Four UBC Science researchers have been elected to join the Royal Society of Canada, highlighting the Faculty’s strength in the computation sciences, sustainability, and quantum materials. Professors Jiahua Chen, Villy Christensen, Marcel Franz and Christopher Ortner join more than 50 UBC Science researchers recognized by the RSC since 2000.
Fellows of the RSC are distinguished Canadians from all branches of learning who have made remarkable contributions in the arts, the humanities and the sciences, as well as in Canadian public life.
“The Royal Society of Canada is delighted to welcome this outstanding cohort of artists, scholars and scientists. These individuals are recognised for their exceptional contributions to their respective disciplines and are a real credit to Canada,” says RSC President Jeremy McNeil.
Jiahua Chen (Statistics)
Dr. Chen’s research focuses on methodological developments in the areas of finite mixture models, density ratio model, empirical likelihood, asymptomatic theory, and variable selection. His research group works to solve real-world problems through statistical principles, identifying specific data analysis methods, and carrying out these methods using appropriate technical skills.
Villy Christensen (Institute of Oceans and Fisheries)
Dr. Christensen specialises in ecosystem modelling—particularly data-driven ecosystem model construction. One of his major projects is the Ecopath project, an open-source modelling software system widely used for ecosystem-based management and increasingly for environmental impact assessment. His research group focuses on global ocean models, global fish biomass trends, and new habitat capacity models.
Marcel Franz (Physics and Astronomy)
Dr. Franz’s research group formulates and studies simple models of solids that are relevant to topological insulators, topological superconductors, Dirac and Weyl semimetals, and other topological or exotic states of quantum matter. The key criteria driving their research is cutting edge theoretical developments and relevance to real systems as studied by experimental colleagues.
New College Members
The RSC College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists is Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of intellectual leadership.
Christoph Ortner (Mathematics)
Dr. Ortner’s research interests are in molecular simulation, machine learning and coarse-graining atomistic-continuum-quantum multi-scale methods, crystal defects, fracture mechanics, numerical analysis, and PDEs. Recent work by his research group involves hybrid mechanistic and machine-learned interaction models for atoms and molecules.
Medal and Award Winners
The Royal Society of Canada awards medals to selected individuals who are nominated for their achievements in their field of research.
Rashid Sumaila (Institute of Oceans and Fisheries)
Dr. Sumaila has been awarded the Miroslaw Romanowski Medal for his research and contributions to the resolutions of scientific aspects of environmental problems. His research focuses on bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, marine protected areas, illegal fishing, climate change, marine plastic pollution, and oil spills.