BrockU Daily Experts
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.:
Office: 905-688-5550 x4388
For assistance with interviews contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); email@example.com
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
For further assistance contact: Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; email@example.com
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 #); firstname.lastname@example.org
For further assistance contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell #); email@example.com
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. (firstname.lastname@example.org; 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!” (email@example.com; 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. (firstname.lastname@example.org; 905-688-5550, x5372).
For assistance with setting up interviews, contact:
Cathy Majtenyi, media relations, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell); email@example.com
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 #); firstname.lastname@example.org
* Kendra Coulter, 905-688-5550 x5349; email@example.com
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
* 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; email@example.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 #); firstname.lastname@example.org
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; email@example.com;
For assistance contact: Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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; email@example.com
* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; firstname.lastname@example.org
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; email@example.com
July 26, 2013
Brock prof available to speak on Canada’s drug laws in response to Trudeau’s pro-pot legalizations comments
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.
* Dan Malleck, associate professor, Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, firstname.lastname@example.org
* Jeffrey Sinibaldi, media relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4687; email@example.com
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell #); email@example.com
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
* Cathy Majtenyi, research communications/media relations specialist, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5789; 905-321-0566 (cell #); email@example.com
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; firstname.lastname@example.org
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; email@example.com; 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; firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com