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News and Events | Issue 3, 2020



Bees are feeling the heat

New work by UBC researchers uses honey bees to monitor the impact of climate change on pollinator fertility. By analysing sperm stored in queens, scientists have pinpointed the proteins that activate when bees are exposed to extreme temperatures. 






Directing research efforts to COVID-19

UBC chemists are anticipating the launch of a range of projects in response to the current health crisis. Explore what’s new and find out how you can help.


Michael Wolf



Chemistry is key to viral research

Chemists will play a central role in the next phase of anti-viral research and development. Head of Chemistry Michael Wolf explains how the department is meeting present challenges and looking ahead to future opportunities.





Escape to a distant penguin paradise

Sarah Dier-McComb’s fascination with penguins and their epic diving abilities took her all the way to the Falkland Islands. Get up close to these amazing swimming machines.  



Online science


Online science for kids 
UBC Science has put together a handy page of top-notch online science resources and activities




Virtual treewalk  
Experience the BC rainforest at home. This immersive 360 video was filmed on the Greenheart TreeWalk at UBC.



Woman with laptop


Overcoming impostor syndrome
Develop a more empowering mindset with this alumni webinar. 
May 28



Remote work



Chemistry at home

Lab closures marked a major shift in the way UBC students and researchers approach their work, but the Chemistry community is bonding together to adapt to the current conditions. 



Wilma Ethel Elias



Paving the way for women in chemistry

A legacy gift from Chemistry alumna Dr. Wilma Elias (PhD '56) has established graduate scholarships for women in chemistry. Elias (1925-2018) was the first woman to obtain a PhD from UBC. 



Question mark



Alumni spoke up, we’re listening

Many thanks to the almost 1,300 UBC Science alumni who shared their ideas and vision via our Strategic Plan survey. A review of the results are online.



Howard Soon



Love for the vineyard

Howard Soon (BSc ‘74) was named to the Order of Canada for his contributions to the wine industry. After studying chemistry, Soon went on to work in breweries and the nascent Canadian wine industry in the 1980s.




  • Laurel Schafer has received the Society of Chemical Industry LeSueur Memorial Award.
  • Chemists Maria Cleveland and David Tonkin have been recognized with a 2020 Science Excellence in Service Award.   
  • UBC botanist Loren Rieseberg has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Biologist Patrick Keeling has received a $1.9 million Moore Foundation grant to study how symbiotic microorganisms interact with coral reef ecosystems.
  • Marine biologist Amanda Vincent has won the 2020 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s top award for animal conservation, for her trailblazing work to protect seahorses. 
  • Congratulations to the Science alumni inducted into the 2020 UBC Sports Hall of Fame: Keith Gallicano (PhD Chemistry), Gary Warner (BSc Chemistry, BASc Chemical Engineering) and Thomas Jones (BSc Mathematics). 





Weeding out the fakes

It’s never been more important to combat fake news. UBC computer scientists explain how data science could help us build accurate knowledge bases to sift the real from the phony.



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