Inaugural Alumni Advisory Board, Indigenous initiatives in science, 200+ year old rockfish
University of Victoria Alumni
Faculty of Science
Science News: Dec. 2021
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UVic Faculty of Science Staff
The Faculty of Science team wishes you a happy, healthy holiday season!
Message from the Dean

Dear alumni and friends of the Faculty of Science,

It certainly is nice to have students back on campus! We even had an in-person convocation ceremony which allowed me to read the names of all 45 BSc students who were “gowned up” to walk across the stage of the Farquhar Auditorium, and receive their degree from our phenomenal Chancellor Shelagh Rogers. As the “reading dean” I made sure to mispronounce everyone’s name so that no-one felt singled out. To me the convocation ceremony had a special meaning, as it was the first one that I attended in person and happened 25 years (!) after I had walked across the same stage to receive my PhD in Chemistry. 

Members of UVic Science Alumni Advisory BoardAlumni Advisory Board
Inaugural Alumni Advisory Board

In September, our Faculty made history by launching UVic’s first faculty-level Alumni Advisory Board. The board provides valuable advice to our leadership team, bringing non-academic perspectives to our programs. The board consists of eight alumni, all incredibly accomplished entrepreneurs in their respective fields—from data mining to beer brewing.

Meet the board
Lydia ToorenburghToorenbourgh
Indigenous initiatives in science

Tansi kiyawow (hello everyone), Lydia nitsiyigason (my name is Lydia). Otepimisiw niya (I am Bungi Cree Metis). I use the pronouns she/they. December 1st was my one year anniversary working as the Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator for the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities. In my role, I support faculty and staff with their decolonization learning and...

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Pacific Ocean rockfishChina rockfish. Photo: M Chamberlain
What the extreme life span of a rockfish means

Aging is one of the big questions in biology and health sciences today. Gregory Owens (Biology) and UC Berkley biologists went fishing for answers in the genetic makeup of Pacific Ocean rockfish, some of the longest-lived vertebrate species on the planet. In a new paper published in Science, they examine the genetic basis of life span variation in Pacific Ocean rockfish.

Read the Q&A with owens
Alan McConnachieMcConnachie
Royal Society of Canada

Alan McConnachie (NRC-Herzberg, Physics and Astronomy) and John Burke (Biochemistry & Microbiology) have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada.

Ian Manners, Royal Society of Canada Fellow (2011), has been awarded the 2021 Herny Marshall Tory Medal.

Watch the video with McConnachie

Watch the video with Burke

Norman and Winnifred HadleyNorman and Winnifred Hadley. Photo courtesy of Michael Hadley.
"The sea is in my blood"

"My parents were married in Bamfield in June 1926 and immediately hiked the life-saving trail to Pachena where they lived until 1937," says Michael Hadley, "Stories of the rugged and isolated trail, which they regularly hiked between Bamfield and Pachena for supplies, fascinated me as a child."
This year, Michael and Anita Hadley established a new award to support UVic science students at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.

Grad student Ben Godwin and Faculty supervisor Jeremy WulffBen Godwin (left) and Jeremy Wulff
New materials for next-gen auto parts

In dim light, a line of armoured vehicles slowly snakes through narrow streets. The driver in the lead vehicle focuses on the road ahead but is cautious of possible threats. Suddenly, an explosion in the road rocks the caravan. Several vehicles receive damage but all arrive safe at their destination. The passengers and drivers are all unharmed but the damage to the largely metal vehicles is severe enough to write them off. 

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Research Highlights
Julia Baum (Biology) joined the UVic delegation for COP26 in Glasgow. Delegation members shared their behind-the-scenes insights, highlights and lowlights as official observers of the world’s biggest negotiation on climate in The COP26 Debrief: The Fate of 1.5°C.

watch video
Makhsud Saidaminov (Chemistry) is uniting chemistry and physics to address urgent global challenges, from solar energy efficiency to better X-ray devices. Saidaminov’s research uses novel chemistry and engineering techniques, including the development of artificial intelligence, to discover new materials for solar energy technologies without using toxic heavy metals.

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Lisa Reynolds (Biochemistry & Microbiology) and Nicole Templeman (Biology) are two of the five UVic recipients of nearly $2 million from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. 

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David Goodlett (Biochemistry & Microbiology) is getting to the heart of inflammatory disease through microscopic, single-celled organisms called microbes. Goodlett aims to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of illnesses like Crohn’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease—even food poisoning—by examining changes in the immune system when it encounters microbes. 

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Amanda Bates (Biology), Makhsud Saidaminov (Chemistry), Hari Mohan Srivastava (Math & Stats) and Francis Zwiers (Math & Stats, PCIC) were recognized as Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate this year. 

Read More
Student spotlight

Did you know there's no standardized method to grow CAR-T cells? BSc Biochemistry student Vanessa Chan is hoping to change that. She's exploring the changes in CAR-T cell metabolism and phenotype through various expansion methods in her Honours research project at Lum Lab.

Catch more student profiles on Twitter: @UVicScience

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Honours Fest 2022
Mark your calendars! Honours Fest returns to campus March 3, 2022. Not in town? Not to worry: there will be a free virtual exhibition open to everyone.
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