"What Turns You On?" is TEDxGuelphU's 8th event that took place at the Guelph Youth Music Centre on January 29, 2017.

"What Turns You On?" Speakers

Peter Katz

Part concert, part talk, Juno Award and Canadian Screen Award-nominated singer-songwriter and 2-time TEDx fellow Peter Katz uses his journey from nervous first-timer at the open mic to playing to thousands of people all over the world, to show how he discovered the direct correlation between the moments of greatest discomfort and fear in his life, and his moments of greatest discovery and growth. What’s on the other side of that cloud called fear? What happens when you do something you thought you were too afraid to do? As it turns out, our biggest challenges are our biggest opportunities, and through his songs and stories, Peter gives permission to his audience to bravely take on their own challenges and in doing so, discover the important lessons and hidden joys that they contain.

Dr. Justine Tishinsky

Dr. Justine Tishinsky is a course coordinator and instructor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences (HHNS) at the University of Guelph. She coordinates a large, first year Biological Concepts of Health course, and teaches in the First Year Seminar Program, the University of Guelph-Humber’s Kinesiology Program, and a distance education offering of a Fundamentals of Nutrition course in HHNS.

Since 2012, Justine has been offering a first year seminar course entitled “Sleep: 1/3 of Your Life Spent with Your Eyes Closed”, where she explores the importance of sleep to our overall health and wellbeing. As an insomniac herself, Justine has a personal interest as to why we, as a modern day society, are so quick to dismiss slumber in favour of the personal and professional demands of our lives. She explores the consequences of “Social Jet Lag”, defined as the misalignment of our social and biological clocks, on our physical, mental and emotional health.





Dr. Pat Barclay

Pat Barclay is an Associate Professor who is cross-appointed in Psychology and the Bachelor of Arts & Sciences program (BAS) at Guelph. He applies evolutionary theory to understand why people help others: he blends social psychology, evolutionary biology, experimental economics, anthropology, and mathematical game theory to make new predictions about when, where, and how much helping will occur, by whom and to whom. His experiments often involve experimental “games”: simplified scenarios where people have conflicting motives about helping themselves versus helping others, and which involve real money… so people love to participate! In 2015, he won the Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution from the Human Behavior and Evolution Society – the main academic society for evolutionary approaches to human behavior. Pat likes to dabble in backcountry camping, cliff diving, mogul skiing, travelling, and music, but since 2014 he has mostly just dabbled in raising identical twins.







Dr. Liliana Caballero

Liliana is a physics professor at the University of Guelph. She was born in Bogota, where she did her undergraduate studies at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Her passion for science led her to graduate school at Indiana University, where she studied nuclear astrophysics. After her PhD, Liliana worked as a postdoctoral fellow at major research centres in the US and Germany.

She is fascinated by how tiny nuclei can determine the fate of giant stars, including how these stars can at the end of their lives produce the materials needed to support life. Conscious that one lifetime is not enough to uncover the mysteries of the Universe, Liliana aims to inspire new generations of scientists.

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Shelagh Meagher

Shelagh graduated from the University of Guelph as an Aggie and somehow got a job in advertising, from which she veered into high tech with IBM in Canada, England, and France. At 33 she quit an executive position to become a garden designer. She became a writer when she found herself on an extended stay in Italy without a work permit, then found her way back into an executive role in Toronto after the headhunting industry had pronounced her ‘unemployable’.

She’s now freelancing, writing, and entrepreneuring beside the ocean in Nova Scotia.

Shelagh has spent a lifetime balancing family and work with her need for adventure, including flying small planes, riding horseback solo across the Mongolian steppes, singing with a rock band, and kayaking with 30-ton whales. She is the author of Gumption: The Practical Woman’s Guide to Living an Adventuresome Life, creator of The Gumption Guides, and a frequent contributor to Huffington Post.





Dr. Jamie Gruman

Dr. Jamie Gruman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at the University of Guelph. He is also a founding member of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association. His textbook on Applied Social Psychology is the global market leader, and his research and writing have been reported by media outlets around the globe. In Canada he has been featured and quoted across the country in print and online in magazines such as MoneySense, Canadian Business, and Chatelaine, trade journals such as HR Professional and Public Sector Digest, and newspapers in every major city. He has appeared on CTV’s Canada AM, Global News, Report on Business Television, CBC’s The National, and has been syndicated on CBC radio. Dr. Gruman has consulted and delivered seminars for Fortune 500 corporations, public, and not-for-profit organizations including General Motors, the Canadian Federal Government, and the Children’s Wish Foundation.



Dr. Tuuli Kukkonen

Dr. Tuuli Kukkonen is an Assistant Professor of Human Sexuality at the University of Guelph and a registered Clinical Psychologist specializing in sex and couple’s therapy.  She completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at McGill University and is the director of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation funded Psychophysiology of Sexual Health Laboratory at the University of Guelph. Dr. Kukkonen served as a committee member for the 4th International Consultation on Sexual Medicine, creating international guidelines and standards of practice for female sexual dysfunction, and has received early researcher awards from the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research as well as the Canadian Sex Research Forum.  Dr. Kukkonen’s research focuses on using innovative technologies to study the interaction between physiological and psychological processes in sexual arousal with a particular interest in aging and sexual response.