May Speaker - Dr. Bruce McKay


Dr. Bruce McKay is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research focuses on recreational alcohol and drug use in university students and mechanisms by which psychoactive drugs affect brain functions. He teaches neuroscience and pharmacology courses. Dr. McKay grew up near Woodstock, Ontario, and completed his post-secondary education at Laurentian University, the University of Calgary and the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston Texas). He has been a professor at Laurier since 2008


Brief Description of Presentation

Dr. McKay’s lecture “The Brain on Cannabis” will overview the effects that cannabis has on brain structures and functions and the resulting effects on the complexities of human behaviour. He will briefly discuss the neuroscience of short-term effects of cannabis (from the munchies to driving impairments to treatment of pain and other ailments), why it isn’t possible to lethally overdose on cannabis, long-term effects of cannabis with a focus on addiction and the differential effects of cannabis on teenagers vs adults), and review new cannabis laws in Canada and how those laws may intersect with an improved understanding of the neuroscience of cannabis.

June Speaker - Adam Shoalts


Adam Shoalts has been described by the CBC as “one of the greatest living explorers” and even named “Canada’s Indiana Jones” by the Toronto Star. His day job is a professional explorer; he holds the position of Westaway Explorer-in-Residence at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Shoalts is also the author of three national best-selling books, including the acclaimed ‘Beyond the Trees’, the story of his almost 4,000 km canoe journey across Canada’s arctic alone. Shoalts has a Ph.D from McMaster in History, and is also the author of ‘A History of Canada in10 Maps’, another national best-seller. Shoalts will share photos from his adventures and discuss his journey alone across Canada’s North.