May 10, 2023

5 UCalgary faculty members named 2023 Killam Annual Professors

Internationally celebrated scholars recognized for their achievements in research, teaching, and community involvement
Killam Annual Professors Nicole Culos-Reed, Suzette Mayr, Susan Skone, Marcello Tonelli and Lana Wells
Killam Annual Professors Nicole Culos-Reed, Suzette Mayr, Susan Skone, Marcello Tonelli and Lana Wells.

Five UCalgary faculty members have been named Killam Annual Professors, in recognition of their remarkable achievements in research, teaching and community involvement. The annual professorships are awarded to those who have been nationally and/or internationally recognized in their field, with a record of outstanding teaching and research scholarship over 10 years or more.

This year’s Killam Annual Professors are: Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed, PhD; Dr. Suzette Mayr, PhD; Dr. Susan Skone, PhD; Dr. Marcello Tonelli, MD; and Professor Lana Wells, MSW, RSW.

“We are incredibly proud of our five Killam Annual Professors, who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to research, teaching, and community," says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). "They are internationally celebrated researchers whose wide-ranging areas of expertise are a testament to the dynamic and varied scholarship we are home to at UCalgary. I congratulate them on this well-deserved honour.”

Nicole Culos-Reed

Nicole Culos-Reed.

Faculty of Kinesiology

Dr. Nicole Culos-Reed, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology
Adjunct professor, Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine (CSM)
Member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the CSM

Nicole Culos-Reed’s research has had a profound impact on cancer control in Canada and she is internationally renowned for her research demonstrating the role of exercise in enhancing quality of life for individuals living with and beyond cancer.

She is deeply committed to developing methods for best practice and translating knowledge into action to make physical activity part of the standard of care for cancer survivors in Alberta, Canada, and internationally.

Culos-Reed has published over 175 peer-reviewed papers that encompass the entire survivorship continuum and has provided actionable evidence that exercise is safe and beneficial for individuals with cancer. She is director of the Health & Wellness Lab and the Thrive Centre, which is the only university-based volunteer-run free fitness centre for those living with cancer.

Culos-Reed’s innovative approach to knowledge translation was recognized in 2019 by CIHR with the Institute of Cancer Research: CAPO Award for Research Excellence. Her research has also been recognized with the 2018 Pathfinders award from PROSTAID Calgary and Prostate Cancer Canada, and via provincial and national grants throughout her career.

Learn more about Nicole Culos-Reed’s research:
Cancer survivors thrive through exercise | Researcher’s work to increase exercise among cancer survivors expands across Canada

Suzette Mayr

Suzette Mayr.

Heather Saitz

Dr. Suzette Mayr, PhD

Professor, Department of English, Faculty of Arts

Suzette Mayr is an internationally recognized, award-winning writer of intersectional, experimental fiction told from the Black, queer perspective. Her disruptive, cutting-edge work emphasizes Black experience as an essential part of North American culture and foregrounds the intersection between queer and Black experiences. She is the author of six novels, all of which have won or were nominated for prestigious awards.

Mayr’s 2022 novel, The Sleeping Car Porter, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize which celebrates the most original and powerful voices in Canadian literature. The story of a Black queer car porter working on the train crossing from Montreal to Calgary has also been shortlisted for the W.O Mitchell Book Prize, The Carol Shield Prize for Fiction, the U.S. and Canada Republic of Consciousness Prize and the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. The novel, funded in its final stages by a SSHRC Insight Grant, took nearly two decades to write.

As a gifted, generous, and much-loved supervisor, Mayr supervises a very high number of students in her department. To date, she has supervised nine PhD students, 16 MA students, and 18 honours students to completion.

Mayr is tireless in her dedication to honing Canadian talent and creating a community of Canadian writers. She was one of the leads in the creation of the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP) association in 2010, and was on the editorial board of NeWest Press from 2005-2010.

Learn more about Suzette Mayr’s work:
The intensively researched origins of The Sleeping Car Porter | 10 Rapid Fire Questions with Dr. Suzette Mayr on Haunted Houses

Susan Skone

Susan Skone.

