Hosted By: Shauna and David
Sciographies introduces listeners to scientists at Dalhousie University. Each episode explores events in our guest’s life that left an impression powerful enough to lead them to their career in science. Guests will also talk about their research and provide thought-provoking commentary on topics like climate change, cannabis research, endangered species and more.
- Sciographies – Episode 19 – Tess Cyrus, Economist Thu, Oct 22, 2020
In this episode, we interview Dr. Tess Cyrus. She’s an economist and associate professor with
Dalhousie’s Department of Economics.
Dr. Cyrus grew up in sunny California, just a stone’s throw away from Disneyland. As a self-
proclaimed bookworm, she spent hours on end reading anything she could get her hands on.
That natural curiosity sparked her desire to escape the American dream and experience life
outside of the United States. She got her chance in university, when she studied abroad for a
year in Scotland. While there, she had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe to witness
other cultures and ways of life — and that’s when she discovered a passion for international
Today, Dr. Cyrus is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and her research
focuses on understanding the forces that bring people together. She studies international trade
and bilateral trade flows with an emphasis on how culture plays a role in these processes.
As an educator, she’s also interested in designing and improving the economics curriculum. Her
commitment to putting her best foot forward for students has been recognized with
Dalhousie’s Faculty of Science Award for Excellence in Teaching.
In this episode of Sciographies, Dr. Cyrus talks to host David Barclay about what it was like to
grow up in a storied place like Southern California, why economics was the subject that
captured her interest (after a short stint in chemistry), and some of her most recent studies on
international trade and economics education.
- Sciographies – Episode 18 – Mark Stradiotto, Chemist Thu, Oct 15, 2020
In this episode, we interview Dr. Mark Stradiotto. He’s a chemist and professor with Dalhousie’s
Department of Chemistry. He has also won teaching awards and is the most recent recipient of
Dal’s Arthur B. McDonald Chair of research Excellence.
Dr. Stradiotto wasn’t planning on becoming a chemist until his third year of university, when a
course in inorganic chemistry (and its professor) sparked his interest in the field. From that
point on, he pursued chemistry as a career path and has become a leader in his field.
Today the Stradiotto Research Group at Dalhousie specializes in the study and design of ligands
— these are ions or molecules that bind to metals, and through that action allow the metals to
react in ways that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Ligands are incredibly useful in
pharmaceutical chemistry, so some of Dr. Stradiotto’s innovations have even been patented
and commercialized for industry use.
Dr. Stradiotto tells us about his high-school years as a drummer in southern Ontario, his
participation in commercializing research, and his approach to teaching chemistry to
- Sciographies – Episode 17 – Tim Bardouille, Medical Physicist Thu, Oct 01, 2020
In this episode, we interview Dr. Tim Bardouille. He’s a medical physicist and assistant professor
with Dalhousie’s Department of Physics and Atmospheric Sciences.
An early fascination with technology and philosophy sparked his desire to study physics. When
he learned about medical physics — a field focused on the role physics can play when applied in
health and medicine to diagnose and treat patients — he pursued it as a career path.
After working in industry for a few years, Dr. Bardouille went back to school to get his PhD and
worked towards shifting to a research career.
Today his research in Dal’s Biosignal Lab explores how to capture and analyze imaging data on
the brain signals associated with disorders of the motor system, with a goal of creating
technology that helps improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Bardouille tells us about his career path, his research, and his experience organizing a Black
Lives Matter protest in Halifax that led to forming Dal’s new Anti-Racism Action Team.
To learn more about Dal’s Anti-Racism Action Team, follow @AntiRacismTeam on Twitter or
visit the website here: https://www.dal.ca/dept/hres/equity—inclusion/community-hub/anti-racism-action-team.html
- Sciographies – Episode 16 – Hal Whitehead, Marine Biologist Thu, Sep 24, 2020
In this episode we interview Dr. Hal Whitehead in his backyard, which overlooks the ocean in
Herring Cove, Nova Scotia. Dr. Whitehead is a marine biologist, a professor in the Department
of Biology, and author of several books. His interest in animal behaviour led to a scientific
career studying the cultural lives of whales (even though his academic life began with an
undergraduate degree in pure mathematics).
He tells us about travelling between Maine, USA and England, UK while growing up, and how
that experience on the eastern seaboard of the United States nurtured an early love of sailing
that persists today.
Now Dr. Whitehead uses his own sailboat to track sperm whales and northern bottlenose
whales at sea for weeks at a time. A handful of graduate students join him to collect visual,
acoustic, and biological data on how the whales behave and communicate with each other.
