Making a difference for people and communities


Mount research is about embracing ideas, inspiring action, and creating connections. Read the stories below to discover why Mount research is research that matters.


Dr. Zachary Zimmer, Tier I Canada Research Chair in Global Aging and Community, Creates the Global Aging and Community Initiative at the Mount

In 2016, the Mount welcomed the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Global Aging and Community, Dr. Zachary Zimmer. The Global Aging and Community Initiative, led by Dr. Zimmer and housed in the Dr. Rosemarie Sampson Centre on Aging at the Mount, is committed to creating new knowledge focused on the health and well-being of older persons worldwide through collaborative research across a broad global scientific community. Specifically, Dr. Zimmer seeks to study the demographic effects of war and decreasing economies on the quality of life for seniors in developing countries, as well as measures of religiosity and spirituality as related to life expectancy in seniors across the globe. Dr. Zimmer, an international scholarly collaborator, works in China, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam, and is funded by the Templeton Foundation (USA), the National Institute of Health (USA), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Canada Research Chairs Secretariat, and the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust.

Read more about Dr. Zimmer here.

Ian Pottie 2011


Dr. Ian Pottie, Professor of Chemistry, Awarded $1.5 Million to Help Advance Alzheimer’s Disease Research

A Halifax- based research team has received close to $1.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) that will help develop an earlier, more definitive method of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Ian Pottie, as a co-applicant with Dr. Sultan Darvesh (Dalhousie University), will lead the work to refine the targeted enzyme compound discovered by this team in 2015 for human use. To date, this work has been supported by grants awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust, the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation, and the Mount committee on Research and Publication.


For more about the research team and the Mount’s contribution, click here.

Whitfield, Kyly

The Mount Welcomes Dr. Kyly Whitfield, Assistant Professor in Applied Human Nutrition

In July 2016, Mount Saint Vincent University welcomed Dr. Kyly Whitfield, an outstanding new scholar, in Applied Human Nutrition. Dr. Whitfield’s research centers on infant nutrition and maternal lactation in Canada and in developing countries. Dr. Whitfield has been named to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Thiamine Research, for her work on Vitamin B supplements which reduces the prevalence of beri-beri, whereby dramatically reducing the incidence of infant mortality in Thailand and Cambodia. Specializing in micronutrient malnutrition, Dr. Whitfield focuses on how maternal diet influences human milk and various health outcomes later in life. In Nova Scotia, Dr. Whitfield seeks to study breastfeeding mother and infant dyads from various socioeconomic, dietary, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. Dr. Whitfield will be one of the featured researchers housed in the newly restored Research Centre at 2 Melody Drive on the Mount’s campus, supported by the Government of Canada, and the Province of Nova Scotia.

Cherif Matta - June 14 2017

Dr. Cherif Matta, Research Excellence Award Winner, Receives Prestigious Prize

Dr. Cherif Matta, Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics at the Mount, was awarded the Acfas-NSERC national Prize for the science image of the year “Les liaisons ingenieuses.”This contest, organized by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas), is devoted exclusively to images of scientific research, in all fields of study. The contest aims to showcase images of Canadian research that will spark discussion, contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge, and for the use of new scientific applications. Dr. Matta’s research in theoretical and quantum chemistry can be applied in the biological, medical, and pharmaceutical sphere, with a focus on cancer-fighting drugs and their development.

Read more about Dr. Matta here.


Dr. Marnina Gonick, Principal Investigator on Collaborating on the Evolution of Practices on the Prevention of Gender Based Violence in Nova Scotia

Funded in part by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Connections Grant, this project is co-founded by a partnership between the Mount and the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. With the inclusion of many community partners, the project establishes a network known as the Nova Scotia Gendered Violence Prevention Network (NSGVPN), that seeks to evaluate and expand the existing community of practice on gendered violence prevention in Nova Scotia. The project included a conference (Roots and Branches: Sustainable Approaches to Gendered Violence Prevention), a website for knowledge transfer and dissemination, and long-term planning on sustainability and knowledge sharing amongst the community partners and the greater public.

