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AstroDoings Oct 2019 – Our Latest Awards

01 Oct 2019

Undergraduate Students

Shannon Vanderwourde is the recipient of the 2019 Maurice and Christine Clement Scholarship in Astronomy and Astrophysics. She has also been named the recipient of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Jacob Taylor is the recipient of Smith Solis Research Scholarship in Astronomy and Astrophysics, awarded to a top student in the AST425Y Research Topics in Astronomy & Astrophysics course on the basis of demonstrated excellence in the written report and oral presentation.

Graduate Students:

Our gradate students received too many awards to mention throughout the year. Some of these awards include the NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship, Ontario Trillium Scholarship, Connaught International Scholarship and the Faculty of Arts & Science Top Doctoral Scholarship. Nolan Denman is the latest Fieldus award winner which is given to a senior student for leadership in our Department. Nolan has helped mentor many students and is praised for his insight into astronomy and physics issues that he passed on to them.  Emily Deibert is the recipient of the 2019 NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS). The Vanier CGS program was established in 2008 to support Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. Its recipients demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and/or engineering and health.

Postdoctoral Fellows Awards

Congratulations to the Dunlap Institute postdoctoral fellow Jason Hunt for being awarded the Polanyi Prize for his work on mapping our galaxy with the Gaia telescope.

Faculty Awards

Professor Jo Bovy has received the very prestigious 2019 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize for his work on the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way galaxy. He also received the Helen B. Warner Prize “for a significant early-career contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy, specifically for his contributions to our understanding of the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way and his work on forward modeling of large scientific data sets.” The Warner Prize is the major early career prize in astronomy and astrophysics in North America.

The Canada Council for Arts Killam Fellowships has been established to support outstanding scholars and to carry out their ground-breaking projects in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health sciences, engineering and interdisciplinary studies within these fields. This year one of the six Killam Research Fellowships was awarded to own Professor Marten van Kerkwijk for his project called Probing Extreme (Astro)Physics with Neutron Stars”.

Professor Bryan Gaensler was named the recipient of the 2019 Peter Martin award for Mid-Career Achievement. The Award was established in 2009 upon a gift by Peter G. Martin, Past-President of the Canadian Astronomical Society and Professor at the University of Toronto and is awarded to a Canadian astronomer, or astronomer working in Canada, within ten to twenty years of receipt of his or her PhD degree, to recognize significant contributions to astronomical research.


Professor Maria Drout won a prestigious 2018 Azrieli Global Scholar Award from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). This award aims at recognizing researchers from diverse fields in the early stages of their careers. Maria is one of 12 award winners in 2018 from Canada, the U.S., Israel, Singapore and the Netherlands.

Professor Renee Hlozek was named a CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar. The Azrieli Globar Scholar is recognition and support for young emerging leaders. Renee will join the Gravity and Extreme Universe program of CIFAR.

Professor Ue-Li Pen was named as one of the winners of the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, awarded to the Event Horizon Team for the making the first direct image of a black hole.

Congratulations on these achievements!