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Athabasca University

Research Chairs

Research chairs play a vital role in enhancing Athabasca University’s research and research training, and in attracting and retaining other exceptional researchers. This leads to the development of new areas of research excellence and enhanced student learning experiences.

Athabasca University currently benefits from the expertise of the following research chairs.

Canada Research Chairs

The Canada Research Chairs program aims to achieve research excellence in:

  • engineering and the natural sciences
  • health sciences
  • humanities
  • social sciences

Dr. Joe Cox, Faculty of Business

Canada Research Chair in Digital Disruption and Organizational Transformation

Dr. Cox’s research focuses on the digital economy and will investigate a range of disruptive technologies, including crowdfunding, video games and digital piracy, with a view to examining their impact upon organizations. The outcomes of this research will have significant commercial and policy relevance for digital consumers, platforms and regulators.

Dr. Scott Ketcheson, Faculty of Science & Technology

Canada Research Chair in Hydrological Sustainability

As a field hydrologist, Dr. Ketcheson studies the movement of water between forests, wetlands and streams in northern Alberta. His research program uses both traditional hydrological techniques and innovative sensor networks to gain a direct process-based understanding of the hydrological function and importance of headwater catchments for generating freshwater in tributary river networks within the Athabasca River Basin. Additional information on Dr. Ketcheson's hydrology research can be found on his website: AU HYDROLOGY

Dr. Mickey Vallee, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Mickey Vallee

Canada Research Chair in Community, Identity and Digital Media

Dr. Vallee’s interdisciplinary research focuses on innovation in sound-based technologies and how new local and global research communities can be built around these innovations. By building an understanding of the personal and collective experiences that people have with emerging sound technologies, Dr. Vallee will investigate how the sciences, the social sciences and the arts and humanities engage with technological innovation.

Dr. Jeff Vallance, Faculty of Health Disciplines

Dr. Jeff Vallance

Canada Research Chair in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Management

Dr. Jeff Vallance, Canada Research Chair in Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Management, is exploring the role that physical activity programs can play in improving the health of cancer survivors and the negative impact of sedentary behaviour. Given that cancer survivors and the general population spend most of their waking hours insedentary behaviour like sitting, Vallance believes it is critical to understand the health implications of sedentary lifestyles after a cancer diagnosis. Vallance aims to develop practical and sustainable health promotion programs that will facilitate physical activity, reducesedentary behavior and improve physical and psychosocial health outcomes for cancer survivors. He hopes to apply these behavioural change programs to primary care networks to ensure their sustainability. Vallance’s research will help develop a physically active population of cancer survivors that translates into fewer cancer recurrences, longer and healthier lives and reduced burdens on the health-care system.

Campus Alberta Innovation Program Chairs

The Government of Alberta’s Campus Alberta Innovation Program (CAIP) was designed to attract and recruit leading-edge faculty and related research personnel (e.g., graduate students, post-doctoral fellows) in the following areas:

  • energy and environment
  • neuroscience/prions
  • food and nutrition
  • water

The focus of AU’s CAIP research is the Athabasca River Basin. The basin is home to a wide variety of industries, including forestry, agriculture and oil sands. The economic activity in this region has generated some environmental concerns, which are the focus of these research chairs.

Learn more about CAIP at AU

Dr. Chris Glover, Faculty of Science and Technology

Dr. Chris Glover

CAIP Chair in Hydroecology and Environmental Health

Dr. Glover’s research looks at how contaminants (e.g., chemicals) and stressors (e.g., changing temperatures and water flows) affect the quality of the Athabasca River, as well as the organisms that live in the river basin.

Dr. Junye Wang, Faculty of Science and Technology

Dr. Junyn Wang

CAIP Chair in Computational Sustainability and Environmental Analytics

Dr. Wang’s research team is building a modelling framework that will create a deeper understanding of the integrated systems in the basin (e.g., land and water). These models will help analyze and assess the combined environmental effects from multiple land-use activities, as well as contribute to the environmental, ecological and economic sustainability of northern Alberta communities.

Athabasca University Chairs

Dr. Rory McGreal, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Rory McGreal

UNESCO/ICDE Chairholder in Open Educational Resources (OER)

Dr. McGreal is responsible for promoting the use and reuse of free, openly licensed educational content institutionally, nationally and internationally, particularly in developing countries. Both UNESCO and the International Council for Open and Distancce Education (ICDE) support the use of OER as being essential for the achievement of the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education for All. He has delivered OER seminars, keynote presentations or conducted workshops in more than 60 countries.

Dr. Mohamed Ally, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dr. Mohamed Ally

Commonwealth of Learning Chairholder in Emerging Technologies in Open and Distance Learning

Dr. Ally is conducting research that will impact both developed and developing countries. He is currently a Canadian expert on Information technology for learning, education and training (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 36) (Information technology for learning, education and training) to set international standards for mobile learning, online learning, virtual reality, and augmented reality. Professor Ally has edited/co-edited 15 books on the use of emerging technologies in education and presented speeches at many national and international conferences. He is a Founding Director of the International Mobile Learning Association and the International Association for Blended Learning.

Updated October 07 2019 by Research

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.