B.C. Air Quality

Robert Caton Scholarship and David Bates Scholarship Winners: 2016

For information on the Robert Caton Scholarship, the David Bates Scholarship and the BC CLEAR Fund, see Air Quality Research Funding. For earlier winners, see Robert Caton Scholarship Winners: 2004-2015.

Robert Caton Scholarship Award ($2,000)

Devyani Singh
Devyani is a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, co-supervised by Dr. Gary Bull and Dr. Hisham Zerriffi. She obtained an MBA (finance) from the University of Iowa, and a M.Sc. in Environmental Science from The Ohio State University. Devyani is part of a larger US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded project on the "Experimental interventions to facilitate clean cookstove adoption, promote clean indoor air, and mitigate climate change". Almost 3 billion people globally depend on solid fuels as a source of meeting daily cooking requirements. This use of solid fuels has a huge impact on human health, air quality, environment, and society. The broad objectives of her project are linked to feasible improvements in dissemination of clean stoves and their impacts on health, environment, and climate. In particular, her research involves assessing the impacts of fuelwood extraction on forest sustainability and household emissions. After completion of her PhD in fall 2017, Devyani aspires to work in the science-policy interface on solutions benefitting environment and society.


David Bates Scholarship Award ($2,000)

Lief Pagalan
Sarah KochLief is a first-year MSc student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, co-supervised by Dr. Meghan Winters and Dr. Bruce Lanphear, and a research trainee at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. He completed his BSc with a double major in Geography, and Interactive Arts and Technology at SFU in 2016. His research is an epidemiological and spatial analysis of air pollutants as prenatal modifiable risk factors for developing autism spectrum disorder, based on a 2004–14 population-based, retrospective cohort of all births in Metro Vancouver. Lief is developing and evaluating spatiotemporal estimates of PM2.5, NO, and NO2 for all of Metro Vancouver from 2003–2014 at a 6-digit postal code level and monthly resolution, building on land use regression models developed by Dr. Michael Brauer, Dr. Sarah Henderson, and Dr. Hind Sbihi. These spatiotemporal estimates of air pollutants will be used to calculate exposure estimates for the study cohort, and to subsequently test the associations between prenatal exposure to air pollutants with developing autism. If air pollutants are risk factors for developing autism, this study can provide new evidence for prevention strategies to improve air quality and reduce the adverse effects of air pollution on human health. It will also provide a rich spatiotemporal dataset of air pollution in Metro Vancouver for environmental health researchers.

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