The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series - Nov. 25, 2017

Please join us for The York Circle Lecture and Lunch on Saturday, November 25 from 9am to 1pm.

Hear from four of York's leading faculty members on a wide range of interesting topics that speak to some of the key themes that define York University.

The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series is held four times a year and is open to our community of alumni and friends.

Complimentary coffee, light snacks and lunch will be provided.

Saturday, November 25, 2017 | 9am-1pm

9am - 9:45am: Registration, Coffee and Light Snacks

9:45am: Opening Remarks
Dr. Rebecca Pillai Riddell, Academic Chair, The York Circle

Location: Life Sciences Building, Keele Campus, York University


Event Schedule

First Session (10am-11am)


Session 1A - Steven Hoffman
If An International Law Breaks In The Forest, Does Anyone Hear It? Good Thing Professors Are Listening

Session 1A, Room 103 – If An International Law Breaks In The Forest, Does Anyone Hear It? Good Thing Professors Are Listening

How do you hold countries accountable when they break international law? As the world gets smaller, we are increasingly counting on international law to help solve global challenges like human rights, disease, and climate change. Global governance institutions like the United Nations have limited ability to enforce laws. Though there are few international legal scholars working in any given area, the role of monitoring and enforcing international laws largely falls to them. Professor Steven Hoffman is a lawyer in the area of global health, and recent events including the Ebola crisis and cannabis legalization have demonstrated the challenges facing international law, and the importance of institutions that help to defend it.

Speaker: Steven Hoffman - Director of the Global Strategy Lab, Professor in the Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School

Steven J. Hoffman is the Director of the Global Strategy Lab, a Professor in the Faculty of Health and Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, and the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institute of Population & Public Health. He holds courtesy appointments as an Associate Professor of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics (Part-Time) at McMaster University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health & Population at Harvard University. He is an international lawyer licensed in both Ontario and New York who specializes in global health law, global governance and institutional design. His research integrates analytical, empirical and big data approaches to craft global regulatory strategies that better address transnational health threats, social inequalities and human rights challenges. Past studies have focused on access to medicines, antimicrobial resistance, development assistance, health misinformation, health systems, maternal health, pandemics, technological innovation and tobacco. Currently Hoffman is co-principal investigator of a large $4.6 million CAD research consortium on “Strengthening International Collaboration for Capitalizing on Cost-Effective and Life-Saving Commodities (i4C)” with Trygve Ottersen at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Hoffman holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from McMaster University, an MA in Political Science and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto, a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University and a doctorate in law from Sciences Po Paris.

Session 1B - Valérie A.M. Schoof
Reproduction Competition in Male Primates

Session 1B, Room 106 – Reproduction Competition in Male Primates

Research on reproduction, including humans, has historically focused on the costs to female and the benefits to males.  This paradigm has led to a de-emphasis on the costs of reproduction for males, and how these costs may influence reproductive strategies. This talk will offer a contextual review of mammalian reproduction, before exploring recent research on reproductive competition in male capuchin monkeys.

Speaker: Valérie A.M. Schoof – Assistant Professor in the Bilingual Biology Program, Glendon College

Valérie Schoof received her B.Sc.H. (2002) in Biology from Queen’s University, her M.A. (2009) and Ph.D. (2013) in Biological Anthropology (primatology) from Tulane University [New Orleans, USA], and held a two-year postdoctoral fellowship (2013-2015) at McGill University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Bilingual Biology Program at York University’s Glendon College, a position she accepted in 2015.

Schoof’s research focuses the ecological, social, and physiological factors that influence, and are influenced by, individual variation in behaviour and reproduction. She uses a multidisciplinary approach (i.e., behaviour, physiology, ecology) to explore the costs and benefits of dominance in non-human primates to understand how individuals navigate the complexities of competition and cooperation associated with life in social groups. Her recent research on capuchin monkeys focused on the influence of dominance on male-male relationships and male hormone response to female ovulation. Her current NSERC-funded research program focuses on the behavioural ecology and life-history of wild vervet monkeys living in a humanized landscape along the shores of Lake Nabugabo in southwestern Uganda. She uses an individual approach to examine behaviour and physiology, but just as critically important is her use of a longitudinal approach, which allows her to examine intra-individual variation across different life-history stages. Taken together, these data allows her to examine the hypothesized trade-offs between health and reproductive effort to better understand how and why some males obtain and maintain high dominance status despite the potential costs. She has also worked captive primates at the Tulane National Primate Research Center, where she examined the benefits of various environmental enrichment strategies.

