Director's Blog

CRI new news and new changes

Posted by Michelle Gray   |   June 30, 2015

CRI Network:

I am very pleased to share the following announcements with you about our new CRI Executive, a national award for one of our Science Directors, and some history that was made last week for the Institute.  It is a fantastic time for the CRI.

Have a wonderful Canada Day!
Karen Kidd
(outgoing) Chair of CRI Science Directors Board

Mike van den Heuvel (CRI @ UPEI) steps up as Acting Director of CRI

On July 1st Mike van den Heuvel takes the reins as Acting Director of CRI.  Mike came to the Biology Department at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) as the Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity in 2005 and is cross-appointed to Biomedical Sciences at the Atlantic Veterinary College.  Since CRI’s inception in 2001, UPEI has worked closely with UNB on developing the CRI so it was only natural that Mike should become an Associate Fellow when he arrived, then a full Fellow (subsequently renamed Science Director) in 2007, and now the Acting Director.  Mike teaches Environmental Toxicology and has a very active research lab of 14 graduate students ranging from estuarine ecology, through oil sands toxicology to cancer research.

Mike is excited to build on CRI’s solid reputation in river sciences to increase CRI’s recognition nationally and internationally.  His vision includes a stronger integration of the social sciences in our interdisciplinary approach, stronger engagement of our members including students and alumni, and better communication among all members.  In the days to come Mike will be reaching out to you for your ideas on opportunities to continue to build CRI as a truly national, and internationally recognized, centre of expertise in river sciences.

Donald Baird (CRI @ UNB) appointed Chair of the CRI Science Directors Board

Donald Baird (Ph.D. Glasgow) takes over from Karen Kidd on July 1st as Chair of the CRI Science Directors Board.  Donald joined Environment Canada (EC) and the CRI in 2003 after his early career at Stirling University, Scotland. As a senior research scientist with EC, Donald has developed a highly successful research program with a novel focus on ecoinformatics and ecogenomics approaches. He brings a wealth of international experience to the CRI Science Directors Board including extensive experience working in numerous countries, and as an adviser to UN agencies (UNDP, FAO). 

It is notable that one third of Donald’s 150 scientific papers and books have been authored with CRI students, PDFs and Science Directors. Since joining the CRI he has also given numerous invited keynotes at international conferences (e.g., SETAC). He looks forward to working with the Science Directors to build new research partnerships, is committed to supporting CRI’s research plan and will strive to further the international recognition of CRI science.

Deb MacLatchy (CRI @ Laurier) receives national award

This spring Deb MacLatchy received the 2015 Recognition Award from the Senior Women Academic Administrators of Canada.  This award recognizes someone that “has continually demonstrated innovative leadership in advancing the mission of, and achieving outstanding contributions to, their institution”.  Congratulations Deb!

Allen Curry (CRI @ UNB) sets new record for Atlantic Canada

Last Friday Allen Curry was awarded the largest NSERC Collaborative Research and Development grant ($2.8 million) in Atlantic Canadian history in support of the Mactaquac Aquatic Ecosystem Study (MAES) in New Brunswick.  This is a multi-year partnership with New Brunswick Power to conduct the science needed to support the upcoming decision to remove or refurbish the Mactaquac dam on the Saint John River.  Congratulations Allen and his team! 

For more information on this project, see


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