Thompson Rivers University

Microbiology Student Wins Prestigious Award

July 26, 2012

Corrie Belanger (left) recently won a Canadian Society of Microbiologists Undergraduate Award. She and TRU President Alan Shaver display her certificate of merit, one of only three handed out across Canada. In the background is her research supervisor, Jon Van Hamme, Associate Professor of Microbiology.

A Thompson Rivers University student has been named as one of the top three undergraduate microbiologists in the country.

Corrie Belanger, a second year student in TRU’s Cellular Molecular and Microbial Biology program, has won the Canadian Society of Microbiologists Undergraduate Award and is one of three recipients of the $500 award and certificate of merit. This is the first year that the Society has expanded its award program, judged by some of the best microbiology professors in the country, to promote undergraduate research.

Though only midway through her second year, Belanger has impressed her instructors with her commitment to a career as a microbiologist and the breadth of knowledge she has obtained in research methodology in such a short time.

“Corrie is a very bright, hardworking individual who has more than proven her worth as a scientist over the past six months,“ said Dr. Jonathan Van Hamme, who recommended her for the award. “She is very deserving of this recognition, and I have no doubt she is going to make significant contributions to microbiology in Canada during her career.”

During an eight-month co-op term in Van Hamme’s microbiology lab, Belanger is working on a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) industrial project examining the effects of various feed additives on the production of methane by microorganisms found in cattle, to find ways to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas that cows produce. The importance of microbiology to approach environmental challenges like climate change was the subject of Belanger’s award application.


Jonathan Van Hamme, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Thompson Rivers University
T: (250) 377-6064