All posts by yanina-yasmin pesch

Halloween Social on Oct 24th

Don’t celebrate Halloween alone!

Join us Thursday, October 24th for a U-PICK tour of the magnificent brewery scene in Vancouver! We’ll start at 7:00 pm wherever you guys vote to start! Costumes are highly encouraged (but not required).

Sign up to let us know that you’re joining! We’ll be live-tweeting the event (@UBCPostdoc), so that way you can find us if you want to meet up later.

Happy Halloween!!

Register HERE

Please contact Ryan (at, if you have any questions.

PDA Summer of 2019 Recap

Now that the summer is almost over we are happy to look back to an amazing time with a lot of fun events, from one of our biggest academic events of the year to a lazy beach BBQ and a strenuous but fun hike!

June: 3 Minute Postdoc Slam

How to communicate your research in 3 minutes? 10 UBC postdocs were brave enough to challenge themselves and the results were amazing – and so was the diversity of topics: Indigenous health, stem cells in fruit flies, mushroom toxins, and so many more!

The very engaging and entertaining Keynote lecture about science communication was held by Kaylee Byers and Michael Unger from NerdNite Vancouver.

The winners of the 3 Minute Postdoc Slam 2019, from left to right:

Dr. Peter Rahfeld
Dr. Kaveh Matinkhoo
Dr. David Costalago


July: PDA Beach BBQ on Locarno Beach





The weather was in our favour for our first ever Beach BBQ, which was a great success with a large number of attendees. We enjoyed a sunny afternoon on the beach with lots of fun activities and amazing food.


August: Mount Strachan Hike

Together with SFU PDA, we hiked Mount Strachan in the Cypress Mountain area and had a lot of fun – and really deserved our drinks and dinner after!

Postdoc Appreciation Week 2019

Postdoc Appreciation Week is coming up in September. Institutions from all over the world (mostly US, Canada, UK) celebrate the significant contributions that postdoctoral scholars make to research and discovery, for example by hoding special events. More information about Postdoc Appreciation Week in the US, where it originated, can be found here.
Stay tuned for more information about events at UBC. We are sharing the events organized by us and by the PDFO and will update this post and our twitter (@UBCPostdoc) once we are aware of other events

PDA Postdoc Appreciation Week Dinner on Sept 20th

We are teaming up with the SFU PDA to celebrate being a postdoc while enjoying drinks and dinner. Join us for a fun evening at Craft Beer Market. Appies are on us!

When? Sept 20th, 7 pm

Where? Craft Beer Market Olympic Village, 85 W 1st Ave

Register here:

Make sure to sign up fast as space is limited!


PDFO Postdoc Appreciation BBQ

The PDFO is hosting a barbecue for postdocs on Sept 19th.

From the PDFO website:
As a token of our appreciation, we will be hosting our Annual BBQ event on Thursday, September 19, 2019 and would be pleased if you could join us.

Join us for check-in and fun photos at 11:30, followed by the barbecue at 12:00. The event is expected to last between 1.5 to 2 hours.

As part of this event, postdocs will be eligible to win prizes from a variety of on- and off-campus donors; in order to receive a prize, attendance is required at the time of the draw.

RSVPs for this event are required and can be submitted at
Those successfully registered will receive an email from the PDFO in advance of the barbecue. RSVPs are required by Thursday, September 12, 2019.


Other on campus events:

Biodiversity Research Centre

Postdoctoral Fellows from the Biodiversity Research Centre are invited to the Black Hole at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, September 17 for coffee and cake.


In order to help celebrate National Post Doc Appreciation Week (September 16-20) we would like to invite you to lunch.

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019; 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm at the newly renovated botany meeting space just across from the new botany office (RM 3159). Please RSVP till Sept 17th at noon and notify about allergies/dietary restrictions

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

The Department of Microbiology & Immunology at UBC organized a microbiology & immunology postdoc and research associate appreciation & research night on Tuesday September 17, 2019, 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (LSC, West Atrium), UBC. The event includes a social, poster presentation (optional), dinner & drink, and prizes and gifts. Invited are postdocs, research associates, and the department’s faculty. Please RSVP.

