Redeemer’s Student Researchers Shine
Redeemer students present at annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

Six students presented the findings of their summer research projects at the recent Ninth Annual Sciences Division Undergraduate Research Symposium. These presentations were the culmination of months of work with faculty from Redeemer’s Sciences Division and with partnering universities and government agencies, including the Canada Centre for Inland Waters. Topics ranged from maps to matrices and from contaminants to crystals. Biology student researcher Anna Marie Benjamins, a third-year student from Brantford, ON, is creating an interactive website to map the various species of trees on campus. Redeemer is among the first universities to map its tree population and the interactive map will be used for conservation and teaching about biodiversity. The students were joined for the presentations by Redeemer sciences faculty, the Research and Faculty Development Office, Redeemer’s chaplain, mentors from field work as well as friends and family of the students. “It’s particularly exciting to see the breadth of topics represented by these student researchers, from mapping the trees on campus to studying potentially toxic substances in our local watersheds to developing new theoretical results in mathematics,” said organizer Professor of Mathematics Dr. Kevin Vander Meulen. “The students presented with clarity, humour, and enthusiasm, and responded well to challenging questions from the audience. These students have some bright futures ahead of them and reflect the passions of their supervisors!” said Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Joel Klinck. The highlight of the summer for student researcher Brydon Eastman was attending and presenting his findings at research conference where graduate students and academics gathered. “I get to work in the real world using what I’ve been taught in the classroom this year. It’s great—I get to play with mathematical puzzles all day,” said Eastman with a laugh. Eastman is an honours Mathematics and Computer Science student and did a Chemistry research project this summer. The research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), by government grants and by Canada Summer Jobs. Redeemer provides unique opportunities for undergraduate students to work alongside professors in these research programs. For all of the students, the summer research projects provide a valuable experience well beyond what is taught in the classroom. It also helped prepare them for graduate school, field work, and employment in their industries once they graduate.