Prestigious award provides funding to pursue ongoing research
A trio of UBC Okanagan researchers have each been awarded the UBC Killam Doctoral Scholarship, marking the first time in three years any nominee from UBC’s Okanagan campus has captured the most prestigious award available to graduate students.
Presented each year to the top candidates in the Affiliated Fellowships competition, the award will allow doctoral candidates Kimberley Kaseweter, Logan Volkmann and Geoff Coombs to continue their respective research.
“We are delighted that these three researchers have been formally acknowledged by the Killam Foundation,” says Phil Barker, vice-principal research at UBC’s Okanagan campus. “The Killam Foundation is synonymous with advanced research and scholarship that has global impact. These awards show that UBC’s Okanagan campus is emerging as an important Canadian centre for research and innovation that is attracting top talent to the region.”
The Killam Doctoral Scholarships are awarded annually from the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies and provide up to $30,000 a year plus a small travel allowance over a two-year term.
Kaseweter holds a deep interest in the field of forensic psychology. Through her research, the second-year doctoral student is attempting to gain insight into the emotional shortfalls contributing to the high rates of criminality in psychopathy.
Through her research, Kaseweter is hoping to gain a better understanding of the emotional deficits contributing to the high rates of criminality in psychopathy. It is her hope that improved insight into these shortfalls can provide direction for more effective treatments that could possibly reduce the economic, social, and emotional costs of their crimes.
“I am deeply humbled to be in the company of the talented winners of such a prestigious award. What attracted me to research was the potential it has to influence social change based on empirical results, and to be recognized for pursuit of this passion is an incredible honour.”
Logan Volkmann, a biology and wildlife researcher, studies the American marten and how the marten responds to the impact of wild fire and logging on its habitat. The biology researcher and doctoral candidate has dedicated his career to studying carnivores, most recently the American marten and how the marten responds to the impact of wildfire and salvage logging on its habitat.
Volkmann says there is great opportunity to inform the management of fire-prone forests and to promote the recovery of these ecologically sensitive carnivores on burned landscapes.
“There are so many unanswered questions around how these animals react to fires and through my research, I hope to fill in some of these knowledge gaps.”
A bourgeoning physiologist, Coombs’ area of research revolves around how the human body responds to external and internal stimuli. His study on the implications of heat stress on vascular function is intended to advance the understanding of the extent and duration of heating necessary to achieve positive therapeutic responses.
Coombs, who grew up in Ottawa and moved to Kelowna last September to begin his PhD, hopes his research will positively impact the lives of those around him.
“Not only is it important that our research is novel scientifically, but a crucial aspect of research is the translation to a practical outcome that will benefit the public. It is currently unknown how much heating is potentially beneficial and for whom it might be effective. I hope to be able to provide a clear answer to these questions and develop guidelines that can be followed by anyone in order to achieve a true impact on health outcomes.”