Plenary Speakers2015

  • Styliani Consta, University of Western Ontario

    ConstaStyliani (Stella) Consta is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Western Ontario. Before joining the faculty at Western, Stella completed her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and held a Marie Curie Fellowship at the F.O.M Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics in the Netherlands. Her awards and honours include the Premier’s Research Excellence Award and a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (IIF) at the University of Cambridge.

  • Shohini Ghose, Wilfrid Laurier University

    1256_448WLU93SciencePeople-1Shohini Ghose is an Associate Professor of Physics and Computer Science and Director of the Centre for Women in Science at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. She is a theoretical physicist who examines how the laws of quantum physics might be harnessed to transform computation and communication, and to develop novel protocols such as teleportation. She and her research collaborators made the first observations of chaotic behavior in quantum entanglement dynamics. She has taught physics to over 2000 students enrolled in her courses and has co-authored a textbook that is used in universities across Canada. Her research and teaching has earned her numerous awards including a WOW (Women of Waterloo) Education award, and a prestigious TED Fellowship. She is an affiliate of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, and is a Fellow of the Balsillie School of International Affairs.

  • Michelle Hilts, BC Cancer Agency

    MHHeadshot2014_crop Michelle has been a medical physicist with the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) since 1999. She has worked at BCCA – Vancouver, BCCA – Vancouver Island (in Victoria) and now works at BCCA – Southern Interior in Kelowna. She enjoys playing in the lake and snowy hills of the Okanagan Valley with her young family and believes Kelowna is her final stop. Michelle has MSc and PhD degrees specializing in medical physics from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is certified as a clinical medical physicist by the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine. She is active in research and teaching and holds academic appointments both at the University of Victoria and UBC – Okanagan. Michelle is co-director of the accredited, province wide, BCCA Medical Physics Residency Program and she works as a reviewer of residency programs undergoing accreditation across the USA and Canada. She is past-president of the BC Association of Medical Physicists and current President-Elect of the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP). Michelle loves her job and finds the combination of clinical duties, research and teaching very fulfilling. She feels especially lucky to be able to mentor young scientists in her field.

  • Elisabeth Nicol, University of Guelph

    nicol_eElisabeth Nicol is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph. She works in condensed matter theory and her research covers two majors areas of quantum materials: superconductivity, and graphene-related Dirac materials. Elisabeth received her MSc and PhD from McMaster University and her BSc from Mount Allison University. Among her many awards, she held a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California and has been awarded the John Charles Polanyi Prize and the Premier’s Research Excellence Award. She was made a Cottrell Scholar of Research Corporation (USA). Elisabeth also served as the physics columnist for CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks.

  • Alison Sills, McMaster University

    SillsDr Alison Sills studies weird stars in unusual places. The stars that interest her have had something happen to them during their life, such as a collision with another star or an interaction with their binary companion. These events happen more often in dense stellar clusters. Dr Sills uses a variety of computational tools to model the formation and evolution of these clusters and their stellar populations. Dr Sills grew up in Toronto and attended the University of Western Ontario for her BSc before studying at Yale University for her PhD. After postdoctoral positions at the Ohio State University and the University of Leicester in the UK, she returned to Ontario to take up a faculty position at McMaster University in 2001. She currently lives in Hamilton with her husband and two daughters.

  • Natalia Toro, Perimeter Institute

    Natalia_Toro180Natalia Toro is a particle physicist whose research focuses on finding new ways to test our understanding of the laws of nature. She has been on the faculty at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics since 2010. Raised in Boulder, Colorado, Natalia studied physics and mathematics as an undergraduate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003), completed her PhD at Harvard (2007) under the supervision of Nima Arkani-Hamed, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. Natalia’s current research focuses on accelerator-based searches for new forces and dark matter — she is a co-spokesperson for the A-Prime EXperiment (APEX) at Jefferson Lab and a member of the HPS and BDX experiments — and on better understanding the principles underlying the long-range forces.