2022-2023 Welcome to the Biodiversity Research Centre

September 11, 2022

Welcome to the Biodiversity Research Centre. We are delighted to welcome everyone back in person. I am the interim Director of the BRC, serving in 2022 between the reigns of Loren Rieseberg and Mary O’Connor, who begins as Director in 2023.


For new grads and postdocs that are joining us, please make sure to add yourself to the main BRC mail groups by following the instructions posted here. The two main BRC mail groups are Research and Building. 


We are happy to welcome two new BRC Faculty members:
Kaitlyn Gaynor (Zoology and Botany, iBios)
Alex Moore (Forest & Conservation Sciences and Botany, iBios)

A complete list of BRC Faculty and their research interests can be found here.


We’re also pleased to welcome Fernando Hernàndez (starting October 2022) as the newest Biodiversity Postdoctoral Fellow, joining Courtney Collins. They will be coordinating some of the internal seminars and EcoEvo Symposium (October 22-23 2022). A search for the next Biodiversity Research Centre post-doc will open in November 2022.   


The Biodiversity Research Centre is resolved to work against racism and to promote diversity within our centre as well as more broadly in the scientific community. In discussions with a variety of groups (undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty), an often-expressed suggestion is to provide more specific mentorship and research opportunities for undergraduates who self-identify as Indigenous, Black, or People of Color (abbreviated as IBPOC) and/or as visible minorities. Hence, we are establishing an Undergraduate Diversity Research Grants Program. The program was developed by Darren Irwin and Sunita Chowrira, following consultation with the Departmental EDI Committees, BRC faculty members, and the Faculty of Science.  Details of the program, as well as an application form, can be found here.


The BRC hosts a variety of seminars and discussion groups, including:

The Biodiversity Research Seminar (BRS) series is our flagship seminar series and has a great line-up of speakers for the upcoming year.  This is meant to be a broadly aimed seminar series that should appeal to the diversity of members of the BRC, regardless of Departmental affiliation. This seminar series is held Wednesday at noon in the Beaty Biodiversity Museum auditorium, and we will continue presenting these as hybrid Zoom webinars. The schedule is posted on our events page. Thanks to the BRS seminar Committee members Amy Angert, Judith Mank, and Cole Burton for putting together an impressive line-up this year, and to Yuying Lin, Caleigh Charlebois and Javad Meghrazi for patiently dealing with all of the AV and Zoom webinar setup. Wearing of masks is encouraged.

We also have an internal seminar series, the Biodiversity Legendary Internal Seminar Series (BLISS), day and time TBA. This will be delivered in-person unless otherwise noted. An announcement will be sent out on the BRC Research Listserv each week. This series lets us showcase all the great work happening here. The fall schedule is posted here.  Thanks to the Biodiversity Postdocs for coordinating and planning this series. 

The Biodiversity Public Lecture is scheduled for November 3, 2022. This year’s speaker is Dr. Dolph Schluter. More details to follow.


Through funding from the BRC and an endowment (donations always accepted!!), we will continue to support many BRITE Graduate internships in governmental, industrial, and non-profit sectors (approximately six per year). Thanks to Sally Otto, Kai Chan, and Kathy Martin for serving on the BRITE Internship committee.


Is there a topic or skill-set that you really want to see explored at the BRC?  Apply for funding support from BRC (see form here) or email me with suggestions.


Housed in the BRC, the Zoology Computing Unit manages the network and computing infrastructure for Zoology and Biodiversity.  People in those groups can get free accounts or member accounts for access to enhanced services such as: our server cluster, automatic backups, custom web blogs/sites, etc.  Please contact Andy (Andy@zoology.ubc.ca) for more information.


Our meeting rooms have Meeting OWL Pros installed to facilitate hybrid meetings when necessary. Please contact Andy with ZCU for more details or instructions on using the OWLS.


Autoclaves, 2 environment chambers, bioanalyzer, water filtration systems, and much more. Please contact Katie Beall (katie.beall@ubc.ca) for more information.


The BRC and BBM are in the final stages of planning an expansion of the Beaty Biodiversity Centre Building. Over the past year, user groups including faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and staff from the BRC and BBM met with Public Architecture to design the project. Plans can be viewed here.
Construction is expected to being in April 2023. More details will follow.


For building related issues, including access and deficiencies, please contact the Administrator, Katie Beall katie.beall@ubc.ca . Her office is room 115, but it’s always easy to reach her via email.



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