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Grant Helps Lakehead Researchers Study Social Aspects of Uruguay's Pulp Industry

(May 10, 2010 – Thunder Bay, ON) Three Lakehead University researchers have been awarded a $24,000 Latin America and Caribbean Research Exchange Grant (LACREG) from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.  The grant will support researcher exchange and travel involved in studying The Social Impact of Pulp Mills and Changing Economies in Ontario and Uruguay.

Drs. Ronald Harpelle and Michel Beaulieu of Lakehead’s Department of History, along with Dr. Chris Southcott of Lakehead’s Department of Sociology, received this funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as their work addresses several of IDRC’s thematic research priorities.

In May and early June, Dr. Diego Piniero, rural sociologist and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo, along with PhD Candidate Matias Carambula, also a rural sociologist, will visit Thunder Bay and the region. The Uruguayan researchers are interested in how northern communities cope with the dominance of transnational corporations and the fluctuating fortunes of the pulp industry. This research project is part of an ongoing program of research focused on resource-dependent communities around the world

Likewise, the Canadian team, comprising Drs. Harpelle, Beaulieu, and Southcott, will spend three weeks in Uruguay later this year.  They will visit communities undergoing significant socio-economic change as a result of the construction of the Frey Bentos pulp mill, a development that has caused the conversion of thousands of hectares of ranch land into forest farms.

As Dr. Harpelle notes, “This grant helps foster new research connections, which means opportunities for Lakehead faculty and students to meet with the Uruguayan scientists in the future.” 


MEDIA: Dr. Ron Harpelle is available for interview.  Interview times can be arranged by contacting Heather Scott, Communications Officer, at 807-343-8177 or

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 7,700 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit

Last updated May 13, 2010

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