News & Notes, Milestones

News & Notes

Sarah Common

Alumni: Creating Safe Spaces in the Downtown Eastside

Sarah Common (BSc Global Resource Systems 2009) won a 2020-21 UBC Alumni Builder Award for the unique social impact of Hives for Humanity. Common, who is Executive Director and Co-Founder, is quick to point out that she is one person among many in Hives for Humanity who is creating and fostering spaces where people feel safe and supported.

Through gardening, beekeeping, and creating products such as candles and honey for retail, the organization creates inclusive spaces for residents of the Downtown Eastside. Residents are involved in leading and running projects, mentoring others, and in honing their skills – all of which strengthens their sense of purpose and belonging in a larger community.

In 2020, Hives for Humanity pivoted from workshops into queen rearing, raising 60 queens from their own stock to re-queen their hives, and an additional 95 queens for sale to support future programming. Even in the midst of COVID-19, Common and her group worked hard to make the most of plants, people and pollinators


New Canada Research Chair

Assistant Professor Frederik Noack is a new Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Economic and Environmental Interactions. A member of the LFS Food and Resource Economics Group, his research looks broadly at the impact of economic development on the environment, both in Canada and in developing countries.

Heart and Stroke Research Funding

The MSFHR (Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research) Reach Program, which encourages research that improves population health, has funded a collaborative project led by Assistant Professor Mahsa Jessri. The project involves developing a new ‘heart-and-stroke calculator’ that tracks diet with the aim of preventing hypertension leading to serious cardiometabolic conditions.

Exploring Indigenous Spaces

Associate Professor Eduardo Jovel is leading a three-year project Using Indigenous Land-Based Education And Practices To Improve The Health And Wellness Among Vancouver Urban Indigenous Population. His research team has received funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to explore how urban Indigenous spaces can serve as multidimensional environments.

UBC Funds Two Research Cluster Projects

With a strong focus on collaboration and actionable science, two projects secured funding in UBC’s Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters (GCRC) competition. The Diversified Agroecosystem Cluster, led by Professor Hannah Wittman, has been funded since 2017 and will receive $200,000 from GCRC to continue for another two years. The Wild Berry Research Cluster, led by Assistant Professor Tamara Cohen, received $89,000 for two years. An emerging project, this cluster will build relationships and dialogue with Indigenous communities focusing on edible wild berries traditionally used as food and/or medicine.

Canadian Nutrition Award

Assistant Professor Crystal Karakochuk received a New Investigator Partnership Prize, as part of the Career Recognition Awards, from the Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS). This award is presented by the CNS and the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes.

Animal Welfare Council

Professor Marina von Keyserlingk is a new Director of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare (NFAHW) Council Board. She replaces outgoing Director, Professor David Fraser, who has been involved with the NFAHW Council since 2010.