Toronto, ON - University of Toronto President Meric Gertler today unveiled a 14-point plan of specific, targeted actions that aim to make a difference on climate change now. Gertler outlined U of T’s plan to battle climate change in a bold report, Beyond Divestment: Taking Decisive Action on Climate Change.

Read the report

Gertler said U of T’s approach to the investment of its endowment and pension funds should be broadened to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when appraising the long-term performance of firms in which it holds direct investments. Beyond Divestment also outlines a plan of decisive action that calls on every facet of the University – as a leader in research, teaching, and as an energy consumer – to join in the fight against climate change. “We must take action to limit the rise in global temperatures if we are to avoid catastrophic impacts on the planet and humanity,” Gertler said. “Universities in particular have a crucial and unique role to play in helping to meet that challenge, and as a publicly supported academic institution, the University of Toronto has a responsibility to take decisive action.” Beyond Divestment is a response to the President’s Advisory Committee on Divestment from Fossil Fuels. That committee, led by environmental engineering professor Bryan Karney, released its own recommendations last December. The committee recommended that the University adopt a strategy of targeted and principled divestment as well as a number of initiatives in the broader field of sustainability. U of T’s $6.5 billion long-term investments, mostly in pension and endowment funds, are managed by the University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM). Gertler said he will ask UTAM to:
  • Articulate principles that will enable consideration of ESG factors in undertaking direct long-term investments;
  • Initiate the process to become a signatory to CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project);
  • Evaluate signing onto the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment initiative;
  • Determine ways in which it can vote proactively and deliberately on shareholder resolutions aimed at reducing climate-related risk for firms in which they are directly invested;
  • Evaluate signing the Montreal Carbon Pledge, which commits investors to measuring and publicly disclosing the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios every year;
  • Report annually on its efforts to assess ESG factors in making its investment decisions.
Finally, given the growing recognition of the importance of climate-related risk, the University should give serious consideration to extending a similar ESG factor-based approach to its indirect investments. Gertler thanked Karney and the committee for their work. Karney welcomed Beyond Divestment. “It is a thoughtful, ambitious, transparent and practical report, which certainly creatively takes our essential principles and works them out for the University. Significantly, the report calls on every part of the University to join in the fight against climate change and creates principles and approaches that will intelligently guide us to be progressively more sustainable in the future,” he said. While the divestment committee chaired by Karney had concluded a “a blanket divestment strategy would be unprincipled and inappropriate” it had recommended that U of T divest immediately from fossil fuels companies that show “blatant disregard” for the 1.5 degree C threshold that forms the basis of the Paris Agreement. Gertler confirmed that the University does not hold direct investments in any of the companies cited by the committee but he also said that U of T should broaden its focus beyond fossil fuel companies, since such companies only account for a quarter of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, with the balance produced by other sectors such as transportation, housing and manufacturing. “An approach that considers ESG factors – including climate-related risk – as they pertain to all sectors of our economy would seem to offer the best chance of success in meeting the challenge of climate change, while fulfilling our fiduciary duties” to the University’s pension and endowment fund beneficiaries, the president argued. Such an approach would allow U of T to direct its investments actively, in a targeted and dynamic way, appraising the long-term performance of individual firms in a manner that accounts for their ESG practices, including climate-related risk. It could also take into consideration social considerations, such as the rights and wellbeing of Indigenous communities.

Read the report of the President’s Advisory Committee on Divestment from Fossil Fuels

Read the president’s response, Beyond Divestment: Taking Decisive Action on Climate Change

