Oilsands companies and others contribute 4 M dollars for new U of A environmental research chairs (Stan Boutin - BioSci & Scott Nielsen - ALES) (November 21, 2013)
Leading UAlberta ecology researchers Dr. Stan Boutin (Bio Sci) and Scott Nielsen (ALES) will be collaborating on critical conservation research that will guide environmental management decisions. The Alberta Biodiversity Chairs program is supported by the Canadian Oilsands Innovation Alliance and the Province of Alberta through both Alberta Innovates Energy and the Environment and Bio Solutions.
Science and ALES partner with COSIA and Ab Government to address biodiversity challenges related to the energy sector. (November 20, 2013)
The University of Alberta Biodiversity Conservation Chairs program received $4 million in funding to create two chairs that will focus on biodiversity challenges related to the energy sector, it announced today. The research positions were awarded to internationally renowned ecologist Stan Boutin, an expert in declining woodland caribou and a founder of the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, and Scott Nielsen, conservation biologist.
Opening the Time Capsule: What stories can receding glaciers tell? (Catherine LaFarge) (October 17, 2013)
Speakers: Catherine La Farge, John England, and Krista Williams
A changing climate means a changing environment – different weather, different landscapes, different plants & animals. We're told one of the landscapes facing rapid and dramatic change is the Arctic.
Telus world of Science - Science Café Series. Thursday October 17 at 7:00pm Kinetic Hall. Science Café is a free public event.
Best iGem Presentation 2013 (October 7, 2013)
The University of Alberta team (which has the following students from Biological Scienes First year: Cameron Murray, Stephanie Chiu Third year: Cadence Moorhouse, Dao Cun Zeng) have won "Best Presentation" at the iGEM North American Finals Competition and have earned a spot at the World's finals at MIT.
Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum honours renowned researcher who is helping make UAlberta a world leader in paleontology (August 15, 2013)
After years of planning, the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum broke ground this summer and is expected to open its doors in the fall of 2014. Set upon a 10-acre lot in Wembley next to Highway 43, the $34.6-million project will provide 41,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art, interactive space to explore.
Currie, who has been digging in the area since the early ‘70s, says talk of a facility to exhibit the vast findings really began to pick up when his team began excavating the nearby Pipestone Creek bonebed in 1985.
Taking another look at tailings ponds, ducks and cannons (Dr. Colleen St. Clair) (July 9, 2013)
Colleen St. Clair, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, studies human-wildlife conflicts—such as the incident that killed 1,600 ducks that landed in the Syncrude tailings ponds in 2008. The deaths led to an intense effort by the provincial government and U of A researchers to find ways to mitigate the consequences of human-wildlife interactions through the Research on Avian Protection Project (RAPP).
Project aims to streamline hunt for cyanobacteria in lakes (June 18, 2013)
Researchers at the University of Alberta are using new equipment to detect toxic cyanobacteria blooms in Alberta's lakes more accurately and efficiently.
Congratulations to Montane Elk Project on 2013 Emerald Award (Shared Footprints)
Mark Boyce,Simone Ciuti,Dana Seidel,Andrea Morehouse,& Henrik Thurjfell
http://www.montaneelk.com (June 7, 2013)
The Montane Elk Program is committed to research ensuring the environmentally sound development of Alberta’s energy resources. With a particular focus on mitigating the effects of energy development on elk in southwest Alberta, the project has become the world’s largest radiotelemetry study on elk.
Centuries-old frozen plants revived (Catherine La Farge) (May 28, 2013)
Plants that were frozen during the "Little Ice Age" centuries ago have been observed sprouting new growth, scientists say.
Samples of 400-year-old plants known as bryophytes have flourished under laboratory conditions.
Celebration of Excellence (Maggie Haag and Dean Wilson) (May 25, 2013)
A big congratulations goes out to two members of the Department of Biological Sciences for being recognized for their contributions to the department and the faculty.
Dean Wilson is the recipient of the Faculty of Science Service Award. Maggie Haag won the Innovation in Teaching Award from the Faculty of Science.
A big congratulations to yet another outstanding member of the department: Charlene Nielsen has been named recipient of this year's Nat Rutter Outstanding Technician Award (see information below). Well done, Charlene!
U of A biology researcher Isabel C. Barrio analyzed how two herbivores, caterpillars and pikas, competed for scarce vegetation in alpine areas of the southwest Yukon.
“What we found was that the pikas preferred the patches first grazed on by caterpillars,” said Barrio. “We think the caterpillar’s waste acted as a natural fertilizer, making the vegetation richer and more attractive to the pika.”
Scott Persons, a paleontology graduate student at the U of A, says new evidence of Microraptor’s hunting ability came from fossilized remains in China.
Before this discovery, paleontologists believed microraptors, which were about the size of a modern-day hawk, lived in trees where they preyed exclusively on small birds and mammals about the size of squirrels.
(Edmonton) University of Alberta biologist Stan Boutin uses a simple analogy to describe a breakthrough research paper on the behaviour of squirrels.
Boutin is the senior investigator of a long-running squirrel research project in the Yukon and co-author of a paper showing that female red squirrels use stress hormones to give their offspring an edge in the competition for survival.
Previous research has established that caffeine interferes with processes in cancer cells that control DNA repair, a finding that has generated interest in using the stimulant as a chemotherapy treatment.
“The problem in using caffeine directly is that the levels you would need to completely inhibit the pathway involved in this DNA repair process would kill you,” said Shelagh Campbell, co-principal investigator. “We’ve come at it from a different angle to find ways to take advantage of this caffeine sensitivity.”
Is it time to feed the polar bears? (Andrew Derocher) (February 13, 2013)
As sea ice disappears and habitat deteriorates in some polar bear ranges, a newly published paper by 12 of the world’s foremost experts suggests it’s time to consider how to manage increasingly troubled populations.
One idea? Setting out big piles of polar bear chow on the tundra.
Zebrafish eyed as answer to restoring vision (Ted Allison) (January 31, 2013)
(Edmonton) Zebrafish, a staple of genetic research, may hold the answer to repairing damaged retinas and returning eyesight to people.
University of Alberta researchers discovered that a zebrafish’s stem cells can selectively regenerate damaged photoreceptor cells.
Lead U of A researcher Ted Allison credits the success to what he says is the university’s “impressive cluster of vision science researchers and outstanding environment for cross-disciplinary work spanning discovery science to clinical work.”