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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. 





Post COVID-19, hope for our planet

Students and researchers at UBC explain how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of our planet’s biodiversity. Could an era of renewed environmental impetus be coming? 





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



Baffin Island



Geologists find lost fragment of ancient continent

UBC geologists have identified a new remnant of the North Atlantic craton—an ancient part of Earth's continental crust—in the north of Canada. The finding could help us better reconstruct the shapes of ancient continents.






Mars’ magnetic field is way older than we thought

Mars had a global magnetic field much earlier—and much later—in the planet's history than scientists previously thought. UBC researchers dig into NASA MAVEN results.



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.




  • 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. 
  • UBC computer scientist Dinesh Pai received the Canadian Human Computer Communications Society Achievement Award.
  • 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.






Redrawing the tree of life

Traditional approaches for reconstructing trees of life can be deeply flawed, says a study by UBC researchers. They propose an alternative idea: a mathematical model that relies on phylogenetic data.



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