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Alana Yorke, Master of Science in Biology

Alana Yorke is a Killam Scholar, biologist, musician and bilingual “adventure tourism guide” who studies at the coast as often as the library. “I use scuba to do field research in St. Margaret’s Bay,” Ms. Yorke explains. “We get up early, load up the truck and head out into the water.” Ms. Yorke is studying Membranipora membranacea – an invasive bryozoan recently arrived to Nova Scotia’s waters.

“When I am underwater, I can see the abundance of this bryozoan,” Ms. Yorke says. “It looks like a lacy crust on the kelp.” Alana Yorke is a Bluenoser by birth, and her research reflects her upbringing. “I’m interested in how this species interacts with native species (in Nova Scotia),” she says. “The bryozoan is from Europe, it came through New England, and now it is expanding its range here.”

Ms. Yorke received a Killam Scholarship for her first year of Master’s studies. Previous to her work on bryozoans, Ms. Yorke studied the indigenous, imperiled Nova Scotian populations of “Canada Frostweed.” “It’s a great honour for me to be included amongst Killam Scholars,” Ms. Yorke says. “I was very interested in staying in Nova Scotia at this point in my life, and I wanted to do research that was field-based. The Killam Scholarship is supporting my research. It encouraged me to come to Dalhousie and I really enjoy being here.”

Candice Lys, Master of Arts in Health and Human Performance

Varied humanitarian and academic efforts have taken globetrotter Candice Lys all over the world – Australia, Vanuatu, Angkor Wat. Ms. Lys – a Killam Scholar in Dalhousie’s MA Health Promotion program – grew up in the Northwest Territories. She has chosen to spotlight the Northwest Territories in her research on youth sexual health.

“The Northwest Territories have significantly higher rates of STIs and adolescent pregnancies,” explains Ms. Lys, whose research interests include sexual health, international health, and Aboriginal health and healing (she herself is Métis). “My research focuses specifically on the barriers and facilitators that influence the ability for young women in the Northwest Territories to achieve positive, empowered, and safer sexual health.” Her data collection methods include face-to-face interviews with female youth in Yellowknife – a group at greater sexual risk than their male peers.

The Killam Scholarship has provided the funds enabling Candice Lys to collect data in the North. “In addition to $20,000 a year in funding, I received a one-way ticket from my hometown in the Northwest Territories,” Ms. Lys explains. “Without funding, I could not afford to attend Dalhousie.” After she finishes her MA, Ms. Lys would like to  continue her research in youth sexual health – and to, once again, work abroad.