Global Young Academy welcomes new member from Dalhousie

- June 16, 2020

Chemistry professor Mita Dasog. (Nick Pearce photo)
Chemistry professor Mita Dasog. (Nick Pearce photo)

One of Dalhousie’s own has been invited to join the prestigious Global Young Academy.

Mita Dasog, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Science, is part of a new member cohort that includes 40 world class scientists from 30 different countries. She is the only member to have ever been appointed from Dalhousie.

"I am very honored to be selected as a member of the Global Young Academy,” says Dr. Dasog. "It is an exciting opportunity to work with scientists from across the world on diverse topics. We recently finished an engaging Science Leadership Workshop on how to be an inclusive team leader. I cannot wait to put this knowledge into practice in my research lab, at Dalhousie and beyond.”

The Global Young Academy (GYA) provides a rallying point for outstanding young scientists to come together to address topics of global importance. Members are selected for their scientific excellence and their commitment to service and serve five-year terms.

Academy activities focus on science and policy, the research environment, and science education and outreach as well as the cross-cutting theme GYA and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Current large projects with external funding include the GYA’s Global State of Young Scientists (GloSYS) Africa project, co-operation on capacity-building Science Leadership Programmes in Africa and ASEAN member states, and the emerging project At Risk and Refugee Scholar Membership Initiative.

The GYA also supports the establishment and coordination of National Young Academies (NYAs) around the world: it has helped to establish NYAs in Egypt, the Philippines, Japan, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria, Israel, and Kenya, and has co-organized regular regional and global meetings of National Young Academies.

“The opportunities at the academy are endless. There is a lot of room to learn and contribute. I am most excited about pursuing out-of-the-box ideas and pursuing new scientific directions with fellow members,” says Dr. Dasog.

“The challenges I am interested in — climate change, energy and fresh water — are multifaceted issues. The academy provides a unique opportunity to work with researchers across many fields to devise workable solutions. I have always been interested in public and government outreach and this is a good place to learn how to effectively engage with these communities."

An outstanding researcher

Dr. Dasog’s internationally-recognized research program has the potential for a significant impact in key global issues, including dependence on fossil fuels and access to freshwater.

Her work focuses on the development of nanostructured catalysts and plasmonic materials composed of earth-abundant elements for solar-driven chemical fuel formation and freshwater production. The nanomaterials are prepared using solid-state methods and the reaction mechanisms are studied to enable precise control over the structure, improving their functionality.

In 2019, Dr. Dasog was selected as one of 118 outstanding chemists from around the world to form the IUPAC Table of Younger Chemists in honour of the International Year of the Periodic Table, and received the Canadian Journal of Chemistry Best Paper Award. In 2017, she was listed among the Top 150 Canadian Women in STEM fields by hEr VOLUTION, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping young women to pursue careers in STEM. She is actively involved in science outreach activities and is deeply committed to the promotion of gender and racial equality in academia.

“We are so very proud of Dr. Dasog, and her election to the Global Young Academy,” says Alice Aiken, Dal’s vice-president research and innovation. “This is recognition of her research excellence in materials chemistry and her commitment to solving complex global issues through research. She is an outstanding scientist and a credit to Dalhousie.”

More information about the work being done by the Dasog Research Group can be found here.


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