Peter Wall News Feed
International Visiting Scholar award leads to new state-of-the-art ultra fast laser
This press release originally appeared on news.ubc.ca.
Researchers at UBC will be able to probe the mysteries of quantum materials with a new state-of-the-art ultrafast laser, thanks to a $1.4 million US grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.
UBC physicists Andrea Damascelli and David Jones, along with Peter Wall International Visiting Research Scholar, Claudio Giannetti, will use the investment for a one-of-a-kind instrument. It combines a table-top laser that generates ultra-fast flashes of ultraviolet light with a photoelectron spectrometer, a state-of-the-art detector that can probe the motion of electrons in quantum materials.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Grant comes on the heels of a Peter Wall International Visiting Research award that allowed Damascelli and Jones to work with Italian physicist, Giannetti over three seperate visits to UBC in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The instrument will generate femtosecond — one millionth of one billionth of a second (or 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 second) — snapshots of electrons moving inside a range of novel magnets, high-temperature superconductors, and other promising quantum materials.
“This combination of state-of-the-art technologies will enable us to conduct experiments that condensed matter physicists around the world have yearned to perform, but which have remained out of reach with existing instrumentation,” said Damascelli, a professor with the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
“In order to disentangle all relevant electronic interactions within these materials, we require extremely fine-grained measurements of their corresponding timescales.”
Giannetti was recently visiting UBC in April 2015 to conduct further research and present at the Peter Wall Institute's annual International Research Colloquium.
UBC is the first Canadian recipient under the Foundation’s Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems (EPiQS) Initiative.
Peter Wall International Visiting Research Scholars selected
The Institute is pleased to announce the awardees of the 2015 International Visiting Research Scholar Awards.
These Research Awards allow the Institute to partner with UBC faculties, departments and research centres to attract outstanding scholars to work collaboratively with UBC faculty members on innovative research.
The objectives of the International Visiting Research Scholar Awards are to bring outstanding international scholars to UBC for extended visits, to foster basic and advanced research in an interdisciplinary research environment, to strengthen interactions between international visiting scholars and their UBC peers, and to nurture longer term interdisciplinary research relationships through the Institute.
The Peter Wall Institute offers awards of $10,000 to bring some of the world’s best scholars to UBC.
This year’s selection was highly competitive and the Institute’s International Adjudication Committee was impressed with the significance of the research topics and the high calibre of participants that will be visiting UBC from all over the world.
The International Visiting Research Scholar Awardees during the 2015-2016 academic year are:
Dr. David Bowman
School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania
UBC Host: Dr. Lori Daniels
Forest Sciences Centre
Dr. Ute Bültmann
Health Sciences, Community and Occupational Medicine
University Medical Centre, University of Groningen
UBC Host: Dr. Christopher McLeod
School of Population and Public Health
Dr. Andrew Carson-Stevens
Primary and Emergency Care Research (PRIME) Centre Wales,
School of Medicine, Cardiff University
UBC Host: Dr. Martin Dawes
Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine
Prof. Geoffrey Corry
Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation
Edward M. Kennedy Institute Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Maynooth University, Co. Kildare, Ireland
UBC Host: Prof. Michelle LeBaron
Faculty of Law
Dr. Eduardo Couto
Faculty of Agronomy, Department of Soils
Federal University of Mato Grosso, Brazil
UBC Host: Dr. Mark S. Johnson
Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, Faculty of Science
Dr. Taku Demura
Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Plant Metabolic Regulation
Nara Institute of Science and Technology
Ikoma, Nara, Japan
UBC Host: Dr. Lacey Samuels
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science
Dr. Timothy Hammond
Duke University School of Medicine
US Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington
UBC Host: Dr. Corey Nislow
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dr. Fay Johnston
Menzies Institute for Medical Research
University of Tasmania
UBC Host: Dr. Michael Brauer
School of Population and Public Health
Dr. Karl Linden
Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering
University of Colorado Boulder
UBC Host: Dr. Madjid Mohseni
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Dr. Fabian Pease
Department of Electrical Engineering
UBC Host: Dr. Alireza Nojeh
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Dr. Rudiger Schmitt-Beck
School of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science
University of Mannheim, Germany
UBC Host: Dr. Richard Johnston
Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts
Dr. Ramprasad Sengupta
Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
UBC Host: Dr. Jose R. Marti
Electrical and Computer Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Dr. Sverker Sorlin
Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
UBC Host: Dr. Graeme Wynn
Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts
Dr. Claude Verdier
Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire de Physique
Université Grenoble Alpes – CNRS, France
UBC Host: Dr. James L. Feng
Chemical and Biological Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science
Dr. Verity Watson
Institute of Applied Health Sciences, Health Economics Research Unit
University of Aberdeen, Scotland UK
UBC Host: Dr. Dean Regier
School of Population and Public Health
Dr. Patrice L. (Tamar) Weiss
Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy
University of Haifa, Israel
UBC Host: Dr. Tal Jarus
Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (OS&OT), Faculty of Medicine
Please join the Institute in congratulating our International Visiting Research Scholars and their UBC hosts.Learn More
Wall Solutions project finds ‘nurse navigators’ play vital role in senior care
Retirement can be a big adjustment for someone who has spent his or her whole life working and keeping busy. Many of these newly retired professionals want to keep contributing to their community but aren’t sure how.
