What's happening? What's new?

There’s always something happening at the Centre for Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Whether we’re hosting a training workshop or promoting an entrepreneurship series from one of our RINSA partners, there’s an opportunity for anyone interested in applied research to gain more skills, knowledge and understanding.

New publications from Lethbridge College researchers, faculty, and staff

Dr. Kirsten Fantazir (Instructor, School of Justice Studies) & Murray Bartley (Instructor, School of Justice Studies)

"Role-Playing Gamification Technologies with Adult Learners" in Imagining SoTL

The purpose of this quantitative scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) research study was to examine the impact Classcraft had on adult criminal justice students in a face-to-face context in a western-Canadian institution. Specifically, the role-playing digital game was integrated into a first-year applied English and investigative writing course; learners earned points, received “real world” prizes, and completed random, content-related challenges with their teams. Using a survey with Likert-style and open-ended questions, it was determined that most elements of Classcraft motivated and engaged participants. The most impactful finding was that Classcraft promoted teamwork and problem-solving abilities. While little research has been conducted in adult post-secondary settings related to the implementation of Classcraft, it is evident more research is required in other post-secondary learning contexts.


Catherine Rigaux (Instructor, School of Justice Studies) 

"Enhancing recruitment and retention of visible minority police officers in Canadian policing agencies" in Policing and Society.

Given the challenges that police organisations continue to face in attracting visible minorities, this study reviews how minority police officers perceive the barriers they confront. The systematic review of the literature provided the initial framework to guide the interviews with 20 visible minority police officers in a medium sized police organisation in Western Canada. The results illustrate that this police organisation, like many others, is slow in changing its organisational culture. This was demonstrated through comments about some misguided recruitment practices where human resource officers are not able to generate interest from potential minority recruits. It was also demonstrated through comments about leadership’s inability to follow through on improving diversity. Thirdly, it was demonstrated through comments about job satisfaction and motivational issues. The findings point to reshaping recruitment, leadership and motivational practices as a way to better develop a more heterogeneous police culture. In re-engineering the recruitment process, a key message emphasises building relationships using ‘gatekeepers’. Changes in leadership practices might encourage transformational or shared types of leadership with structures for more engagement – teamwork, participation, and personal development. This may allow leaders and members to be involved in pursuing diversity goals and be internally motivated to carry them out. The findings also indicate that key motivators for minorities relate to community feedback, autonomy, career developmental opportunities and team relationships. These motivators build on police public service-like motivators (PSM’s) emphasising service to the larger community, a focus which might offer insights in responding to the diversity issues in the future.


Dr. Hanako Shimamura (Instructor, Early Childhood Education)

How to praise and scold your own child










Dr. Valery M. Dembitsky (Adjunct Research Chair, Aquaculture Centre of Excellence)

​  "Natural and synthetic drugs used for the treatment of the dementia" in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications

This review is devoted to comparative pharmacological analysis of synthetic drugs such as memantine and its isomers, as well as tacrine, velnacrine, rivastigmine, and donepezil, with natural alkaloids, terpenoids, and triterpenoid peroxides, which are used to treat dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, myasthenia gravis and other neurodegenerative diseases. Recently discovered by French scientists from Marseille triterpenoid hydroperoxides demonstrate high activity as potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of dementia. The information presented in this review is of great interest to pharmacologists, medical chemists, physiologists, neurologists and doctors, as well as for the pharmaceutical industry.


 "Antitumor and hepatoprotective activity of natural and synthetic neo steroids" in Progress in Lipid Research

In this review, steroids with a tertiary butyl group, which are usually called neo steroids, are a small group of natural lipids isolated from higher plants, fungi, marine sponges, and yeast. In addition, steroids with a tertiary butyl group have been synthesized in some laboratories in Canada, USA, Europe, and Japan and their biological activity was studied. Some natural neo steroids demonstrate antitumor or hepatoprotective activities. In addition, synthetic neo steroids exhibit anticancer and neuroprotective properties. However, to confirm the above data, both practical and clinical experimental studies are necessary. Nevertheless, the results may be useful for pharmacologists, chemists, biochemists, and the pharmaceutical industry.


 "Mini Review: Anticancer activity of diterpenoid peroxides" in Vietnam Journal of Chemistry

In this review, we present about 100 diterpenoid hydro‐ and endoperoxides isolated from algae, liverworts, leaves, bark, roots and other parts of plants. for the vast majority of hydroperoxides, antitumor activity dominates with a confidence of 63 % to 94 %. And for individual hydroperoxides, antiprotozoal (Plasmodium) activity was also found. For endoperoxides, antitumor activity is dominant with a confidence of 59 to 90 percent. Anti‐inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal activities have also been detected for individual endoperoxides. The data obtained are of interest to pharmacologists, medical professionals, as well as to the pharmaceutical industry.


"Facile Synthesis of 2-Aminocyclobutenylphosphonates" in Russian Journal of Organic Chemistry

The addition of various amines to diethyl 4-chlorobut-1-yn-1-ylphosphonate produced novel biologically potent substituted diethyl 2-aminocyclobut-1-en-1-ylphosphonates in 70–83% isolated yield. This regioselective reaction was carried out at room temperature in the absence of solvent and catalyst.


