Media Release | Nov. 5, 2011

UBC faculty elected Royal Society of Canada Fellows

Seven University of British Columbia professors have been elected Fellows by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) and were honoured at a ceremony yesterday at the University. The 2011 fellowships were awarded to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in the sciences, social sciences and the arts and humanities.

The UBC professors are among 78 newly elected Fellows announced by the RSC in September. Nominated by their peers, they join nearly 2,000 RSC scholars, artists and scientists who have made significant contributions to academic excellence, knowledge and culture in Canada.

“By bestowing this honour on Canada’s leading minds, the Royal Society of Canada has recognized distinguished individuals who are committed to education and the advancement of knowledge,” said UBC President Stephen Toope, at the ceremony. “I’d like to congratulate our UBC faculty and colleagues across Canada who have been honoured.”

Dennis Danielson, a professor in the Department of English at UBC, was also recognized at Friday’s ceremony after being named a recipient of the 2011 Konrad Adenauer Research Award by the RSC in September. Danielson is a literary and intellectual historian who has made contributions to Milton studies and has challenged conceptions about the historical, cultural, and cosmological meaning of the Copernican Revolution.

The new Fellows will be inducted to the RSC later this month and will join more than 180 other UBC members of the RSC. UBC’s 2011 RSC Fellows include:

Nemkumar Banthia, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure Rehabilitation, is a leading international expert on structural monitoring, strengthening for seismic, blast and other catastrophic events and low carbon footprint construction materials. One of the most cited scholars in the field, Banthia’s research has enhanced the safety and sustainability of civil infrastructure around the world.

Trevor Barnes, a professor in the Department of Geography, is an economic geographer who has worked in the fields of abstract mathematical modelling, empirical case studies of natural resource regions, urban-based industrial analyses and the history, methods and philosophy of the discipline.

Judith Hall, professor emerita in the Department of Medical Genetics and Pediatrics, is a clinical geneticist who has advanced knowledge on birth defects and non-traditional mechanisms of disease.

Patrick Keeling, a professor in the Department of Botany, studies early evolution of complex cells. His research combines exploration of natural diversity with molecular biology and genomics to understand fundamental processes such as metabolism, symbiosis and gene exchange.

Peter Leung, a professor in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and associate dean of graduate & postdoctoral education in the Faculty of Medicine, is internationally recognized for his discovery and characterization of the human gene encoding the gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor. His innovative research has had a profound impact on understanding the mechanisms important for women’s reproductive health.

Wayne Maddison, a professor in the Departments of Zoology and Botany and Canada Research Chair in Biodiversity, has contributed to the conceptual and analytical framework for extracting insights about evolution from life’s genetic history, through theory and computational tools. Maddison’s research has a foundation in studying jumping spiders; he has discovered dozens of new species.

Geraldine Pratt, a professor in the Department of Geography, has transformed our understanding of women’s working lives in modern Canadian cities. One of the founding architects of feminist geography, she has a long-term commitment to public engagement, through community-based research with immigrant women, and by translating scholarly knowledge into theatrical performance.

For more information, visit www.rsc-src.ca.

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