Although the Karney committee had recommended that U of T develop its own method of evaluating fossil fuels companies to determine whether they have disregarded the 1.5-degree threshold, Gertler concluded it would be more effective for the University to work with third-party organizations that have already developed tools and metrics by which to assess the ESG practices of firms. In considering a broader advocacy and leadership role for the University, he argued that it would be most effective for U of T to join with other groups promoting broader disclosure of carbon use and the adoption of measures to promote a low-carbon economy. In particular, U of T would have more clout if it joined global coalitions such as the United Kingdom-based CDP, which “aims to inform investor decision-making, facilitate shareholder engagement, and encourage corporations to manage their carbon emissions more effectively.” Several of Canada’s largest pension funds, such as the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, are already CDP signatories and U of T would show leadership by becoming one of the first Canadian universities to become involved with the group, he said. John Switzer, who chairs the UTAM board of directors, agreed that U of T should become a CDP signatory. “UTAM believes it is fitting that Canada's leading research-intensive University intends to become a signatory and we will work with the University as it becomes one of the first Canadian universities to join this organization.” He said that UTAM agrees that consideration of ESG-based factors is an important component of prudent investment management. “Although UTAM already incorporates many of these factors in its management of the University’s pension and endowment assets, we will work closely with the University to fully implement the President’s vision.” Tessa Hebb, the director of the Ottawa-based Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, also endorsed signing on to the CDP. “When the CDP first started in Canada only a handful of Canadian companies responded,” Hebb told U of T News.  “Our big investors then began to ask them to respond and now these companies are taking such requests seriously.” Hebb said U of T’s ESG approach would be more effective in the fight against climate change than divestment. “Divestment is not an effective strategy in the case of fossil fuel, it is a blunt instrument that doesn’t indicate what we want companies to do in order to achieve the 1.5 threshold,” Hebb said. “Our very largest institutional investors in Canada use an ESG approach – CPPIB, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Caisse de Depot – to name a few. The approach being recommended here has the potential to be far more meaningful than selling a stock that someone else will buy.” Ben Caldecott, the director of the Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford’s Smith School and a member of Oxford’s Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee, also endorsed the strategy outlined by Gertler, describing it as forward-looking. The U of T strategy, he said, “takes account of the latest work on how environment-related risks, including climate change, could affect investment portfolios. It will allow the University of Toronto to actively engage with and adopt new investment practices and products as they become available.” The Karney committee report also recommended that U of T increase its commitment to environmental research and teaching and to promoting sustainability in the University’s own operations. In response, Gertler pledged that U of T will strengthen its support for environmental research, innovation and teaching, and will continue its efforts to make University operations more sustainable.

Read about U of T’s leading environmental research and teaching

Read about U of T’s sustainability leadership

“The University’s most valuable and effective contributions to the global effort to avert and mitigate the consequences of climate change will flow from our fundamental role as an institution of research and education,” Gertler said. Among the initiatives he proposed are:
  • a tri-campus clean-tech challenge to encourage environment- and energy-related entrepreneurship;
  • $750,000 distributed over three years for climate-change related research and education initiatives;
  • prioritizing climate change-related themes in selected programs and curricula;
  • increasing the Utilities Reduction Revolving Fund by 50 per cent (from $5 million to $7.5 million) to encourage more extensive implementation of energy-saving retrofits;
  • formally adopting substantially more rigorous energy efficiency standards for capital projects;
  • pursuing opportunities to use our campuses as test beds for environmental and sustainability research and best practices;
  • investigating the potential for development of other renewable energy projects.
Gertler also said he will establish a new university-wide committee on the environment, climate change and sustainability with a mandate to coordinate and advance U of T’s environmental research, innovation, education and energy consumption initiatives. -30- For more information contact: U of T Media Relations Tel: 416-978-0100 media.relations@utoronto.ca

