posted on August 9: Biology student is a future leader in sustainable development


Christopher Somers, a graduate student in the department of biology, has been awarded a 5NR Science for Sustainable Development Postgraduate Scholarship Supplement.

The $4,500 supplement is being offered by five federal government departments with the objective of encouraging young scientists to pursue research in environment-related sciences. Somers is one of ten high-caliber students from universities across Canada who are receiving the supplement this year.

The supplement will help Somers, a PhD student, carry out his research on the rate of mutation in families of herring gulls on the Great Lakes. His research explores the results of the interactions between organisms and complex chemical mixtures in the environment.

Somers will be receiving his award certificate at a ceremony on August 16 in Toronto as part of the Federal Public Service Youth Career Fair.

His award is being offered in the name of Dr. Andrew Gilman, a Health Canada research scientist and Director of Health Canada's Sustainable Development Office. Dr. Gilman is a winner of the 5NR Science Awards to Leaders in Sustainable Development. He is being honoured for his work on the control of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the effects of those contaminants on Canada's Aboriginal population.

The 5NR Scholarship Supplement and the 5NR Science Awards combine to recognize the importance of present and future generations of scientists devoted to sustainable development. They also aim to strengthen the links between the university and government science communities, while providing mentoring opportunities for gifted young researchers.

The 5NR scholarship supplement is offered by Agriculture Canada, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, and Natural Resources Canada. This program is done in partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).