New and Renewed Canada Research Chairs

June 14, 2019

Three researchers in the Faculty of Arts have been named Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) in recognition of excellence in their respective fields of study. The chairs include one new appointment and two renewals.

The Canada Research Chair program helps attract and retain top researchers across the country. On June 14, 2019, the federal government announced an investment of over $275 million for 346 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs across Canada for research excellence.

The Canada Research Chairs are “some of the most respected researchers whose backgrounds represent the diversity of Canada,” said Ted Hewitt, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. “Together with their Chair colleagues across the country, their contributions to research excellence across a wide variety of fields will benefit the quality of life for all Canadians and others around the world.”


New CRC in the Faculty of Arts

Luke Bergmann, Canada Research Chair in GIS, Geospatial Big Data and Digital Geohumanities

Dr. Luke Bergmann uses GIS, Geospatial Big Data, and Digital Geohumanities to study social and environmental complexities in our globalizing world. Through innovations in data structures, analytical approaches, and visualization techniques, Bergmann will develop geographical computation to better represent relationships across distance and between phenomena. For example, his research looks at how global economic and environmental change intersect and how diseases like influenza are evolving differently in today’s globalizing world. These developments will be critical to researchers, policymakers, and the public in understanding global challenges that cross borders and academic disciplines alike.


Renewed CRCs in the Faculty of Arts

Christiane Hoppmann, Canada Reserach Chair in Health and Adult Development

Dr. Christiane Hoppmann conducts research targeting key psychological factors regarding social resources and motivations to explain why some older adults age relatively well while others have significant health problems. She is conducting in-depth assessments of activities of daily life to provide insights into the behaviours and feelings of older adults, which can shape long-term aging outcomes. Hoppmann is also examining how older adults can work together with their spouses to better overcome barriers to daily physical activity and bridge the gap between physical activity goals and actual physical activity. She aims to develop interventions that will capitalize on older adults’ strengths and resources to foster healthy aging. Hoppman’s research will provide much-needed information about how older adults can contribute to improved healthy aging.

Canada Research Chair profile

Jiaying Zhao, Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Sustainability

Dr. Jiaying Zhao is developing a psychological theory of resource scarcity. Zhao and her research team are identifying how scarcity leads to neglect; what consequences arise from scarcity of environmental resources, such as food or water; how scarcity can result in failure to engage in environmental action; and how resource inequality induces the experience of scarcity. This research will lay new theoretical, empirical and methodological ground for a science of scarcity. It will not only further our understanding of scarcity and its resulting cognitive and behavioural consequences, but also provide fundamental insights on human behaviour and decision-making that emerge from the psychology of scarcity. Zhao’s research could lead to policy changes on social issues like poverty, sustainability and inequality.

Canada Research Chair profile