2016 Craigdarroch Research Awards

Three members of the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Science have been awarded Craigdorroch Research Awards. These awards recognize outstanding research and creative achievement at the University of Victoria.

“These individuals exemplify why UVic is consistently ranked nationally and internationally as a top research-intensive university,” says Vice-President Research David Castle. “They’re all leaders in their field who are pushing the boundaries of discovery, creativity and innovation to make an impact on our lives and the world around us.”

The winners from the Faculty of Science are:

David H. Turpin Gold Medal for Career Achievement in Research

Verena Tunnicliffe, Biology and Earth and Ocean sciences

Over the course of her 36-year career, internationally renowned marine biologist Dr. Verena Tunnicliffe has combined an unquenchable passion for ocean discovery with a lifelong quest to understand the diversity, connectivity and survival of marine communities in oceans around the world. She has led or joined over 50 deep-sea expeditions and discovered over 80 new species, including nine named in her honour. Her drive to make the ocean realm accessible to everyone led to the world-leading VENUS subsea observatory (now part of Ocean Networks Canada), which she led for 11 years. Her current work is focused on ocean conservation issues related to marine protected areas, biodiversity and deep-sea mining.

Craigdarroch Silver Medal for Excellence in Research

Maxim Pospelov, Physics and Astronomy

What are the basic constituents of matter? How did elements form during the first few minutes after the Big Bang? What is the origin of dark matter? These are just some of the weighty questions that preoccupy the mind of Dr. Maxim Pospelov, described by peers as “one of the world’s leading lights” in theoretical particle physics. He’s only mid-career, yet is already an international force in his field, significantly influencing the course of experimental physics and accumulating a remarkable citation record in the process. He’s particularly well known for the breadth of his contributions, which span atomic and nuclear physics to astrophysics and cosmology.

Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Knowledge Mobilization

Jay Cullen, Earth and Ocean Sciences

In the years following the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan, chemical oceanographer Dr. Jay Cullen saw an emerging public demand for open-access information on radiation risks to the environment and human health on the BC coast. In 2014, he launched the InFORM Network, which engages scientists in Canada, the US, health experts, NGOs and citizen scientists to monitor and report on detectable radioactivity in seawater and seafood along the coast. He has adeptly and tirelessly used print media, social media, public engagements, and TV and radio appearances to demystify the science on radiation risk and on other issues related to anthropogenic contaminants, geoengineering and climate change.

Read more on the Craigdarroch Research Awards in The Ring.