You’re invited: LFS Scholar Series – Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe April 11


Land and Food System Scholar Series


Invited scholar: Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe


Hosted by:  Crystal Karakochuk, Human Nutrition


Title: Modeling host diet- gut microbe interactions in the ‘Robobut’ bioreactor model


Abstract: There is now abundant evidence that the microbial consortium associated with a host – its microbiome – is critically important to the health of the host.  The gut microbiome is the most diverse ecosystem in the human body and how we feed this ecosystem, through the diet that we consume, plays a major role in the shaping of the ecosystem in terms of its composition and function.  However, studying complex microbial ecosystems from the human gut is not a trivial exercise. In this talk, I will describe the development of the Robogut as a model system to allow study of dietary shifts and their effects on the colonic microbiome, showcasing my lab’s work on microbiomes associated with Type 1 diabetes, colorectal cancer, and hunter-gatherer populations, respectively.


Biography: Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe obtained her BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of London, and her PhD in Molecular Microbiology through an industrial partnership with Public Health England.   Emma started her faculty career at the University of Calgary in 2005, with a Fellow-to-Faculty transition award through CAG/AstraZeneca and CIHR, to study the normal microbes of the human gut.  In particular, she was among the few that focused on trying to culture these ‘unculturable’ microbes in order to better understand their biology.  To do this, she developed a model gut system to emulate the conditions of the human gut and allow communities of microbes to grow together, as they do naturally.  Emma moved her lab to the University of Guelph in late 2007, and has been a recipient of several Canadian Foundation for Innovation Awards that has allowed her to develop her specialist anaerobic fermentation laboratory further. This was boosted by the award of a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Human Gut Microbiome Function and Host Interactions, where she focuses on ‘missing microbes’ from the industrialized microbiome . In 2013, Emma co-founded NuBiyota, a research spin-off company that aims to create therapeutic ecosystems as biologic drugs, on a commercial scale.  The research enterprise for this company is also based in Guelph.


Join in-person or via Zoom:

Date: April 11, 2023

Time: 10:00-11:00 AM PDT

Location: In-person at MCML 258, or via Zoom

This presentation will be followed by a meet and greet from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Refreshments will be served, please register here by April 5.

IRES Seminar Series: Thurs, April 6 — IRES Alumni Panel with Tugce Conger, Ivana Zelenika and Erika Luna!

Next week’s IRES Seminar will be in the Michael Smith Labs Theatre (Room 102, 2185 East Mall).  Note: No food or drinks allowed in the Theatre.
April 6, 2023: IRES Professional Development Seminar with Tugce Conger, Ivana Zelenika, and Erika Luna
IRES Alumni Panel on Public Service
Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Location: Michael Smith Labs Theatre (Room 102, 2185 East Mall)

Click here to register in advance to receive a Zoom link.

Zoom Rule: If we encounter technical difficulties during the first 5 to 10 mins of the seminar, Zoom will be terminated.

Talk summary:

Each panelist will talk about their current role and how their professional journey led them there.  Then followed by 30 minutes of Q and A.

 Dr. Tugce Conger, Senior One Water Planner at City of Vancouver’s Urban Watersheds, Sewers & Drainage division


Tugce is a Senior One Water Planner with the City of Vancouver’s Urban Watersheds, Sewers & Drainage division working on the strategic short and long-term planning of and collaboration for the Green Rainwater Infrastructure and other Integrated Rain and Stormwater Management solutions across the city. Tugce completed her Ph.D. in Resources Management and Environmental Studies at UBC in 2018, and her dissertation work focused on the use of coastal green infrastructure as a climate change adaptation tool, particularly for sea level rise induced flood and erosion issues.


Dr. Ivana Zelenika, Recycling Coordinator for City of Vancouver’s Engineering Department


Ivana completed a PhD at IRES in 2018 under supervision of Jiaying Zhao and John Robinson, finishing a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Zhao in 2020. Majority of her thesis and research examined strategies to motivate sustainable behaviour. Ivana has been with City of Vancouver Solid Waste Programs since 2019 and is currently a Recycling Coordinator for the City’s Engineering Department. Main focus of her work is to develop and implement promotional and educational programs to increase public participation in zero waste goals, recycling and green bin programs.


Erika Luna, Junior Policy Analyst at the International Institute for Sustainable Development


Erika Luna is a Junior Policy Analyst at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) with the Economic Law and Policy Program, focusing specifically on the state of sustainability initiatives at the value chain level. Erika holds a BSc. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and an MSc. from the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia (UBC). While her master’s program strongly focused on identifying agricultural production trends using data science methods, Erika also worked as a research assistant on a Gender Data & Development project and collaborated on a project looking to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in the sciences. Erika is originally from Mexico City, and in her spare time, she likes to play Ultimate Frisbee and go for runs along Vancouver’s seaside.

See you next Thursday in the Michael Smith Labs Theatre!

 ____________________________________________________________________Bonnie Leung

RES Program Support (she/her/hers)

Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES)

University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus | Musqueam Traditional Territory

Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory (AERL Building)

Room 429 – 2202 Main Mall | Vancouver, BC | V6T 1Z4 | Canada



Tel: 604-822-9249

Announcing the IBioS Graduate Fellowship



Subject: Announcing the IBioS Graduate Fellowship

Date: March 30, 2023 at 4:36:27 PM PDT

To:” <>, “” <>


IBioS is pleased to announce the establishment of a new fellowship for graduate students at UBC (master’s or PhD) doing research related to solving problems of biodiversity loss. This fellowship aims to create opportunities for graduate students to become active participants in IBioS, and to help develop new programs and mechanisms to increase graduate involvement in IBioS. Please circulate this announcement widely and faculty, please encourage your students to apply! Keep reading below for more details.




