Biology-Water graduate students chosen for Weston Family Awards in Northern Research

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Congratulations to Laura Neary and Hannah Thibault who have been chosen as recipients of the 2021 Weston Family Awards in Northern Research

Funded by the Weston Family Foundation (formerly The W. Garfield Weston Foundation), these annual awards are some of the most prestigious in the country for students pursuing a master’s degree, a doctoral degree or postdoctoral fellowship.

Laura and Hannah are both graduate students working with Water Institute member Professor Roland Hall in the Department of Biology, studying environmental processes in Northern Canada to understand the effects of stresses on the lakes and wetlands of the regions. Laura is a student in the Collaborative Water Program.

Laura Neary holding a large fishLaura’s PhD research explores causes of lake-level variation and key hydrological processes that influence water balance at lakes across in the Peace-Athabasca Delta in Northern Alberta and the nesting area of the endangered whooping crane  in Northwest Territories.

“I am very grateful for receiving the Doctoral Weston Family Award for Northern Research,” says Laura. “I thank the Weston Family Foundation for the financial support and welcoming me to the 'Weston Family'.”

Hannah Thibault standing beside a lakeHannah’s masters research also focuses on the Peace-Athabasca Delta, where she studies climate-driven water resource vulnerability. This research involves looking at the temporal variation in lake water balances to assess impacts of local climate conditions at important upstream tributaries, which help supply critical floodwaters needed to replenish elevated lakes of the wetland.

“I am honoured to be the recipient of a 2021 Weston Family Award in Northern Research, and very thankful for the support it will provide me as I explore my current research interests, says Hannah. “I am grateful for this opportunity and it is very exciting to be welcomed into a group of innovative scientists studying the complexities of the North.”

The Weston Family Awards in Northern Research provide support for young Canadian scientists pursuing research in Canada’s North, with the goal of forming a community of scientists at the forefront of Northern scholarship, and are helping shape a better future for Canada and the world. This year, 14 masters level students, 10 doctoral level students and three postdoctoral fellows were selected for this prestigious award.