News

November 27, 2017
Three new species of microbe found in the guts of termites have been named after members of the Canadian prog-rock band Rush, owing to the microbes’ long hair and rhythmic wriggling under the microscope. “A Spanish postdoc, Javier del Campo, asked me to recommend some good Canadian music, and I...
November 22, 2017
Aerial drone footage of bowhead whales in Canada’s Arctic has revealed that the large mammals moult and use rocks to rub off dead skin. The footage provides one answer to the mystery of why whales return to Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, every summer, and helps explain some unusual behaviour that has...
November 22, 2017
Urban planners need data on how people move around the city in order to improve transit service. But rider surveys can be costly and inefficient. With a focus on Surrey, B.C. and downtown Vancouver, UBC postdoctoral researcher Saeid Allahdadian developed a method that uses social media data to...
November 20, 2017
Debate has renewed around British Columbia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) development, with groups calling for a public inquiry into the environmental impact of the province’s natural gas operations and particularly leakage of gas. But exactly how natural gas behaves when it leaks—particularly in...
November 17, 2017
Canadian and US researchers have mapped the single-cell genomes of a diverse group of microbial dark matter known as Marinimicrobia identifying previously uncharted metabolic roles, including as a potential greenhouse gas sink. The genomes, presented in Nature Communications, provide the most...
November 13, 2017
New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have uncovered the never-before-seen close encounter between two astoundingly bright and spectacularly massive galaxies in the early universe. These so-called hyper-luminous starburst galaxies are exceedingly rare at this...
November 8, 2017
Birds get their bright red, orange and yellow plumage from carotenoid pigments—responsible for many of the same bright colours in plants. But how songbirds turn carotenoids into the spectacular variety of feathered patches found in nature has remained a mystery. Now University of British Columbia (...
November 2, 2017
Canadian and US Department of Energy researchers have released 50 years’ worth of data chronicling the deoxygenating cycles of a fjord off Canada’s west coast, and detailing the response of the microbial communities inhabiting the fjord. The mass of data, collected in two new Nature family papers,...
October 24, 2017
A surge in jellyfish populations has many fisheries experts concerned. But could we solve the problem by serving them up for dinner? UBC zoologist Lucas Brotz (BSc’ 00, MSc’ 11, PhD’ 17) explains why it’s not as easy as making jellyfish pie. There are a lot more jellyfish in the ocean these days....
October 16, 2017
The 2017 Volvo Environment Prize has been awarded to Rashid Sumaila, professor in UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and School of Public Policy, Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit (FERU) and OceanCanada Partnership, for his innovative work in fisheries economics and...

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