We have some fantastic speakers lined up for Logicon 2013, including local professors, researchers, and science writers!
Psychology Lecturer & Researcher
Kelly Arbeau holds a BA (Honours Psychology) from the University of New Brunswick, Saint John, and a PhD (Health Psychology) from the University of Alberta. Formerly Assistant Professor of Psychology at Taylor University College (now closed), Kelly works as an instructor and undergraduate research supervisor at Edmonton-area institutions and coordinates the research participation program at the University of Alberta. Kelly is an avid cyclist, ballroom dancer (sort of), and mystery reader.
PhD Student, Department of Biological Sciences
Victoria is a PhD student in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, studying the evolution of the tank-like ankylosaurid dinosaurs under the supervision of Dr. Philip Currie, Canada Research Chair in Dinosaur Paleobiology. After completing her BSc in Earth Sciences and Biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, she moved to Edmonton to do her MSc at the University of Alberta, focusing on the biomechanics of ankylosaurid tail club swinging.
Meteorologist, CBC News Edmonton
Stephanie Barsby is CBC Edmonton's Meteorologist. You can hear her daily on Radio Active on CBC Radio One (93.9FM/740AM) and nightly on CBC News Edmonton. She's a graduate of NAIT's Radio and Television Arts program and completed a three-year program at Mississippi State University to become a meteorologist.
Stephanie has worked in radio and television throughout Canada including stops in Medicine Hat and Sudbury as a news reporter and radio anchor before moving to Winnipeg to become their TV weather specialist. Discovering she loved the weather, Stephanie went on to gain her Meteorology Degree before returning home to Edmonton in 2008 to join the CBC News Edmonton team. She immediately became an integral part of the CBC Edmonton team with fresh ideas, enthusiasm, and a zest for community involvement.
Associate Professor, Philosophy of Biology
Ingo Brigandt is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta. A philosopher of biology, he studies how science works and the nature of conceptual change in biology. In particular, he attempts to understand how interdisciplinary research operates and what makes interdisciplinarity possible, such as the development of complex explanations that use ideas from several biological fields. Molecular biology, developmental biology, and evolutionary biology— in particular the intersection of evolution and development—are the biological areas that Ingo is looking at. His most recent interest is the relation between science and society and the question of whether science should be value-free or whether (and how) social and environmental values can matter within science.
Paul is a postdoctoral fellow in number theory at the University of Alberta. His research considers the ways symmetry plays a role in our understanding of numbers, a key goal being to spot uniformity in the apparent complexity of numbers. He has been invited to give talks on his work at international conferences and has had the pleasure of teaching university students at all levels. Keen to promote interest in number theory in Alberta, Paul has co-organized a province-wide conference and seminar series in prominent aspects of the subject.
When not working on mathematics, Paul enjoys playing the tuba and taking photographs.
PhD Student, Department of Biological Sciences
Michael is a PhD student in biology working under Dr. Philip Currie on growth and allometry in ankylosaurs (armoured dinosaurs) at the University of Alberta. Originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Michael completed his BSc in geology at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His work on ankylosaur armour at the State Museum of Pennsylvania allowed him to confirm the validity of the species Glyptodontopelta mimus. His MSc in biology was done at the University of Alberta, also under Dr. Currie. He has participated in the collection of dinosaur material in New Mexico, Alberta, and Mongolia. In 2011, he named, along with Dr. Robert Sullivan, Ahshislepelta minor, a small, enigmatic ankylosaur from the Late Cretaceous of New Mexico. At the University of Alberta’s Laboratory for Vertebrate Paleontology he has been active in public outreach programs, teaching animal physiology and systematics, and as a supervisor of the volunteer dinosaur fossil preparation program.
PhD Candidate & Certified Exercise Physiologist
Lisa Bélanger is the owner of Exceed Wellness, a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta and Certified Exercise Physiologist. Lisa received her undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics and Psychology with honors from St. Francis Xavier University. It was there she began to use her passion for physical activity to inspire others and started personal training. She completed her Masters of Science in Physical Education and Recreation from the University of Alberta, her research focusing on the impact physical activity can have on cancer survivors. This research is now being continued in her PhD and inspired the creation of a national charity Life into Days. She has co-authored two books The Money Book for Everyone Else and Inspire Me Well: Finding Motivation to Take Control of Your Health.
