Four U of S Students Awarded Prestigious Vanier Scholarships

Four University of Saskatchewan students have each been awarded a $150,000 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship which recognizes world-class PhD students who demonstrate both academic excellence and remarkable leadership skills.

The U of S students are among 166 top scholars from across Canada announced August 14 by federal Minister of State for Science and Technology Ed Holder.

"Being awarded this top-tier scholarship is an honour for these exceptional graduate students who hold great promise to become the leaders of tomorrow in research or their chosen professions," said Karen Chad, U of S vice-president research. "We are proud to be attracting these talented young people whose innovative research projects will improve our health, environment and education."

U of S recipients of the 2013-2014 Vanier scholarships are:

  • Adam Crane, a biology student from the United States, is studying fish behaviour in Canada and off Australia's Great Barrier Reef where the environment is at risk due to global climate change, poor fishing practices and pollution. He aims to learn whether fish in such different locations show similarities in how they respond to predators as the environment around them changes, and how this affects fish populations and the food chain. Crane's research has promising practical applications in environmental health and conservation.

  • Jennifer McRuer, an education student from Nova Scotia, is helping identify best practices for how environmental sustainability is taught and practiced in Canada's schools and universities. She will study K-12 schools to identify any gaps between policies and practices, and explore whether school sustainability plans are the result of government education sustainability policies or whether community groups initiate them. 

  • Oluwafemi Oluwole, a student in community and population health from Nigeria, is researching asthma types and severity among Saskatchewan rural and urban children to shed light on the effects of environmental exposures.  His research could be applied to public education campaigns to reduce children's exposure to particular environmental conditions.

  • David Saunders, a Canadian toxicology student, is collecting and analyzing dust from local daycares to learn whether flame-retardant chemicals in foam furniture and children's toys pose a health hazard. He is studying the chemical structure of these compounds, and hopes to determine the amount absorbed by the human body, as well as potential long-term health effects.

The three-year scholarship funding is administered by Canada's three federal agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).  More information about the national announcement is available at:

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For more information, contact:

Media Relations Office

University of Saskatchewan

(306) 966-1851
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