Student Research Panel II

Student Research Posters + Panel

Monday, March 27, 10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., CS 101

Poster viewing: 10:30AM – 11AM
Research Panel: 11AM – 12:30PM

Poster viewing 10:30AM – 11AM
“The Effect of Personality Traits and Emotion Regulation Strategies on Flow”
J. Ross (Supervisor: Dr. P. MacIntyre)

“An Evaluation of Positive Space Training and LGBTQ+ Inclusivity at Cape Breton University”
K. Taylor (Supervisor: Dr. H. Schmidt)

“Towards an understanding of the shallow water marine hydroids of Cape Breton’s coastlines” 
M. Penney and T. Rawlings

“Shifts in the distribution of winter bird species in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in association with climate change.”
E. Brown; N. MacLeod; B. McPhail; B. Glassey, and K. White

Research Presentations
11:00AM – 12:30PM

“Haskap Berries as a Dietary Supplement in Cancer Prevention” A. Clemens (Supervisor: Dr. M. Bierenstiel)

“Labeling Theory: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?” 
K. Coolen (Supervisor: Dr. J. Parish)

“Coaching Masters Athletes: A Case Study” 
C. Currie (Supervisor: Dr. B. Callary)


J. Ross “The Effect of Personality Traits and Emotion Regulation Strategies on Flow” (Supervisor: Dr. P. MacIntyre)

Flow is a state of consciousness (often referred to as being “in the zone”), in which individuals are completely absorbed in an activity. This is an optimal experience that involves complete enjoyment, effortless control, and being at the peak of one’s abilities. There has been a growing interest regarding what makes certain individuals more or less likely to experience flow. The present study will attempt to delve further into this question. It is hypothesized that personality traits and emotion regulation strategies play a role in influencing one’s flow experience. In the first part of the study, participants will complete questionnaires measuring the Big Five personality traits, difficulties in regulating emotions, and flow experiences. For the second part, certain participants will be selected for follow-up semi-structured interviews in order to gain an in-depth look at individual flow experiences. Correlations and structural equation modelling will be used to analyze the relationships among the variables, while grounded theory analysis will be used to determine the themes that emerge from the interviews

K. Taylor, “An Evaluation of Positive Space Training and LGBTQ+ Inclusivity at Cape Breton University” (Supervisor: Dr. H. Schmidt)

Two groups of participants are being recruited: (1) Students, staff and faculty at CBU who have completed the Positive Space Training, and (2) students at CBU who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. In both cases, the participants are being asked to complete a short survey (rating scales and demographics), and then participate in a focus group about their impressions of the training and its effectiveness in creating LGBTQ+ inclusivity. Focus group questions also address the quality of current support resources/services available at CBU. In addition, the LGBTQ+ participants are being asked to complete a scale measuring LGBTQ+ Inclusivity on-campus. This scale is being pilot-tested and participants are being asked to give detailed feedback about the perceived usefulness of this measure. Data collection (and concurrent analysis) is currently taking place with the LGBTQ+ students. For the surveys, descriptive statistics and graphs are being generated. For the focus groups data, grounded theory techniques are being used to identify common themes running across responses to the overall question of how well our university is currently meeting the needs of LGBTQ+ students, and what else can be done to improve LGBTQ+ safety and inclusivity.

M. Penney and T. Rawlings, “Towards an understanding of the shallow water marine hydroids of Cape Breton’s coastlines

Distributions of North Atlantic marine species can be expected to shift in response to climate change. Tracking distributions temporally requires an understanding of what species are currently present. Hydroids (Cnidaria, Hydrozoa, Hydroidolina) are conspicuous taxa within the fouling community of shallow water marine environments in Cape Breton, yet surveys of hydroids specific to the region are sparse and outdated. Consequently, the identity and diversity of local species needs to be clarified. For this project, I opportunistically collected hydroids from shallow water environments around Cape Breton and preserved samples for morphological and molecular analysis. Key morphological features were examined for family and genus-level designations. Sequences were generated for the 16S rRNA barcoding gene and used in BLAST searches for tentative identifications on GenBank. Molecular phylogenetic analyses were then performed to refine species identifications and determine genetic relationships to other populations. To date, six of my sequences aligned strongly with GenBank sequences, ranging from 98-100% matches (Obelia dichotoma, Hydractinia spp., Dynamena pumila, Ectopleura larynx, Gonothyraea loveni, Clava multicornis). In addition, phylogenetic analyses for two species demonstrated strong genetic connectivity to European populations, indicating potential anthropogenic movement or planktonic dispersal. Hydractinia has yet to be identified to species level and the generic identification of one specimen has yet to be determined. Having reliable morphological and molecular databases to identify species, especially for groups like Hydrozoa, is important for climate change research. This project is the initial step in developing a current, reliable identification base for local hydroids.

