CERC, Canada Research Chairs among star speakers at Canadian Science Writers’ Association annual conference

Philippe Van Cappellen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ecohydrology at the University of Waterloo, along with Molly Shoichet, Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering, Aaron Wheeler, Canada Research Chair in Bioanalytical Chemistry, and Marla Sokolowski, Canada Research Chair in Genetics and Behavioural Neurology (all at the University of Toronto), are part of the stellar line up of speakers addressing this year’s Canadian Science Writers’ Association annual conference (#CSWA2014) this June 5-8 in Toronto.

Van Cappellen has been invited as keynote speaker on June 7. His lecture, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Global Water Issues”, will provide a broad overview of current and emerging global water issues, stressing the central importance of water not only for human wellbeing and prosperity, but also for maintaining healthy ecosystems. Van Cappellen will introduce a number of key concepts, including water scarcity, water stress, ecosystem services, environmental flows and water pricing, before giving a personal view of how we can learn from nature to engineer sustainable solutions to solve the water crisis. His lecture will take place at 12:45 p.m. in the Collaboration Centre breakout room, CR-3 of the MaRS Discovery District.

Shoichet and Wheeler will take part in a panel discussion entitled “Better Living Through Technology”, which will be held on Friday, June 6, at 8:30 a.m. in the dining room of Massey College. Both researchers have made significant progress in showing how technological advances have facilitated improved health. Shoichet is an expert in the use of polymers for drug delivery and regeneration, while Wheeler has streamlined the analysis of the human body's thousands of proteins to create a more efficient process for drug delivery.

Sokolowski will be part of the “Human Development” panel at 1:30 p.m. on June 7. Her innovative work shows how genes interact with the environment, and thus have an impact on behaviour. Sokolowski, best known for her discovery of the foraging gene, has pioneered the development of a branch of behaviour genetics that addresses the genetic and molecular bases of natural individual differences in behaviour.