AntleFaculty of Communication, Art and Technology
Alissa Antle is a professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology and Director of the Tangible Embodied Child-Computer Interaction Research Lab. An award-winning innovator, designer and builder of interactive technologies, Antle and her team push the boundaries of these innovations to improve, and support children’s cognitive and emotional development. Her thought leadership in computational design and ethics of technologies was recognized by the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists who inducted her as a member in 2015.
Professor Antle and postdoctoral researcher Alexandra Kitson recently co-authored 1,2,3,4 tell me how to grow more: A position paper on children, design ethics and biowearables which examines the ways popular wearable devices such as fitness trackers and smart watches may impact children’s well-being.
“Poster children” of invasion over-represented in marine research
Isabelle M. CôtéFaculty of Science
Isabelle M. Côté is a professor of marine ecology and leads the Marine Ecology Lab, which engages in extensive applied research on marine ecosystems. Over the past three decades her research has provided comprehensive overview of ecological changes on coral reefs and of the effectiveness of Marine Protected Areas from Canada to the Caribbean, while influencing policy and practice for more effective management of shallow-water ecosystems. She is currently Chair of SFU’s Department of Biological Sciences.
Côté’s study Research biases create over-represented “poster children” of marine invasion ecology, was recently published in Conservation Letters.
Understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on older adults
Theodore D. CoscoFaculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Theodore D. Cosco is an assistant professor of mental health and aging at SFU’s Gerontology Department and Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford. He also leads Precision Mental Health, a community-engaged research project based at the SFU Gerontology Research Centre that leverages technology and big data to support the mental health and wellbeing of older adults.
Recently, Cosco and colleagues reviewed the association between frailty and COVID-19 mortality in hospitalized patients. His paper, What is the relationship between validated frailty scores and mortality for adults with COVID-19 in acute hospital care? A systematic review, provides insights into how frailty may or may not influence health outcomes.
Breakthrough technology fuels clean energy shift
Steven HoldcroftFaculty of Science
Steven Holdcroft is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a professor of chemistry and the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Electrochemical Materials. He is a leading authority on advanced materials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage, materials that are vital to the creation of sustainable energy sources such as fuel cells. His recent paper, On the Evolution of Sulfonated Polyphenylenes as Proton Exchange Membranes describes his ongoing work to create new and environmentally friendly ways to manufacture clean energy.
Why a ban on conversion therapy isn’t enough
Travis SalwayFaculty of Health Sciences
Travis Salway is an epidemiologist and an assistant professor of health sciences at SFU. He conducts research in affiliation with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity, and the Community-Based Research Centre. Though these collaborations, and by speaking to people with lived experiences, Professor Salway investigates unjust and avoidable harms to sexual and gender minority populations. His research is some of the first of its kind in Canada and is helping inform policies and practices to prevent these harms, including Bill C6, known as the Act to ban ‘conversion therapy’ in Canada. He and his students recently published “They Want You to Kill Your Inner Queer but Somehow Leave the Human Alive”: Delineating the Impacts of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression Change Efforts.
Confronting the business model of modern slavery
Laya BehbahaniFaculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Laya Behbahani is a labour scholar and advocate against human trafficking, forced labour and slavery. She is also a lecturer in Labour Studies, the director of the Student Experience Initiative and PhD student in the School of Communication at SFU, where she received a 2020 Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholarship to support her studies. Behbahani collaborated on Confronting the Business Model of Modern Slavery, co-authored with Andrew Crane from the University of Bath, Genevieve LeBaron from the University of Sheffield, and others. Their paper outlines the phenomenon of forced labour and exploitation in several industries across the United Kingdom and reveals how slavery continues to flourish in the modern economy.
Course conundrum: How do students choose between online and in-person learning?
Kevin O'NeillFaculty of Education
John NesbitFaculty of Education
Even before the pandemic forced university coursework to virtual platforms, education professor Kevin O’Neill wondered about the factors that made undergraduate students choose online versus in-person learning. He, Professor John Nesbit, and their colleagues surveyed 650 students to learn what modalities they preferred and why. It’s one of the most comprehensive surveys of its kind and enriches the understanding of students’ education choices.
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.