Research Assistant, M.Sc Particle Astrophysics
Rhys is a Master of Science in Particle-Astrophysics who works as a Research Assistant in the Department of Physics. Over the last few years he has been working on building one of the world's largest direct detection dark matter experiments in North American's deepest underground science laboratory, SNOLAB near Sudbury Ontario. He has spent lots of time in National Physics Laboratories like TRIUMF and Fermilab, learning about and working on particle detectors. He also helps teach the undergraduate Experimental Physics classes at the University of Alberta, where he helps train the next generation of great physicists. Although his specialization is in detecting particles from space, he is passionate about all types of physics, be it nano, particle, astro, or condensed matter. When he's not building widgets in the lab or crunching out code in the office, he is taking apart a car in the garage. He can often be found floating around CCIS, clutching a coffee in one hand and a paper in the other.
Professor of Geophysics
Claire Currie received her Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Victoria and was a post-doctoral researcher at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She then left the coast and has been an assistant professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Alberta since 2007. In her research, she uses computer models and geophysics data to study the geological evolution of continents. Current work focuses on mountain-building in western North and South America.
Through the media we are confronted with many claims to knowledge about issues related to health, climate, science, politics, and consumerism. Our school curricula and the media do not provide us with the criteria and processes to evaluate these claims; e.g., understanding controls, placebo and double-blind. Learn some skeptical questions to ask.
Instructional Designer, Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta
Wade Kelly is an Instructional Designer in the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. He holds a M.Ed in Education Policy Studies with a specialisation in Adult Education. As part of his mission to make learning more accessible he brought Nerd Nite to Edmonton. As Edmonton’s co-nerd boss he brings together speakers from across disciplines to share their passions with an ever-growing community of engaged learners. For over a decade he has been working with adult learners in public and private institutions along the way earning a reputation as an excellent speaker with a passion for lifelong learning.
Assistant Professor, Mathematics
Remkes Kooistra is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the King’s University College. He received his Ph. D. in July 2011 from the University of Alberta, after also studying at the Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands. He travels most often by bicycle, drinks a great deal of tea, and approves of the serial comma.
PhD Candidate, Condensed Matter Physics
Ross Lockwood is a PhD Candidate in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Alberta. His research focuses on light emission from silicon quantum dots; characterizing the mechanism of sensory response to hydrocarbon vapors and explosive gases. Ross was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Alberta Observatory for 4 years, a volunteer for the University's High Altitude Balloon Project, the founding member of the Overheard at the University of Alberta Facebook group, and an executive member of the University's Scuba Appreciation Society. Today, Ross is finishing his PhD, and he hopes to start a career in the space sciences. In his spare time he is an avid scuba diver and scuba instructor. He writes a blog, spincrisis.net, and tweets from @spincrisis.
Dr. Marc MacKenzie completed his Ph.D. in Physics with a specialization in Medical Physics at the University of Alberta. He is currently Director of Medical Physics for Community Oncology for the province of Alberta, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology, Division of Medical Physics, where he teaches and supervises graduate students. He is the author or co-author of numerous peer reviewed papers, and specializes in the application of radiation in the treatment of cancer. Marc will not be speaking on behalf of his employer, but rather is basing his talk on his vast experience.
Marc is also an Advisory Fellow for the Centre For Inquiry Canada, and has appeared Global TV's Alberta Primetime, CHED's Rob Breckenridge and Rutherford shows, and CJSR's Skeptically Speaking to discuss the health research pertaining to such things as WiFi, cell phones and radiation in general.
In his copious spare time, Marc is a writer, broadcaster and martial artist. He is also the undisputed pancake king of his house, and possibly of the entire south side of Edmonton, although that has not been formally proven.
Professor, Earth Sciences
Hans Machel was born and raised in Germany. He came to Canada in 1980 and got a Ph.D. in geology from McGill University, Montreal, in 1985. From 1985-1987 he was a postdoc at Louisiana State University, USA. Since 1987 he has been professor at the University of Alberta.