Michael Smith labs

MSL Seminar Series with talks from both lab trainees and faculty.These run monthly and typically land on the 3rd Wednesday of each month (with a few exceptions), 3 PM in the Lecture Theater. This week also marks a special occasion, this isNational Postdoc Appreciation Week. To recognize the ever-valuable contributions of our postdoctoral fellows in the MSL, we will be serving cupcakes and desserts at 2:30 PM in the multipurpose room, ahead of the seminar at 3PM. Everyone is encouraged to come for the brief snack and express your appreciation to our amazing postdocs. All welcome.

The Michael Smith Laboratories Seminar Series
from 3:00 to 4:00 pm, MSL Auditorium

Trainee Talks

Haney Lab, Jessie Zhang; Title: “Outer-membrane Modifications in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Host Association”

Mayor Lab, Erich Kuechler; Title: “Feature Analysis and Characterization of Stress Granule Proteins”

Faculty Talk

Dave Ng; Title: “Using the Phylo Card Game to Advance Biodiversity Conservation in an Era of Pokémon”



The Canadian Association of Postdoctoral Scholars (CAPS) is offering a series of webinars that are free to CAPS members.

Preparing for the rest of your career after your postdoc

Tuesday, September 17th from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EDT)

CAPS is proud to present “Preparing for the rest of your career after you postdoc” by Dr. Marianne Chevrier from Adoc Talent Agency on Tuesday, September 17th from 2-3pm (EDT). Dr. Chevrier will present ways to help PhDs assess their marketable skills and strategies to excel throughout the job hiring process.

To participate, simply register for the webinar in advance. It’s free!

Register here:

How to apply for an NSERC fellowship

Wednesday, September 18th from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EDT)

Join CAPS as we present “How to apply for an NSERC fellowship” by Amy Reckling from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada on Wednesday, September 18th from 2-3:30pm (EDT). Amy Reckling will discuss opportunities and provide tips for writing a killer fellowship application.

To participate, simply register for the webinar in advance. It’s free!

Register here:

Thursday, September 19th from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm (EDT)

The third webinar for Postdoc Appreciation Week (PAW) will be presented by our very own Executive Director, Dr. Joseph Sparling! Join us from 2-3pmEDT on Thursday September 19th to learn more about the CAPS mission, our advocacy work, and about the resources and support services that CAPS provides. This session will also offer participants the opportunity to ask us any of their burning questions about postdoc life!

To participate, simply register for the webinar in advance. It’s free!

Mount Strachan Hike and Dinner on August 24th



Get your hiking boots ready, because we are planning to hike Mount Strachan on August 24th, followed by dinner.

What? Mount Strachan Hike
When? Aug 24th, 9 am
Where? Cypress Mountain Ski Resort parking lot

We are meeting at the Cypress Mountain Ski Resort parking lot at 9 am. Registration is required so that we can organise carpooling.
This will be a joint event co-hosted by us and the SFU PDA.

You can find more information about the trail here.
It’s a 10.5km loop with 550 m elevation gain that’s rated as intermediate.
Mount Strachan is one of the three mountains in the Cypress Mountain Ski Resort area and the challenging terrain on the hike  is rewarded on a clear day with views of Howe Sound and backcountry mountains as far north as Garibaldi Provincial Park. Another point of interest along the trail is the historical crash site of a Royal Canadian Navy T-33 Jet where several pieces of the aircraft still rest today.

What to bring:

After this strenuous day, you are more than welcome to join us for dinner. Also feel free to come just for dinner if hiking isn’t your thing or you aren’t able to join for the first part of the day due to time or physical limitations. Dinner will be be tentatively set for StormCrow on Commercial Drive at 6 pm, but there’s a slight chance the venue might change – we will keep you posted. The first round of appetizers is on us!

What? Dinner – for hikers and non-hikers 🙂
When? Aug 24th, 6 pm
Where? StormCrow on Commercial Drive (we will let you know in case this changes)

If you want to join for the hike, dinner or both, please
Register HERE:

The registration is necessary so that we can organise car pooling and can estimate how many people will join for dinner.

The hike will be weather permitting and we will contact all participants via e-mail a day before the hike to confirm.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions!

Summertime fun! – PDA Beach BBQ Party on July 20th

Fun in the sun! Join us for a Beach BBQ Party on Locarno Beach
on July 20th!

We will begin BBQing at 4 pm.

What to expect:
Free food and non-alcoholic drinks provided by the PDA!
Hang out in the sun or get active!

Feel free to bring additional food and drinks as well as whatever you need for fun activities (soccer, frisbee, …). We will bring a volleyball net and a volleyball.

