2020 Kaplan Award Recipients

The J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research - named for the University of Alberta's first Vice-President (Research and…

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The J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research - named for the University of Alberta's first Vice-President (Research and Innovation) - is our community's most prestigious research award.

Two awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding work in distinct fields of research:

  1. Excellence in the area of humanities, social sciences, law, education or fine arts
  2. Excellence in the sciences or engineering

The awards honour faculty members who are recognized nationally and internationally for their scholarly accomplishments; whose research contributions, fundamental and applied, add significantly to our knowledge base; and who set a standard of excellence for U of A faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, and the community-at-large.

Congratulations to the recipients of our 2020 Kaplan Awards:

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Mark Lewis, a professor in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and the Department of Biological Sciences, has been honoured in recognition of his many years of interdisciplinary research and collaboration. His work is highly interdisciplinary, bringing mathematics together with biology, specifically ecology.

Mark Lewis's research involves formulating and verifying quantitative models, often in collaboration with biologists. His work has covered modeling the process of territorial pattern formation in wolves, predicting population spread in biological invasions, and assessing the effect of habitat fragmentation on species survival.

"It is a great honour," Lewis says. "The University of Alberta is fortunate to have so many outstanding researchers, so it is really quite humbling to be included in the list of candidates who have received the award."

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Michael Lounsbury is a professor of Strategic Organization and Marketing with the Alberta School of Business and a Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurship & Innovation. He ranks in the top 1% of most-cited researchers in the fields of economics and business.

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An organizational sociologist, his work plays a key role in developing novel and internationally important cultural and institutional approaches to the study of entrepreneurship and social change. Michael Lounsbury's research broadly focuses on the connected relationships between entrepreneurship and institutional change. His work helps to reveal important aspects of cultural entrepreneurship that are associated with the creation of new industries and practices.

He is recognized for new insights into the concept of cultural entrepreneurship - a field of research he pioneered and has continued to cultivate. His research has taken on extra significance in today's world as entrepreneurship is considered a core driver of economic growth and development. As such, his work in the field of entrepreneurial studies has provided critical insights into the role of high technology and other entrepreneurs. In addition, his research shines new light on economic theories showing how entrepreneurs access resources, create wealth, and provide an engine for economic growth.