Sept. 5, 2023

A record 7 UCalgary scholars named Fellows of Royal Society of Canada

Faculty members recognized for notable scholarly, scientific or artistic advancements
Clockwise from left: Frank Cheng, David Hodgins, Jennifer Love, Marcello Tonelli, Venkataraman Thangadurai, Nicole Letourneau, Carolyn Emery.
Clockwise from left: Frank Cheng, David Hodgins, Jennifer Love, Marcello Tonelli, Venkataraman Thangadurai, Nicole Letourneau, Carolyn Emery.

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC) announced its new Fellows for 2023 and a record-setting seven University of Calgary faculty members were among those to receive the prestigious honour, the greatest number ever in one year for our institution.

Fellows of the RSC are peer-elected scholars who have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.

Dr. Frank Cheng, PhD; Dr. Carolyn Emery, PhD; Dr. David Hodgins, PhD; Dr. Nicole Letourneau, PhD; Dr. Jennifer Love; PhD; Dr. Venkataraman Thangadurai, PhD; and Dr. Marcello Tonelli, MD, will be formally inducted into the RSC at a ceremony in November.

“The University of Calgary is thrilled to have seven outstanding scholars named as Royal Society of Canada Fellows this year,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president of the University of Calgary and Fellow of the RSC. 

"Their induction into the Royal Society of Canada is a testament to their remarkable contributions across various disciplines and in public life. Their achievements not only elevate our university, but also enrich our community. We are immensely proud and inspired by their dedication and excellence."

2023 is UCalgary’s most successful year for RSC nominations in institutional history. In addition to the seven new RSC Fellows listed below, there are five UCalgary scholars who have been selected for the RSC College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. These 12 scholars also make up the largest variety of faculties UCalgary has ever had represented in one year, hailing from seven different faculties.

New Fellows

New Fellows were welcomed to the Royal Society on Nov. 16, 2023. From left: Jennifer Love, Frank Cheng, Venkataraman Thangadurai, Carolyn Emery, Nicole Letourneau, and David Hodgins. Missing from the photo is Marcello Tonelli.

“The Royal Society of Canada is very proud to welcome today an imposing group of inspiring scholars, artists and creators whose peers have recognized their exceptional contributions to the world of science and culture and to the well-being of our society. The impact of their work will continue to be felt in the development of public policies for years to come, while adding greatly to the enrichment of public life,” said Alain-G. Gagnon, president of the RSC.

Dr. Frank Cheng, PhD
Professor, Department of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering

Cheng’s innovative approaches to integrate advanced micro- and nano-electrochemical techniques with modern computational modelling open understandings into the microscopic world of pipeline corrosion. His defect assessment technique revolutionizes current methods, providing accurate diagnosis of pipeline health conditions. Cheng conducts game-changing work exploring hydrogen-steel interactions at an atomic scale and reinvigorates gaseous hydrogen embrittlement investigations, leading the worldwide research on repurposing existing natural gas pipelines for hydrogen transport.

Learn more about Frank Cheng’s research:

UCalgary prof earns international award for his deep knowledge of energy pipeline engineering | Researchers study how Earth’s smallest molecule could play a big role in our energy future

Dr. Carolyn Emery, PhD
Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology; Departments of Community Health Science and Paediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine

Emery is a world-leading injury epidemiologist and physiotherapist whose innovative research in the prevention of sport-related injuries and concussions and their consequences in youth has had a significant public health impact globally. Injuries are the leading cause of disability in youth and one in three Canadian youth sustain a sport-related injury annually. Emery’s research has reduced this burden through novel, effective, and sustainable evidence-informed injury- and concussion-prevention solutions.

Learn more about Carolyn Emery’s research:

Dr. Carolyn Emery helps to create and lead United Kingdom Concussion Prevention NetworkInnovative project SHReds concussions and injuries in youth across Alberta | UCalgary receives significant World Rugby grant to better understand female rugby injuries | NFL gives significant funding to help youth 'SHRed' the burden of concussion

Emery is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, McCaig Institute for Bone and Joint Health,  Hotchkiss Brain Institute and the O’Brien Institute for Public Health.

Dr. David Hodgins, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts; Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Cumming School of Medicine

Hodgins is one of the world’s most eminent scholars of addiction studies whose influential work advances scientific inquiry and practice. His research and leadership in international initiatives have set directions in science and interventions for addictions, profoundly changing how scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers understand the psychology of gambling. Hodgins’ widely adopted treatment and relapse prevention interventions for gambling problems have helped thousands of individuals and their families worldwide. 

Learn more about David Hodgins’ research:

What are the odds? | Addictive Behaviours Lab | Alberta Gambling Research Institute

Hodgins is a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education at the HBI.

Dr. Nicole Letourneau, PhD, RN
Professor, Faculty of Nursing; Departments of Paediatrics, Psychiatry and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine

Letourneau’s research positively impacts vulnerable children’s lives. She focuses on understanding mechanisms to explain how toxic stress (e.g., maternal depression, family violence) negatively affects children’s health and development, then creates and tests relevant interventions to promote improved outcomes. She employs innovative knowledge translation methods to influence policy and practice and change systems. Letourneau’s ground-breaking, excellent work with community agencies has directly and indirectly impacted the mental health of thousands of at-risk children and their parents in Canada and globally.

Learn more about Nicole Letourneau’s research:

CHILD Program | Attachment and Child Health | APrON Study | Alliance against Violence and Adversity (AVA) |Better access to mental health care The Globe and Mail | In a world of buzzword parenting – The Toronto Star | Mental health is a key component of a new Indigenous child welfare systemThe Ottawa Citizen

Letourneau is a member of the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI), the Owerko Centre in ACHRI, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education in the HBI.

Dr. Jennifer Love, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Love is an award-winning professor of chemistry who uniquely contributes to both inorganic and organic chemistry. Her pioneering work on metal-catalyzed reactions, fluorine compounds and complex mechanistic research to understand a metal’s reactivity have wide-reaching impact across chemistry, science and beyond. Love’s current work focusses on developing applications of first-row transition metals for methane upgrading to valorise this underused carbon source.

Learn more about Jennifer Love’s research:

Google Scholar | UCalgary profile

Dr. Venkataraman Thangadurai, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Thangadurai is an internationally renowned expert in solid-state electrochemistry, recognized for his award-winning research on novel ceramic electrolytes and electrodes for next-generation lithium batteries, and solid oxide fuel cells. His groundbreaking work revolutionized battery technology and the way energy can be stored for transport and peak-power demand.

Learn more about Venkataraman Thangadurai’s research:

Thangadurai Group | Developing a resilient Canadian battery supply chainInnovation News Network

Dr. Marcello Tonelli, MD
Professor, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine

Tonelli’s work has contributed to the recognition of chronic kidney disease (CKD) as a major risk factor for adverse outcomes and has informed novel strategies for mitigating this risk. His highly cited research on prevention and control of CKD has global impact through its direct influence on health-services interventions, patient-centred practice guidelines, and public policy, as well as his collaborations with the World Health Organization and other international bodies. 

Learn more about Marcello Tonelli’s research:

Canada needs a “Health in All Policies” action plan now |Time to Abolish Metrics That Sustain Systemic Racism in Kidney Allocation |“Our Medicare policy for kidney transplants is totally irrational” - The Washington Post |Publications on Web of Science|Libin Institute designated international Collaborating Centre by World Health Organization

Tonelli is a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute and O’Brien Institute for Public Health, as well as senior associate dean (health research) at the CSM and associate vice-president (health research) at UCalgary.

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