Prof. Machel's research deals mainly carbonate oil and gas reservoirs. He has published more than 100 technical papers and one book on various subjects. He has given more than 150 presentations at international scientific meetings and received several awards for his scientific work. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and was the president of two.
He has been teaching courses on various subjects at the 100- to 500-levels. The 100- and 200-level courses cover all aspects of the Earth Sciences from the Origin of the Universe via dinosaurs to global climate change.
Mack is a software developer, entrepreneur, and social media guy. He's the Product Development Manager for Questionmark Computing, a leading provider of testing and assessment technologies, and is the founder of Paramagnus Developments Inc., an Edmonton-based social software company. In 2009 Mack was named one of Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Edmonton, and in 2010 he was named one of Alberta’s Next 10 Most Influential People by Alberta Venture. His blog was named “Best Local Blog” in Vue Weekly’s 2012 Best of Edmonton, and he was also named “Best Local Twitter”. Mack is currently a member of EEDC’s ONEdmonton Leadership Forum and Downtown Vibrancy Task Force, the Edmonton Journal’s Community Advisory Board, the 104 Street Steering Committee, and numerous other boards and committees throughout the city.
Director, Canadian Centre for Welding & Joining
Professor Mendez is the Weldco/Industry Chair in Welding and Joining and Director of Canadian Centre for Welding and Joining (CCWJ) at University of Alberta. Special features of the CCWJ are an enormous wealth of welding and metallurgy research equipment as well as the constant involvement of young, enthusiastic students in cutting edge research from high-school and undergraduate up to postdoctoral level. Before joining the University of Alberta in January 2009, Prof. Mendez taught and researched at the Colorado School of Mines. Before that, he was a consulting engineer at Exponent Inc. In 1995 Dr. Mendez co-founded Semi-Solid Technologies Inc. in Cambridge, MA. Prof. Mendez holds a Ph.D. and a M.S. degree in Materials Engineering MIT, and a Mechanical Engineer degree from the University of Buenos Aires. Among his disctinctions are the IIW Kenneth Easterling Award, the AWS William Spraragen Award, Charles H. Jennings Award, and Silver Quill Award, and the NSF CAREER Award.
Linguistics Researcher & Lecturer
Tim grew up in rural Alberta with a deep love of science (fact and fiction). He always dreamed of becoming a scientist. He went to the University of Calgary to get a degree, and discovered linguistics: a science where the lab is in your own head, and you get new data every time you say something. He immediately switched majors from Computer Science to Linguistics, and got his bachelor's degree.
After that, he worked for a while at a language technology company. That taught him how much he still had to learn, so he went to Scotland to study speech technology in Edinburgh, where he got a Masters degree. Knowing already that he wanted to go on to teach linguistics, he stayed for a PhD. He then worked in Boston on speech synthesis for children with speech disorders. Now he is teaching and researching at the University of Alberta.
Sharon Morsink is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and teaches both physics and astronomy courses. Her research is on X-ray emitted by neutron stars that spin 600 times a second. When she isn't getting dizzy from watching these stars, she's photographing stuff here on Earth.
Assistant Professor, Health Law
Ubaka Ogbogu is Assistant Professor and the Katz Research Fellow in Health Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Alberta. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in law from the Universities of Benin (Nigeria) and Alberta, and is completing a doctorate in law at the University of Toronto. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of health law and science policy, law and medicine, bioethics, and the law of Torts.
Prior to joining the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta, Professor Ogbogu held academic positions at the Universities of Nigeria and Minnesota. He is a member of the Nigeria Bar, has completed four years of corporate law practice, and is the recipient of numerous academic awards including the Dean’s Prize for Best Academic Performance in the LLB program and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award.
Professor Ogbogu is a member of the University of Alberta’s Health Law and Science Policy Group. As Katz Research Fellow, he is involved in building research and teaching links between the Faculties of Law and Pharmacy, and he teaches a course in Pharmacy Law and Ethics in the Faculty of Pharmacy.
