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Scholarly Impact of the Week

We are celebrating and raising the profile of scholarly milestones and research impacts from across the SFU research community.

Examples of Scholarly Impacts can include:

  • Publishing a paper in a high-impact journal; 
  • Patenting an invention; 
  • Debuting a new performance piece;
  • Publishing a monograph or book and/or;
  • Changing a government policy

We expect most of the publications that are featured to be recent impacts—however, we will also publish a transformative impact from the past, from time-to-time. 

As part of SFU's Scholarly Impact of the Week, selected researchers will work with a member of the VP Research and Innovation Office's communications and marketing team for support. We will also work with researchers to discuss how we can mobilize knowledge on their work by submitting to The Conversation Canada—one of the world's most trusted independent sources of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered directly to the public. 

Be sure to keep up-to-date on the latest published Scholarly Impact and other research news by following SFU Research on Twitter (X).

If you have any questions, please reach out directly by emailing

SFU's Scholarly Impact of the Week series does not reflect the opinions or viewpoints of the university, but those of the scholars. The timing of articles in the series is chosen weeks or months in advance, based on a published set of criteria. Any correspondence with university or world events at the time of publication is purely coincidental.

For more information, please see SFU's Code of Faculty Ethics and Responsibilities and the statement on academic freedom.

February 26, 2024

Answering a decades-long antimatter question

mike hayden sfu

Mike Hayden

Faculty of Science

Scientists have known about antimatter for more than 90 years, and they have learned a vast amount about the way it behaves. However, the question of how gravity influences antimatter had never been answered—until now.

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February 13, 2024

Falling in love with singlehood: Why single status is on the rise

Yuthika Girme

Yuthika Girme

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

SFU psychology professor Yuthika Girme is a relationship and singlehood scientist and director of the Secure Research Lab. She and her team study the factors in romantic relationships and singlehood that contribute to wellbeing.

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January 23, 2024

"Salmonvision” AI helps ensure health of wild salmon

jiangchuan liu

Jiangchuan Liu

Faculty of Science
Jonathan Moore

Jonathan Moore

Faculty of Science

Right now, fisheries managers in British Columbia and beyond can’t track salmon returns in real-time. 

Computing science professor Jiangchuan Liu and biological sciences/resource & environmental management professor Jonathan Moore are hoping to change that. They are working with the Pacific Salmon Foundation, Wild Salmon Centre and First Nations fisheries to explore the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and count wild salmon.


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January 16, 2024

Hopeful Monster an imaginative innovative soundscape

Mauricio Pauly photo by Green Yang

Mauricio Pauly

Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

School for the Contemporary Arts professor Mauricio Pauly and pianist Eve Egoyan released their album Hopeful Monster this past October to wide acclaim. We spoke with Pauly about music-making, inspiration, teaching, collaboration and his enjoyment of being “lost.”

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December 19, 2023

Scholarly Impact year in review: research excellence for the greater good

The impacts of research at Simon Fraser University (SFU) continued to impress and inspire throughout 2023. We launched a new five-year strategic research plan aligned with the priorities of What’s Next: The SFU Strategy, celebrated three new Royal Society of Canada inductees, SFU’s first three Canada Excellence Research Chairs—and much more.  

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December 5, 2023

How does age affect immunity?

Headshot of Ben Ashby

Ben Ashby

Faculty of Science

Older people are more at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, but for other diseases children may be more vulnerable. Why do immune responses vary depending on age? We spoke to SFU mathematics professor Ben Ashby on the evolution of infectious diseases and how their hosts evolve to combat them. 

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November 28, 2023

Testing FATE: Is AI fair in higher education?

Julia Smith sfu

Tenzin Doleck

Faculty of Education
bahar memarian

Bahar Memarian

Faculty of Education

Education professor Tenzin Doleck and postdoctoral fellow Bahar Memarian studied the application of Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Ethics (FATE) in the use of artificial intelligence in higher education. They encourage users to carefully consider why and how it is used in order to protect academic integrity.

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October 31, 2023

Conscripted to care: Women’s experiences during COVID-19

Julia Smith sfu

Julia Smith

Faculty of Health Sciences

SFU Health Sciences professor Julia Smith’s new book analyses Canada’s COVID-19 response from the perspective of those who staffed it. Conscripted to Care: Women on the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Response presents crucial lessons in public health and how it relates to gender and economic equality, as well as public policy.  

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October 25, 2023

Photograph-based storytelling connects the Holocaust and the Nakba

nawal musleh-motut

Nawal Musleh-Motut

Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

Will it ever be possible to end the longstanding, transgenerational conflict between Palestinians and Israelis? SFU scholar Nawal Musleh-Motut is exploring how problematic master narratives and collective memories of the Holocaust and the Nakba—which continue to sustain the conflict—can be challenged, complicated and disrupted.

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October 11, 2023

When living cells malfunction, can science help?

Matthew Leighton SFU

Matthew Leighton

Faculty of Science
David Sivak SFU

David Sivak

Faculty of Science

Within every living cell on earth, countless microscopic “molecular machines” are at work carrying out cellular functions. They convert energy, transport materials and assemble complex structures. When these complex machines malfunction it can lead to disease, so SFU physicist Matthew Leighton and physics professor David Sivak are working to better understand molecular machines.

They recently published a paper outlining a new “theoretical microscope” for peering into the complex world of molecular machines.

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