2015 GIWS research awards

GIWS honoured the winners of the inaugural institute research awards during World Water Day celebrations on March 20, 2015.

On March 20, 2015, GIWS celebrated World Water Day with a lecture series and poster competition. In addition, the winners of the inaugural Water Security Research Awards. These awards recognize outstanding member achievements in water research and advancement of University of Saskatchewan research activities. Each recipient was invited to present their research during U of S World Water Day.

Following the Water Leaders Lecture Series, GIWS hosted a student and postdoctoral fellow poster competition. With over 30 posters submitted, an intense round of judging by Canadian Water Resources Association members and GIWS faculty followed. The winners are profiled below.

Water Security Research Excellence Award

Recipient: Dr. John Giesy
Presentation: "A simple chemist in the complexity of the oil sands"


Dr. Giesy holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Toxicology and is Professor in the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences and the Toxicology Centre. He is also Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Zoology at Michigan State University. He holds numerous professorships at universities around the globe including the City University of Hong Kong, Nanjing University in China and Xiamen University, China. He is a world-leading scientist and was the first person to identify the presence of perfluorinated chemicals, or PFCs, in the environment. Dr. Giesy’s accomplishments are numerous and varied. He has published over 1,000 peer-reviewed works, presented over 1,200 lectures world-wide and is the most cited author in the world in the combined fields of ecology and environmental sciences. Awards and recognitions include election to the Royal Society of Canada, the King Saud Award in Environmental Science and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Capacity-Building Award.  In addition, he received the Einstein Professorship Award from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009 and the Miroslaw Romanowski Medal from the Royal Society of Canada in 2013.  Most recently, Dr. Giesy was appointed to the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency.

Best Doctoral Thesis Award in Water Security Research

Recipient: Dr. Abdalla Karoyo
Presentation: "Structural studies of supramolecular host-guest systems"


Dr. Karoyo received his PhD in September 2014 for his thesis titled “Structural Studies of Supramolecular Host-Guest Systems”. He completed his doctorate in the Department of Chemistry working with GIWS member Dr. Lee Wilson on the development of a new ‘smart material’ with the potential to significantly improve the mitigation of waterborne contaminants. Dr. Karoyo grew up in Kenya and attended the United Arab Emirates University on a full scholarship. His PhD research has resulted in five papers published in peer review journals and three currently under submitted and under review. In addition, he has been profiled in The Saskatoon Star Phoenix, College of Arts & Science publications and The Sheaf. Efforts are underway with the U of S Industry Liaison Office to evaluate commercialization of the smart materials developed during Dr. Karoyo’s thesis work. He is the recipient of the 2014 Graduate Students’ Association Award for Research Excellence and was nominated for the 2014 Canadian Association of Graduate Studies award. Dr. Karoyo is now Aquatic Scientist with Environment Canada at the National Hydrology Research Centre.

Water Leaders of Tomorrow Poster Competition Winners

  • 1st Place, Postdoctoral Fellow Category, Graham Strickert, Downstream: Performing Perspectives on Water Security
  • 1st Place, Student Category: Noel Galuschik, Assessment of diel nutrient dynamics in small headwater reservoirs
  • 2nd Place, Student Category: Brett Tendler, Chemodynamic behavior of thallium in the Slave River, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • 3rd Place, Student Category: Robin Brown, The Effects of Agricultural Drainage on Soil Properties in Saskatchewan