Dr. Nick Savidov (Senior Research Scientist, Aquaculture Centre of Excellence)

Agricultural Water Management.gif "Integration of Biochar Filtration into Aquaponics: Effects on Particle Size Distribution and Turbidity Removal" in Agricultural Water Management

Small- and large-scale biochar-based filtrations were conducted to investigate the potential of biochar as a low-cost renewable filtration medium in aquaponics. The small-scale experimental design investigated the effects of 2 biochar media sizes (1 – 3 mm [referred to as fine biochar] and 3 – 5 mm [referred to as coarse biochar]), 3 biochar bed heights (2.5, 5.0 and 10.0 cm) and 3 loading rates (5, 10 and 15 m3/m2/d) on particle size distribution as well as turbidity removal efficiency. Both biochar sizes (fine and coarse) were able to clarify fish effluent. However, fine biochar led to better filtration characteristics compared to coarse biochar. Results indicated that biochar filter bed heights and loading rates affected the filtration performances. Using deeper filters combined with lower loading rates led to greater removal of suspended particles and turbidity compared to shallower filters and/or higher loading rates. Results from the large-scale filtration, using a mixture of fine and coarse biochar media (size of 1 – 5 mm), revealed that the ideal loading rate for maximizing the removal of turbidity from fish effluent in high-intensity aquaponic system for production of Nile tilapia and greenhouse plants (with 80 m3 total volume of water, 40 kg/m3 average stocking density and 15 kg/d feeding rate) was 10 m3/m2/d. This study suggests that biochar-based filtration could be incorporated into aquaponics as a polishing step before sending the water to plant growth systems.


Mandy Gabruch (Instructor, School of Agriculture)

"Differences in Production Costs Across Compliance Scenarios for Canadian Cow-Calf Producers Accessing the EU Market" in International Journal on Food System Dynamics

Using the 2016 Canada EU Trade Agreement as context, we develop a systems dynamics model to assess changes in the cost of production from a production system oriented toward the North American market where growth enhancing products are allowed, to a European market where these production practices are banned. We outline four different compliance scenarios and use data from western Canadian institutions to estimate how the cost of production for cow-calf producers changes in the different compliance scenarios. We find that compliance costs ranged from $2.13 per head for those firms who already had forgone growth enhancing products and were maintaining detailed records to $34.78 per head for farms who were least compliant with EU standards.


Dr. Kenny Corscadden (Associate Vice President Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

"Statistical Clarification of the Hydrothermal Co-Liquefaction Effect and Investigation on the Influence of Process Variables on the Co-Liquefaction Effect" in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research

Hydrothermal co-liquefaction of different types of biomass has recently attracted great interest as it has the potential to reduce logistics costs and increase the biocrude yield/quality. Although a positive co-liquefaction effect (CE) has been reported in previous studies, the statistical significance of CE is uncertain, and the effects of process variables on the CE remain unexplored. In this study, the carbohydrate-rich feedstock (sawdust and spent coffee grounds) was hydrothermally co-liquefied with algal biomass (Chlorella sp. and seaweed) at 270 and 320 °C with varying mixing ratios of 25:75, 50:50, and 75:25. A statistically sound method, one-sample t-test, was, for the first time, applied to evaluate if the positive or negative CE is significantly greater or less than zero. A significantly positive CE of 22.4% (synergistic effect) on the biocrude yield was obtained in the co-liquefaction of spent coffee grounds/Chlorella sp. Co-liquefying sawdust/Chlorella sp. and spent coffee grounds/seaweed showed negative and positive values of CE, respectively, but these numbers were not statistically significant, taking the experimental error into consideration, and thus should not be considered as an antagonistic or synergetic effect for the two types of mixtures. Co-liquefaction of sawdust/seaweed exhibited a significantly negative CE (antagonistic effect) on the biocrude yield (−14.8%). The feedstock mixing ratio (varying biochemical composition of mixture) did affect the CE, which was reasoned using the knowledge of biomass model components’ interactions under liquefaction conditions. As observed, sufficient and comparable contents of protein and carbohydrate in the feedstock blends led to the synergistic effect on the biocrude yield. Temperature was also influential for the CE; for instance, increasing temperature diminished the synergistic effect in co-processing of spent coffee grounds and seaweed. Within the experimental scope, spent coffee grounds/Chlorella sp. were identified to be the most favorable feedstock combination, giving a biocrude yield of 37.2 wt %, dry ash-free basis and a synergistic effect of 22.4%, when co-liquefying at 320 °C and a mixing ratio of 50:50.


Dave McMurray (Manager, Applied Research, Centre for Applied Research, Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

 Chapter 6. The Impact of Industrialization on Sport, Recreation, and the Environment

Serving as a foundation for critical discussion about the importance of the past, Sport and Recreation in Canadian History covers the historical events, people, and moments that shape Canadian sport in the present and future. While this text focuses on sport and recreation practices on these lands now claimed by Canada, it is set within a larger historical context of interconnecting social and cultural practices to speak to the sustained tensions, complexities, and contradictions prevalent in Canadian society.

The editor, Dr. Carly Adams, and her 17 contributing experts from across Canada bring the latest research in all areas of Canadian sport history to life and present a thorough look at the nation’s past events. The text challenges the dominant narratives and encourages students to think critically about Canadian sport history. It examines how gender, ethnicity, race, religion, ability, class, and other systems of oppression and privilege have shaped sport and recreation practices, with Canadian sporting culture reproducing many of the same oppressive systems that exist on the larger scale.