Committee Membership

Rituparna Kanungo, Chair of the Liaison Committee

Dr, Kanungo is a Professor of Physics at Saint Mary’s University, Halifax with prior work experience in Japan and Germany.  Her research area is in experimental subatomic physics, with a specialization in reaction spectroscopy of rare isotopes. She is an active researcher at TRIUMF, where she has been leading CFI projects for facilities aimed for such experiments. In addition, she has research programs in other international facilities, namely GSI in Germany, RIKEN in Japan and NSCL in USA that build on strong international collaborations. She has authored many peer reviewed research articles. Her research expertise is recognized through a number of invited talks among which is the honorable invitation to speak at the Nobel Symposium. She has been the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt fellowship and the GSI Exotic Nuclei Community award. She was also awarded the NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement. She hosted and chaired the international conference DREB 2016 in Halifax. She is currently the President of the Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics and a member of the CAP-NSERC liaison committee. She has also served on the Policy and Planning Advisory Committee of  TRIUMF


Eric Poisson, Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Dr. Eric Poisson is a professor of physics in the Department of Physics at the University of Guelph. His field of research is gravitational physics, with a focus on black holes and gravitational waves.  He obtained his BSc from Laval University, and then went to graduate school at the University of Alberta. He then spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena. Before coming to Guelph he spent a year at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2005 he was awarded the Herzberg Medal by the Canadian Association of Physicists, for outstanding achievement by a physicist aged 40 or less. In 2008 he  was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, “for important contributions to the theory of gravitational radiation from compact bodies orbiting black holes, to the theory of back-reaction of the emitted radiation on their motions, and to understanding the implications for gravitational-wave detection.’’ He currently serves as President of the International Society on General Relativity and Gravitation, for the three-year term 2016–2019.


Jean-Pierre St-Maurice, Near-Earth and Space Physics


Svetlana Barkanova, Subatomic Physics

Dr. Svetlana Barkanova a Professor of Physics at the School of Science and Environment, Grenfell, Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and an internationally-know researcher with research interests in nucleon structure and physics beyond the Standard Model. After completing a MSc in nuclear physics from the University of Latvia in 1996 and research work at the Latvian Nuclear Research Centre, Svetlana moved to Canada in 1998, received a PhD from the University of Manitoba in 2004, was awarded NSERC DG in 2005 and became a Full Professor at Acadia University in 2014. In 2017, Svetlana joined Grenfell Campus of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, where she is helping with strengthening Grenfell’s new Physics program in subatomic physics and astrophysics, developing MUN’s graduate program in theoretical subatomic physics, and promoting nuclear and particle physics research and education in Newfoundland.


Melanie Martin, Biomedical and Biological Physics



RoordaSjoerd Roorda, Quantum and Soft Condensed Matter Physics

Dr. Sjoerd Roorda is professor of physics at the Université de Montréal. His research interests are in the physics of advanced materials and in particular non-equilibrium materials such as amorphous materials and materials modified by ion beams. His research requires access to large facilites (accelerators and synchrotrons). He obtained his MSc in 1986 from the Unversity of Utrecht (the Netherlands) and his PhD in 1990 based on work performed at the FOM Institute for atomic and molecular physics (AMOLF).

Sjoerd Roorda has served on NSERC strategic (1998–2000) and discovery (2005–2007) grant selection committees and chaired these committees in 2000, 2006, and 2007. He has also served on the TRIUMF Molecular & Materials Science Experiments Evaluation Committee (MMS–EEC) and the 2015 CFI Expert Committee for Materials. He was a secretary-treasurer of the Condensed Matter Division of the Canadian Association of Physicists from 2002 to 2010, and was a member of the Executive Committee (2004 to 2013) and past director (2011–2013) of Le Regroupement québécois sur les matériaux de pointe (RQMP, a Quebec funded advanced materials research network). He is a member of the International Committee of the international conference on the Ion Beam Modification of Materials.


tbd, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Optics and Lasers, and Plasmas


Lorne Nelson, Astronomy, Astrophysics, and Cosmology

Dr. Lorne Nelson is professor and chair of the department of Physics & Astronomy at Bishop’s University. His research interests are focused on stellar and high-energy astrophysics as it pertains to white dwarfs, neutron stars, dark matter, and supernova explosions. He received his PhD in astrophysics from Queen’s University and subsequently held postdoctoral fellowships at MIT and CITA (Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics) where he and his collaborators worked on the theoretical structure and evolution of a new class of substellar objects known as Brown Dwarfs. He has served on CITA Council for several years and on CanTAC, the time allocation committee for the Gemini, JCMT and CFHT telescopes for three years and was the chair of the Galactic Panel in 2012. From 2013 to 2016 he served as a Director of CASCA (Canadian Astronomical Society). He is currently serving on the management board of ACURA (Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy) and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec (CRAQ). He was awarded a Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Astrophysics and has held other awards such as the Reinhardt Fellowship, Merite Estrien, and the William and Nancy Turner (Chancellor’s) Award for Teaching.




Emily Diepenveen, Team Leader, overseeing the Physics and Computer Science portfolio within the Mathematical, Environmental and Physical Sciences Division of NSERC’s Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate

Elizabeth Boston, Director of NSERC’s Mathematical, Environmental and Physical Division within the Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate

Kari Dalnoki-Veress, Chair of NSERC’s Physics Evaluation Group



Donna Strickland, Director of Academic Affairs, Canadian Association of Physicists

Francine Ford, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Physicists