The Ring

New radioactivity monitoring network seeks volunteers

Wed, 2014-08-06 10:34

Oceanographer Jay Cullen collecting water
Oceanographer Jay Cullen. Photo: Diana Nethercott

Ever since the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, there’s been widespread concern along the coast of western North America about the potential danger of low-level radioactivity from that event crossing the Pacific Ocean.


International project maps salmon genome

Thu, 2014-07-31 11:14

Dr. Ben Koop at his computer
Dr. Ben Koop. Photo: Diana Nethercott

New genetic database holds huge potential for fisheries science and conservation

Salmon—they’re tasty and nutritious to eat, many livelihoods depend on them and they’re crucial to the health of coastal ecosystems.

Turns out they’re also a goldmine of information for geneticists and molecular biologists.


“Frosty genes” technology awarded US patent

Fri, 2014-07-25 11:18

Duplantis and Nano. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Duplantis and Nano. Credit: UVic Photo Services

The most effective vaccines against disease are those that expose our immune systems to live pathogens. But how do we do that without causing the very disease we’re trying to avoid?


Coastal wolves disagree on diet, splitting the species

Mon, 2014-06-16 11:42

Coastal wolf. Photo: Chris Darimont
Coastal wolf. Photo: Chris Darimont

The waggish joke that wolves are “Canada’s newest marine mammal” is a lot closer to truth than jest—an insight suggested by Indigenous knowledge and confirmed in a study co-authored by Dr. Chris Darimont, of UVic’s geography department.

The study, published this month in the scientific journal BMC Ecology, provides genetic evidence that BC’s mainland wolves and coastal wolves appear to be genetically distinct. And news media around the world are paying attention: in addition to Canadian coverage in The Globe and Mail, National Post and CTV, the story has also been broadcast—with video of wolves fishing for salmon—on BBC News in the UK.


Keeping you behind the wheel—safely

Mon, 2014-06-16 10:09

Tuokko
Tuokko

Enhanced safety and quality of life are goals of pan-Canadian study on older drivers

Tests currently used by doctors to assess a senior’s ability to keep driving need to be improved, a long-term study of older drivers is revealing.

“The currently available guidelines for physicians are not doing a very good job of identifying people at risk,” says Dr. Holly Tuokko, a psychologist with UVic’s Centre on Aging. “We need a better set of tools.”


Getting “smart” under the sea

Thu, 2014-06-05 14:29

Smart Oceans BC system map
Smart Oceans BC system map

UVic’s world-leading Ocean Networks Canada embarks on a bold new phase of ocean monitoring.

 

The British Columbia coast is about to become the “smartest” on the planet.

Ocean Networks Canada (ONC), an initiative of the University of Victoria, is partnering with Western Economic Diversification Canada and IBM Canada on a three-year multimillion dollar project known as Smart Oceans BC.

Smart Oceans BC builds on the know-how and proven technologies of VENUS and NEPTUNE—the world’s most advanced cabled ocean observatories—to develop and install a series of mini-observatories, high-frequency radars, and automated vessel information systems at key points along the BC coast.


Engineering grad casts new light on nanoscale interactions

Wed, 2014-06-04 16:19

Zehtabi-Oskuie. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Zehtabi-Oskuie. Credit: UVic Photo Services

Researchers all over the world dream of making new discoveries in well-established fields, but engineering grad Ana Zehtabi-Oskuie’s path has gone straight to the edge of an emerging field. While studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Tehran, Zehtabi-Oskuie became intrigued by optical trapping, a method pioneered in 2009 by electrical engineering professor Dr. Reuven Gordon, a team of UVic grad students and Dr. Romain Quidant at the Europe-based Institute of Photonic Sciences.


New Trudeau Scholar seeks change for Indigenous peoples

Wed, 2014-05-28 12:32

Mills. Credit: UVic Photo Services
Mills. Credit: UVic Photo Services

UVic Law student Aaron Mills’ doctoral work, which explores conflicting legal orders and the workings of contemporary colonialism, has earned him substantial praise and cemented his position as a leading scholar on Canadian constitutionalism and Indigenous law.

Mills is a Vanier scholar and a former Ivy League Fulbright scholar. This week, he was handed yet another honour when he was named a Trudeau scholar—one of only 14 given out this year.


From drawing board to proving ground: EcoCar 2 heads to final competition

Fri, 2014-05-23 16:55

UVic’s EcoCAR 2 team of engineering students aren’t just getting hands-on experience while they study—they’re getting their hands dirty.

Since April 2011, close to 60 students in mechanical, electrical, computer and software engineering, and business have been hard at work—using multi-million dollar dSPACE, Siemens and MathWorks modelling and testing tools, and a mechanic’s full suite of wrenches and ratchets—re-designing and retrofitting a GM-donated 2013 Chevrolet Malibu Eco into a next generation plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.


UVic shines again in international science rankings

Mon, 2014-05-05 15:45

The University of Victoria once again ranks in the top tier of universities in the world for scientific influence, according to the prestigious 2014 CWTS Leiden Ranking, released in late April.

In terms of scientific impact, UVic ranks fourth overall in Canada—behind Toronto, UBC and McGill—and is the top-ranked university in the country without a medical school.