- Sciographies – Episode 15 – Natalie Rosen, Psychologist & Sexual Health Researcher Thu, Sep 17, 2020
In this episode we interview Dr. Natalie Rosen, a sex therapist, sexual health researcher, and
associate professor of psychology. She tells us about growing up in Ottawa, being inspired by
Dr. Sue Johanson’s sex education broadcast programs, her path through university and grad
school, and insights from her couples-based research on sexual relationships. Dr. Rosen also
tells us about her knowledge mobilization initiative PostBabyHankyPanky.com, which boils
down her research findings into short, informative videos that aim to help new parents talk
about the very common sexual concerns that arise for both partners after having a baby.
- Sciographies – Season Three Trailer Thu, Sep 10, 2020
Season 3 begins September 17th.
- Sciographies – Episode 14 – Christine Chambers, Clinical Psychologist Thu, Oct 31, 2019
In this episode, Dr. Christine Chambers tells us about her laser-focus career path and different types of pain. She also shares the motivation behind her deep commitment to science communication and knowledge mobilization.
Dr. Chambers grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia and knew at 12 years old that she wanted to become a child psychologist. That path began at Dalhousie, a few blocks away from her childhood home, when she took the undergraduate psychology program. Then she finished up her PhD in clinical psychology at UBC and started working as a psychologist, scientist, and professor.
Now Dr. Chambers is a Killam Professor in the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience (Faculty of Science) and the Department of Pediatrics (Faculty of Medicine). She’s a leading figure in pediatric pain management and a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College for New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.
Her lab is based in the IWK Health Centre and that’s where she churns out evidence-based strategies for helping kids manage pain, while also making sure those strategies are reaching parents, family doctors, and other front-line healthcare providers.
…And here are just a few more titles Dr. Chambers is known by:
- Canada Research Chair in Children’s Pain
- Scientific Director of SKIP: Solutions for Kids in Pain
- Incoming Scientific Director of the C I H R Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health
- Sciographies – Episode 13 – Lars Osberg, Economist Thu, Oct 24, 2019
In this episode, we speak with Dr. Lars Osberg, the McCulloch Professor of Economics at Dalhousie University. He discusses economic inequality, insecurity and well-being — topics that have dominated his research career. He also tells us about his experiences studying and working abroad in the early 70s, and how the field of economics has captivated him for so many years.
Dr. Osberg grew up in Ottawa and pursued his undergrad in economics at Queen’s University with a stint at the London School of Economics. After that, he spent two years volunteering with CUSO – Canadian University Service Overseas. That took Dr. Osberg all the way to East Africa where he worked with the Tanzania Sisal Corporation. When he returned to North America, he pursued a PhD in development economics at Yale, which he finished in 1975.
He’s written over 10 books, many of which cover the topic of economic inequality. His most recent is called The Age of Increasing Inequality: The Astonishing Rise of Canada’s 1%. That book landed Dr. Osberg the Doug Purvis Memorial Prize for its contribution to Canadian economic policy… And the prize was awarded by the Canadian Economics Association, an organization Dr. Osberg once led as its president in 1999.
- Sciographies – Episode 12 – Eric Oliver, Oceanographer Thu, Oct 17, 2019
In this episode, we interview Dr. Eric Oliver, an assistant professor and oceanographer here at Dalhousie. Dr. Oliver outlines how climate change is increasing the occurrence of marine heatwaves in the ocean. He also shares his hope for a future where traditional Indigenous knowledge is combined with scientific data to conduct research that has meaningful impact for Northern communities, as he himself is a scientist of Inuit-descent with roots in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut.
Dr. Oliver grew up in Labrador and spent plenty of time enjoying the great outdoors with family. Then he majored in physics and math before building a career in oceanography after doing his PhD here at Dalhousie. Today, Dr. Oliver studies climate modelling, ocean modelling, and marine heatwaves. They’re just like those we experience on land, but instead they impact marine ecosystems. Dr. Oliver is also working on new ocean research projects within, for, and by Inuit communities on the north coast of Labrador.
- Sciographies – Episode 11 – John Gosse, Geologist Thu, Oct 10, 2019
In this episode, we interview Dr. John Gosse, a geologist with Dalhousie University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
We discuss growing up in Newfoundland, his adventurous undergrad years studying earth sciences, and how some of his latest research will help us better understand the risk of natural disasters in the Canadian Arctic as global temperatures continue to rise.
Dr. Gosse uses specializes in using cosmic ray Isotope techniques to study how vast landscapes form and change over time. His research has brought him to The Andes, The Rockies, and The Himalayas. He has also explored the lesser known Torngat Mountains in Northern Labrador.
Dr. Gosse spends a lot of time looking far, far into the pasts of massive mountains and glaciers, but his research also contributes to the fundamental science around prediction of natural disasters like earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis.