BrockU Daily Experts

BrockU Daily Experts

Brock University bullying experts available for comment

It starts when they’re kids: the name-calling, the cruel teasing, the rejection so deep that it spirals into depression, anxiety and even suicide.

It continues into young adulthood, where 60 per cent of males who bully in school have criminal records by the time they’re 24 years old. (PrevNet)

It ends up in the workplace, where up to a third of workers may be the victims of bullying, with 20 per cent of those cases crossing the line into harassment. (Workplace Bullying Institute)

Bullying Awareness Week (Nov. 17 to 21) shines the spotlight on a very ugly activity that causes untold pain and misery from the schoolyard to the workplace. Our experts are here to talk about it.

Andrew Dane, clinical psychologist, adane@brocku.ca
  * the “evolutionary” roots of bullying
  * the benefits bullies get out of terrorizing their peers
  * what anti-bullying programs must address to be successful

Zopito Marini, developmental and educational psychologist, zmarini@brocku.ca
 
* strategies to address bullying and victimization
  * bullying in various populations
  * incivility as a precursor to bullying

Lisa Barrow, workplace bullying expert, lbarrow@brocku.ca
  * effects of bullying on employees
  * addressing bullying in the workplace
  * the need for anti-bullying legislation

Natalie Spadafora, master’s student, Child and Youth Studies, ns08ta@badger.ac.brocku.ca
  * what motivates students to intervene – or not – when witnessing bullying

Heather Woods, master’s student, Education, hw13dc@badger.ac.brocku.ca
  * teachers’ ability to intervene effectively in bullying situations

Ann Farrell, PhD student, Psychology, af08tl@badger.ac.brocku.ca
  * how individual and environmental factors influence types of teen bullying

All of our experts will be speaking at a public forum on bullying at Brock University, Friday, Nov. 21, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Check out Brock University’s podcast on bullying.

For setting up interviews, e-mail the researchers directly or contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

 

BrockU expert available to comment on Beer Store monopoly in Ontario and calls for privatization

To privatize or not to privatize? That is always seems to be the question when it comes to alcohol sales in Ontario.

Ontario’s privatization czar, former TD Bank chair Ed Clark, yesterday tabled a report recommending changes to booze sales in the province. Chief among them being, asking the privately owned Beer Store monopoly to pay an additional “franchise fee” to the province or else explore other options, including privatization.

But how did Ontario end up with a private beer store monopoly in the first place?
Why this system instead of private sales in private stores?
And how does this system hurt local breweries?

Dan Malleck, a health sciences prof at Brock University studies the history of liquor control in Ontario. He is available to speak with media on the origins of Ontario’s liquor control system and the special place that beer had in that system.

“Today’s beer distribution system, in an era of globalization, ironically favours multinationals and edges out the small breweries owned by Ontarians,” says Malleck.

“When the brewers monopoly was established, it was in an era of strict liquor control, but one in which beer was not considered to be as dangerous as distilled spirits,” he says. “The brewers warehouse system, as it was then called, favoured the distribution of beer from breweries in the province that were normally owned by Ontarians.”

Malleck is author of Try to Control Yourself: The Regulation of Public Drinking in Post-Prohibition Ontario, 1927-44 (UBC Press), which was awarded a 2012 Canadian Historical Association Clio Award for the best book of Ontario history.

* Dan Malleck, 905-688-5550 x5108; dmalleck@brocku.ca

* Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; jsinibaldi@brocku.ca

 

 

BrockU drug expert available to comment on legal pot in Canada

National headlines today again raise the spectre that marijuana is moving closer to being legalized in Canada.

But what would the legalization of marijuana in Canada look like?
How can public policy shape decriminalization for the public good?
And what are historic lessons we’ve learned in Canada for controlling drugs?

Dan Malleck, a health sciences prof at Brock University who studies the history of Canada’s drug laws and liquor control in Ontario, is available to speak with media to shed some light on these very questions.

“When alcohol prohibition ended in the 1920s, we saw many of the same concerns and panic around booze that now circle around legalizing drugs like marijuana,” says Malleck. “The efforts to prohibit both drugs and alcohol appeared around the same time, and we can learn a lot about the potential legalization of drugs from our experience with the legalization and regulation of alcohol.”

Malleck also has a new book coming out next year called When Good Drugs Go Bad: Opium, Medicine, and the Origin of Canada’s Drug Laws.

* Dan Malleck, dmalleck@brocku.ca

* Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; jsinibaldi@brocku.ca

 

 

Brock University professor leads research on Hudson Bay warming

As world leaders gathered this week at the UN Climate Summit to tackle the burning issue of global climate change, a team of researchers led by a Brock University professor has just published new research showing that seawater in Canada’s Hudson Bay has been dramatically warming since the 1970s.

The research team, led by Brock Earth Sciences Professor Uwe Brand, conducted the first-of-its-kind long-term study (1920-2011) measuring seawater composition and temperature change of the bay, which was published in the journal Chemical Geology,

* Chemical Geology: “Climate-forced change in Hudson Bay seawater composition and temperature, Arctic Canada.”

The paper concludes that Hudson Bay seawater has been considerably warming over the last four decades, for a total change in seawater temperature of 3.7 C.

This degree of warming is about six times the 0.67 C increase observed during the past 100 years in global ocean sea-surface temperature. It suggests that Polar Regions, like those in Canada’s Arctic, are extremely sensitive indicators of climate change.

The recorded change in Hudson Bay sea-surface temperature is about double the postulated 2 C increase for Polar Regions, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the 2005 Arctic Climate and Assessment (ACIA) study.

According to a 2001 IPCC report, “climate change in polar regions is expected to be among the largest and most rapid of any region on the Earth,” which will lead to sea surface warming, acidification and sea-level rise. Seawater warming has been postulated to be about two-to-three times that of the global oceans according to the ACIA.

Professor Brand is available to speak with media about the outcomes of his team’s research and what the results mean for global climate change.

He can be reached at 905-688-5550 x3529; uwe.brand@brocku.ca

For assistance in setting up interviews, contact: Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; jsinibaldi@brocku.ca
 

 

Brock University profs hosting Scottish referendum symposium, available for media comment

Recent polls show that, for the first time, the “yes” side is slightly ahead with less than two weeks to go until the referendum on Scottish independence on Sept. 18.

The world may witness the first west European secession in over a century — if the answer is yes. Scots head to the polls on that day to vote in a referendum whose key question is: Should Scotland be an independent country?

This Friday, Sept. 12, professors from Brock University’s departments of history, political science and popular culture will host a full-day symposium that will examine the upcoming Scottish referendum from many different angles.

A “yes” outcome would not change much of daily life in Scotland, as it is already governed by a national parliament and the European Union, says Brock University political scientist Paul Hamilton.

But for its immediate neighbour to the south, “secession could also inspire secessionists in other parts of the UK like Wales and will force a major redeployment of the UK's nuclear arsenal. Still, unlike Crimea, this process would take place according to international and domestic laws and norms, reducing the negative impacts of Scottish statehood,” says Hamilton.

Hamilton is among a group of experts at Brock University on hand to provide insight on the many different aspects of the upcoming Scottish referendum. They include:

Andrew McDonald, professor, Department of History:
Contact: Andrew McDonald, amcdonal@brocku.ca

  • how Scotland’s medieval history (up until the mid-1500s) has shaped/contributed to the upcoming referendum and the debates surrounding it
  • information/commentary on the Scottish Wars of Independence (from 1286-1328) and their implications for today

Nicolas Baxter-Moore, professor, Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film:
Contact: Nicolas Baxter-Moore, nick.baxter-moore@brocku.ca

  • Scotland’s recent history of nationalism from the early 1900s to the present
  • the rise of the Scottish National Party, its influence in the independence movement and its internal politics
  • the devolution referenda of 1979 and 1997 and their impacts for today

Scott Henderson, associate professor, Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film:
Contact: Scott Henderson, 905-688-5550 x4287; shenderson@brocku.ca

  • the extent to which Scottish culture is tied to the independence movement and the debate around that
  • why are Scottish musicians, artist and other cultural figures much more likely to be in the ‘yes’ camp?
  • the impact that independence will have on Scottish culture, identity, expression, etc.
  • features of Scottish culture that make it distinct from English culture
  • the impact of independence on Scottish sports
  • does this affect the Royal Family, esp. their Balmoral Estate
  • why does nation even matter any more in a global media environment?

Paul Hamilton, associate professor, Department of Politics:
Contact: Paul Hamilton, phamilton@brocku.ca

  • arguments for and against independence
  • what happens after the results come in
  • how will independence affect Scotland’s political parties? English politics?
  • Scotland’s relationship with the rest of the world, esp. NATO and EU
  • formation of a Central Bank, currency, etc.
  • England’s access to Scottish oil, freshwater potentially affected? Treaties between the two?

Friday’s symposium at Brock University on the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence — A “good year for a referendum” — takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Sankey Chamber. The event is free and open to the public.

For assistance with interviews contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; cell: 905-321-0566; cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

August 14, 2014
A new Cold War? Brock University experts available for interviews

Next month, the parliaments of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are expected to ratify the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty, which the three countries signed May 29, creating a market of 170 million people and a gross domestic product of 2.7 trillion dollars. 

Russia has also partnered with China and others who, last month, launched the so-called “BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) development bank,” which critics say could pose a formidable challenge to the current World Bank/IMF lending system. This is a real possibility, given that China is on the verge of becoming the world’s leading economic power. (www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d79ffff8-cfb7-11e3-9b2b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3ABOLRaxi)

This all comes at a time where Russia is expected to lose at least $75 billion in “capital flight” since the beginning of the year through sanctions and other actions largely over Ukraine.

Is Russia insulating itself against the impact of sanctions and other actions taken by Western powers? Is it trying to regain the Glory Days of the USSR? Is it embarking on a second Cold War where pinstripes and bankers’ hats are the new nuclear weapons?

On a larger scale, will this BRICS arrangement give the World Bank/IMF a real run for its money, further contributing to the “decline of the American empire’?

Political scientist Pierre Lizee specializes in international security, international law and international relations theory. He is available to answer questions, and provide analysis, on:

  • the impact an Eurasian Economic Union would have on Russian and the region’s politics/economics and what, if any, impact this would have on the world’s economic/political system
  • Russia’s sensitivity (or insensitivity) to international sanctions
  • potential impacts of a BRICS bank on the world’s lending and political systems
  • whether the BRICS bank would improve the economic and political lot of developing country lenders

Contact: Pierre Lizee, plizee@brocku.ca

Historian David Schimmelpenninck ‘s research interests focus on Imperial Russian intellectual, cultural and diplomatic topics. He is available to answer questions, and provide analysis, on:

  • Russia’s moves to exert its economic and political influence
  • Russia’s relationship with Western powers and whether or not we’re seeing a new “Cold War”
  • the impact an Eurasian Economic Union would have on Russian and the region’s politics/economics and what, if any, impact this would have on the world’s economic/political system

Contact: David Schimmelpenninck, dschimme@brocku.ca

For assistance in setting up interviews, contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca
 

 

August 1, 2014
Expert can speak to federal government's hacking breaches

News media reports now say the Government of Canada has been the victim of more than 100 privacy breaches in the last four months, including the hacking discovery announced this week at the National Research Council.

Goodman School of Business professor Tejaswini (Teju) Herath is available to speak with the media about the hacking breaches, strategies and resources available for implementing stronger security measures and the complexity of the government systems that make breaches like this possible.

Herath, an associate professor of information system at Brock’s Goodman School of Business, is recognized among the top 100 researchers in information security and privacy.

For more info or assistance with interviews, contact Andrea Johnson, Goodman School of Business, Brock University 905-688-5550 x5793   andrea.johnson@brocku.ca

 

 

June 19, 2014
Goodman School of Business marketing prof available to discuss passionate soccer fans

Soccer fans are a dedicated bunch. After all, at last count, around three million tickets to the FIFA World Cup have been sold. And around 600,000 tourists have traveled to Brazil to watch 64 games.

So why are fans so passionate about the beautiful game?

What motivates them to buy tickets and travel across the world to watch a game that could be watched in the comfort of their own home?

Goodman School of Business professor Peter Yannopoulos is currently researching the underlying motivations for attending soccer games. He’s exploring the way emotions and social identities impact attendance — and how sports marketers can use this research to improve ticket and merchandise sales.

Yannopoulos is available for interviews on:

  • the different factors that motivate attendance at soccer games
  • social identity and how attached spectators are to their identity of as “soccer fans”
  • how soccer fans often differ from the fans of other sports
  • sports marketing

For more info or interview assistance: Andrea Johnson, Goodman School of Business, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5793; andrea.johnson@brocku.ca
 

 

April 29, 2014
Brock University education prof available to discuss special education report

Stark news coming out of yesterday's report from the advocacy group People for Education:

Almost half of elementary principals and 41 per cent of secondary principals surveyed (1,300 in total) report they have recommended students with special education needs not attend school for the full day.

They say this is because of lack of resources and supports.

“This places a heavy burden on parents and families of students with special needs, who may not be able to obtain or retain employment,” says educator Kimberly Maich, assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education.

“Schools have a professional responsibility to support all our students with whatever resources we have,” she says, referring to a Supreme Court decision in November 2012 that makes school boards responsible for meeting the needs of students with disabilities. “A school day should be reduced, if necessary, for the needs of a student, but not for the needs of a school.”

Maich’s background includes being a resource teacher for students of all ages, a parent of a now-grown son with autism, and a clinical coordinator for school consultation, training, and resource development. Maich wrote Ontario’s first
Additional Qualifications course in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Maich is available for interviews on:

• the need for an inclusive system that educates children of all abilities
• the impact on students and families of special needs children being sent home
• how schools administrators and educators can work closely with community agencies, school board personnel, and other clinicians to create successful education plans
• the need for government and society to provide adequate resources for inclusive education.

Contact: Kimberly Maich at kmaich@brocku.ca

For assistance with interviews, contact:

Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca
 

 

March 31, 2014
BrockU experts available to speak on autism for World Autism Day 2014

Bleak news coming out of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: a whopping 30 percent increase in the number of children living with autism since 2012. That’s one in every 68 children.

Canadian experts say there’s a similar rising trend here, although exact numbers are lacking. Some are calling autism “a public health crisis.”

The upcoming World Autism Day on April 2 draws attention to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Four Brock University experts are on-hand to field questions.

Psychologists Maurice Feldman and Rebecca Ward have developed a scale for parents to monitor the behavioral development of infants who might be at biological risk for ASD. Feldman can speak to:

  • how identifying ASD as early as possible – and starting behavioral interventions right away – is crucial for a child’s long-term success
  • early signs of ASD
  • how parents can use “simple and natural strategies” to promote more typical development in vulnerable infants
  • predicting which children may develop ASD
  • scientifically-based and non-scientifically-based interventions for children with ASD

- Contact: Maurice Feldman at maurice.feldman@brocku.ca
- Contact: Rebecca Ward at 905-931-1136 (cell #)

Psychologist Rebecca Ward has developed and is evaluating a transition to adulthood program for teens and young adults with ASD and Aspergers called “My Life as an Epic Win.” She can speak to:

  •  the lack of services and funding in Ontario for youth with ASD/Aspergers (age 16-25) transitioning to adulthood
  • the course she developed, "My Life as an Epic Win,” which helps teens and young adults with ASD plan their futures, problem solve around barriers to success, and take effective action in creating a life they love. The project is in collaboration with Woodview Mental Health and Autism Services out of Burlington and is funded by Autism Speaks Canada
  •  the range of programs that are needed to empower young adults with ASD and their families in dealing with the challenges of leaving school and being successful in adulthood

- Contact: Rebecca Ward at 905-931-1136 (cell #)

Educator Kimberly Maich’s background includes being a resource teacher for students of all ages, a parent of a now-grown son with ASD, and a clinical coordinator for school consultation, training, and resource development. Maich wrote Ontario’s first Additional Qualifications course in ASD. She can speak to:

  • how parents navigate the special education system
  • steps parents can take to find support in their communities for children diagnosed with ASD
  • how the school system responds to the needs of students with ASD
  • specialized teacher training, including details of her Additional Qualifications course
  •  the experience of raising a child living with ASD

- Contact: Kimberly Maich at kmaich@brocku.ca

Biologist Ping Liang is on a research team that is pioneering an approach to the genetic study of ASD by dividing autism into four or five sub-groups, which have different genes. He can discuss:

  • characteristics of the sub-groups’ genetics
  •  using genome sequencing tools when studying autism

- Contact: Ping Liang at 905-688-5550 x5922; pliang@brocku.ca

For more info or interview assistance: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

March 18, 2014
BrockU profs alarmed over proposed changes to Canada’s election laws

The government’s proposed changes to Canada’s election laws – in the form of the proposed Fair Elections Act (Bill C-23) – are a threat to Canada’s democratic traditions, say Brock University political scientists.

“What is particularly worrisome about the proposed Fair Elections Act, especially the new restrictions banning the practice of 'vouching' for those voters without standard forms of identification, is the way that it disguises a partisan agenda behind seemingly neutral language,” says assistant professor Stefan Dolgert.

“Bill C-23 would make it harder for already marginalized Canadians to vote, gives the Conservatives an unfair advantage and disempowers Elections Canada from safeguarding our country’s democratic processes,” says assistant professor Janique Dubois.

Dubois and Dolgert were two of four Brock University professors – and more than 150 scholars across the country – who signed an on open letter to the Prime Minister appearing in the National Post last week.

Bill C-23 proposes a number of changes to existing legislation, including:

  • eliminating the use of Voter Information Cards as one of two pieces of ID people can use to prove their identity and address, and scrapping the practice of an eligible voter to “vouch” for the identity of those without substantial ID. The professors argue that this could cut out a vulnerable segment of the population such as students, seniors living in long-term care facilities, First Nations people, and those who have recently moved;
  • transferring the enforcement arm of the agency, headed by the Commissioner of Elections, from Elections Canada to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, which means the Commissioner’s activities would no longer be reported to Parliament;
  • increasing the amount that supporters can donate to a given campaign from $1,200 per calendar year to $1,500 per calendar year, and the amount of money an individual can contribute to his or her own campaign from $1,200 to $5,000. “This creates a bias in favour of those with more personal wealth,” say the professors; and
  • requiring Elections Canada to appoint central poll supervisors from lists of names provided by the candidate or party that came first in the last election, “favouring incumbents and their parties.” Currently, poll supervisors are appointed by Elections Canada.

Stefan Dolgert and Janique Dubois are available to comment on these and other issues.

* Stefan Dolgert, 905-688-5550 x3891; sdolgert@brocku.ca

* Janique Dubois, jdubois@brocku.ca

For interviews assistance, contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 


March 17, 2014
Bump on the head? Be cautious, says BrockU brain researcher

Have you ever hit your head hard enough to make you woozy but not strong enough to knock you out? It may not be trivial, says Brock University cognitive neuropsychologist Dawn Good.

During March’s Brain Awareness Month, Good cautions people not to make light of the injury.

Good and her team published research recently showing that people who report mild head injury may be less able to psychologically assess, or respond to, stressful situations.

Mild injuries to the brain can alter your attention, your mood, your processing speed, and your arousal as compared to persons who do not have a history of injury, the research team found.

In most cases, this happens subtly and without your awareness, and certainly not in any way that is clinically disruptive, says Good.

“Nonetheless, increasing your level of arousal, for example, through music or exercise (mental or physical) can improve each of these,” says Good. “Approximately 10 per cent of mild injuries can result in more complicated difficulties, and if you experience these more serious symptoms and/or the symptoms persist, see your doctor for consultation.”

Dawn Good is available for interviews Monday, March 17 and can be reached through e-mail after that.

For interviews, contact:

* Dawn Good at dawn.good@brocku.ca

* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca
 

 

March 14, 2014
BrockU researchers reflect on the Internet’s 25th anniversary

The Internet: friend or foe? Connector… or destroyer?

“Referring to the now rather famous Rehtaeh Parsons’ suicide in Nova Scotia, her victimization was magnified by the use of social media, but then social media was used to generate awareness and yes, pressure, to force the police into action by re-opening the case, “ says child psychologist and cyberbullying expert Zopito Marini.

“Twenty five years on, it's easy to take for granted exactly how revolutionary it is that the world's knowledge and culture is only a click away,” says political scientist Blayne Haggart.

“Even though we take these things for granted, they're under threat by government surveillance and overzealous enforcement of copyright laws,” he says. “We're at a point now that unless people speak up for a free and open Internet, the Web at 50 will be a shadow of what it is today.”

Marini and Haggart examine the impacts of the Internet in their different fields of research. They are both available to share their insights and research findings.

Child and Youth Studies professor Zopito Marini can speak to impacts of the Internet on children, including:

  • being better connected to parents/caregivers
  • how and why cyberbullying takes place and the impacts of cyberbullying
  • aggression on the Internet
  • teaching students about the importance of using the Internet and social media responsibly to help them to develop into responsible digital citizens
  • issues of privacy and anonymity
  • cyberbullying legislation

Contact Zopito Marini at e-mail: zmarini@brocku.ca

Political science professor Blayne Haggart can speak to:

  • how the World Wide Web has revolutionized politics and peoples’ involvement in the political process and social movements
  • the huge strides made in sharing information and knowledge online
  • threats to a free and open Internet
  • his upcoming book, Copyfight: The global politics of digital copyright reform, which, among other things, tells the story of how Canadian professor Michael Geist was one of the first people in the world to successfully use social media (Facebook) as a tool to mobilize a grassroots political movement around Canadian copyright reform

Contact Blayne Haggart at bhaggart@gmail.com

For interviews assistance, contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

March 13, 2014
BrockU researcher speaks to Competition Bureau’s online scams warning

Canada’s Competition Bureau this week warned Canadians about an array of internet and social media scams that defraud Canadians.

“Emails have been used as a common vector for spreading viruses and worms,” says Teju Herath, information systems professor at Brock University.

“Emails also tend to be common mechanism to carry out various on-line scams including phishing.”

A common method is “phishing,” an email fraud method that gathers personal and financial information from recipients. “If the email looks like it comes from a source that people can relate to - such as a bank where you have an account - you’ll likely trust that email and will respond accordingly,” says Herath.

Herath is on an international research team that examines how users process emails, what makes them more likely to respond to phishing emails, and what makes them use email security software or choose not to use such solutions, among other subjects.

Phishing and the spreading of virus and worms are now taking place in social networks by acting like messages to be shared or forwarded.

“Several security surveys have identified this as a concerning issue,” she says. “Done in a social environment these attacks and scams can be effective since the messages come from trusted network of people entities.”

Herath is available for interviews on these issues of email risks and phishing.

She can speak to a wide array of issues, including:

  • Phishing
  • who are most likely to respond
  • email security solutions being created to address the problem
  • Likelihood of people using these security solutions

For interviews, contact:

* Teju Herath at therath@brocku.ca

* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

 

Feb. 5, 2014
BrockU prof comments on infectious agents as causes of cancer

The news coming out of the World Health Organization (WHO) this week is bleak: cancer around the globe is growing “at an alarming pace.”

The bulk of this – 60 per cent – is occurring in low-income countries.

We all know the common contributors: smoking; unhealthy diet; a sedentary lifestyle; stress. But... parasites?

“It’s been estimated that up to 20 per cent of all cancers are caused by infectious agents, including some parasites,” says Brock University medical microbiologist Dr. Ana Sanchez.

Bacterial and viral infections such as Hepatitis B and C, H. pilory and others have been identified as contributing factors in lymphoma, sarcoma, liver cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and stomach cancer.

In the case of parasites, Opisthorchis viverrini and Clonorchis sinensis (liver flukes) are linked to an increased risk of developing cancer of the bile ducts, while infection with Schistosoma haematobium has been linked to bladder cancer.

“It is really important that health systems deal with parasites and infections, which results not only in the prevention of certain cancers but also healthier populations,” says Sanchez.

Dr. Sanchez is available to speak to:

  • the connection between infections and cancer
  • parasites and other infections that cause cancer
  • measures that global health systems can take to prevent cancers that arise out of infections
  • case study examples from Honduras

Dr. Ana Sanchez can be reached today (Feb. 5) and tomorrow (Thursday, Feb. 6) until 2 p.m.:

Cell: 905-341-1993
Office: 905-688-5550 x4388
Email: ana.sanchez@brocku.ca

For assistance with interviews contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

 

Jan. 30, 2014
BrockU researcher available to speak to environmental impacts affecting migrating species

A story in today’s Globe & Mail notes, “The latest count of monarch butterflies overwintering in Mexico suggests the insect’s North American migratory population has hit a new low and may be at risk of disappearing altogether.”

