Announcements and events

Humpback faecal surprises

Rhonda Reidy had not intended to spend years studying whale faeces. Reidy planned on statistically modelling the impact of humpback whale predation on prey populations. Once she realized that no one knows what humpbacks are eating when underwater, Reidy pivoted. Her PhD and recent publication provide some of the first species-specific details on what humpback whales in the Salish Sea are eating.

UVic in CSA & NASA mission: HAWC

Colin Goldblatt, associate professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, brings his climate modelling and remote-sensing data expertise to a national Canadian Space Agency mission to launch 3 new climate-science instruments into space. The High-altitude, Aerosol, Water vapour and Clouds (HAWC) mission, is part of multi-nation NASA satellite mission monitoring water vapour and clouds.

Message from the Dean

I am happy to present to you, once again, a smorgasbord of newsclips and updates. To many visitors of our beautiful campus the summer appears to be the slow time of the year – undergraduate students have largely left the campus and many of our dining facilities have shut down. Meanwhile, to many researchers this is the busiest season: the time when field studies are undertaken, lab-based research projects run at full speed, and many of us travel to conferences to present our work and get new ideas.

New Indigenous science speaker series

“I think a common Indigenous approach to learning means learning with our whole selves,” says Tri-Faculty Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator Lydia Toorenburgh, “That enables us to learn about relationship, responsibility, and how to live our learnings in our everyday lives.” Last month we launched a new speaker series with Indigenous scientists. Recordings available!

Message from the Dean

We have again have a smorgasbord of exciting news! Now where do I start? Did you know Dr. Caroline Cameron in the Biochemistry and Microbiology Department leads one of only a few labs in the world studying the bacterium that causes syphilis? Open Philanthropy, an American Foundation, saw the potential in her team’s research on the vicious Treponema pallidum and awarded her team a $2M USD grant to fund their research.

Emerging Alumni Award: Bryce Jones

Bryce Hugo Jones (BSc '16) receives a Distinguished Alumni Award. He is an entrepreneur on a quest to have the largest possible impact on climate change and inspire others to take action. "It was clear in 2009 that I wanted to be an entrepreneur," says Jones, "It was clear at UVic around 2013 that I wanted to do something on climate change. In 2017, I started brainstorming ideas. In 2019, this one stuck!"

Presidents' Alumni Award: Robert Niven

Robert Niven (BSc '01) receives a Distinguished Alumni Award. "A lot of young people feel worried and powerless with the climate crisis," says Niven, "Joining or, even better, starting a climate-tech company empowers you to make a difference. It can be an extremely fulfilling and exciting career. The industry is going through explosive growth at the moment and requires all different skills and experience levels."

Presidents’ Alumni Award: Damineh Akhavan

Damineh Akhavan (BSc '06) receives a Distinguished Alumni Award. "Life is short, and we are only here on this planet for a finite time," says Akhavan, "I hope during my time here and with the work I do, I can inspire others to do better and be better for ourselves, others and our planet."

Message from the Dean

I am writing from a campus that is brimming with students, again. As you may know, in December the emergence of the omicron variant prompted an abrupt transition from in-person exams to online exams, and then a two-week delay in the return to in-person classes in January. These adjustments were difficult for students and instructors, but were necessary to comply with provincial guidelines and to keep students and staff safe.

Message from the Dean

It certainly is nice to have students back on campus! We even had an in-person convocation ceremony which allowed me to read the names of all 45 BSc students who were “gowned up” to walk across the stage of the Farquhar Auditorium, and receive their degree from our phenomenal Chancellor Shelagh Rogers.

Response to 751

Our hearts go out to the Cowessess First Nation and all Indigenous Peoples across Canada. The 751 unmarked graves found at a former Residential School in Saskatchewan is a devastating confirmation of profound loss that Indigenous communities have long known to be the truth, and it affects all of us deeply.

Response to Kamloops Indian Residential School news

With heavy hearts, we share the recent news that the remains of 215 children were found in an unmarked, mass grave on the site of the former Kamloops Residential School. All of us from the Dean’s office want to express our profound feelings of grief and anger at this injustice, and to send our love and support to all Indigenous people as they grapple with this news.