Peter Wall News Feed





Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wall Faculty Associate receives Order of Canada

Wall Faculty Associate receives Order of Canada

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Kenneth Craig, who was appointed as Officer of the Order of Canada. On July 1, 2015, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced the new appointments to the Order of Canada in recognition of “outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.”

A world-renowned pain expert and an active Peter Wall Faculty Associate, Dr. Craig’s research focuses upon pain assessment andmanagement, socialization of individual differences in pain experience and expression, social parameters of care delivery and pain in infants, children and people with communication limitations.

The Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Recipients will be invited to accept their insignia at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

Read the News Release on the Governor General of Canada’s website.

This announcement originally appeared on UBC Psychology.

Learn More

Monday, June 15, 2015

Gastón Gordillo appointed as new Acting Director

Gastón Gordillo appointed as new Acting Director

The Peter Wall Institute is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Gastón Gordillo as the Director, pro tem of the Institute, effective July 1, 2015.

Gastón is a professor in UBC’s Department of Anthropology and an active member of the Institute community. In 2014-2015, he received the Wall Scholar award, spending a year in residence at the Peter Wall Institute.

He was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (1990) and then completed his PhD at the University of Toronto (1999). Gastón is a Guggenheim Scholar, was a visiting scholar at Harvard and Yale and a visiting professor at Cornell. He was also a resident fellow at the Bellagio Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.

Gastón’s research has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and through three large grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). His book Landscapes of Devils: Tensions of Place and Memory in the Argentinean Chaco (2004) won the American Ethnological Society Sharon Stephens Book Prize. Gastón’s most recent book is Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction (2014).

This appointment is for a one year term. Please join us in welcoming Gastón to his new role at the Institute.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Nancy Gallini for her tremendous efforts as Acting Director of the Institute for the past year.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Upcoming International Research Roundtables Awarded

The Institute is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015-16 International Research Roundtable Awards.  

These research awards support meetings of scholars from the international community, Canada and UBC, for two to five days. Scholars have a unique opportunity to explore broad themes within an interdisciplinary environment, and to advance excellence in research in those areas.

International Research Roundtables often serve as a catalyst for future collaborative research between international scholars and UBC scholars. 

The International Research Roundtables for 2015-16 are awarded to:

East Asian Manuscript and Print as Harbingers of the Digital Future

Dr. Jinhua Chen
Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, UBC

Dr. Christina Laffin
Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, UBC

Ethical Implications in Ebola Research and Development: Does This Change Everything for Neglected Diseases?          

Dr. Richard Lester
Neglected Global Diseases Initiative, Division of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, UBC

Re-imagining Aging: Adding Life to Years

Dr. Heather Anne McKay
Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, Departments of Orthopaedics & Family Practice, UBC

Dr. Joanie Sims-Gould
Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, Department of Family Practice, UBC


Future Child Health and World Human Population: Relationships between Population Size, Environmental Effects and Health and Well-being of Children

Dr. Sally Otto
Biodiversity Research Centre, Department of Zoology, UBC

Dr. Peter Le Souef
School of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Western Australia


The Ethical Challenges of Herring Food and Value Chains

Dr. Evgeny Pakhomov
Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, UBC

Dr. Tony J. Pitcher
Fisheries Centre, UBC

Dr. Mimi E. Lam
Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; Fisheries Centre, UBC

Dr. C.W. Matthias Kaiser
Centre for the Study of the Sciences and Humanities, University of Bergen, Norway


Miners, Minerals and Minamata: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Artisanal Gold Mining and Sustainable Development

Dr. Marcello Veiga
Mining Engineering, Faculty of Mining UBC

Mr. Ludovic Bernaudat,
UNEP Global Mercury Partnership
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Vienna, Austria

Please join us in congratulating our 2015-16 International Research Roundtable Award recipients.

Learn More

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

International Visiting Scholar award leads to new state-of-the-art ultra fast laser

International Visiting Scholar award leads to new state-of-the-art ultra fast laser

This press release originally appeared on

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 goal of this research project was to develop a novel time‐resolved ARPES set‐up by merging the state‐of‐the‐art Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES) at the Quantum Materials Laboratory of UBC and the advanced timeresolved optical spectroscopies (TROS), recently developed at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore by Giannetti.

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.

More details about the Moore Foundation grant can be found here, and information about the Peter Wall International Visiting Research Scholar award here

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Michael Smith Foundation provides Supplemental Knowledge Broker Funding

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) are pleased to announce their partnership in support of the Wall Solutions Initiative (PWSI).

The Wall Solutions Initiative funds UBC researchers to partner with end-users or community partners to develop innovative, practical research solutions to societal problems.

As part of its work to further the science of knowledge translation, MSFHR will provide supplemental funding to a maximum of four (4) health-related Wall Solutions projects whose teams are interested in linking KT practice and KT science by hiring a knowledge translation broker to evaluate the implementation of their solutions.

It is expected that the KT broker will be embedded within successfully funded teams to develop, implement and evaluate the KT strategies and activities used in the Wall Solutions project.

Eligibility for this funding opportunity is limited to those health-related research teams who are invited to submit full applications to the Wall Solutions Initiative.

Full instructions for submitting your application may be found in the MSFHR Supplemental Knowledge Broker Funding program guidelines (PDF).

This opportunity marks the second time MSFHR and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies have partnered to fund knowledge brokers. Learn more about the previously funded projects.

Please contact Valerie To ( if you have questions about eligibility.

Please contact Gayle Scarrow ( if you have questions about knowledge translation or the role of knowledge brokers.

Learn More

Thursday, April 30, 2015

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
Stanford University
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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wall Solutions project finds ‘nurse navigators’ play vital role in senior care

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

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.

Learn More

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

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.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Faculty Associates publish climate change policy report

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

For more information on the report, visit Dialogues on Sustainability online, or read the latest Op-ed, Climate solutions are within reach, in the Vancouver Sun