Julia Baum named to “rising star” national college

Marine biologist Julia Baum was one of three University of Victoria researchers confirmed to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists on September 12. 

Founded in 2014, the college is Canada’s first national system of recognition across disciplines for an emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leaders. Members are nominated by their peers and selected for a seven-year term based on having demonstrated a high level of achievement at an early stage in their career. College members have already received other recognition in their fields for excellence.

Julia Baum, a professor in the Department of Biology, studies the resilience of marine ecosystems in the face of human disturbance. Her research focuses on their ecology and conservation, investigating how disruptions such as climate change are altering these ecosystems, and if and how they’ll recover.

Since 2009, Baum has done hundreds of dives in the coral reefs of Kiritimati Island (known as Christmas Island), 2,000 kilometres south of Honolulu. She’s studied the impact of the worst global coral bleaching episode in recorded history and is now watching for initial signs of recovery.

At the same time, Baum is a powerful advocate for a number of issues faced by Canadian scientists. In addition to receiving global coverage for her research, she recently led an investigation on deteriorating funding for fundamental research in Canada which was reported on by Nature and Science magazines.

“It’s a critical time for scientists to be reaching out beyond the ivory tower and making connections to the public and policy-makers,” says Baum. “I’m honoured to be part of the RSC’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, and thrilled to be part of a platform that can be used to speak to Canadians about what researchers do and why it’s important.”

Read the full media release.