There is a new scholarship available at Laurentian University this year: the R. W. Drysdale Memorial Scholarship in Aquatic Science, offered through the Vale Living With Lakes Centre.
This annual award supports graduate students who are conducting research in aquatic biology. The award was established in 2016 in memory of Richard Drysdale, a well-known Sudbury businessman and father of Sherry Drysdale of Laurentian University’s Department of Communications.
“Throughout his life, my father’s happiest hours were spent on the waterways of the northeast,” says Sherry. “At Killarney, on Manitoulin, or on the lakes in Sudbury, he so loved and appreciated the beauty of our environment, the abundant clean water and the good fishing. The Living With Lakes Centre is the focal point for the critically important research that will protect this resource for future generations. We are really immensely proud that my dad’s legacy is supporting the graduate students who are leading this crucial work.”
Already, this legacy is making a difference. Matthew Heerschap is the very first recipient of the R. W. Drysdale Memorial Scholarship. A Master’s student in Biology, Matt’s research brings a unique element of food science to the study of environmental contamination. He is measuring the levels of healthy fatty acids in fish populations along the James Bay coast, while referencing the trace metal contamination found in these fish stocks.
This approach is giving indigenous communities better tools to assess the nutritional value of traditional food sources like northern pike, lake whitefish and brook trout. “If we factor in the fatty acids, we have a more meaningful measure of the nutritional value of these food sources,” says Matt, “And over time, that should mean better diets in our remote communities.”
Contact us to learn more about creating your own scholarship at Laurentian University!