Major Investments Boost UVic’s Arbutus Cloud, Canada’s Largest Research Computing Hub

Hosted by the University of Victoria and governed by the Digital Research Alliance of Canada, Arbutus is Canada's largest academic research cloud computing site, uniquely dedicated to cloud resources, allowing researchers nationwide to process, share, and store data.

Increasing the Effectiveness of Cancer Radiotherapy

World Health Day, celebrated every year on April 7, is a global health awareness day that aims to raise awareness around various health issues. Here in the Faculty of Science, we’re working some of those issues every day. Our researchers are developing new therapeutics and treatments for diseases, uncovering the molecular mechanisms by which viruses and bacteria are operating, evaluating the effectiveness of public health interventions, uncovering the physiology of diseases and much more. This World Health Day, explore some of the health-related research happening in our Faculty, across five of our six departments.

ORCASat project leads the way with telescope calibration

The Optical Reference Calibration Satellite (ORCASat), designed and built by researchers and students at the University of Victoria was deployed from the International Space Station into a low-Earth orbit at the end of 2022. Since then, it has led the way in terms of callibrating ground telescopes using an artificial light source in orbit, thereby allowing for increased precision with calibration. Project leader, UVic Professor Justin Albert is excited to be leading work that could have major implications in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics. For more information on this ground-breaking project, check out the following news release.

Johannes Gemmrich/Leah Cicon paper included in Nature's Top 100 research papers of 2022

A UVic research paper by Johannes Gemmrich and Leah Cicon entitled "Generation mechanism and prediction of an observed extreme rogue wave" has been included in NATURE's Journal Top 100 of 2022. This collection highlights the most downloaded research papers published in 2022. Featuring authors from around the world, these papers highlight valuable research from the international community.

Cover article of Natural Sciences journal (Feb 2022 issue)

UVic's Prof. Justin Albert (together with Profs. Dima Budker at Mainz, and Hossein Sadeghpour at the Harvard-Smithsonian CfA) are the authors of the cover article in this month's Natural Sciences journal. This article provides an overview of how a laser photometric ratio star (a novel light source generated by laser excitation of the Earth's upper-atmosphere sodium layer, which will radiate equally brightly at wavelengths of 589 nm and 820 nm) can help us precisely calibrate telescopes at observatories (such as the Vera Rubin Observatory, presently completing construction in Chile) in order to understand the nature of dark energy.

M.Sc. graduate student has paper chosen as an Editors' Suggestion in the Physical Review B

A recent paper entitled "Confined Magnons" in which UVic professor Rogerio de Sousa and his M.Sc. graduate student, Seamus Beairsto, are contributors has been selected as an Editors' Suggestion in the recent edition of the Physical Review B. These selected papers are of particular interest, importance, or clarity.

Royal Society of Canada elects six UVic researchers

Six University of Victoria researchers in the fields of science, social sciences, engineering, and humanities have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), a council of distinguished scholars and leaders recognized with the country's highest academic honours. Alan McConnachie (an adjunct faculty member at NRC Herzberg) is one of them. Read more :

How tiny gold particles injected into tumours could improve radiation treatment for cancer

Devika Chithrani has authored an analysis piece in The Conversation, highlighting the findings of her research into the possible application of gold nanoparticles for cancer therapy and treatment. This piece was also picked up by the Canadian Press, National Post and 12 other publications.

NDRIO's Researcher Council Elects New Chair, Dr. Randall Sobie

Honorary Research Professor and Research Scientist with the Institute of Particle Physics Randall Sobie (Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria) has been elected Chair of the Researcher Council for NDRIO, the national organization tasked with redeveloping digital research infrastructure. Further details are provided in the associated news release here.

