Posted on August 14, 2015 by Tia Lalani

This summer, Augustana welcomed a record number of summer research students. Meet the last of them here!

This summer, Augustana welcomed a record number of summer research students to work on a range of projects. We have met a few of them every week – and here is our grand finale!

L to R: Melissa Tollitt, Dr. Glynnis Hood, Allison Rodvang, Kalene Gould

L to R: Melissa Tollitt, Dr. Glynnis Hood, Allison Rodvang, Kalene Gould

Melissa Tollitt, 4th year B.Sc. Biology, Whitecourt, AB
Allison Rodvang (B.Sc. Env Sci ’15), Coronation, AB
Kalene Gould, 4th year B.Sc. Env Sci, Lacombe, AB

Glynnis Hood is supervising a team of students who are working on a project entitled Mitigating Human-Wildlife Interactions through Adaptive Management.

“We are conducting research in Beaver County to address human-wildlife conflicts by developing division-specific management options that are based in an adaptive management approach,” Glynnis explains.

The students’ fieldwork involves installing pond levelling devices to counter flooding by beavers while still allowing beavers and wetlands to stay intact and gathering invertebrate data to assess biodiversity relative to this aquatic management. They use wildlife cameras and wildlife complaint data to identify key conflict sites in the county, and integrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to create an interactive map. Their research will allow County managers to identify the best approach for mitigating human-wildlife conflict in a manner that considers environmental sustainability.

Emily-ErvinEmily Ervin (B.Sc. Chemistry ’14) from Wetaskiwin, AB

“I’m working as a research assistant again thanks to the amazing funding provided by the University of Alberta’s Undergraduate Research Initiative!” says Emily.

“This summer, I’ve been able to continue my work with pencil graphite electrodes, but have also gotten the opportunity to work with and train two wonderful international students, as well as put on a chemistry ‘magic show’ for a local junior high school. It has all been a fantastic experience. I can’t think of a better way to spend my last summer at Augustana before starting dentistry!”


IMG_1523Uyen Nguyen, 4th year B.Sc. Food Science & Technology, from Soc Trang, Vietnam

“My name is Uyen – almost sounds like “You Win” if you say it real fast,” Uyen laughs. “I’m from the University of Agriculture and Forestry in Vietnam. As the final adventure in our 4.5 year program in Food Science and Technology, we were encouraged to do an internship in a foreign country. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine working in Canada, but thanks to the Mitacs Globalink Program, I found myself surrounded by lovely international friends at the beautiful Augustana Campus in Camrose.”

Uyen is a research assistant in Dr. James Kariuki’s lab, using electrochemistry to analyze the amount of antioxidants in different parts of fruits. This 3 month summer research project is her chance to test what she has learned during her studies in a real lab environment. “Also,” she adds, “I would like to learn new technical and social skills as well as expand my network. I hope to one day contribute to our quest for better, healthier food using science and technology, so ‘processed food’ would no longer evoke a cheap, ugly image.”


Jinyuan Duan and Carly Olafson

Jinyuan Duan, 4th year B.Sc. Food Science & Engineering from Sichuan, China

Jinyuan is going into her fourth year at Northwest A&F University, majoring in Food Science and Engineering.

“Food chemistry is one of my favorite fields to work in and I hope to conduct research linked to it in the future,” she explains. “My interest in food chemistry led me to apply for the project of using electrochemical methods to analyze antioxidants in food.”

Jinyuan received funding from the China Scholarship Council to work with Dr James Kariuki and three other students.

“For me, this means providing myself with a wider world to explore food chemistry,” she says with a smile. “I really enjoy the moments where we collaborate and share everyone’s ideas to find better techniques for the experiments. I am looking forward to learning more about how to set-up experiments starting from a simple idea, learning to analyze data from multiple angles, as well as working with people from different backgrounds. I believe what I will learn from this internship at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus will definitely contribute to more achievements in my future.”

Carly Olafson, 4th year B.Sc. Chemistry from Armena, AB

Carly is in her second summer researching with Dr. James Kariuki.

“I first got involved with this project when James approached me with the opportunity to perform research in my field of study,” says Carly about the project she shares with the two international students. “This summer, I am looking at how brewing methods can affect the antioxidant content of coffee and teas.”

Carly’s research has brought many opportunities along with it. “In June, I travelled to Ottawa to present at the Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition where I received an Honourable Mention for my presentation on last summer’s research,” she says proudly. “The experience was absolutely amazing! In addition, I was a recipient of the inaugural Lloyd and Margaret Cooley Memorial Studentship in Analytical Chemistry awarded by the University of Alberta’s Department of Chemistry to help support my research with Dr. Kariuki.”


You can read about all of the summer research students we’ve met!

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