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News and Events | Issue 4, 2019

Tony Sinclair


Join us at the UBC Chemistry alumni reunion

On October 5, visit UBC for our 2019 Chemistry reunion. Mingle and meet with old friends and favourite professors, and help us recognize the accomplishments and contributions of our alumni, students, faculty and staff. Free event, guests and children welcome.






Chemists discover new way to recycle CO2

UBC and University of Paris researchers have used an abundant and low-cost catalyst to efficiently transform carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, an essential building block for materials in the healthcare and chemical industries.


Blue glowing dots



Connecting the glowing dots

Russ Algar wants to shed light on a cell or two. The UBC chemist is combining materials that make targeted cells glow with smartphone technology to develop inexpensive, portable medical tests.



Polar bear


Extreme oceans: Climate change in the Arctic

How UBC oceanographers use ships, satellites and supercomputers to measure the impact of climate change and model extreme weather.

September 17






Data science projects: Myths and realities

Managing a big data project is about more than manipulating data. Annie Ying, head of Cisco’s Data Science Lab in Vancouver, discusses keys to success in data science.

September 26






A million reasons to care: The biodiversity crisis in Canada
World-class researchers, hosted by 2011 MacArthur Fellow Sarah Otto, outline recent conservation approaches that work.
October 8



Peter Smith



2019 UBC Alumni Builder Award winner 

Peter Smith (PhD ‘98) is this year’s ABA winner for his dedicated volunteerism with UBC Computer Science and his work fostering opportunities for intellectual growth for alumni.



Jeffrey Lott



UBC alumnus has bone (marrow) to pick

Former Nanaimo RCMP Superintendent Jeffrey Lott (BSc ‘73) makes six to eight trips a year transporting tissue for transplant patients. His work as a courier with the Bruce Denniston Bone Marrow Society has been recognized with the Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.




  • Philippe Tortell and Michael Murphy have been appointed heads of UBC Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and Microbiology and Immunology, respectively.

  • Research in statistical ecology, probability and fisheries economics at UBC Science received a boost with the appointment of three new Canada Research Chairs.

  • UBC computer scientist and Canada 150 Research Chair Margo Seltzer received the USENIX Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • Biologist Leticia Avilés was elected as a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society.

  • Three UBC alumni have been appointed to the Order of Canada: Mathematician Robert Phelan Langlands (BA ‘57, MA ‘58, DSc ‘85), biochemist and winery expert Howard Timothy Lee Soon (BSc ‘74) and public health physician Perry Kendall (MSc ’83).

  • Delta school district science teacher Van Chau (BSc ‘96, Bed ‘97) received a 2019 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence.


Paper mill



Turning pulp's 'black liquor' into consumer goods

UBC microbiologist Lindsay Eltis is developing biological methods that can be used to transform ‘black liquor’—a by-product of pulp and paper manufacture—into consumer goods such as adhesives and foams.



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