Grad brings new perspective on Indigenous history to museum work

Native studies, environmental science grad Lauren Comba now better able to respect Indigenous stories

Grad brings new perspective on Indigenous history to museum workWatching the Inuit film Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner several years ago, Lauren Comba found herself riveted by its ancient story. Written, directed and acted entirely in the Inuktitut language, the 2001 landmark award-winning film retells an Inuit legend passed down through centuries of oral tradition. The film’s narrative was a part of history Comba had never heard…

New research will map out how much carbon prairie soil is storing

Findings could help beef producers manage grasslands for economic and environmental benefits

New research will map out how much carbon prairie soil is storingA sweeping project co-led by University of Alberta researchers will provide the most comprehensive mapping ever of how much carbon is being stored in perennial grasslands across Saskatchewan. The resulting data from the $3.2-million initiative will help cattle farmers there – and eventually all across Canada’s prairies – manage their land to keep as much…

$1.25-million project tackles clubroot resistance in canola

Researchers and agriculture company battle the crop-damaging disease and train new scientists

$1.25-million project tackles clubroot resistance in canolaA $1.25-million research project is tackling clubroot resistance in canola to help battle new strains of the crop-damaging pathogen. Funded by agriculture company BASF, University of Alberta plant scientists Stephen Strelkov and Sheau-Fang Hwang will work to identify new sources of pathogen resistance that can be bred into canola seeds. New strains of clubroot, a soil-borne disease that attacks the…

Forestry grad harvests his passion for the outdoors into a career

Fergus McSween is applying his new knowledge of forests, plants and animals to help protect them

Forestry grad harvests his passion for the outdoors into a careerFergus McSween loves the outdoors. Growing up in Calgary, he spent much of his youth outside the city, roaming Alberta’s forests as a Scout, on school outdoor education trips, or camping with friends and family. “Nature is so peaceful and tranquil. It’s a place where I can be myself, turn my brain off and just…

Beloved professor leaves a legacy of scholarship and support

James Dempsey played a key role in the U of A’s early ethics discussions around Indigenous engagement

Beloved professor leaves a legacy of scholarship and supportAs a first-year student at the University of Alberta years ago, Melanie Dene was understandably nervous. But when she got to James Dempsey’s class, she instantly felt better. “To see him I would never have guessed that he was a professor. He had long bushy hair and he wore a Native Pride hat, dark glasses,…

Mural blooms for seniors’ residence in Edmonton

Newly unveiled artwork celebrates intergenerational bonds between residents and their community

Mural blooms for seniors’ residence in EdmontonGrowing up in the rural midwest, Jill Thomson had a soft spot for bountiful farm gardens. It was an affection that blossomed as she moved to city life and began planting – and painting – her own urban patches of heaven. Now, the longtime artist and University of Alberta Master of arts student is sharing…

Newborn dairy calves fed probiotic healthier in crucial first weeks

Supplements containing beneficial gut bacteria from healthy cows could be a boon for dairy producers

Newborn dairy calves fed probiotic healthier in crucial first weeksA probiotic developed at the University of Alberta shows promise in improving the health of dairy calves in the essential first weeks of life. Normally, the young animals’ undeveloped immune systems leave them susceptible to common ailments like diarrhea, which can stunt growth or even result in death. When fed a cocktail of four strains…

Including Indigenous perspectives in conservation planning

How Indigenous and Western knowledge can be equal partners in conservation solutions

Including Indigenous perspectives in conservation planningProtecting the world’s increasingly fragile environments through land and wildlife management, using the thoughtful approach of Indigenous knowledge, is an idea close to Jared Gonet’s heart. As a citizen of the Taku River Tlingit First Nation, the University of Alberta student in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences is working with his community and with…

Working to build a better, cheaper battery for power grids

The cost of zinc-air batteries is one of the biggest hurdles to making them viable

Batteries do the heavy lifting to store excess solar energy on power grids for use after sundown, but to operate, they also rely on pricey elements like platinum. University of Alberta researcher Matthew Labbe would rather leave the precious metals to the jewellers by using cheaper materials to tweak a disposable battery commonly used in…

Electric, hydrogen vehicles offer green bargain for transportation sector

Study looking at emissions suggests low-carbon fuel vehicles will offer increasing environmental advantages

Electric, hydrogen vehicles offer green bargain for transportation sectorIn the drive to transition from conventional gasoline engines to low-carbon fuel vehicles, those that run on rechargeable batteries may have the edge – at least for a while. Battery electric vehicles are forecast to make up the largest number of low-carbon fuel vehicles on the road by 2050, University of Alberta research shows. A…

Perennial rye crop shows potential for greener agriculture

Experimental crop absorbed CO2 equivalent to a vehicle burning 35,000 litres of gasoline

Perennial rye crop shows potential for greener agricultureAnnual crops are the farmer’s bread and butter, the crops they rely on most, but at least one type of perennial grain is proving much more beneficial to the environment. A crop of perennial rye absorbed a substantial amount of carbon dioxide, or CO2, a University of Alberta study showed, while an annual crop had no…

How much, how fast: Research sheds new light on carbon storage

Groundbreaking work could help industry understand how to store carbon safely over the long term

How much, how fast: Research sheds new light on carbon storageA University of Alberta researcher is working to improve how carbon dioxide is stored and absorbed when it’s pumped underground for safe, long-term storage. By taking an up-close look at the processes of carbon capture and storage (CCS), Amy Tsai, a professor in the Faculty of Engineering, is getting a better idea of how CO2 is transported…

Oil sands water reclamation materials put to commercialization test

Analysis tool could help companies decide which innovations are worth the investment

Oil sands water reclamation materials put to commercialization testEnvironmental reclamation is necessary, but sometimes it’s expensive for industry. What materials work best? Which ones are worth the investment? University of Alberta researchers are inching closer to answering those pressing questions through a project that looks at two reclamation materials with commercial potential: chicken feathers and biochar, a blackened byproduct created from waste like cow…

How bugs and worms could help restore land after industrial use

‘A whole world under our feet’: soil dwellers offer a fuller picture of how reclamation efforts are working

How bugs and worms could help restore land after industrial useThe tiny creatures teeming in the dirt under our feet don’t seem important, but University of Alberta research is starting to unearth ways some of them could help measure land reclamation efforts. Invertebrates such as worms, mites, centipedes and beetles affect the soil, but they aren’t included in current criteria that help mining, forestry, oil…

Would you eat chicken raised on a diet of insects?

Consumers who are environmentally aware warm to the idea

Would you eat chicken raised on a diet of insects?Eating chicken raised on a diet of bugs or algae may sound downright unappetizing to some, but there are ways to make the idea more palatable to at least one type of food shopper. Consumers who are environmentally aware will likely warm up to the idea of using alternative proteins like insect meal in poultry…