Dave Brown

Dr. Susan Skone, PhD

Professor, Department of Geomatics Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering
Associate vice-president (research)

Drawing on her diverse background in mathematics, physics and engineering, Susan Skone’s research program includes characterizing the space environment, developing space weather models, and advancing precise satellite-based positioning, navigation, and timing (e.g., GNSS - Global Navigation Satellite Systems) for aviation, maritime, and space applications.

Skone’s more than 45 sponsored projects have generated impact on the national and world stages. Translating fundamental research into applied solutions, she has raised over $17 million and has developed licensed software, satellite payloads, and new technologies with industry, government and academic partners.

Skone co-led UCalgary's New Earth-Space Technologies research theme in 2016. Her influence extends to policy development and action planning beyond Canada. Skone has been invited to contribute to international strategies led by the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the National Academies Space Studies Board and the International Space Science Institute.

Learn more about related research activities:
New Earth Space Technologies (NEST) Strategic Research Theme

Marcello Tonelli

Marcello Tonelli.

Britta Kokemor

Dr. Marcello Tonelli, MD

Professor and senior associate dean (research), Cumming School of Medicine (CSM)
Associate vice-president (health research)
Staff nephrologist, Southern Alberta Renal Program, Alberta Health Services
Member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, and O’Brien Institute for Public Health at the CSM

Marcello Tonelli is a world-leading scientist whose research has improved the diagnosis and optimal treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD), a major global public health issue. His work has informed clinical practice, international health policy and preventive health care, which has led to better outcomes for patients around the world.

Tonelli has 610 peer-reviewed publications (citation count 94,646; H-index 121) and has been named as a Highly Cited Researcher every year since 2015. Tonelli also practises as a nephrologist at Foothills Medical Centre, and provides bedside and clinical teaching to medical students, residents and subspecialty fellows focused on nephrology. He has supervised 84 learners in the last five years.

He has a strong record of service to organizations such as the Government of Canada, CIHR, the International Society of Nephrology, and KDIGO, the international practice guideline organization for kidney professionals worldwide. In addition to his research and teaching activities, Tonelli has served as a senior associate dean (research) and associate vice-president (health research) since 2014.

Learn more about Marcello Tonelli’s research:
Canada needs a “Health in All Policies” action plan now |Time to Abolish Metrics That Sustain Systemic Racism in Kidney Allocation |“Our Medicare policy for kidney transplants is totally irrational” - The Washington PostLibin Institute designated international Collaborating Centre by World Health Organization

Lana Wells

Lana Wells.

Eva Urbanska Photography

Professor Lana Wells, MSW, RSW

Associate professor, Faculty of Social Work
Research fellow, School of Public Policy
Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence
Director, Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence Research Hub

Lana Wells is a top-ranked and globally respected scholar in the field of social work. She is a change-maker in advancing gender and social justice, equity, and social inclusion, engaging and mobilizing men in violence prevention while advancing systems and structural change through collaboration and innovative approaches. 

Wells created the first research hub in Canada to focus solely on stopping domestic and sexual violence before it starts: Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence. Shift’s focus is designing and testing new behavioural approaches to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) by advancing equity and inclusion and integrating evidence into policy and practice. She has worked with hundreds of community-based organizations and all orders of government to transform our systems of oppression and reimagine new possibilities through an equity lens.  

Wells is considered an international leader in engaging men and boys in ending GBV and advancing gender equity. She has been frequently invited to present her research and consult with UN organizations, policing and military organizations, and has worked closely over the years with provincial governments to advance violence prevention policies and investments. 

An exemplary teacher and mentor, Wells is celebrated as a role model who is deeply invested in supporting students’ well-being, including academic, professional and career growth, and ethical practice in advancing social justice goals.  

Learn more about Lana Wells’s research: 
UCalgary violence prevention researcher awarded $1.89 million for systems change work | Researchers respond to gender-based violence, ‘the pandemic within a pandemic’

The Killam Research and Teaching Awards will launch in May 2023 with an Aug. 10, 2023 deadline. These awards honour outstanding teaching, supervision, and research at the University of Calgary. Awardees receive a cash prize and a commemorative certificate at the annual University of Calgary Killam Reception held in October. To receive the call for nominations for this and other research awards competitions, join the Prizes and Awards email list by emailing

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.