Author: University of British Columbia

  • Aid for Oceans and Fisheries in Developing World Drops by 30%

    Financial aid to fisheries in developing countries has declined by 30 percent, finds a new study from UBC and Stockholm Resilience Centre researchers, published in Marine Policy. Projects focusing on climate issues in fisheries had a 77 percent decline over the five years studied.

  • Bowhead whales come to Cumberland Sound in Nunavut to exfoliate

    Aerial drone footage of bowhead whales in Canada’s Arctic has revealed that the large mammals moult and use rocks to rub off dead skin.The footage provides one answer to the mystery of why whales return to Cumberland Sound, Nunavut, every summer, and helps explain some unusual behaviour that has been noted historically by Inuit and commercial whalers living and working in the area.

  • Researcher seeks to protect where the wild things walk

    UBC research is paving the way for a route that will serve as a pilot project to protect green space and allow wildlife to move throughout the Okanagan Valley.Kelowna was identified in the 2016 Stats Canada census as one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada. With growth comes development and UBC Professor Lael Parrott says the region is in danger of fragmenting low-elevation ecosystems and losing the habitat and movement routes needed by wildlife, especially on the east side of Okanagan Lake.

  • New wildfire early warning system could prevent spring blazes

    Researchers at the University of British Columbia have developed a new early warning system to predict when and where human-caused wildfires are most likely to occur in the spring.Using satellite images of vegetation, the researchers can forecast where wildfire risk peaks in boreal forests by tracking moisture in fuel sources like leaves.

  • 50-years of Data From a 'Living Oxygen Minimum' Lab Could Help Predict the Oceans' Future

    Canadian and US Department of Energy researchers have released 50 years’ worth of data chronicling the deoxygenating cycles of a fjord off Canada’s west coast, and detailing the response of the microbial communities inhabiting the fjord.

  • Road pricing most effective in reducing vehicle emissions

    Motor vehicles are a major source of air pollution in urban areas, and for decades municipal and regional governments have used various traffic management strategies in an effort to reduce vehicle emissions, alongside advancements like cleaner fuel and greener cars.

  • New osteoporosis treatment uses traditional Chinese herb to prevent bone loss

    An herb widely used in traditional Chinese medicine might hold the key to a new osteoporosis therapy that could prevent bone loss without causing side effects.Using a compound derived from red sage, UBC researchers have found a way to selectively block an enzyme called Cathepsin K (CatK), which plays a major role in the breakdown of collagen in bones during osteoporosis. The findings were published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

  • Oceans need more protected areas

    Despite global efforts to increase the area of the ocean that is protected, only four per cent of it lies within marine protected areas (MPAs), according to a University of British Columbia study.UBC Institute for Ocean and Fisheries researchers found that major swaths of the ocean must still be protected to reach even the most basic global targets.In 2010, representatives from nearly 200 countries met in Nagoya, Japan, and adopted the United Nations' Aichi Targets, in a bid to stem the rapid loss of biodiversity. The countries committed to protecting at least 10 per cent of the ocean by 2020.

  • Can Climate Change alter the shape of the Earth?

    Climate change is causing more than just warmer oceans and erratic weather. According to scientists, it also has the capacity to alter the shape of the planet.

  • Seabird Populations on the Decline

    UBC research shows world’s monitored seabird populations have dropped 70 per cent since the 1950s, a stark indication that marine ecosystems are not doing well. Michelle Paleczny, a UBC master’s student and researcher with the Sea Around Us project, and co-authors compiled information on more than 500 seabird populations from around the world, representing 19 per cent of the global seabird population. They found overall populations had declined by 69.6 per cent, equivalent to a loss of about 230 million birds in 60 years.