August 30, 2012
Two young UBC Science researchers, one studying the impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems, the other investigating the synthesis of a naturally occurring antibiotic, have been awarded Vanier scholarships.
UBC zoologist Joanna Bernhardt's research will involve installing fully protected marine reserves in ocean 'cold spots' to gather information. The work will advance the science needed to support the marine policies that will help sustain the coastal ecosystems over the next century and beyond.
August 24, 2012
Iceland’s geothermal hotsprings and majestic glaciers are attracting a new type of adventure seeker to the small island nation.
ISCI 361 – an intensive, three-week field course launched this May by UBC – takes science students to the nordic country and offers them a broad, in situ view of sustainability issues. Iceland’s dramatic geological features, geothermal and hydroelectric energy infrastructure, unique climate, and cultural and political influences serve as a self-contained living lab for the third-year class.
August 23, 2012
The US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has recognized UBC statistician Liangliang Wang for her research questioning the accuracy of a popular algorithm used in chlamydia screening tests.
Wang and her co-authors used computer simulated scenarios to test the accuracy of the patient estimation algorithm (PISA). The PISA is used to produce sensitivity and specificity estimates for Chlamydia trachomatis
screening results, and is widely published and included in Food and Drug Administration-approved materials.
August 20, 2012
NASA has approved funding for the Mars InSight lander, a mission that will enable scientists, including UBC geophysicist Catherine Johnson, to gather the first seismic information from any planet other than Earth.
"We’ve all been captivated by the Mars Rover's stunning images of the surface of Mars, and this is our chance to peer into the 'hidden' processes that shaped that landscape," says Johnson, the only Canadian on the mission's scientific team.
August 15, 2012
The health of the world’s oceans received a score of 60 out of 100 from a team of international scientists, including fisheries researchers at the University of British Columbia.
The team undertook the first global quantitative assessment of ocean health and created the Ocean Health Index (http://oceanhealthindex.org), published today in the journal Nature. To calculate the overall score, ecological, social, economic, and political conditions were evaluated for every coastal nation in the world.
July 30, 2012
University of British Columbia and Harvard researchers have provided visual evidence that atmospheric particles - which are ubiquitous in the atmosphere, especially above densely populated areas - separate into distinct chemical compositions during their life cycle.
July 19, 2012
Two species of single-cell parasites have co-opted “ready-made” genes from their hosts that in turn help them exploit their hosts, according to a new study by University of British Columbia and University of Ottawa researchers.
Part of a group of parasitic microbes called microsporidia, Encephalitozoon hellem and Encephalitozoon romaleae are related to fungi and are commonly found in the intestines of vertebrates. In humans, they are associated with people with immune deficiencies.
July 16, 2012
Rebuilding global fisheries would make them five times more valuable while improving ecology, according to a new University of British Columbia study, published today in the online journal PLoS ONE
By reducing the size of the global fishing fleet, eliminating harmful government subsidies, and putting in place effective management systems, global fisheries would be worth US$54 billion each year, rather than losing US$13 billion per year.
July 9, 2012
What do eider ducks hunting for sea urchins and bargain shoppers have in common? New research from UBC mathematician Leah Edelstein-Keshet and former post-doctoral fellows Nessy Tania, Ben Vanderlei and Joel Heath analyzes how social interactions can create evolving foraging patterns.
The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
this month, might help answer some age old questions: What's the best way to snag that pair of bargain-price shoes? Or, to find those sea urchins.
July 4, 2012
Plastic pollution off the northwest coast of North America is reaching the level of the notoriously polluted North Sea, according to a new study led by a researcher at the University of British Columbia.
The study, published online in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin
, examined stomach contents of beached northern fulmars on the coasts of British Columbia, Canada, and the states of Washington and Oregon, U.S.A.