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UBC leads alliance to improve science education with Sloan grant

November 15, 2012

The University of British Columbia is partnering with seven top North American universities to study how they can speed up the adoption of improved teaching techniques in science classrooms. The Bay View Alliance (BVA) – which includes Queen’s University, University of California Davis, University of Kansas, University of Saskatchewan, Indiana University Bloomington, the University of Texas Austin and UBC – is launched today with $803,942 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

UBC gains Canada Excellence Research Chairs in quantum materials and digital media

November 8, 2012

UBC Science will be home to two more Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERCs) valued at $20 million over seven years, in the areas of quantum materials and devices and digital media research and innovation. Results of the latest CERC competition were announced today by Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) in Ottawa. Out of 46 research proposals submitted by 27 universities, eight universities were selected to recruit 11 chairholders to the program. The eight universities are now invited to nominate world-renowned researchers to carry out the proposed research.

“Genius grant” helps secure Okanagan habitats for at-risk species

November 2, 2012

University of British Columbia zoologist Sarah Otto is using her MacArthur “genius grant” toward preserving fragile habitats in the South Okanagan region of British Columbia. Two gifts of $50,000 each to The Nature Trust of BC and the Nature Conservancy of Canada will help purchase habitats for at-risk species of woodpeckers, sparrows, badgers, turtles, plants and trees. Otto was one of last year’s 22 MacArthur Fellows, who receive no-strings-attached grants of $500,000 over five years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

UBC ‘outnumbers’ Canadian competition

November 1, 2012

Eleven UBC mathematicians have been named to the inaugural class of American Mathematical Society (AMS) fellows--more than any other Canadian institution. Founded in 1888, the AMS seeks to further mathematical research and scholarship. The society’s Fellows designation recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication and utilization of mathematics.

Park and charge: UBC researchers invent safe wireless vehicle charging technology

October 26, 2012

University of British Columbia researchers have invented a safe, efficient technology to wirelessly charge electric vehicles using “remote magnetic gears” – and successfully tested it on campus service vehicles. “Wireless charging has been a much sought-after technical solution for everything from cell phones to electric cars,” says UBC Physics Prof. Lorne Whitehead. “A significant concern for charging cars wirelessly has been the high power and high frequency electromagnetic fields and their unknown, potential health effects on humans.”

Fruit fly’s ‘sweet tooth’ is short-lived: UBC research

October 16, 2012

Those struggling with the temptations of chocolate-bar-laden store checkouts may have something to learn from the humble fruit fly. While the flies initially prefer food with a sweet flavour, they quickly learn to opt for less sweet food sources that offer more calories and nutritional value, according to new research by UBC zoologists. The findings - published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience - are the first to measure the shift in food preference over time, and the first to find that flies opt for nutritious food more quickly when they’re hungry.

Botany, CS and Fisheries Centre Welcome New CRCs

October 13, 2012

Three new Canada Research Chairs have been appointed at UBC Science, with an additional two renewed at the Faculty in the most recent round of Chair announcements. The new and renewed CRCs at UBC Science are worth $3.5 million, and boost the faculty's research capacity in conservation, algorithm design for large scale communication and transportation networks, and fisheries management.

UBC researchers provide first video footage of elusive West African seahorse

October 11, 2012

Researchers from the University of British Columbia’s Project Seahorse today released the first-ever footage of a little-known seahorse species. The video, available at www.projectseahorse.org/footage was filmed off the coast of Senegal and shows a West African seahorse being caught and released by local fishers. The animal swims away, unharmed.

Fish getting smaller as the oceans warm

September 30, 2012

Changes in ocean and climate systems could lead to smaller fish, according to a new study led by fisheries scientists at the University of British Columbia. The study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, provides the first-ever global projection of the potential reduction in the maximum size of fish in a warmer and less-oxygenated ocean.

Research into speedy DNA analysis gets funding boost

September 25, 2012

Carl Hansen, UBC Physics and Astronomy professor and member of the Center for High-Throughput Biology, is one of several UBC researchers who have received $4.5 million in federal support for multidisciplinary initiatives that combine science, engineering and medical expertise. Carl Hansen has received $965,950 to continue his research on increasing the speed and sensitivity of DNA analysis through microengineering. Other projects include new antibacterial surface coatings for medical devices, a better cure for liver cancer and 3D imaging for surgical procedures.

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