Pushing the Limits of Hydrodynamics: Aspen Center for Physics Colloquium by Pavel Kovtun

The Aspen Center for Physics colloquium series featured a virtual talk on July 21, 2020 by Pavel Kovtun entitled "Pushing the Limits of Hydrodynamics". This talk on new developments in the well-established field of hydrodynamics was well received with over 300 attendees. Pavel Kovtun is a theoretical physicist and Associate Professor working in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Victoria. Another theorist with experience in this field, Kristan Jensen, will join the UVic Particle Theory Group as a faculty member later this fall.

New Frontiers in Research Funding

As one of the three innovative and interdisciplinary research projects in the Faculty of Science supported by the New Frontiers in Research Funds (NFRF), Alexandre Brolo (Chemistry) and Rogério de Sousa (Physics) are exploring a low-cost, low-power molecular approach to generate entangled photons, a key resource for the development of quantum technology. Learn more about their project.

UVic grad receives honours for research

Mary-Louise Timmermanns, who received her undergraduate degree in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Victoria in 1994 has been named by the American Geophysical Union as this year's Sverdrup Lecturer. The Sverdrup Lecturer is named in honour of geophysicist, Harald Sverdrup, and is awarded for "exemplifying Dr. Sverdrup’s work with outstanding contributions to the basic science of the atmosphere and the oceans and/or unselfish service promoting cooperation in atmospheric and oceanographic research". Professor Timmermans has also received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE - Connecticut) for her work with the physical oceanography of the Arctic Ocean.

International Astronomy Day 2019

International Astronomy Day 2019 is being celebrated on Saturday, Apr 27, 10am - 4pm at the Royal BC Museum. The event is jointly hosted by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) and the Royal BC Museum. The UVic Observatory outreach team will also have several displays and demos. This public event is free and is accessible to all ages, with many fun activities including Astrophotography, telescope making, children's Astro crafts, a cosmic ray detector and more! The day is capped off by a star party held at the Centre of the Universe from 7:30 to 11pm.

UVic alum Louise Edwards on CBC radio program

In a CBC program celebrating Black History Month, UVic alum Dr. Louise Edwards, who is an observational astrophysicist, shares her experiences studying astronomy at the University of Victoria and discusses her current work on the evolution of galaxies. She is an active advocate for more people of colour in the fields of science and engineering.

UVic alum wins Dance Your PhD contest

UVic alum Pramodh Senarath Yapa is this year's winner of the Dance Your PhD contest hosted by Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). This contest challenges scientists to explain their research through interpretive dance. Watch Pramodh's video to see the social behaviour of sub-atomic particles illustrated through swing dance!

Hundreds enjoyed total lunar eclipse through UVic's telescopes

The skies were mostly clear over Greater Victoria on the evening of Sunday, January 20th, (a rarity at this time of year!), allowing hundreds from the general public to view the spectacular total lunar eclipse through UVic's telescopes. The eclipse was visible (and safe) to view with the naked eye, but a telescope viewing provided an added bonus of being able to discern surface features. News coverage of this exciting event can be found at: News coverage of this exciting event can be found at: CTV News Victoria News Times Colonist

A letter from Stephen Hawking

Professor Emeritus, Werner Israel, recently donated a portion of his personal library to UVic Libraries which included a 1973 first-edition copy of The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time by Stephen Hawking and G.F.R. Ellis. Even more remarkable than this extraordinary historical gift was the personal letter from Hawking to Israel found tucked inside. This letter revealed a close personal friendship between the two that lasted over half a century. Learn more about this friendship and Professor Israel's notable career and contributions to Theoretical Physics at:

Cosmic Collision

Astronomers at the European Space Agency have recently discovered that our Milky Way galaxy was involved in a 'cosmic collision' 10 billion years ago when another galaxy slammed into it. The resulting merger gives us a greater understanding of the processes at work in other galaxies. Professor Kim Venn, Director of UVic's Astronomy Research Centre (ARC), comments on this exciting research in a recent CBC news article.

