Mount Allison’s 2024 Paul Paré Excellence Award winners announced 

06 May 2024
Five Mount Allison professors across disciplines recognized for excellence in research, scholarship, and creative activities  

Five Mount Allison University professors have been honoured with the 2024 Paul Paré Excellence Awards. These awards commend notable contributions to research, scholarship, and creative activities that have made significant impact within the last three years.  

This year’s recipients are: 

  • Dr. Jane Dryden (philosophy)  
  • Dr. Anne Koval (fine arts) 
  • Dr. Josh Kurek (geography and environment) 
  • Dr. Matt Litvak (biology) 
  • Dr. Vett Lloyd (biology) 

“For each of these recipients, their commitment to pedagogy, research, and enriching the student experience shines through in their teaching,” says Dr. Vicki St. Pierre, interim provost and vice-president, academic and research. “This year’s recipients embody academic leadership, fostering both scholarly and personal growth within our University community.” 

Each recipient will receive $4,000 to support research and professional activities. 

Dr. Jane Dryden (philosophy)

Philosophy professor Dr. Jane Dryden’s work spans several different areas of focus, from 18th and 19th century philosophy to contemporary research on gut microbiome therapies. Her research and her teaching are often connected through courses in philosophy of disability, seminars on embodiment and vulnerability, and phenomenology. In the past three years, she has completed seven academic publications, 14 presentations, as well as interviews for radio and podcasts.

The central theme within her research is how individuals navigate freedom and autonomy with vulnerability and embeddedness in the world. She has explored this theme in several areas, including the treatment of disability and freedom in the history of philosophy, our relationship to our bodies, particularly our gastrointestinal system, how we conceptualize having control over our bodies via microbiome therapies, and general work on accessibility. Throughout her work, she challenges conceptions of normalcy and narrow expectations of how bodies and minds ought to be.

Dryden is currently program advisor for philosophy and the interim director of the health studies program at Mount Allison. 

Dr. Anne Koval (fine arts)

Dr. Anne Koval is Professor of Art History, and Museum and Curatorial Studies, housed in the Pierre Lassonde School of Fine Arts. This award recognizes her significant contribution to scholarship with the publication of her biography Mary Pratt: A love affair with Vision by Goose Lane Editions in October 2023. 
Koval’s research into Mary Pratt’s archival holdings at Mount Allison and her many interviews with Pratt, her family and associates, culminated in a substantial biography that examines the artist’s work and life through a feminist lens.  
This peer-reviewed biography was awarded a Scholarly Book Award for publication from the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and received a scholarly book subvention grant from Memorial University in Newfoundland. More recently it was shortlisted for the prestigious Atlantic Book Award, as well as the Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick Non-fiction Book Award. The recipients of these two awards will be announced in early June. 
Dr. Josh Kurek (geography and environment) 

Geography and Environment professor Dr. Josh Kurek is a passionate scientist and devoted research mentor. He is nationally recognized for his interdisciplinary research focused on understanding how pollution and climate change impact lake ecosystems and the ecological services lakes provide.   
Kurek’s novel research program investigates how lakes respond to global environmental change, which includes appreciating the long-term responses to and recovery from anthropogenic stressors, such as legacy pollution and climate change. Since 2021 he has received over $575,00 of funding from NSERC, Environment & Climate Change Canada, NB Wildlife Trust Fund, Canadian Institute of Ecology & Evolution, Mitacs, and NB Environmental Trust Fund.   
Kurek developed a research program that integrates students and diverse collaborators learning together to address fundamental issues facing freshwater ecosystems in the Maritimes and beyond. He is sought after by fellow scientists interested in collaborating with his lab, government officials, and community groups eager to tap into his research expertise. Since 2021, he has 15 peer-reviewed publications in environmental science-focused journals on topics related to aquatic ecosystems in a warming world.   
Dr. Matt Litvak  (biology)

Dr. Matt Litvak is a professor of biology and a well-respected researcher in the field of fish ecology and aquaculture. Litvak was also a recipient of the Paul Paré Excellence Awards in 2013 and has greatly expanded his impact as a researcher since that time.   
Litvak has made significant contributions to conservation biology, ecology, physiology, and ichthyology. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed research articles in these areas of research. He has supported the research community at Mount Allison through his supervision of graduate, both undergraduate honours and independent study students, providing them the opportunity to gain meaningful research experience.  
His most recent research program, funded through NSERC, has focused on developing the cutting-edge technique of cryobanking to positively impact the conservation of sturgeons, which are the most endangered vertebrate group in the world. Litvak raised over $400,000 in external research funding to support his research program and team in the past three years and over $2.5 million since joining Mount Allison in 2010.  
Litvak supports the local community by volunteering for the Lion’s Club Great Sturgeon Hunt on the Kennebecasis River. He is also working with the Mississauga First Nation in Ontario on the ecology and management of Lake Sturgeon.   
Dr. Vett Lloyd (biology)

Biology professor Dr. Vett Lloyd is a research leader, a dedicated supervisor, and an innovative teacher. Lloyd’s expertise in genetics helped develop a research program studying ticks in the Maritimes and the transmission of the pathogens they carry, including the one that causes Lyme Disease. Central to Lloyd's research is working with communities to monitor climate diseases such as Lyme disease and incorporating community members, including patients, as equal partners in research. 
With the help of approximately 20 honours and independent studies students and eight grad students over the past three years, Lloyd’s research has tracked the spread of ticks, the spread of the pathogens that they transmit, and subtle aspects of tick biology – what makes ticks tick.  
Over the past three years, Lloyd has published multiple research articles, book chapters, and conference presentations with her students. She has delivered many talks to other scientists and community groups and appears regularly in the media promoting safe enjoyment of the outdoors. Lloyd’s research has had a significant impact on the understanding of how the changing climate is changing our relationship with wildlife, big and small. 

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