Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

May 17, 2010 13:30 ET

New Government of Canada Investment Attracts Top Minds to Canadian Universities

Inaugural Canada Excellence Research Chair Introduced at University of Manitoba Ceremony

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - The Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, welcomed to the University of Manitoba Dr. Søren Rysgaard, one of 19 world-renowned researchers who have chosen to pursue their leading-edge research at universities across Canada. The event followed the announcement of the recipients of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program made earlier today at the University of Toronto by the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry.

"The CERC program and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program are an important part of the Government of Canada's Science and Technology Strategy," said Minister Toews. "By helping our universities attract and retain the world's best and brightest minds, these programs are helping Manitoba develop and apply leading-edge knowledge, grow a world-class workforce and position Canada as a true destination of choice for the world's top students and researchers."

For each Chair, universities will receive up to $10 million over seven years to support chairholders and their research teams in undertaking ambitious research programs. The complete list of chairholders, including the 13 universities where they will be working, is available on the CERC website (

Dr. Søren Rysgaard, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change, will explore microbial activity and chemical transformations within sea ice and ocean sediments as they occur. As well as offering new insight into current and future Arctic marine ecosystems and their changing sea ice habitats, Dr. Rysgaard's work will provide tools for assessing Arctic resource development, sustainable development of these resources and their impact on northern peoples.

"I am truly excited about the new opportunities offered by the CERC to cooperate with Canadian scientists and add significantly to our knowledge of Arctic ecosystems and climate change," said Dr. Rysgaard. "I have worked hard during the last five years to establish the Climate Research Centre in Greenland and secure its affiliations with many institutions in Europe and the U.S., in order to study the effects of changing sea ice and melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet on coastal ecosystems around Greenland. The CERC will allow us to join forces and cover a much larger area, especially the waters between Canada and Greenland, and further increase our understanding of the effects of natural variability and climate changes on Arctic ecosystems and society."

"The arrival of these globally respected researchers will have multiple benefits for Canada," said Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Chair of the Tri-Agency Steering Committee. "Research chairs of this calibre working together with other researchers, students and post-doctoral fellows already in Canada will create meaningful new opportunities."

The CERC program was announced in Budget 2008 as part of the government's Science and Technology Strategy to help build expertise in strategic areas. Research conducted by the chairholders will focus on the areas of environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and technologies, and information and communications technologies.

"The University of Manitoba is recognized by scholars and scientists around the world as a leader in the area of climate change research,'' said Dr. David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manitoba. "Receiving a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Arctic Geomicrobiology and Climate Change will allow us to further existing knowledge in this important field and help scientists gain a better understanding of our climate and our environment. The addition of renowned researcher, Dr. Søren Rysgaard, to our already excellent faculty will set the University of Manitoba apart and further cement our reputation as the top climate change research facility in the world."

The CERC program is administered jointly by Canada's three research granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

For more information, visit the CERC website (

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