According to Brock University sustainability scientist and researcher Liette Vasseur, the monarch is the canary in the coalmine.

“It’s not only the monarch,” she says. “We’re seeing the same thing in many other migratory species that are also in decline including birds. It’s a wicked problem.”

Vasseur studies climate change adaptation, environmental health, sustainable development and community-based ecosystem management.

She is available to news media to discuss reasons for the declining number of migrating monarchs in Mexico and other species worldwide. Reasons include urban development, habitat loss, pollution, extreme weather events and pesticides.

But it’s not all bad news. Vasseur can also speak to what can be done to reverse this worrying trend such as reducing pesticides and pollutants, and restoring natural habitats like milkweed.

* Liette Vasseur, professor, Biological Sciences, lvasseur@brocku.ca

For further assistance contact: Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; jsinibaldi@brocku.ca

 

 

Jan. 23, 2014
BrockU researcher available for interviews on impacts of cold, wind chill, how to stay warm

Baby it’s cold outside, and there’s more at stake than just chilly fingers. It’s dangerous to people who don’t protect themselves.

Brock University scientist and researcher Stephen Cheung is a Canadian Research Chair in Environmental Ergonomics who studies how cold affects the human body. He also has extensive knowledge on wind chill and its impacts on people.

“Dr. Freeze,” as he’s affectionately know amongst his research associates, has an extreme climate lab at Brock that’s unique in North America, capable of creating extreme conditions even colder than what Canadians have been experiencing this winter.

Research participants undergo various activities in his cold chamber and tub. Cheung studies a wide range of physiological (thermal balance, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, metabolic) and cognitive responses to sustained shivering.

Cheung is available to the news media to discuss issues related to the cold snap we’re experiencing, including:

  • tips on keeping warm
  • how wind chill is measured
  • the impact of wind chill on the human body
  • how the body generates heat
  • the impact of the cold on people who work outside
  • fun experiments kids can do to teach them about the cold

Stephen Cheung can be reached at: 289-968-5139 (cell #); scheung@brocku.ca

For further assistance contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell #); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

 

Dec. 12, 2013
BrockU profs share their “Happy Holidays” tips

The holiday season — it’s that time of year when people shop ‘til they drop, overeat, make resolutions and are happy or unhappy.

The work of Brock University researchers covers a wide gamut of holiday subjects. So whatever feature stories you’re chasing down at this time of year, give us a call and we’ll give you a hand.

Our “happiness expert,” psychologist Michael Busseri, researches “subjective well-being” including: life satisfaction, evaluations of past, present, and future well-being, and optimism. What makes us happy? “The recipe for happiness is probably different for each person. But the important ingredients often include spending time with family and friends, buying gifts for other people, and savouring the positive moments in one’s day,” he says. (mbusseri@brocku.ca; 905-688-5550, x4798)

What influences our choices when we shop? Consumer psychologist Antonia Mantonakis researches how little things make a difference to shoppers, such as a change in a store sign, or a change in name. For example, previous research has shown that sales of German wine were higher when German music was playing in the background. “Retailers have every opportunity to use these tactics when store traffic is up during the holiday season,” she notes. “One-day-only promotions on Boxing Day are a big driver for people to shop on that day. Also, don’t fall for the ‘original price’ trick!” (amantonakis@brocku.ca; 905-688-5550, x5383)

For those looking for a blast from the past, historian Fanny Dolansky researches the "Saturnalia festival," an ancient Roman celebration that began Dec. 17 and lasted several days. Gift-giving and feasting are among the elements of modern-day year-end holidays that can be traced back to the Saturnalia. "The festival's best known feature — the temporary role reversal between masters and slaves — might also explain the origins of Boxing Day in the UK when domestic servants received boxed gifts from their masters and enjoyed a day off," she notes. (fdolansky@brocku.ca; 905-688-5550, x5372).

For assistance with setting up interviews, contact:
Cathy Majtenyi, media relations, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell);
cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

  

Nov. 29, 2013
BrockU researchers available to discuss cross-border shopping

With the holidays approaching, shoppers are flocking across the border to chase down deals, while local retailers ring their hands over lost sales.

It’s a big concern; the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce estimates that people in Niagara take about four cross-border trips every year. The Chamber says that, if everyone took one less trip, $126 million could be re-invested back into Niagara.

Is it merely lower prices that drive cross-border shopping, or are other forces at work? How does reduced spending locally affect the workforce?

