News release

Top forensic scientist unveiled as Canada 150 Research Chair at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

October 26, 2018 – Trois-Rivières, Quebec

Canada is the destination of choice for some of the world’s leading scientists and scholars. If we want to build a country that is bold and innovative, we must rely on the breakthroughs of Canadian scientists and their counterparts around the world.

Today, at an unveiling ceremony at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, celebrated Dr. Shari Louise Forbes, the Canada 150 Research Chair in Forensic Thanatology. Dr. Forbes, who comes from the Australian Facility for Taphonomic Experimental Research, is investigating post-mortem changes in the body to find out how Canada’s unique environment affects decomposition rates. Her forensic research will enhance the recovery, identification and repatriation of human remains in cases of missing persons, homicide, mass disasters and war crime.

Dr. Forbes is among the 25 newly recruited Canada 150 Research Chairs announced by Minister Duncan earlier this year. Of the 25 chairs, 60% are women and 40% are Canadian researchers choosing to return to Canada to carry out their ambitious research programs. The chairs will have the opportunity to recruit students from Canada and beyond who will help them further their work in disciplines such as chemistry, microbiology, evolutionary genomics and psychology.

The Government of Canada has made science a priority, investing $4 billion in basic science through Budget 2018 that will further our capacity to innovate and lead to the jobs of the future.


“Canada supports science and our scientists who work so hard to make Canada a leader in research and innovation. Dr. Forbes’ work will further enhance Quebec’s reputation on the world stage as a leader in specialized forensic research to help police officials identify the remains of loved ones that died from criminal intent or mass disasters.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“It is a privilege to celebrate our new Canada 150 Research Chairs, whose contributions to research will help support a stronger economy and a growing middle class. Their arrival also represents a brain gain for our country, a country that is earning its reputation for being open, diverse and welcoming to the scientists and strivers of the world.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“We believe Canada is truly one of the best places in the world to conduct innovative, cutting-edge research that can harness the power of human ingenuity and creativity to advance our collective goals. Our Canada 150 chairholders are evidence of Canada’s success in attracting top international talent, and we are proud that they have chosen Canada as the best place to pursue their groundbreaking research and to mentor and train graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who will become the next generation of leaders in all areas of our society and economy.”

–Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

“We are very proud to have obtained this prestigious Canada 150 Research Chair. Only 25 chairs of this type have been awarded in Canada, 4 of which are in Quebec, to mark the country’s 150th anniversary. We are also thrilled that internationally renowned Dr. Shari Forbes chose to continue her work at UQTR. Our university will therefore continue to build on its reputation in forensics, while establishing new partnerships here and abroad. In addition to training the next generation of forensic scientists, the Chair’s team will undoubtedly contribute to the success of police investigations.

– Daniel McMahon, Rector, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Quick facts

  • In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada invested $117.6 million to launch the Canada 150 Research Chairs competition, a one-time funding program designed to boost Canada’s brain gain.

  • Funds supporting the Canada 150 Research Chairs come from the three granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

  • The chairs are created for seven-year terms and receive either $350,000 per year or $1 million per year depending on their research.

  • The Canada Foundation for Innovation is providing additional investments of over $830,000 to support the Canada 150 Research Chairs.

  • The investment in the Canada 150 Research Chairs Program is aligned with the government’s overall support for science, which includes more than $4 billion in funding for basic science.

Associated links


Follow the Canada 150 Research Chairs on Twitter: @CRC_CRC

Nyree St-Denis
Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

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