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Toronto, ON - We can’t control when the wind blows and when the sun shines, so finding efficient ways to store energy from alternative sources remains an urgent research problem. Now, a group of researchers led by Professor Ted Sargent at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering may have a solution inspired by nature. The team has designed the most efficient catalyst for storing energy in chemical form, by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, just like plants do during photosynthesis. Oxygen is released harmlessly into the atmosphere, and hydrogen, as H2, can be converted back into energy using hydrogen fuel cells. “Today on a solar farm or a wind farm, storage is typically provided with batteries. But batteries are expensive, and can typically only store a fixed amount of energy,” says Sargent. “That’s why discovering a more efficient and highly scalable means of storing energy generated by renewables is one of the grand challenges in this field.” You may have seen the popular high-school science demonstration where the teacher splits water into its component elements, hydrogen and oxygen, by running electricity through it. Today this requires so much electrical input that it’s impractical to store energy this way — too great proportion of the energy generated is lost in the process of storing it. This new catalyst facilitates the oxygen-evolution portion of the chemical reaction, making the conversion from H2O into O2 and H2 more energy-efficient than ever before. The intrinsic efficiency of the new catalyst material is over three times more efficient than the best state-of-the-art catalyst. The new catalyst is made of abundant and low-cost metals tungsten, iron and cobalt, which are much less expensive than state-of-the-art catalysts based on precious metals. It showed no signs of degradation over more than 500 hours of continuous activity, unlike other efficient but short-lived catalysts. Their work was published today in the leading journal Science. “With the aid of theoretical predictions, we became convinced that including tungsten could lead to a better oxygen-evolving catalyst. Unfortunately, prior work did not show how to mix tungsten homogeneously with the active metals such as iron and cobalt,” says Dr. Bo Zhang, one of the study’s lead authors. “We invented a new way to distribute the catalyst homogenously in a gel, and as a result built a device that works incredibly efficiently and robustly.” This research united engineers, chemists, materials scientists, mathematicians, physicists, and computer scientists across three countries. A chief partner in this joint theoretical-experimental studies was a leading team of theorists at Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory under the leadership of Dr. Aleksandra Vojvodic. The international collaboration included researchers at East China University of Science & Technology, Tianjin University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Canadian Light Source and the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility. “The team developed a new materials synthesis strategy to mix multiple metals homogeneously — thereby overcoming the propensity of multi-metal mixtures to separate into distinct phases,” said Jeffrey C. Grossman, the Morton and Claire Goulder and Family Professor in Environmental Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “This work impressively highlights the power of tightly coupled computational materials science with advanced experimental techniques, and sets a high bar for such a combined approach. It opens new avenues to speed progress in efficient materials for energy conversion and storage.” “This work demonstrates the utility of using theory to guide the development of improved water-oxidation catalysts for further advances in the field of solar fuels," said Gary Brudvig, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Yale University and director of the Yale Energy Sciences Institute. "The intensive research by the Sargent group in the University of Toronto led to the discovery of oxy-hydroxide materials that exhibit electrochemically induced oxygen evolution at the lowest overpotential and show no degradation,” said University Professor Gabor A. Somorjai of the University of California, Berkeley, a leader in this field. “The authors should be complimented on the combined experimental and theoretical studies that led to this very important finding.” Professor Sargent is the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. The group’s work was supported in large part by the Ontario Research Fund—Research Excellence Program, NSERC, the CIFAR Bio-Inspired Solar Energy Program and the U.S. Department of Energy. -30- About the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto The University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering is Canada's top engineering school and ranks among the best in the world. We pride ourselves on our cross-disciplinary education, collaborative research and global impact. We are located in downtown Toronto, a vibrant and diverse city recognized globally as a hub for innovation. With approximately 7,800 students, 245 faculty and 16 buildings, we are one of Canada's largest engineering schools. U of T Engineering faculty members hold more than 70 prestigious research chairs funded by government, industry and endowments. Our faculty members won 21 per cent of major awards received by Canadian engineering professors in 2015 — three times as many as any other Canadian engineering school — while representing less than six per cent of engineering professors nationwide. Media contact: Marit Mitchell Communications & Media Relations Strategist Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, University of Toronto +1-416-978-4498; marit.mitchell@utoronto.ca

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Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

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media.relations@utoronto.ca

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Toronto, ON - Five University of Toronto scholars have been awarded prizes in 2016 by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) – the largest tally of winners at any university in Canada. “Our exceptional performance in the NSERC awards makes it clear that U of T remains a powerhouse for research that has impact in the sciences and engineering,” said Vivek Goel, U of T vice-president of research and innovation. “We should be proud of the range of disciplines encompassed by these prestigious prizes. Earth sciences, medicine, engineering, pharmacy, ecology and evolutionary biology are all represented. And all the research has real potential to improve the human condition.” Barbara Sherwood Lollar is the winner of the John C. Polanyi Award for an outstanding advance in natural science or engineering. This University Professor in the department of earth sciences is cited for the discovery of hydrogen gas and biological chemicals in billion-year-old water samples extracted from fractures in mines in Ontario and South Africa. (Read more about Sherwood Lollar.) Her research has implications for exoplanetary science – similar processes might exist on Mars – as well the more down-to-earth protocols surrounding waste disposal and groundwater cleanup. https://youtu.be/Ofkh0w5KVOc “The joy of discovery has been at the heart of this work by our team,” said Sherwood Lollar, who is Canada Research Chair in Isotope Geochemistry of the Earth and the Environment.  “Even here on Earth there are regions of our hydrosphere and biosphere still unexplored. “We are very grateful to NSERC and to Canada for this award, as there is no higher honour than to receive a recognition that bears the name of our U of T colleague and Nobel laureate, the icon John Polanyi.” The Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering, which is always awarded to more than one recipient, goes to the U of T team of Shana Kelley and Edward Sargent for their work on AuRA, a device that can reduce the time taken to arrive at a diagnosis from days to less than 20 minutes. https://youtu.be/ieoawocK-ow Combining Professor Kelley’s expertise in electrochemistry and biochemistry with University Professor Sargent’s experience in electrical engineering and nanomaterials, the new technology has great potential to limit the spread of infectious disease, particularly in the developing world. Their startup Xagenic has raised more than $30 million in venture capital and employs 65 scientists, engineers, and molecular diagnostics market experts. (Read more about Kelley and Sargent.) Two U of T scholars received E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships. David Sinton of the department of mechanical and industrial engineering wins for his work in optofluidics, a field that involves manipulating light and nanoparticles to control the flow of fluids. Most prior research in optofludics has been dedicated to diagnostic equipment, but Professor Sinton has demonstrated its potential to create a new class of fuel cell remarkable for its efficiency and energy density. His further work includes using light-harvesting bacteria as environmentally friendly means of producing biofuel and developing a technique to select better quality human sperm for use in fertility clinics. (Read more about Sinton.) Associate Professor Stephen I. Wright of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology also wins a Steacie Fellowship for his work on how weeds evolve to become resistant to herbicides, a growing threat to food security in the developing world. Wright has determined that weed species that reproduce sexually (rather than asexually through self-fertilization) are healthier. His work, which establishes that the pace of genome-wide adaptation occurs at a higher rate than previously thought, will make it possible to foresee the extinction of crop species and step up the battle against “super weeds.” (Read more about Wright.) Other winners of national NSERC prizes were astrophysicist Victoria M. Kaspi (Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering) and chemistry doctoral candidate Yasser Gidi (NSERC Gilles Brassard Doctoral Prize for Interdisciplinary Research), both of McGill University. The prizes, valued at a total of $3.71 million, will be awarded officially Tuesday evening at Rideau Hall by Governor General David Johnston, with U of T alumna and Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan and NSERC president B. Mario Pinto at the ceremony. “It is imperative that we praise the groundbreaking achievements of our top researchers to demonstrate our respect and admiration for Canada’s leading scientists and engineers,” Duncan said in a statement. “We must continue to promote, celebrate, and support our talented researchers to foster an environment wherein they can be global leaders in discovery and innovation and generate results that will benefit Canadians today and in the future.” -30- For more information contact: University of Toronto Media Relations Tel: (416) 978-0100 media.relations@utoronto.ca  