What is IBioS?


The Interdisciplinary Biodiversity Solutions Collaboratory (IBioS) offers solutions for global and local biodiversity challenges through research, training, policy and outreach.


Our vision: Collaborative science to advance just, equitable, and inclusive interdisciplinary solutions for biodiversity and people to thrive.


Our mission: The Interdisciplinary Biodiversity Solutions (IBioS) program develops science-to-solutions approaches to improve biodiversity outcomes and promote a sustainable future for our planet. Informed by multiple ways of knowing, we aim to identify and support mechanisms for transformative social and ecological change that supports biodiversity and diverse peoples. Our work is based on interdisciplinary collaborative research, enhancing capacities of current and future generations of scientists and practitioners, and building trust andrelationships with communities through practice, policy, and outreach.


What is the IBioS Graduate Fellowship?


Over the last 2-3 years, IBioS has built an interdisciplinary community of scholars interested in developing new approaches to equitable and inclusive biodiversity conservation. We have hosted seminars, had many stimulating meetings and conversations, built research collaborations, produced a podcast series, and more. To date, the group has been comprised mostly of faculty, and we are eager to expand our activities to include graduate students and postdocs and create opportunities for their participation.


This fellowship will provide an opportunity for graduate students to become active participants in IBioS via networking, professional development, and participating in important conversations about biodiversity conservation and the activities of IBioS. As the inaugural group of fellows, selected graduate students will also help develop the fellowship program by coordinating programmatic activities (e.g. professional development or networking opportunities, approximately once per term) for fellows and other graduate students. Budget will be provided to support these activities. Fellows will be expected to be involved in IBioS events, contribute to the IBioS community with their research and enthusiasm, and attend the IBioS annual retreat (August 28-29, 2023). The fellowship will be for the duration of the 2023/2024 academic year, with opportunities to continue their participation in IBioS in the future.

Fellows will receive a stipend of $2500.  We expect that fellows will dedicate 5-10 hours per month to fellowship activities, which, in addition to attending IBioS events, could be creating new student-focused activities or assisting with existing projects of IBioS (such as science communications, faculty-led research, or representing IBioS on campus committees working on biodiversity). Several IBioS faculty will be involved as mentors to the Fellows group.

Who is eligible, and how can I apply?


The fellowship is open to UBC graduate students in good standing (Master’s or PhD) doing research related to biodiversity conservation, restoration or management, from any disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective (social or natural science, business, journalism, etc.), from any Faculty or Department. Please secure the support of your supervisor before applying for the fellowship!


To apply, please answer the following questions, limiting your responses to 200 words each. Applications are due by April 26. Submit your answers and upload your cv here:


  1. Briefly describe your research, and how it is relevant to IBioS.
  2. Why are you interested in this position, and what do you hope to gain from participating in this program?
  3. What are some (1-2) ideas you have for activities for the inaugural group of IBioS graduate fellows to pursue?


We anticipate awarding 5 fellowships. All applications will be screened for eligibility, and final selection will focus on creating a diverse group of scholars.


Please contact with any questions.

Reminder: PRSSS Student Awards and Warkentin Prize


Please note the application deadlines are fast approaching: April 1st and May 31st


Soil Science Student Awards


The Les Lavkulich Graduate Student Award in Soil Science (one award of $5000) and the Art Bomke Undergraduate Student Award in Soil

Science (one award of $3000) will be awarded to students on the basis of academic achievement, research proposal (for graduate students), leadership/community service, and letters of recommendation.
The application deadline is April 1, 2023.


For the award guidelines, eligibility criteria, and more information please see the student awards section of our website:

Warkentin Prize

Every year, the PRSSS accepts nominations and applications for the Warkentin Prize, in recognition of Dr. Benno P. Warkentin. The Warkentin Prize of $750 will be awarded to a student or recent graduate that has published a peer-reviewed article or thesis in the field of soil science. See application guidelines here.

Application deadline: May 31, 2023.

Best regards,

Teresa Porter

PRSSS Director

Pacific Regional Society of Soil Science

Room 262 – MacMillan Building – 2357 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z4
Unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Territory

Thesis Defense – Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems – PhD – Colin Charles Dring



The Oral Examination for the Degree of

Doctor of Philosophy
(Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems)

Colin Charles Dring

Agricultural Planning, Justice, and Municipal Governance – An Examination of Planning Conflicts, Pluralism, and Complexity in Southwestern British Columbia, Canada ”

Thursday, April 6th, 2023 – 09:00 AM



Chair: Dr. T. Sunderland

Supervisory Committee:
Dr. H. Wittman – Supervisor
Dr. L. Newman – Co-Supervisor
Dr. J. Carrillo – Committee member
Dr. M. Senbel – Committee member

Defense Committee Composition
Dr. H. Wittman – Supervisor
Dr. L. Newman – Co-Supervisor
Dr. M. Senbel – Committee member
Dr. E. Wyly – University Examiner
Dr. M. Margulis – University Examiner
Dr. L. Hoey – External Examiner