Oct. 29, 2019

Excellence in neuroimaging, evolutionary biology, and economics celebrated

Killam Emerging Research Leader Awards recognize outstanding contributions of early-career faculty

Three UCalgary faculty members were recognized for their leadership and pursuit of cutting-edge research in their field at the Killam Awards for 2019. The Killam Trusts are invested in recognizing faculty who have, early in their career, made outstanding contributions to research.

“The next generation of researchers are critical to the future of discovery and innovation at our institution,” says André Buret, interim vice-president (research). “We applaud the ambition and leadership of these three scholars to pursue solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time, and are thrilled to recognize them with this honour.”

Killam Emerging Research Leader Awards are given for research related to the mandate of each of Canada’s research councils: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Killam scholars

From left: Lucija Muehlenbachs, Catherine Lebel, Samuel Yeaman.

University of Calgary photos

  • Dr. Catherine Lebel, PhD: Associate Professor, Cumming School of Medicine (CIHR)

Dr. Lebel is the Canada Research Chair in Pediatric Neuroimaging whose research has transformed the field, improving our understanding of the influences on child brain development, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and maternal mental health. Her research is supported by both CIHR and NSERC and has had a significant impact within academia, which is now being disseminated to policy-makers, health-care providers, educators, and the general public. She has also been recognized for her excellence in teaching with the 2017 Outstanding Teacher Award from the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

  • Dr. Samuel Yeaman, PhD: Assistant professor, Faculty of Science (NSERC)

Dr. Yeaman is one of Canada’s foremost emerging evolutionary biologists, whose use of genomic and bioinformatics techniques have led to fundamental contributions to our understanding of the relationship between evolutionary adaptation and genomic architecture. His discoveries are already being translated and applied to a wide variety of domains, ranging from the study of HIV adaptation to climate tolerance in trees. Dr. Yeaman’s research has garnered him national and international recognition, including the 2015 Early Career Award from the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution.

  • Dr. Lucija Muehlenbachs, PhD: Associate professor, Faculty of Arts (SSHRC)

Dr. Muehlenbachs’ innovative statistical models have generated important insights on the effects of resource development on the environment and society, such as the effect of shale gas development on nearby housing markets. Her research is directly informing policy development in Canada and internationally, through her publications in leading journals of economics as well as through her advisory work, including working for the United States’ Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission. This year she was recognized by the Canadian Women Economists Committee as the young female economist judged to have the best research record in Canada. Dr. Muehlenbachs’ students have also won numerous scholarships and awards and recognized her with the 2018 GREAT Supervisor Award.