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Faculty of Science

News and Events for
UBC Science Alumni | Issue 4, 2017

CSI, for the birds

Meet UBC curator Ildiko Szabo, Canada’s only certified avian forensic morphologist. She helps identify birds killed in aircraft strikes, a mystery that often begins with Szabo receiving a package of ‘snarge’ in the mail.

View video | Read story | See pictures

Examining clothing artifacts with feathers can be tricky. These are  South American headdresses that UBC avian expert Ildiko Szabo analyzed for a MOA exhibit. View more photos in our gallery.


Canada’s newest radio telescope

Canada’s largest radio astronomy telescope, known as CHIME, is ready to start mapping space. CHIME—a collaboration among 50 Canadian scientists, including researchers from UBC—will study dark energy, fast radio bursts and radio pulsars.

Incredible shrinking fish

Climate change could shrink the world’s fish by as much as 30 percent, UBC researchers say. Fish aren’t able to regulate their body temperatures and warming waters could alter their metabolism, leading to smaller bodies.


Beautiful Brain

Discover the connections between art and neuroscience through the drawings of pathologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal.

Until December 3

Life in Colour

A new Beaty Biodiversity Museum exhibit takes a page out of coloring books, exploring nature via illustration.

Opens September 21

Chemistry Reunion

Don’t miss UBC Chemistry’s Alumni Reunion and Awards Ceremony next month. Remember to RSVP today.

October 14

UBC’s vast genetic library

Pressed plants and flowers may sound quaint, but the UBC Herbarium’s DNA collection may be more important than ever. “It gives you a window into the past and answers to our future,” says curator Linda Jennings. A talk on botanical insecticides takes place in Victoria September 28.

From physics to filmmaking

A love of history drove physicist Alejandro Yoshizawa (BSc’09) to try his hand at documentary filmmaking, often about underrepresented communities. Now he wants to make a film about physicist and UBC alumnus Shuichi Kusaka, who worked with Oppenheimer. His latest film premieres on CBC September 30.


Astrophysicist Gary Hinshaw and chemist Laurel Schafer have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada.

Fisheries expert Kai Chan and computer scientist Joanna McGrenere have been inducted into the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Gail Murphy, a leading expert in software engineering and chief scientist at Vancouver’s Tasktop Technologies, has been appointed UBC’s Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

Sara Harris—a 2015 3M National Teaching Fellow and professor of teaching at UBC—has been appointed UBC Science’s Associate Dean Academic.

UBC Science researchers have been awarded more than $16 million in NSERC Discovery Grant funding.

Not so happy together

Symbiosis may be more violent that we thought. UBC researchers have discovered freshwater bacteria that live inside single-celled organisms and constantly “snatch” bacteria from their ‘hosts’, discarding them when they’re no longer useful.

Rare sapphires from Nunavut

UBC mineralogists have discovered it takes very specific pressure and temperature conditions to create Beluga sapphires, the rare gems which adorn Queen Elizabeth II’s ‘snowflake’ brooch. The research will help identify areas for gemstone exploration in the Arctic.

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