Mentors for The University of University of Manitoba

Please take note of your top 3 mentors/programs. You will list them in order of preference when you will out the application form. Projects are designed specifically for Kirkness Program scholars. If you want more information on the mentors each University website has detailed descriptions for each professor.

NOTE: We will try and match each student’s preference but this is not always possible. The sooner you apply the better chance you have of getting your research preference. Applicants must be prepared to work in any laboratory and University that they are assigned to.

Dr. Rotimi Aluko, Professor
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

Students will learn how to extract bioactive peptides that have the potential to be new medicines from plant proteins such as peas, flax seed and hemp seed.

Dr. Nancy Ames, Adjunct Professor
Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, University of Manitoba

For students interested in how research is developing more nutritional foods that taste good.  Students will have the opportunity to develop new recipes for traditional foods using more nutritious ingredients.  For more information, you can see Dr. Ames and Georgina Balfour (2012 Kirkness Program participant) on our website. It’s the first video in Program Description.

Dr. Subramaniam Balakrishnan, Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Manitoba

For students interested in how robotics can be applied in mechanical engineering.

Dr. Nazim Cicek, Professor
Department of Engineering, University of Manitoba

Students will learn about biological wastewater treatment and the recovery of nutrients like phosphorus from waste streams.

Dr. Annemieke Farenhorst, Professor
Department of Soil Science, University of Manitoba

For students who are interested in spending time both in a laboratory and travelling off campus to learn about soil, water and air quality.  Students will do experiments that will give them an idea of what it would be like to study environmental science, agricultural science or soil science.

Dr. Kevin Fraser, Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba

For students interested in conservation biology, bird tracking and how birds migrate.

Dr. Joannie Halas, Professor
Department of Kinesiology, University of Manitoba

For students who are interested in understanding how physical activity relates to health. You will participate in several activities in clinical and on-campus settings, with opportunities to visit up to three labs, including one that measures human movement. As the main focus, students will have opportunities to learn more about the role that physical activity can play in helping to prevent and manage diabetes in First Nation populations.

Dr. Norman Halden, Dean
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Manitoba

For students interested in conservation and management of fish stocks you will have a chance to test fish from your own community and learn about environmental factors that affect behaviour and growth. At the end of the week, you will have a report that you can take back and share with your fellow students and members of your community

Dr. Witold Kinsner, Professor
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Manitoba

For students interested in robotics, part of the project introduces the concept of a robot, and particularly the BEAM robot. It discusses the various components of a robot, as well as their interactions and constraints. It then attempts to design a small robot and implement it using inexpensive components. The objective of this part is to show that mathematics, physics, electronics, circuits, and design principles are all needed to accomplish such a task.

Dr. Ayush Kumar, Associate Professor
Departments of Microbiology and Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba

Students will have an opportunity to learn about antibiotic resistance in bacteria (superbugs) and why this is one of the biggest challenges to the human health today. They will also learn basic molecular biology techniques like extracting a plasmid from bacteria and then analyzing it by gel electrophoresis.

Dr. Juliette Mammei, Assistant Professor
Department of Physics, University of Manitoba

For the students who have always wondered about Geiger counters, radioactive material and how to see cosmic rays, this is your opportunity. Students will do a variety of experiments and build a cloud chamber.

Dr. Kateryn Rochon, Assistant Professor
Department of Entomology, University of Manitoba

For students who are interested in insects in livestock pest management and tick-borne diseases. Students will collect specimens in the field for identification in the laboratory. Students will prepare a final presentation which will include photographs and images of the collected specimens.

Dr. Jillian Detwiler
University of Manitoba

To see the biology research you would be doing with Dr. Detwiler go to

  • White Instagram Icon

Contact Us

© Copyright 2020 by Verna J Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Foundation 

Tel: (604) 414-5844



The Verna J. Kirkness Education Foundation
3623 Marine Avenue
Powell River, BC V8A 2H5