Brock University has two researchers who can speak to these themes:

* Antonia Mantonakis, associate professor of marketing in the Goodman School of Business, and consumer psychologist, researches consumer behaviour. She can discuss:

  • whether prices are generally cheaper in the U.S., or if that is a wide-spread perception among Canadians
  • factors other than prices that motivate people to shop across the border
  • the measures retailers, business leaders and other officials can take to entice consumers to shop locally

* Labour studies professor Kendra Coulter researches on retail work, retail workers’ political action and strategies for improving work in the sector. She can address:

  • how local/Canadian retail workers are affected by cross-border shopping
  • whether or not American retail workers benefit from cross-border shopping
  • issues dealing with working conditions, such as overtime arising out of extended shopping hours

* For interviews with Prof. Mantonakis contact: Cathy Majtenyi, media relations, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell phone #); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

* Kendra Coulter, 905-688-5550 x5349; kcoulter@brocku.ca

 

 

Oct. 8, 2013
BrockU experts available for comment on First Nations issues

UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya, is in Canada this week meeting with the Canadian government and visiting communities across the country to hear the concerns of First Nations peoples. Canada endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2010.

Many issues concerning First Nations peoples will be discussed during Anaya’s visit.

Brock University has two experts to comment on various First Nations issues:

* Janique Dubois is assistant professor in political science who can give interviews on politics and governance, in particular:

  • treaties and the Royal Proclamation
  • Métis-related issues
  • relationship between the Assembly of First Nations, Metis National Council, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and federal/provincial governments

Contact: Janique Dubois, 905-688-5550 x4822; jdubois@brocku.ca

* Sakoieta Widrick is a lecturer with the Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education. He is a cultural awareness educator and a traditionalist belonging to the Mohawk Wolf Clan. He can speak on:

  • treaty rights - First Nations - Canadian government relations
  • the impact of resource development projects on First Nations communities
  • any other issues concerning First Nations

Contact: Sakoieta Widrick, 905-688-5550 x3839; 519-755-2312 (cell #); swidrick@Brocku.ca; sakoieta@mohawkflute.com

For more info or assistance in arranging interviews, contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell phone #); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

 

Oct. 1, 2013
BrockU expert available for comment on partial U.S. government shutdown 

The partial shutdown of the United States government has the potential to do serious harm to the U.S. and the entire global economy.

“This is an irresponsible move,” says Brock University expert in international relations and international political economy, Blayne Haggart.

“It directly challenges the credibility of the United States. And if the United States defaults on its debt on Oct. 17 -- the deadline for raising the debt ceiling -- the results could be beyond catastrophic.”

Haggart can speak to the various impacts on the U.S. and the world, including:
- the United States’ international reputation
- the effect of the debate over the U.S. debt ceiling on the global economy
- how a small Republican minority is “holding a gun to the head” of the rest of the country

Blayne Haggart, assistant professor, Political Science, can be reached for interviews at: 905-688-5550 x3895; bhaggart@brocku.ca;

For assistance contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

 

July 30, 2013
BrockU expert available to speak on cyber crime insurance

More and more people are asking for insurance that covers losses arising from cyber crimes.

The most recent victims – 7-Eleven Inc., JC Penney and French retailer Carrefour – join Sony’s PlayStation Network, financial institution Citigroup and a number of Canadian government departments that have been hit in the past few years.

See: “Brokers see soaring demand from companies for insurance against cyber attacks

Managerial accounting professor Hemantha Herath and fellow academic Tejaswini Herath from the Goodman School of Business at Brock University have developed a one-of-a-kind, sophisticated model for calculating an insurance premium for cyber-security risk.

Prof. Hemantha Herath is available to give interviews on this issue. He can speak to:

  • the most common types of cyber crimes
  • patterns, trends, statistics, etc. in cyber crimes
  • impacts of cyber crime on businesses and individuals
  • details of the unique “copula” model that he and his colleague constructed
  • preliminary results of the model’s applications to date

For interviews, contact:

* Hemantha Herath, professor, Accounting, Goodman School of Business, 905-688-5550 x3519; hherath@brocku.ca

* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

July 26, 2013
BrockU prof available to speak to declining crime rates in Canada

Voula Marinos, a criminologist at Brock University, is available to comment on the news about Canadian crime rates hitting a four-decade low and what the numbers means in the face of the federal government’s “tough-on-crime” agenda.

Her areas of expertise include public attitudes toward crime, sentencing and punishment; crime and sentencing statistics; and criminal law and reform.

To set up interviews: Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; jsinibaldi@brocku.ca

 

July 26, 2013
Brock prof available to speak on Canada’s drug laws in response to Trudeau’s pro-pot legalizations comments

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau's pro-pot legalization comments have sparked up the national debate about legalizing marijuana in Canada.

Dan Malleck, associate professor of Applied Health sciences at Brock University, researches the history of drug and alcohol regulation and prohibition in Canada.

He is available to comment on the following aspects of the issue:

  • The origins of Canada’s drug laws
  • The parallels between arguments for legalization of pot today and those for legalization of alcohol in the early 20th century
  • The parallels between arguments against pot today and those against alcohol prior to and during prohibition
  • The potential forms of a legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana systems
  • The potential international impact of such a move

Malleck’s most recent book, Try to Control Yourself: The Regulation of Public Drinking in Post-Prohibition Ontario, 1927-1944, was published by UBC Press in May 2012. His current research looks at the development of Canada’s drug laws from the 19th century to the emergence of federal anti-drug policies in the early 20th century.

