Researchers and Artists


Let's plant our feet in this fabulous and mysterious ground. Let's discover the fascinating world of the soil and its connection to our cultures, including the Canadian culture. Agriculture, Astronomy, Farming, Music, Molecular Biology are some of the research *fields* that will reveal the extraordinary happening just below the surface. 

The workshops/presentations are ongoing throughout the night, starting at 6pm.



On parle français!

Some workshops will be available in English and en Français.

Don't hesitate to ask for a discussion in French when you see the flag!

Prof. Francoise Simon-Plas
Plants' Perception of the
Prof. Daniel Wipf
Micro-Biodiversity of Soil

Prof. Francoise Simon-Plas is a researcher in the Department of Plant Health and Environment at the National Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA)  (Dijon, France). As a plant cell biologist, Dr. Simon-Plas is interested in the way plants perceive environmental changes and react to them. She works on the membrane surrounding the plant cells as the primary site of perception of environmental signal and set up of the adaptative response and her research employs a variety of techniques to characterize both the molecular organization of the membrane, its dynamics, the way it is regulated and the role it plays in plant physiology. 

Prof. Daniel Wipf is Professor at the Burgundy University  (Dijon, France). As a plant physiologist, Daniel Wipf is interested in unraveling the mechanisms underlying the

beneficial nutrient exchanges between 80% of land plants and certain microorganisms of the soil called fungi. He works on the membrane proteins involved in nutrient exchanges at the interfaces between the 2 partners.  He is also deeply involved in the application of the acquired knowledge to maximize the ecosystem services provided by such interactions in crop production.

Sustainable Archaeology McMaster - Dr. Martin and Colleagues
Dr. Scott Martin - Archaeobotany in Cootes Paradise

Sustainable Archaeology McMaster at McMaster Innovation Park is a laboratory and archaeological collections repository at the interface of public interests and academic and consultant archaeologies.  The team comprises the Director, the Operations Manager and Research Assistants.  Together, they are responsible for curating archaeological Legacy Collections and Anticipatory Collections on behalf of the people of Ontario and opening up these collections for further investigation.  External researchers, consultants and graduate students also sometimes share the lab space.  This presentation will highlight the work that is or has been undertaken at the facility.

Dr. Scott Martin is the Operations Manager at Sustainable Archaeology McMaster.  Some of Dr. Martin’s main archaeological interests over the past two decades have been in how humans transitioned from being foragers to farmers. This has included research into the spread of corn or maize (Zea mays) into and through the Lower Great Lakes region. This presentation will offer a background to the archaeology of the Woodland period in Ontario, the archaeological analysis of ancient plant remains and recent work in the nearby Cootes Paradise wetland

Daniel A. Ionico, MA Cand. - Archaeological First Nations’ Pottery to understand the Cultural Impacts of European Contact
Dave Gould - 
Art and Sound Hunting

Daniel Ionico is an M.A. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology where he analyses changes in pottery manufacture within First Nations communities living in the Hamilton area during the first few decades of local European contact (A.D. 1615-1651). Daniel is interested in how the geological sciences can be used on ancient pottery not only to understand more about First Nations technology but to help construct historical narratives of “what happened” during times of profound social, economic, and political change brought about by the presence of Europeans. To do this, he analyses 0.03mm thin slices of pottery under the microscope to view the different clays, minerals, and rocks used to create pottery and he looks for changes in these “recipes” through time.

Dave Gould is a Hamilton Arts Award recipient, international touring sound artist and percussionist.  Dave Gould is passionate about how sound and expression inspire and change the imagination.  He presents over 280 sound/percussion/story telling shows and workshops per annum.  As a communal bricoleur, he free improvises and collaborates on exotic instruments he has made from earthy oddities like Antique Toilets, Whale Bones, Caribou and Moose Antlers.  Refusing to use computers and samplers to generate his soundscapes, Gould relies on the discipline of sound bricolage to create electroacoustic sonic environments. (Notice:  A looping pedal will be in use.)

You can enjoy more details about Dave Gould following:

Dr. Elizabeth Weretilnyk  - Plants Extreme Stress Tolerance
Nathan Brunetti, PhD Cand. - 
Sidewalk Astronomers

Dr. Elizabeth Weretilnyk is a Professor in the Department of Biology at McMaster University where she studies plant responses to adverse conditions. Saline soils, drought, freezing temperatures, and low nutrients are examples of inescapable stresses that reduce crop yields.  Her research uses “extremophytes”, plants with an exceptional capacity to tolerate stress, to identify traits that can help improve the stress tolerance of agriculturally important crops.

McMaster's Sidewalk Astronomy is a public outreach initiative that is run by the graduate students at McMaster's Department of Physics and Astronomy. We give the public of Hamilton, Ontario and the surrounding areas the unique opportunity to look through a powerful telescope at some of the brightest celestial objects in the sky. Everyone is welcomed to take a peek through the telescope." For additional information on the McMaster Sidewalk Astronomy group, please follow:

Peter Ormond
- Vermiculture: worm composting 101

Peter Ormond lives a green lifestyle. His Green Cottage in the North End has been part of Doors Open Tours several times.  The ex-sulated eco-home is equipped with a solar electric array, a solar hot water system, rain barrels, community gardens and a worm composting station. His diverse garden yields food most of the year. He lives without a stove, fridge, clothes dryer, air conditioner and many other amenities. Plus, he likes to gather used materials and make items including bird-houses, bat-houses, bee-houses and eco-themed t-shirts. Peter started Hamilton's Annual Strawberry Plant Giveaway, and Free Pear Tree Giveaway. He's also a member of many co-operatives in Hamilton.

Adam Chiaravalle
- Natural Ecosystems and Permaculture 

Adam Chiaravalle is a research assistant at McMaster University's School of Interdisplinary Sciences and his main objective is to understand how we can use our food system to benefit environmental and human health, while encouraging community growth. Adam believes that we ca advance human and environmental health, which are one in the same, through permaculture because it is an agricultural system that mimics natural ecosystems to produce food that helps to restore the environment. “When we take care of nature, nature will take care of us.” Adam is working towards creating a sustainable food system with Dr. Chad Harvey by developing a plan for a permaculture farm on McMaster's campus."

Environment Hamilton
- Environmental Education Through Action

Environment Hamilton is a non-for-profit organization and has worked since 2001 to inspire people to protect and enhance our environment through leadership, education and advocacy. Environment Hamilton has subsequently worked on dozens of projects and activities in collaboration with a variety of funders and many local partners to build a sustainable future for Hamilton. They also work alongside residents to deal with pressing environmental issues. Staff members, Juby and Diana will engage the public with hands-on activities related to trees in Hamilton.  

... AND MORE!!