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See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

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CBC News | July 22, 2017

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Toronto, ON– Media are invited to view a live webcast at the University of Toronto (U of T) as the National Science Foundation brings together scientists from Caltech, MIT, and the LIGO Scientific Collaboration this Thursday at 10:30 a.m. (EST) at Washington’s National Press Club for a status report on the effort to detect gravitational waves – or ripples in the fabric of spacetime – using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). Participants in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration who are based at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics at U of T will be in attendance. Harald Pfeiffer, Canada Research Chair for Numerical Relativity and Gravitational Wave Astrophysics and fellow in the Cosmology and Gravity program at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, will be available to comment on the significance of the update and the University of Toronto’s role in the project. For media unable to attend this live-viewing event, a URL for the live stream will be made available at 9:30 am on Thursday, February 11. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first publication of Albert Einstein’s prediction of the existence of gravitational waves. With interest in this topic piqued by the centennial, the group will discuss their ongoing efforts to observe and measure cosmic gravitational waves for scientific research. For background about the project, visit: WHEN: Thursday, February 11, 2016 10:30 AM EST WHERE: Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics University of Toronto Room 1318, Burton Tower McLennan Physical Laboratories 60 St. George Street Toronto, ON -30- Media Contacts: Sean Bettam Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto s.bettam@utoronto.ca 416-946-7950 (b) 647-228-5820 (c) University of Toronto Communications media.relations@utoronto.ca 416-978-0100 Lindsay Jolivet Canadian Institute for Advanced Research lindsay.jolivet@cifar.ca 416-971-4876  

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

Toronto, ON – The University of Toronto is inviting members of its community to make submissions to an advisory committee studying a recent call for divestment from fossil fuel companies. The request for submissions is the latest step in the work of the committee examining the divestment issue.  The committee may also reflect more generally on the university’s most appropriate and effective responses to the challenges posed by climate change. U of T President Meric Gertler encouraged all interested parties to make their views known and added that great care was taken in choosing the advisory committee. “The members bring significant academic and research expertise to the committee,” said Gertler.  “Their work is guided by the same rigour and commitment to academic freedom that the members employ in all of their teaching and research.” A full list of the committee membership, which was approved by the Executive Committee of the university’s Governing Council, is available online.  Once the committee makes its recommendation, which is expected late this year, it is up to the President to make the final decision on divestment. The committee was formed under the terms of the university’s Policy on Social and Political Issues with Respect to University Divestment.  Since its creation the committee has met with a variety of groups with an interest in the issue and has been gathering research related to the divestment call, which came in the form of a brief prepared by Toronto350, a student group at the university. “I want to thank everyone who has participated in the debate so far as well as those who respond to this call for submissions,” said Gertler.  “This is a great example of the university community coming together to debate an important issue.” The original deadline for submissions is September 30, 2015; however, the President and the Advisory Committee have indicated that submissions will continue to be accepted until October 14. Those wishing to make submissions can send them via email to president@utoronto.ca or via regular mail to: Professor Bryan Karney, Chair Presidential Advisory Committee on Divestment from Fossil Fuels Office of the President Simcoe Hall, Room 206 University of Toronto Toronto, ON M5S 1A1