Originally from Newfoundland, Dave went to high school in Vancouver, received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle and trained at the Medical Research Council Laboratory in Cambridge U.K. before returning to Canada to set up his research laboratory in molecular and developmental genetics at the University of Alberta. His laboratory research includes the molecular pathways that allow different animal tissues to form and develop as well as wondering why the molecules that control sex determination seem to be evolving so fast. A major recent focus is on how muscle cells achieve (and maintain) their amazingly complex structure. Over the years he has taught genetics as well as cell, molecular and developmental biology. Despite working on sex, muscles and brains, the students and postdocs who have come through Dave’s lab use nematode worms and zebrafish for most of their experimental studies, so the lab isn’t quite as wild as it may sound. Recently, Dave has taken up trail running and is training for both his first marathon and first ultramarathon later this year.
Host, Skeptically Speaking
Desiree Schell is the host of Skeptically Speaking, a syndicated radio show and podcast that broadcasts across North America. The program explores the connections between science, popular culture, history and public policy, to help listeners understand the evidence and arguments behind what’s in the news and on the shelves. In her day job as the Senior Organizing Advisor of a Public Sector union, Desiree creates curricula and teaches courses on effective activism.
Lawyer, Patent Agent, & Standup Comic
Craig has done a little of everything and most of it all at the same time. He started out training to be a physicist and ended up coming out with a PhD in molecular biology before turning to a career as a patent lawyer. He then worked in drug development (the legal kind), investment banking (the legal kind) and as VP Investment for a Venture Capital company. He is currently maintaining a law practice as a sole practitioner while also travelling across North America as a standup comic.
PhD Student, University of Alberta
Tiago R. Simões is natural from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), where he completed his Bachelor degree in Biological Sciences – Zoology, at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), as well as his M.Sc. degree in this same field of study at the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro (Museu Nacional/UFRJ). He does research on vertebrate paleontology, with past experience on Mesozoic marine reptiles and squamates, and is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Alberta.
M.Sc. Student & TA, Astrophysics
Abigail is an M.Sc. student in astrophysics at the University of Alberta. She studies dead compact star remnants that eat other stars and spin ridiculously fast and emit X-rays. When she’s not dodging interstellar X-rays you can find her TA-ing at the U of A Observatory. In her “free time”, Abigail enjoys geeking out about interior and graphic design, math, music, social activism, and cute animals. Check out her online nerdery too.
Philosopher, Coordinator for Philosophy for Children
Jason finished his PhD addressing questions that arise from the area where metaphysics and philosophy of science intersect, graduating in the spring of 2012. Now he devotes most of his time to thinking about ethical issues - especially as they arise in the sporting context - and philosophy for children. He started as the program coordinator for Philosophy for Children Alberta in September of 2012 and had actively organized workshops and a philosopher in residence program at St. Maria Goretti in Edmonton. He is the assistant director of Eurekamp, a summer camp run out of the university of Alberta, built to get youth excited to explore ideas.
Alan Thompson is a Postdoctoral Fellow in mathematics at the University of Alberta, where he splits his time between research and undergraduate teaching. Before moving to Edmonton he resided in the UK, where he obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Oxford.
Alan’s research focuses on algebraic geometry, a branch of pure mathematics with close ties to theoretical physics and string theory. He is also interested in the promotion of the ideas, methods, and value of pure mathematics to those outside of the mathematics community.
York Underwood's qualifications fall neatly in the category of enthusiast. Dreaming of being a physicist his whole life, it was only when he was working as a Lab Instructor at the University of Saskatchewan that York realized he really needed to be a stand-up comedian. After touring North America, and performing for the NATO troops in Kosovo, Germany, and the UK, York concluded he needed to be a science journalist. His passion is infectious.
PhD Candidate, Department of Biological Sciences
Stefanie Vogt is a PhD candidate in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta. She thinks all areas of science are awesome, but is particularly interested in understanding how bacteria sense their surroundings and cause infections. In 2012, she was one of the organizers of Harry Potter Day: Science, Magic and Medicine, which drew over 1,400 attendees. Aside from researching, reading, talking, and writing about science, Stefanie also enjoys cooking, travelling, and curling.