Where are They Now

Dr. Patricia Oliver (2017)

patricia oliver 2017Medical Physics Resident, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Patricia grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick, developing an interest in the sciences during high school. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Honours Physics at Dalhousie University in 2013. During her time at Dalhousie University, she worked in Dr. Ian Hill's organic electronic materials and devices laboratory. Her undergraduate research focused on understanding light propagation within organic thin-film solar cells, and improving solar cell manufacturing techniques.

Patricia began a Master of Science in Physics, with a specialization in Medical Physics at Carleton University in 2013. She transferred to the Ph.D. program inThe goal of her graduate research was to investigate radiation transport and energy deposition within the human body, resulting from radiation therapy or diagnostic radiology procedures. She used Monte Carlo simulations to develop a better understanding of the effects of radiation on the cellular level. Her graduate research led to three publications in Physics in Medicine and Biology and two in Medical Physics. In 2017, Patricia was awarded the O’Brien Foundation Alumni Fellowship, which allowed her to continue her graduate studies at Carleton University.

Patricia has been an exemplary student and the O’Brien Foundation is proud of her achievements.

NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship 2015 - 2018
Awarded to top ranked Canadian students pursuing doctoral studies based on demonstration of scholarly achievement, leadership skills, and research potential.

Various awards from the Dalhousie University physics department 2009-2013
Throughout her undergraduate degree, she received the following departmental awards:

  • Highest academic average in the first three years of physics
  • Highest academic average in second year physics
  • Highest academic average in physics and math in the first two years
  • High academic standing in first year physics
  • Best female student entering second, third- and fourth-year honours physics
  • Best overall student entering second- and third-year honours physics

Dr. Edward Steen (1995)

1995 Dr SteenSaint John, New Brunswick;
Doctoral Studies in Clinical Psychology, New York University.

Dr. Edward Steen is a clinical psychologist in private practice in New York City. A lot of his work has to do with the treatment of addictions. Over the many years that he has been practicing he found himself drawn to certain strains of thought about the mind, about human functioning, systems theory, the “ecology” of the human mind, or fundamental interconnectedness, and about evolutionary aspects of how the mind was “designed” to function. These are all fairly hot topics these days but in his work, he has have found a way to weave disparate ideas, some from others and some his own, into an interesting framework, since quite a few of his clients have strongly urged him to start writing a book or something about his general framework and how he works in therapy. He put this aside for a while, but the suggestions to start writing have kept coming.

Just a couple of weeks ago, he started gathering some of the thoughts that have struck a chord with his clients, and, since he is quite busy with work and life, he suggests it might be slow going, but he certainly feels it would be nice to try to re-enter a more intellectual persona after a long time away from that.

In addition to his private practice, he has worked and trained at a number of hospitals and clinics. He has taught and supervised graduate and medical students, and until recently, was the program coordinator of an outpatient addictions clinic in the Bronx.

Edward (Ted) said he enjoys hearing about O’Brien Foundation news, and all these years later “I still consider it a real honor to have been recognized by the foundation”. He has an office located on Park Avenue in New York City.

Dr. Christopher M. Pearce (1990, 1992), BSc, MSc, PhD


Research Scientist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, British Columbia

Dr. Pearce completed a BSc degree in Biology (University of New Brunswick, 1987) and MSc (Dalhousie University, 1990) and PhD (Université Laval, 1996) degrees in Marine Biology. He spent the next five years (1997–2002) working as a post-doctoral fellow on Grand Manan Island (New Brunswick), funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the National Research Council (NRC). He then moved to the west coast of Canada (Nanaimo, British Columbia) to work as a Research Scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, where he remains today. His field of study is invertebrate aquaculture and his research interests include:

  • aquaculture of marine invertebrates including abalone, clams, cockles, oysters, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins;
  • integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA);
  • invasive tunicates;
  • ecosystem and aquaculture interactions;
  • ecology of sea urchins and abalone; and
  • settlement and metamorphosis of benthic marine invertebrate larvae with special emphasis on biochemical/physical mechanisms of metamorphic induction.

He is an adjunct professor at Vancouver Island University (Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture) and the University of Victoria (Department of Geography) and has supervised numerous graduate students and post-doctoral fellows over the years. He was President of the Aquaculture Association of Canada (AAC) in 2006–2007 and is presently a member of both the AAC and the National Shellfisheries Association (NSA).

Dr. Pearce can be reached at: E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ Tel: 250-756-3352

Grant Hurley (2013)

Grant Hurley 2013Grant Hurley currently serves as the Digital Preservation Librarian at Scholars Portal, the service arm of the Ontario Council of University Libraries situated at the University of Toronto. He is a 2015 graduate of the Dual Master of Archival Studies and Master of Library and Information Studies program at the University of British Columbia. He also holds a Master of Arts in English from UBC. He currently serves as a director and editor of Off the Record for the Archives Association of Ontario and as a researcher with the InterPARES Trust project at the University of British Columbia.

During his degree at UBC, Grant had the opportunity to write a final paper relating to digital preservation and community archives, the study area that he initially proposed as part of his O’Brien scholarship application. This paper, titled “Community Archives, Community Clouds: Enabling Digital Preservation for Small Archives,” was then nominated for the Association of Canadian Archivists’ Gordon Dodds Prize, which led to its being published in the journal Archivaria this past Spring. The subject area of the paper is directly related to his recent position at Scholars Portal, including setting up resources for the preservation of local born digital and digitized content via the cloud. Grant notes that his initial research, and now work, in this emerging area was spurred by the O’Brien Fellowship, and is very grateful for the support that the Foundation provided during his course of study.