Noted Arctic waters researcher is a UVic grad

Prof. Mary-Louise Timmermans, Yale University, is the first author of a recently published paper that examined historical data which indicates the heat content of a vast section of the Arctic Ocean has doubled in the last 30 years. Interviewed by the Times Colonist, Timmermans discusses her paper's findings in terms of consequences to sea ice. A graduate of the University of Victoria Physics and Astronomy department, Prof. Timmermans spent several co-op work terms with the Arctic science group at the Institute of Ocean Sciences. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge after which she worked as a post-doctoral research fellow with colleagues at IOS and UVic before moving on to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and then Yale.

Funding Announcement: Canada Contributing to the HL-LHC Accelerator

Federal Science Minister Kirsty Duncan announced that Canada will contribute $10 million for the cryomodules of the crab cavities of the High-Luminosity Large Hadron Collider (HL-LHC) in response to a request from CERN, vigorously supported by IPP. Crab cavities are a critical component of the HL-LHC upgrade and are essential to achieve the high luminosity goals of this next generation of the LHC. TRIUMF will manage the production of the components and will make a $2 million in-kind contribution for a total project value of $12 million.

Canada’s Most Powerful Research Supercomputer Simulates Life of a Star

As R&D magazine reports Herwig and his collaborators have used "Canada’s most powerful research supercomputer to simulate life of a star”. To understand a star’s structure, researchers simulate them on a supercomputer using complex hydrodynamics calculations over a long series of time steps. These very detailed simulations of the core convection in a massive star reveal the turbulent flows of the interior and stellar oscillations that can be observed with space telescopes like Kepler or TESS. These simulations provide exquisite detail on how different parts of the stars are mixed, which in turn improves our understanding how the elements form in stars and stellar explosions.

Astronomers use old-time math to measure distance, age of one of the oldest objects in the universe

A new study co-authored by Don Vandenberg is cited in a CBC News article about technologies—old and new—that astronomers are using to measure the distance to one of the oldest globular clusters, a tight mass of hundreds of thousands of stars.

Stars align for UVic graduate student, resulting in a cosmic thrill

The Times Colonist followed up with doctoral student Clare Higgs on her chance encounter at a Chilean observatory this summer. She was at the observatory when two neutron stars collided and merged, the first time the celestial event has been seen and recorded on Earth. Ondrea Clarkson was also interviewed for this article.

Astronomy graduate student participates in unprecedented observation of neutron star collision

A UVic, Astronomy doctoral student visiting an observatory in Chile unexpectedly became a participant in the observation of the first recorded gravitational wave signature caused by a neutron star collision – a discovery that is transformational to our understanding of the universe.

When galaxies collide: In search of supermassive black hole pairs

Dr. Sara Ellison in Physics and Astronomy at University of Victoria has discovered an inspired method of finding the elusive pairing of supermassive black holes that mark merging galaxies, a discovery that may provide clues to the future of Earth’s own galaxy. Read more:

Nobel Prize to Weiss, Barish and Thorne for gravitational waves

The 2017 UVic Astbury Lecturer Barry Barish (Caltech) along with Rainer Weiss and Kip Thorne were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Physics earlier today, for their contributions to LIGO and the observation of gravitational waves. For details see:

Science Literacy Week 2017

The UVic observatory will host two special events as part of the Science Literacy Week 2017, a nationwide celebration of science set to take place this September 18th-24th for the fourth year running. Coast to coast we're expecting some 700 events, ranging from nature hikes to chemistry demos, astronomy nights to public talks and more (

MITACS student’s experience in galactic astronomy

Braulio Antonio, an undergraduate student at National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City participated in the MITACS Globalink program this summer at the University of Victoria. Under the supervision of Dr. Sara Ellison in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, he shares his experience working on the phenomenon of galaxy mergers.

Solar Eclipse Open House

Join us on Monday, August 21 from 9:00-11:30am for a special public open house at the UVic Observatory (5th floor of Bob Wright Centre) to view the solar eclipse. The eclipse will be visible at 90% coverage from Victoria. The eclipse begins at 9:08am, reaches maximum coverage at 10:20 and will end at 11:38. The event is free and no pre-registration is necessary.