In addition to Schoof’s NSERC-funding, her research has already attracted over $135,000 in external funding from international and national sources such as Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Nature et Technologies, National Geographic Society, Leakey Foundation, National Science Foundation, and Nacey Maggioncalda Foundation. To date, her work has been published in American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Behaviour, and American Journal of Primatology General and Comparative Endocrinology, and PLoS ONE among others.

Break: 11-11:20am

Second Session (11:20am-12:20pm)


Session 2A- Chris Kyriakides
The Dynamic of Trust in Refugee-Host Relations

Session 2A, Room 103 – The Dynamic of Trust in Refugee-Host Relations

Christopher Kyriakides, Canada Research Chair and Executive Committee Member, Centre for Refugee Studies at York University, will draw from research on the reception of Syrian refugees in Canada so as to illustrate how the dynamic of refugee-host relations affects and is affected by the Canadian Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. In this presentation, Kyriakides will discuss what he calls 'the existential transactions of worth' focusing on the pre and post arrival exchange of 'resettlement knowledge assets', why they are central to the establishment of trust between host populations and refugees, and the importance of 'trust formation' in determining 'resettlement success'.

Speaker: Chris Kyriakides - Associate Professor, Canada Research Chair, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies

Working within the field of Immigration and Refugee Studies, Chris Kyriakides is principally engaged in an in-depth analysis of ‘reception contexts’ through the application of mixed-methods (including institutional, political, urban and communication/cyber ethnography) to the study of the relationship between geo-politics, public policy related to (anti)immigration and (anti)racism, and the neighborhood negotiation of racialization, nationalism and religious conflict. His work has focused on Europe, North America and the Middle East and has been funded by the European Commission, Council of Europe, United Nations, the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Research Promotion Foundation, the Canada Research Chairs Secretariat, the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Canada, to a total of approximately CAD $2 million.

Session 2B – Cora Young
Frying Pans to Polar Bears: Using Ice Cores as a Time Capsule to Understand Pollutant Transport

Session 2B, Room 106 – Frying Pans to Polar Bears: Using Ice Cores as a Time Capsule to Understand Pollutant Transport

Summary: Thousands of chemicals have been manufactured over the past century with the intent to improve our daily lives, including non-stick compounds. Many of these chemicals end up contaminating areas far from their area of release, including the Arctic. We can use ice cores, which accumulate snow in layers that can be accurately dated, to look back in time and understand how these pollutants were transported. This talk will discuss the importance of understanding how chemicals move around in the environment, the particular concern with Arctic contamination, pollutant trends from Canadian Arctic ice cores, and implications for regulations.

Speaker: Cora Young – Assistant Professor and Guy Warwick Rogers Chair, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Dr. Cora Young completed her undergraduate and doctoral studies in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto before taking a postdoctoral position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado. Young was an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at Memorial University from 2012 to 2017. She joined the Department of Chemistry at York University in July of 2017 as the Guy Warwick Rogers Chair in Chemistry. Her research focuses on the development and application of new analytical techniques to increase our understanding of issues in air quality, climate change, and pollutant transport.

Complimentary lunch: 12:20-1pm
Event ends: 1pm

Register by using the button below; we'll send you a reminder closer to the event date.


Event Location

The York Circle Lecture and Lunch Series take place on York University’s Keele campus in the Life Sciences Building.  For directions to Keele campus by car or public transit, visit and click on the relevant link under the “Transit and Driving Directions” heading.  If you plan to drive, you will be required to pay for parking.  Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The closest public parking lots are:

  • Arboretum parking garage #80 on the map ($7.00 Flat Rate). Pull a ticket from the machine upon entry and pay at the pay station when leaving. Machine accepts cash, coins and credit cards.
  • Thompson Road ‘Pay and Display’ parking lot #79 on the map ($7.00 Flat Rate). You are required to purchase a ticket from the ‘Pay and Display’ machine in the lot and place it on the driver’s side of the dash. Machine accepts coins and credit cards only.