Read more about Dr. Gonick here.

El Jones joins the Mount as Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies

The presence of the Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies adds substantially to the intellectual strength of women’s studies at Mount Saint Vincent University and in the Atlantic region. The Chair actively participates, engages, and provides aid to activities related to teaching, and research, as well as give public presentations on campus and around the Atlantic provinces. The Mount is proud to welcome El Jones, a spoken word artist, activist, journalist and scholar as the newest Nancy’s Chair. El is a former Poet Laureate of Halifax, and a 2016 recipient of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award.

Report Calls for Long-Term Solutions to Address Food Security in Nova Scotia

A community-university research group led by the Food Action Research Centre (FoodARC) at Mount Saint Vincent University, together with the Nova Scotia Food Security Network and the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness, released “Can Nova Scotians Afford to Eat Healthy? Report on 2015 Participatory Food Costing,”while examines the affordability of a basic nutritious diet for various households with low and modest incomes in Nova Scotia. The report emphasizes the systemic nature of food insecurity in Nova Scotia, the inadequacy of the current minimum wage and government income supports, and provides conclusions and recommendations that can inform policy. “Food insecurity isn’t the result of poor choices by individuals; it’s a systemic issue that requires broad and systemic change,” said Dr. Patricia Williams, Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Policy Change, Director of FoodARC, and Professor of Applied Human Nutrition at the Mount. “Nova Scotia is poised to be a leader in creating healthy, just and sustainable food systems. We have the energy and wisdom, and now we have the most complete data set we’ve ever had. The time to act is now.” The full report is available at: This research was supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness.

Network for Community-Engaged Research on War (NCERW) Hosts Workshop at the Mount

In April 2016, the workshop “Community Stories of War and Peace” took place at Mount Saint Vincent University, organized by the Mount’s Network for Community-Engaged Research on War (NCERW). Dr. Maya Eichler, the Mount’s Tier II Canada Research Chair in Social Innovation and Community Engagement in Military Affairs, initiated an interdisciplinary collaborative team to bring together faculty and students working in the area of military and war studies from a variety of perspectives. The workshop united academics, practitioners, and community members to share stories of war and peace from diverse Nova Scotian communities, including veterans, refugees, peace activists, and artists. The workshop was the first step in developing a long-term research project on sharing community stories of war and peace to challenge and expand current Canadian narratives of war.

Mount Faculty Team Receives NSERC PromoScience Funding for New Community Program

A new initiative by Mount Saint Vincent University faculty, a Community SciMath program, has received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s latest round of PromoScience awards as announced by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, in May. The Mount’s Community SciMath program has two pillars – one working with girls and the other working with Aboriginal youth in Nova Scotia. Through this program, these young Canadians will be engaged in hands on STEM activities and will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with professional women working in STEM fields. Three Mount faculty members from different Science and Math disciplines have teamed up to ensure the success of this program. The Community SciMath program is led by Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, Professor of Biology and NSERC Chair of Women in Science and Engineering – Atlantic Region (WISEatlantic) at the Mount, and builds on her existing WISEatlantic program. Two junior Mount faculty members involved in this new initiative are Dr. Danielle Cox, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and the Alumnae Early Career Teaching Award recipient, and Dr. Shannan Grant, Assistant Professor of Applied Human Nutrition.

Nova Scotia Centre on Aging at the Mount Wins International Award for Research Excellence

The Global Ageing Network, an international network of leaders in aging, has announced that the Nova Scotia Centre on Aging (NSCA), led by Dr. Janice Keefe, is one of two 2017 recipients of its Award for Excellence in Applied Research. The award recognizes ongoing commitment to quality in aging services through evidence-based research, translation of research into practice, and dissemination of research findings through internal and external shared learning opportunities. The NSCA is being recognized for its authentic engagement of decision makers and practitioners in research and effective knowledge translation strategies.

Read more in the Chronicle Herald here.