2018 Undergraduate Research Conference

Congratulations to the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference prizewinners!Congratulations to the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference prizewinners!

On Thursday, October 4, 2018, sixty students presented their research projects at the fourteenth annual Faculty of Science Undergraduate Research Conference (URC). McGill judges had the arduous task of choosing the victors (see below). The prize ceremony took place in McGill's elegant Moyse Hall, and followed a very special keynote address (see also below). The day culminated with a reception for students, friends, and alumni, where everyone celebrated the accomplishments of McGill Science students.

Prof. John StixProf. John Stix

Keynote address

The Faculty of Science was honoured to welcome distinguished scientist Prof. John Stix to deliver the keynote address at the Undergraduate Research Conference. His talk was entitled:

Having fun with research as a student and a professor

John Stix is a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Science. His research focuses on the study of active volcanoes: how they work, their subsurface plumbing systems, and forecasting their behaviour. His research team, which includes undergraduate students, conducts fieldwork on active volcanoes in Iceland, Italy, Latin America, and the USA. Currently, he is developing new instrumentation to study volcanic activity using specialized sensors and drone technology. He teaches courses in volcanology and natural hazards, and was a co-developer and co-instructor of a massive open online course (MOOC) on natural disasters from 2014-2016.



First and second prizes were awarded in six categories as follows:

Behavioural Sciences, Psychology, & Social Sciences

1st prize: Jayden Rae
Project: Public Policy Reforms to Reduce Pollution and Waste from Plastic Bags in the City of Toronto
Supervisor: Prof. Julia Freeman
Nominated by: McGill School of Environment

2nd prize: Elizabeth Dutemple
Project: Space, the Final Frontier?: The Effects of Contextual Boundaries on Temporal Memory
Supervisor: Prof. Signy Sheldon
Nominated by: Department of Psychology

Cellular & Molecular Biology

1st prize: Miram Meziane
Project: A Method to Determine Kar9 Symmetry in Mitotic Cells
Supervisor: Prof. Jackie Vogel
Nominated by: Department of Biology

2nd prize: Rayoun Ramendra
Project: Circulating (1→3)-β-D-Glucan contributes to systemic immune activation during early and chronic HIV-infection
Supervisor: Prof. Jean-Pierre Routy
Nominated by: Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Computational & Mathematical Sciences

1st prize: Gabriel Rioux, Christopher Scarvelis
Project: Barcode Deblurring via Kullback-Leibler Divergence
Supervisors: Prof. Rustum Choksi, Prof. Tim Hoheisel
Nominated by: Department of Mathematics and Statistics

2nd prize: Isaac Gibbs
Project: Asymptotic Properties of Voronoi Cells in Random Tessellations
Supervisor: Prof. Linan Chen
Nominated by: Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Earth System Science

1st prize: Jed Lenetsky
Project: The interannual variability and predictability of the Bering Strait heat flux and sea ice extent in the Chukchi Sea
Supervisor: Prof. Bruno Tremblay
Nominated by: McGill School of Environment

2nd prize: Erin Eves
Project: Formation of Fault Mirrors in Arenite Sandstone
Supervisor: Prof. James Kirkpatrick
Nominated by: Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Health & Medical Sciences

1st prize: Elya Quesnel
Project: Impact of Novel hERG Rescuers on Drug-Induced LQT2
Supervisors: Prof. Alvin Shrier and Prof. Gergely Lukacs
Nominated by: Department of Physiology

2nd prize: Frank Niro
Project: Go small or go home: Physiological and perceptual responses to partitioned exercise in men with COPD
Supervisor: Prof. Dennis Jensen
Nominated by: Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education

Organismal & Biological Sciences

1st prize: Océane Marescal
Project: Nc73EF: A Key Player in Z-disc Development
Supervisor: Prof. Frieder Schöck
Nominated by: Department of Biology

2nd prize: Nensi Alivodej
Project: Quantitative 3D ultrastructural analysis of mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum in the endfeet of astrocytes
Supervisor: Prof. Keith Murai
Nominated by: Neuroscience (multi-department undergraduate program)

Physical Sciences

1st prize: Antoine Belley
Project: Development of an Electroluminescent Light Source for the nEXO collaboration
Supervisors: Prof. Thomas Brunner, Dr. Thomas McElroy
Nominated by: Department of Physics

2nd prize: Tara Sverko
Project: A survey of the hierarchical structure of Dreissena polymorpha byssal threads
Supervisor: Prof. Matthew J. Harrington
Nominated by: Department of Chemistry


Download the following slides to announce the Undergraduate Research Conference in your class or elsewhere:


victor.chisholm [at] mcgill.ca (Victor Chisholm), Undergraduate Research Officer, 514-398-5964