A three-year study conducted by researchers at UBC Okanagan may give them some ideas.
The study shows these baby boomers can help seniors with chronic illnesses live independent lives.
They’re called “nurse navigators” and they could be the key to improving healthcare in rural settings where resources are limited.
The study showed that chronically ill seniors in rural communities who are paired with a nurse navigator are able to maintain better, healthier lives than those without help.
“Older adults living in rural areas with advanced chronic illness often live with challenging symptoms and limited healthcare services,” says Barbara Pesut, associate professor of nursing at UBC Okanagan. “They have difficulty knowing the services that are available to them and also accessing those services. This results in poor quality of life.”
Pesut, who is also the Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity, says support is especially important in rural communities because services are limited, or several hours’ drive away. Each visit to a specialist can be mentally and physically exhausting for the patient and their caregiver.
As part of the research, Brenda Hooper spent the past three years working as a nurse navigator in Castlegar and Trail. Twice a month she visited a chronically ill senior and answered questions about their medical care and resources in their community. Hooper also offered advice to families and caregivers.
“The study shows that the use of a nurse navigator has a clear and direct impact on older adults and their families by providing much needed support, education, advocacy, symptom management, and help making complex decisions,” says Pesut. “However, there is also an important potential role to be played by volunteers, trained in navigation, to support these older adults.”
Pesut and Hooper, along with University of Alberta researcher Wendy Duggleby, will now begin a one-year study of the feasibility of using navigation volunteers to support older adults and their families. This study will take place in Trail, Castlegar, and Nelson. Hooper will work with the volunteers to provide navigation services for older adults with advanced chronic illness living in their homes.
“Assisting the elderly in rural locations to age in place is essential to their quality of life, at end of life,” says Pesut. “An innovative way to assist older adults to age in place is to provide navigation services where a knowledgeable individual advocates, facilitates community connections, coordinates access to services and resources, and promotes active engagement of frail older adults with their community.”
Baby boomers may be the answer to finding these volunteers.
“With the retirement of the baby boomers there is this skilled group of people who want to continue to make a contribution to society,” says Pesut. “They have the potential to bring important capacity to the vital role of volunteers.”
Once the year-long pilot project is complete, researchers will have a curriculum and protocol for educating future rural volunteer healthcare navigators and a better understanding of the potential benefits of this role.
People interested in becoming volunteer navigators or who know an older adult who might benefit from navigator services can contact Hooper at email@example.com.
More than $210,000 in grants for the study were received from the Peter Wall Solutions Initiative, the Vancouver Foundation, and the Technology Evaluation in the Elderly. The project involves UBC Okanagan, Dalhousie University, the University of Alberta, Interior Health, and several hospice organizations.
This pilot project is a continuation of Barb Pesut's Wall Solutions project, "Palliative Care Without Borders: Rural Integrated Palliative Approach Team", which began in 2012.
This press release originally appeared on UBC Okanagan News.
Incoming Wall Scholars selected
The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is pleased to announce that, after a rigorous review process, the following UBC scholars have been selected as Peter Wall Institute Wall Scholars for 2015-2016.
The Institute’s Wall Scholars Research Award is available to UBC Faculty members to spend one year in residence at the Peter Wall Institute in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment. The award selection is based primarily on the candidate’s scholarly achievements, excellence in research proposal for innovative research during residency, and the initiatives proposed for contributing to the intellectual life of the Institute. The selection committee also takes into account the candidate’s demonstrated commitment to research outside usual disciplinary boundaries. Scholars are provided with shared office space at the Peter Wall Institute and $20,000 in funding. The term of the appointment for this year’s awardees will be from August 1, 2015 to July 31, 2016.
