Faculty of Science News

Dr. Mark Abrahams

At its regular meeting on Dec. 1, Memorial’s Board of Regents approved the appointments of Dr. Mark Abrahams as associate vice-president (research) pro tempore and Dr. Mary Courage as acting dean, Faculty of Science.

Both appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2017.

Dr. Abrahams, who currently serves as dean of science, will replace Dr. Ray Gosine, who was named vice-president (research) pro tempore in October. Dr. Courage, University Research Professor, Department of Psychology, will replace Dr. Abrahams.


Dr. Len Zedel, Dr. Yolanda Wiersma, Dr. Bill Montevecchi and Dr. Luise Hermanutz.

When it comes to creating protected areas in Newfoundland and Labrador, four Memorial faculty members are on the job – even though it’s not in their job descriptions.

As researchers and educators in the Faculty of Science, Drs. Luise Hermanutz, Bill Montevecchi, Yolanda Wiersma and Len Zedel contribute to the global body of scientific knowledge every day.


Dr. Cora Young

Flame retardants might help save your couch from an unattended candle, but Memorial research shows that some of the chemicals found in our household items are building up in the planet.

Dr. Cora Young, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, studies the long-range transport of contaminants found in consumer products.


Coastal Explorers field school

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Oceans Learning Partnership’s (OLP) Coastal Explorers field school has been named one of five winners of the second annual Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Innovative Education Award for innovation in youth programming and environmental STEM education.

The program was chosen from 120 applicants submitted from across North America and will receive a grant of $50,000 USD to expand their programs. 

Students Evan Cottrell (folklore) and Michelle Valliant (biology and advanced GIS) on the East Coast Trail.

Students from across the St. John’s campus are working together to help map the East Coast Trail from Topsail to Cappahayden.

The internationally renowned trail system, which highlights the natural beauty of the Island of Newfoundland’s east coast and draws outdoor enthusiasts from around the world, consists of more than 300 kilometres of developed trail.


Gros Morne

Memorial University, with the support of St. Bonaventure’s College, and facilitated by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council-funded research group, For a New Earth, will host a town hall meeting on the theme What Is A Green Economy? on Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Dr. Aimee Surprenant

Enthusiasm and optimism.

In the past two months, those are the two words Dr. Aimée Surprenant has heard the most when it comes to the single largest federal investment for research at Memorial.

A bare Holyrood rhodolith.

During one of Dr. Patrick Gagnon’s very first scientific dives in Newfoundland and Labrador, he came across a strange sight that inspired an entirely new line of research.

The professor of ocean sciences was exploring the waters off the coast of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s when he found red stone-like structures blanketing the sea floor at depths of 10-25 metres.


Drs. John Jamieson and Stephen Piercey in front of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship John P. Tully

This summer, faculty from Memorial’s earth sciences department sailed on a research cruise to Endeavour Ridge, Canada’s first Marine Protected Area (MPA).

Located 250 kilometres offshore from Vancouver Island, B.C., and 2,250 metres below the ocean’s surface, Endeavour is a seismically and volcanically active area of the sea floor with hydrothermal venting.