Register here to let us know if you’re coming and to help us estimate how much food to buy.

We’ll be live-tweeting the event (@UBCPostdoc), so that way you can find us once we head out for after sunset beers!

See you in the sun!

Our popular 3 Minute Postdoc Slam is back on June 14th

Our 3 Minute Postdoc Slam is back!

When? June 14th, 3 pm to 5:30 pm, followed by a catered evening reception

Where? Michael Smith labs on UBC campus, room 102

What is happening?

The 3 Minute Slam is a speed conference, showing the awesome research of UBC postdocs in just 3 minutes 0n a single static slide. Learn how amazing the research of other UBC postdocs is and present your own project in a short and sweet talk – for the chance to win amazing prizes! Cash prizes will be given out for the three best talks – and this is not all. Coffee and cookies will be provided and there will also be a keynote lecture about science communication by Kaylee Byers and Michael Unger, the people behind Nerd Nite Vancouver. The event is followed by a networking reception with free food and drinks. Please indicate if you want to stay for the reception so that we can estimate catering size.

Everyone can attend, but the 3 minute talk competition is only open to postdocs. Register here until May 30th! Please submit an abstract if you want to present your research in a 3 minute talk.

Sounds great! I want to present! How do I prepare myself?

It is a hard-learned yet critical skill to communicate the essence of your research to an audience with a wide range of expertise and background. It may be intimidating, but the result is fun and rewarding, let alone the prizes you can win! For some inspiration on great 3 minute talks check out these helpful tips and have a look at winning talks from previous years on our YouTube channel and on the UBC grad student’s 3 Minute Thesis website.

I don’t want to present. Can I still attend?

For sure! It’s going to be a lot of fun.

#3MPS2019 (@UBCPostdoc)

Don’t forget to register!


PDA Wars – May the 4th be with you! Brew Crawl

May the 4th be with you!

Don’t celebrate International Star Wars Day alone! Join us on May the 4th for a joint UBC-SFU tour of the magnificent brewery scene in East Van! We’ll be meeting at Value Village at 4PM to get ourselves outfitted, then we’ll be off to Storm Brewing at 4:45PM for our first beer! Costumes are highly encouraged (but not required). Sign up here to let us know if you’re coming! We’ll be live-tweeting the event (@UBCPostdoc), so that way you can find us if you join up later.

May the 4th be with you!


Lunch Webinar: How to Set Yourself up for Job Search Success after Your Postdoc

UBC postdocs are welcome to join the Brown Bag Lunch Webinar organised by the SFU PDA. It’s going to take place on Wednesday, April 24th, from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. Jennifer Polk from Beyond the Professoriate will be giving a webinar about non-faculty job search and strategies postdocs can starting implementing today to set themselves up for career success outside academia. Please click here for more information.

There are two ways to participate!

1. The UBC PDA will join the SFU webinar remotely via zoom. Feel free to join us in the LSI classroom 1410 at 12:20 pm. Please sign up here if you are interested in joining us at UBC, Vancouver campus.

2. Alternatively, you can join our fellow SFU postdocs at SFU in the Research Commons Seminar Room (Room 7010). Free lunch and refreshments will be provided at SFU. Please register here if you are interested in joining at the SFU Campus.

See you at the webinar!

Welcome to the new PDA executive team 2019-2020

Spring has finally arrived in Vancouver – and the new PDA executive team 2019-2020 has taken over. Meet the new officers who were elected at the AGM on March 11th:

  • President: Daniel Anstett, Department of Botany
  • Vice President Operations: Mriga Das, Department of Zoology
  • Vice President External: Helen Neuert, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences
  • Vice President Communications: Yanina-Yasmin Pesch, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences
  • Vice President Finances: Deborah Jehu, Physical Therapy
  • Vice President Social: Ryan Sweeney, Chemistry

The new PDA executive team is looking forward to planning a lot of events including events highlighting the awesome research by postdocs at UBC, professional development events, and – of course! – fun socials. We want to help everyone make the best of their postdoc experience at UBC.

We are looking back to a very productive year 2018-2019 in which the PDA could grow as an organisation. Highlights of the year 2018-2019 include:

We are just about to embark on our Whistler trip. Stay tuned for upcoming PDA news and events! Subscribe to our newsletter and follow the PDA on social media. If you want to get involved in the executive team, please contact us.