The 2015 Wall Scholars Award recipients are:
- Jinhua Chen, Professor, Asian Studies
- Sean Crowe, Assistant Professor, Microbiology & Immunology and Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences
- Christopher Harley, Associate Professor, Zoology
- Peter Klein, Associate Professor, Journalism
- Renisa Mawani, Associate Professor, Sociology
- Shaylih Muehlmann, Associate Professor, Anthropology
- Alireza Nojeh, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Mary O’Connor, Assistant Professor, Zoology
- Wendy Roth, Associate Professor, Sociology
- James Stewart, Assistant Professor, Law
- Philippe Tortell, Associate Professor, Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences and Botany
- Vikramaditya Yadav, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Please join us in congratulating these UBC scholars on this important award.
Faculty Associates publish climate change policy report
A group of Peter Wall Faculty Associates recently published a policy paper through Sustainable Canada Doalogues, which calls for 100 per cent reliance on low-carbon electricity by 2035.
The report, "Acting on Climate Change", is an initiative of 60 researchers across Canada whose individual research programs all centre around sustainability.
Peter Wall Faculty Associates & UBC professors, Sally Otto, Sally Aitken and Stephen Sheppard are among the group of 60 researchers who unanimously recommend putting a price on carbon and propose three ways in which Canada can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions:
1) producing electricity with low-carbon sources
2) modifying energy consumption through urban design and a "transportation revolution"
3) broader sustainability agenda through the creation of open governance institutions
Testing human exposure to diesel exhaust
The Institute is delighted to welcome William Brune, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, as Peter Wall International Visiting Research Scholar to UBC.
Brune's research addresses fundamental questions of air quality near the Earth's surface and atmospheric effects of global pollution in the middle and upper troposphere.
During his stay at UBC, he will be working with UBC host, Chris Carlsten from the Faculty of Medicine and the School of Population and Public Health, to bring Brune's innovative Potential Aerosol Mass (PAM) concepts chamber to UBC's Air Exposure Pollution Lab (APEL).
Carlsten is recognized for his novel methods for performing safe human exposure tests to a variety of inhaled toxicants in order to understand mechanisms by which these toxicants effect our respiratory and immune systems.
Leveraging principles of PAM, Brune and Carlsten intend to rapidly age diesel exhaust - in just a few minutes - so that it has the properties of exhaust that has been subject to days to weeks of chemical aging in the atmosphere. They will then study the effects of human exposure to this more realistic aged diesel exhaust.
Stay tuned for a public lecture with William Brune.
New international paper answers age-old question in Ecology
A new paper published today in the journal, Ecology, has answered a longstanding ecological question.
Diane Srivastava, one of the authors of the study, a Wall Scholar and a UBC Professor of Ecology, says that by collating data from around the world on a common aquatic food web, the study has determined why some habitats seem to have a lot of predators, while other habitats just have a few.
"Habitats with lots of predators are often large," says Srivastava. "The types of predators that are highly efficient in consuming prey, like fish, lizards, frogs or carnivorous insects like damselflies, are exactly the same types of predators that are sensitive to the disturbances in small habitats."
The study showed that in sites with damselflies, the large bromeliad plants were disproportionately full of predators (including damselflies), which drove down the number of prey. The sensitivity of a dominant predator - damselfly larvae - to the size of its habitat can cascade through multiple levels in the foodchain, creating a shift in the entire food web as the bromeliad plant size increases.
Researchers collected composition and biomass data from 651 plant communities (bromeliads) from eight sites across Central and South America differing in environmental conditions, species pools and the presence of large-bodied carnivorous insect predators, like damselflies.
This is one of the first publications of the Bromeliad Working Group, an international network of researchers, who has pooled their data to answer big questions in ecology like this one.
"Important generalities can emerge when we examine ecological patterns not just in one location, but around the world," adds Srivastava.
"This shows the power of scientists pooling their data when they study the same system but in different parts of the world. We could have never determined this from data from just one site."
Derek Gregory to be bestowed Honorary Fellowship of King's College London
Gregory will officially be bestowed the Fellowship at King's College in London, UK in July 2015 during graduation ceremonies.
Wall Scholar receives Award from American Craft Council
Wall Scholar and UBC Assistant Professor of Art History, Visual Art & Theory, T'ai Smith, has been awarded the Emerging Voices Award from the American Craft Council.
Smith received the award in recognition for best emerging scholar of 2015. She will also be featured in the 2015 June/July issue of American Craft magazine as well as in a journal published by the American Craft Council.
The newly established American Craft Council Emerging Voices Award will be presented biennially in recognition and support of the generation of makers and thinkers in the field of contemporary craft.