Land and Food System Scholar Series

Invited scholar: Dr. Ermias Kebreab

Hosted by:  Marina von Keyserlingk, Applied Animal Biology

Title: Agriculture’s Transition to Net Zero Emissions – What is Livestock’s Role?

Abstract: Agriculture is a key source for greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. It is responsible for more than half of (human-driven) sources of methane, a GHG responsible for 30% of global temperature rise since the industrial revolution, as well as almost three-quarters of the sources of the nitrous oxide released annually. The Paris Agreement set a goal of reducing global agricultural methane emissions by between 24% and 47% by 2050 to limit warming to 1.5°C. Analysis of mitigation options show that the greatest reductions that can be achieved from agriculture are related to livestock, particularly ruminants. There are several mitigation strategies developed or under development to reduce enteric methane emissions. These can range from direct intervention in the adult through the use of inhibitors or even vaccines, to several indirect methods, modulation of rumen microbiome and breeding towards low methane-emitting animals. An analysis conducted to assess how the world can reduce global methane by at least 30% by 2030 (Global Methane Pledge) showed that it is possible to do so in animal agriculture, however, attaining net zero emissions from the sector will largely depend on reducing nitrous oxide emissions.

Biography: Ermias Kebreab is Associate Dean and Professor of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the Director of the World Food Centre at the University of California-Davis. He also holds the Sesnon Endowed Chair in Sustainable Agriculture. He conducts research in animal nutrition, mathematical modeling of biological systems and impact of livestock on the environment. He is contributing author to 2019 IPCC update on enteric methane emissions. He co-chaired the feed additive and methane committees of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. He has authored over 250 peer-reviewed articles and received several awards including Excellence in Ruminant Nutrition and International Agriculture from American Society of Animal Science, and 2022 Chancellor’s Innovator of the year award. He served on two committees of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on methane and nutrition of dairy cattle. He is a regular invited speaker including a TED talk that has been featured as one of the ‘must-watch climate talks of 2022’ by His research was in the top 10 of all research conducted at the University of California system in 2021. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Asmara, Eritrea and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Reading, U.K.

Join in person or via Zoom:

Date: May 15, 2023

Time: 10:00-11:30 AM PDT

Location: In-person at MCML 160, or via Zoom

Meet and greet after the presentation: 11:30 – 12:30 PM, please register here by May 11.


Reminder: Competition Announcement: Spring Graduate Awards Competition


REMINDER: Internal Deadline: Friday, May 5th 2023.
Please notify us about your attention of applying (as we need to prepare transcripts) by April 24, 2023.

Spring Graduate Awards Competition

A number of university awards for the upcoming academic year are available to current and incoming graduate students.  The maximum value of funding that can be offered to a student is $16,000, or $22,000 for the #6495 Andrew Nord Fellowships in Rheumatology.  Applicants will apply via their graduate programs with a single application that may be considered for as many of the Spring Graduate Awards as they are eligible for, taking note of the following important considerations:

  • Eligibility: To be eligible to receive funding, applicants must meet both the overall eligibility requirements as outlined on the award webpage (ex. months of study) and all of the eligibility requirements for each individual Spring Graduate Award they apply for. Applicants will not be considered for an award if they do not clearly meet the criteria for the award.
    Spring Graduate Awards Competition – Graduate School – University of British Columbia – Vancouver – Canada (
  • Selection:   While award recipients will be selected based on the evaluation criteria, priority will be given to eligible candidates who do not hold significant scholarship funding (i.e., $16,000 or higher) for the 2023/2024 academic year (September 2023 to August 2024).  If a student is offered Spring Awards funding, and later receives other scholarship funding of $16,000 or higher for the same period, the Spring Awards funding offer would normally be rescinded.
    • Exception: Some of the Spring Graduate Awards have very niche award descriptions (eligibility requirements).  For example, the #6362 award ‘James and Setsuko Thurlow Scholarship in Peace and Disarmament Studies’.  If a Spring Graduate Award receives a very low number of eligible applications, it may be awarded to a student who already has significant scholarship funding.


A complete application consists of:

Deadline for graduate program nominations to G+PS: 4:00 pm PT on May 22, 2023

For more information, such as the complete eligibility requirements and application materials, please refer to our webpage:

The results of this competition will be announced in mid-August.

GradUpdate – Leveraging your Strengths, Public Scholars Award, Graduate Students in Teaching Conference, Celebrate Learning Week, and more.



In this issue, Leveraging your Strengths, Doctoral Defence Procedures, Public Scholars Award, Graduate Students in Teaching Conference, Celebrate Learning Week, and more.

Registration now open

Doctoral Defence: Doctoral Examination and Defence Procedures
Online | Tuesday, May 16 | 2 – 3:15 pm


Leveraging your Strengths to Strategize for Success
Receive a free Gallup CliftonStrengths Assessment; learn your top 5 strengths
Online | Thursday, May 18 | 3 – 4:30 pm


Seats available

Careers in Business and Consulting (Panel)
Online | SFU/UBC event | Thursday, May 4 | 4 – 5:30 pm Register

Events and Opportunities

A selection of upcoming events are highlighted below.  Visit and for our full events calendar.


UBC Public Scholars Award
Applications close May 12th for UBC’s Public Scholars Initiative, a groundbreaking, award-winning scholarship program going to its ninth year. Public Scholars enjoy (1) continuous academic support, in particular with alternative dissertation ideas; (2) up to $20,000 financial support over 2 years and; (3) numerous professional development and networking opportunities.
Learn more and apply.

Choosing a Citation Management Tool
Online | Monday, May 8 | 4:30 – 6 pm Register


Data Bites – Best Practices for File Naming
Online | Monday, May 8 | 12 – 12:30 pm Register

Introduction to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)
Online | Monday, May 8 | 1 – 3 pm Register

Introduction to Oxygen XML editor
In-person | Tuesday, May 9 | 10 am – 12 pm Register

Introduction to R and RStudio (beginner)
Online | Wednesday, May 10 | 1 – 2 pm (+ optional 30 min practice) Register

Introduction to the Unix Shell
Online | Thursday, May 11 | 12 – 2 pm Register


Celebrate Learning Week
May 2 – 9 | Various formats | Power of Place in Teaching and Learning
Browse all events and register.

Graduate Students in Teaching Conference
Online | Tuesday & Wednesday, May 9 & 10 | 11 am – 12:30 pm
Free for UBC grad students | Register
Check out the program-at-a-glance; sessions include:

  • Effective Communication for TAs
  • How to Foster a Sense of Community
  • How to implement Universal Design for Learning
  • Using metaphors to build anti-racist teaching practices
  • and many more

Graduate Instructional Skills Workshop
In-person | Monday, Wednesday & Friday, June 12, 14 & 16 | 8 am – 5 pm
Apply by June 7 | See all upcoming sessions.