E. Brown; N. MacLeod; B. McPhail; B. Glassey, and K. White , “Shifts in the distribution of winter bird species in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in association with climate change.”

Global warming and associated climate change have been implicated in shifting species distributions of both flora and fauna globally. We found evidence of a northward shift in winter ranges of bird species within Cape Breton, NS, Canada. These winter distributional shifts were correlated with increases in local minimum winter temperatures and global temperature anomalies. We examined bird species data collected during the Cape Breton Christmas Bird count over a 48 year span, from 1966-2014, along with local and global temperature data from the same time period. Geographic affinities were assigned to all species observed within the Christmas Bird count based on whether published winter ranges were predominantly north or south of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. We found a decrease over time in the proportion of bird species with a northern geographic affinity and an increase in the proportion of bird species with a southern geographic affinity.  Proportional changes were most pronounced in aquatic species and were driven by an increase in the number of southern species from eight in 1966 to twenty-nine in 2014. This could be due to increased availability of open water habitat associated with warming winter temperatures. This northward shift in bird species distributions is similar to that reported elsewhere in North America and Europe suggesting that this is a global phenomenon.


A, Clemens, “Haskap Berries as a Dietary Supplement in Cancer Prevention” (Supervisor: Dr. M. Bierenstiel)

Haskap berries (Lonicera caerulea), native to regions with cool climates such as such as Siberia, China, and Japan, were introduced to Canada in 2006 through the University of Saskatchewan’s Fruit Breeding Program. Haskap berries are a good source of Vitamins A and C as well as potassium and fiber, but have primarily attracted interest for their possible anti-inflammatory effects as well as their use as an antioxidant. The berries also exhibit anti-proliferative activity which inhibits cell growth and could be used to slow the spread of malignant cells. For this reason haskap berries may have potential use as a dietary supplement for cancer prevention.

K. Coolen, “Labeling Theory: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?” (Supervisor: Dr. J. Parish)

The prevailing campaign of compassion and acceptance towards mental illness can be self-damaging, and in this thesis I will discover the potentially negative consequences of the labeling process. The analyses of labeling is not solely interpreted by the sufferer but also by their families, peers, their mental health professionals, and society in general, potentially affecting the way a one views their limitations. The question I legitimately want to investigate is: Does the diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety in patients with analogous symptoms create additional barriers and a life of limited function in society? In this study, I would like to discover if the internalization of one’s diagnosis leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy of an inability to function ‘normally’ in our society. This study will focus on mood disorders and anxiety disorders, specifically depression and anxiety, and will not be represent other various mental illnesses. My aspirations for this research and this project as a whole is to understand what factors help treatment or further isolates those with mental illness.

C. Currie, “Coaching Masters Athletes: A Case Study” (Supervisor: Dr. B. Callary)

Coaches of Masters Athletes (MAs) facilitate training sessions for adults aged 35+. Côté and Gilbert (2009) suggested five coaching objectives when developing adult athletes’ within a recreational context, but these objectives have not been examined with MAs. Fraser-Thomas and colleagues (2013) proposed that sport can serve as a platform for specific developmental outcomes in mid-life. The purpose of this undergraduate honours thesis is to assess whether a coach perceived that her actions facilitated potential developmental outcomes of MAs. In this  single case study design, one female alpine ski coach’s reflections of her training sessions throughout one season were audio-recorded and transcribed. Thematic analysis was used to interpret the data. Findings suggest that this coach engaged in specific coaching actions in line with Côté and Gilbert’s coaching objectives with the intent of developing positive outcomes in her MAs, and highlight the importance of specialized coaching for MAs.