UBC Science celebrates three University Killam Professors

January 14, 2021

The University Killam professorships are the highest honour UBC can confer on a faculty member. Photo: UBC.

Ecologist Dr. Dolph Schluter, fisheries economist Dr. Rashid Sumaila, and geochemist Dr. Dominique Weis have joined the ranks of UBC’s University Killam Professors. The professorships are the highest honour UBC can confer on a faculty member, designating exceptional teachers and researchers who are leaders in their fields, and who have received international recognition for their talents and achievements.

“A core strength of UBC Science is the calibre of our people, and I’d like to join the University community in congratulating and celebrating these remarkable, world-class researchers,” said Dr. Meigan Aronson, Dean of the Faculty. “This recognition is well deserved.”

In total, the University named six University Killam Professors in 2021. Since 1995, at least eight UBC Science researchers have been appointed to University Killam Professorships.

Dolph Schluter, Department of Zoology

Professor Schluter is one of the world’s leading authorities on ecology and the divergence of new species. His seminal research spans a broad range of topics including speciation, natural selection, adaptation to new environments, species diversity and phylogeny. Research and teaching methods developed by Professor Schluter have now become adopted as standard tools in the field. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada, and an International Member of the US National Academy of Sciences.

Rashid Sumaila, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries

Professor Sumaila’s research focuses on the well-being and sustainability of coastal communities and ecosystems. He is a Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Interdisciplinary Ocean and Fisheries Economics and specializes in bio-economics, marine ecosystem evaluation, and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and the economics of high and deep seas fisheries. Professor Sumaila is a Volvo Environment Prize winner and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Dominique Weis, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

Professor Weis is a renowned leader in the application of trace elements and radiogenic isotopes analysis. Her analytical insight has enabled new discoveries into Earth systems such as mantle plumes and hotspot volcanoes. Through the analysis of a wide range of materials such as honey, salmon, or belongings, her expertise allows the opening of new lines of research into health/epidemiology, local pollution/food security, and archeology/Indigenous-led studies. Professor Weis is a Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in the Geochemistry of the Earth’s mantle, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, of the Geochemical Society and the American Geophysical Union.

In conjunction with receiving the University Killam Professorship, this year's appointees will deliver a public lecture in their area of interest. Details for the lecture series will be announced later in 2021.

Learn more about the Killam legacy at UBC 

For more information, contact…

Chris Balma

  • Science Education
  • Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric
  • Zoology

Musqueam First Nation land acknowledegement

UBC Science acknowledges that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

Learn more: Musqueam First Nation

Faculty of Science

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