For interviews:

* Dan Malleck, associate professor, Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, dmalleck@brocku.ca

* Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; jsinibaldi@brocku.ca

 

July 16, 2013
Why it’s “easy” for Canadians to ignore child labour: Brock prof

“Child workers in places like Bangladesh or Pakistan are not just far away physically, but for many Canadians they are also far away culturally and economically,” says Brock University child and youth expert Rebecca Raby.

“Canadian consumers are also obscured by the shiny presentation of goods in our stores and through advertising which focuses on low prices, brand-names, and what products can do for us.”

Professor Rebecca Raby is available to comment on a newly released Canadian poll in which most of the respondents said it’s “easy” to ignore child labour.

Among the topics she can discuss include:

  • how/why the conditions of labour for the production of products are so obscured and distant
  • why people might find it more difficult to see children elsewhere in the same way as they see their own
  • how/why people here might see these conditions as insurmountable
  • the value of education, advertising, e-campaigns and activist groups

“As much as it may be uncomfortable to think about, Canadians can benefit from the exploitation of children elsewhere, in terms of low prices but also the value of shares, for share-holders, and for businesses.”

Professor Raby can be reached until the end of Thursday, July 18.

For interviews contact:

* Rebecca Raby, associate professor, Child and Youth Studies, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x3172; rraby@brocku.ca

* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell #); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca
 

 

July 16, 2013
Loblaw-Shoppers deal could touch workers as well as consumers: Brock expert

“From the opening of more Target stores to the Loblaw-Shoppers Drug Mart deal, we are seeing major changes in the retail terrain across Canada,” says Brock University labour expert Kendra Coulter.

“As the largest employment sector in the country, what happens in retail affects millions of Canadians, not only as shoppers, but as workers.”

“Whether these changes will lead to more stable full-time jobs or an expansion of low-paid, precarious positions is yet to be determined."

As Canada's leading academic researcher on retail workers and retail labour issues, Professor Coulter can comment on:

  • the work-related specifics of these events
  • what these mean for our communities
  • the growing significance of retail work
  • the broader retail context.

For interviews, contact:

* Kendra Coulter, assistant professor, Labour Studies, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5349; kcoulter@brocku.ca

* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell #); cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

April 29, 2013
BrockU labour experts available to comment on May Day in Canada

Wednesday is May Day (May 1), also known as International Workers’ Day, a day to celebrate and recognize the international labour movement and its impacts on society.

The following professors from Brock University’s Centre for Labour Studies are available to comment on May Day in Canada, its historical roots in the country, the political differences between May Day and Labour Day, and where 21st-century workers and the labour movement are heading given the changing realities of work.

* Larry Savage, director, Centre for Labour Studies, can speak to the historical origins of May Day in Canada, and the political differences between May Day and Labour Day.

Contact info: 905-688-5550 x5007; lsavage@brocku.ca

Savage’s research focuses on the politics of organized labour in Canada, including the changing nature of party-union relations.

* Kendra Coulter, assistant professor, Centre for Labour Studies, is Canada’s leading university-based researcher on retail work and workers, and she can speak about the labour movement in Canada and the changing realities of work.

Contact: 905-688-5550 x5349; kcoulter@brocku.ca; www.revolutionizingretail.org

Coulter’s research focuses on retail work and retail workers’ political action by looking closely at organizing strategies, public policy, and workplace culture.

For any additional assistance: Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; jsinibaldi@brocku.ca
 

 

April 1, 2013 
Brock University experts available on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2)

April 2, 2013 is a historic day in Canada. This is the first time that the country will recognize the United Nations’ World Autism Awareness Day.

Autism is the most common neurological disorder affecting children and one of the most common developmental disabilities affecting Canadians in general, according to Autism Society Canada.

The National Epidemiologic Database for the Study of Autism in Canada (NEDSAC) says that the numbers of Canadian children being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders is increasing, at an estimated prevalence rate of one per 94 children.

Brock University has two experts available for media interviews on various aspects of autism:

* Maurice Feldman has developed a scale for parents to monitor the behavioral development of infants who might be at biological risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Identifying ASD as early as possible – and starting intensive therapy right away – is crucial for a child’s long-term success. Feldman can discuss early signs of ASD, how parents can use “simple and natural strategies” to promote more typical development in vulnerable infants, predicting which children may develop ASD and interventions for children with ASD.

* Maureen Connolly co-ordinates Brock University’s Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Summer Movement Camp for children as young as three to adults in their early 20s. The camp also provides an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to interact with the children. Connolly can talk about designing physical activities and learning opportunities for children with ASD based on their patterns of movement and interpreting the behaviours of children with ASD.

To arrange interviews, contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, 905-688-5550 x5789; cell: 905-321-0566 or cmajtenyi@brocku.ca

 

 

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