Dean’s Message

Dean’s Message

Dean Rickey Yada

This issue showcases some remarkable up-and-coming researchers. PhD candidate Brock Williams, in our Human Nutrition program, is doing work on two fronts to help families manage health issues. His PhD research is updating studies on how much folic acid supplementation is needed for children with sickle cell disease, including whether clinical practices need to be re-evaluated based on our changing food system. In his upcoming post-doctoral research, he’ll be working with caregivers to safely introduce potential allergens to infants.

Wilson Mendes is another PhD candidate, an interdisciplinary scholar who aims to expand Indigenous land-based education programs in urban spaces. This is based on his recent community research and experience at the three Indigenous Gardens at UBC Farm, where he saw the importance that culturally relevant and safe spaces can have in reclaiming self-determination and in cultural revitalization.

Varinia Cabrera is an exchange student from Uruguay who chose to study at our Animal Welfare Program to build a bridge between research in her home country and here at UBC. She is a master’s engineering student who builds technology to improve outcomes for animals in agriculture. She’s gaining knowledge about animal welfare practices and technology used in Canada, while providing her expertise to our researchers.

And lastly, changing weather patterns is top of mind for many people. What impact can extreme weather have on wildlife and biodiversity? Dr. Matthew Mitchell has collected data from the 2020 wildfire season and 2021 heat dome in B.C. to begin tracking the behaviour of bats, birds and mammals at UBC Farm. His study helps take a long-term look at how animals behave in extreme weather conditions.

Please enjoy this issue of ReachOut.

Rickey Yada
Dean, Faculty of Land and Food Systems