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News and Events | Issue 4, 2019



New viruses discovered in endangered wild Pacific salmon populations

EOAS researchers have discovered three new viruses—including one from a group never before shown to infect fish—in endangered Chinook and sockeye salmon populations.



Mount Cayley




Keep in touch with UBC EOAS

A new issue of Earth Matters is now online. Read stories about EOAS faculty, students and alumni, and check out past issues.

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Combatting emissions by locking carbon dioxide in mine waste

Two Canadian mines are piloting a UBC-led project that combats greenhouse gas emissions by trapping carbon dioxide in mine tailings. The technology could produce the world’s first greenhouse gas neutral mine.


Philippe Tortell



The year ahead at EOAS

EOAS department heads Roger Beckie and Philippe Tortell reflect on the past year and discuss the year ahead. Tortell took over from Beckie as head in July. 



Catherine Johnson




Flying the red skies

In 1977, NASA captivated the world with the Voyager launch. It marked the start of Catherine Johnson's fascination with space—four decades later the UBC researcher is playing a key role in NASA's Mars InSight mission.



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.




  • Michael Murphy has been appointed head of Microbiology and Immunology.

  • 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.


The Barrier



Exploring the Barrier

The steep, looming face of the Barrier dominates the Garibaldi Lake trail. UBC's Siobhan Whadcoat is studying the Barrier to learn about landslides and slope failures.  



Ali Ameli




Ali Ameli bridges earth science and engineering

Ali Ameli—EOAS’s newest professor—has his work cut out for him. He’s bridging engineering and earth science to explore the impact of land use and climate change on watersheds. 



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