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Defence Dates

Students, faculty, staff and administrators from other Nipissing University campuses who are interested in attending a defence via videoconference should contact the School of Graduate Studies, at least one day prior to the defence.

NOTE: If you are currently off campus and are interested in attending a defence, we invite you to travel to one of our campuses. 


 Kristina Burns

Master of Education

Perceptions of Support In Postsecondary Education: A Focus On Autism Spectrum Disorder

12:00 noon, Wednesday 26th April, 2017

Wellington 207, Brantford Campus, Nipissing University


The number of students with autism spectrum disorders attending postsecondary education in Ontario is on the rise. The unique characteristics associated with autism spectrum disorders require a certain level of support in the educational process. This interview-based phenomenological study reviewed the perceptions of those who teach and support individuals with autism in one Ontario postsecondary education institute. Open-ended interviews were conducted with student services personnel and faculty participants to identify their perceptions of the levels of current support for students with autism in their postsecondary institution and the needs going forward to further support these students. 




Sonje Bols

Master of Environmental Science

Bank Swallows in Canada's North: An Interdisciplinary Study

2:00 pm, Wednesday 26th April, 2017

A258, North Bay Campus, Nipissing University


 The Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia), is a globally-distributed migratory species that has seen population declines of 98 % on their Canadian breeding grounds. Not a lot is known about their historic populations or nesting behaviour in northern Canada, near their northern range limit. In this study, I use an interdisciplinary approach to address these knowledge gaps by examining the Bank Swallow’s historic distribution in northern Ontario as well as conducting a field study of a breeding population in the Yukon Territory. I monitored the nesting activity of this species using video recordings in the Whitehorse, YT region and examined the activity of adults at burrow entrances in relation to a variety of nest site characteristics including nest bank height, aspect and soil type, as well as nearby foraging habitats. Video recordings of 30 min during the incubation and fledging periods were highly effective at recording nesting activity and could be useful for monitoring Bank Swallow populations in an affordable and repeatable manner. Foraging habitat diversity was significantly higher near active colonies compared to inactive colony sites. Adult activity at burrows was positively related to habitat diversity activity, likely because diverse habitats provide more foraging opportunities for insect prey. A critical examination of historic records of this species in northern Ontario revealed a wide and well-surveyed provincial distribution and a trend for colony sites to be found most commonly in anthropogenic sites, especially within Algonquin Provincial Park. This study also provides a method for gaining useful historic distribution data from wildlife specimens and records, plentiful in museums across North America.



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