- 30 -

For more information, contact: Media Relations University of Toronto 416 978-0100 media.relations@utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON -- An invasive ant species that has become increasingly abundant in eastern North America not only takes over yards and delivers a nasty sting, it’s helping the spread of an invasive plant species.  The ants are very effective dispersers of invasive plant seeds and new research suggests that together they could wreak havoc on native ecosystems.

University of Toronto researchers have found that the European fire ant, Myrmica rubra, disperses seeds of both native and invasive plants, but it does a much better job of helping an invasive plant to spread.

“Ecologists think invasive species might help each other to spread, but there are few good examples. They talk about ‘invasional meltdown,’ because ecosystems could be very, very rapidly taken over by invasive species if invaders help each other out,” said evolutionary biologist Megan Frederickson, one of the authors of the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. “Our results suggest that invasional meltdown could be happening right under our noses, here in Ontario.”

The research was conducted at U of T’s field station, the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill (ksr.utoronto.ca). The team created artificial ecological communities – mesocosms – inside 42 small plastic children’s swimming pools.

The researchers filled each pool with soil and planted four species of spring wildflowers  --three native species (sharp-lobed hepatica, Canadian wild ginger and bloodroot) and one invasive species: greater celandine. They then collected colonies of either the European fire ant or a native woodland ant and added the colonies to the pools. The ants picked up and moved seeds of these plant species and the researchers watched what happened.

“The pools with the invasive ant were overrun by the invasive plant, but pools with the native ant had lots of native plants,” says co-author and ecologist Kirsten Prior. The invasive ant moved lots of seeds of all four plant species, but the invasive plant took advantage of being dispersed more than the other species and recruited in very large numbers.

“Unfortunately, as a result of humans rapidly moving species around the globe through trade and traffic, most ecosystems are now home to numerous invasive species,” said Prior. “Our finding that multiple invasive species can accelerate invasion and cause ecosystems to become dominated by invasive species is a troubling one. Invasive species are a leading threat to natural ecosystems, and can have impacts on society. Research on how ecosystems become invaded and the consequences of invasion is important. It sets us on the right path to develop solutions to reduce the spread and impact of these harmful species.”

Other research team members included undergraduate students Jennifer Robinson and Shannon Meadley Dunphy.  Research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation.

Images and paper at uoft.me/invasive-species

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Kirsten Prior Department of Biology University of Florida priorkm@gmail.com priorkm.weebly.com Cell/Mobile: + 254-202- 639-251 *  Kirsten is in Kenya . Note that Kenya is 8 hours ahead of Toronto time.

Megan Frederickson Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology University of Toronto Cell/Mobile: +1 647-224-4449 m.frederickson@utoronto.ca mutualism.ca

Kim Luke Communications, Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto Tel: 416-978-4352 Kim.luke@utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON -- A team of scientists, led by the University of Toronto’s Barbara Sherwood Lollar, has mapped the location of hydrogen-rich waters found trapped kilometres beneath Earth’s surface in rock fractures in Canada, South Africa and Scandinavia. Common in Precambrian Shield rocks – the oldest rocks on Earth – the ancient waters have a chemistry similar to that found near deep sea vents, suggesting these waters can support microbes living in isolation from the surface. The study, to be published in Nature on December 18, includes data from 19 different mine sites that were explored by Sherwood Lollar, a geoscientist at U of T’s Department of Earth Sciences, U of T senior research associate Georges Lacrampe-Couloume, and colleagues at Oxford and Princeton universities. The scientists also explain how two chemical reactions combine to produce substantial quantities of hydrogen, doubling estimates of global production from these processes which had previously been based only on hydrogen coming out of the ocean floor. “This represents a quantum change in our understanding of the total volume of Earth’s crust that may be habitable,” said Sherwood Lollar. Until now, none of the estimates of global hydrogen production sustaining deep microbial populations had included a contribution from the ancient continents. Since Precambrian rocks make up more than 70 per cent of the surface of Earth’s crust, Sherwood Lollar likens these terrains to “a sleeping giant, a huge area that has now been discovered to be a source of possible energy for life.” One process, known as radiolytic decomposition of water, involves water undergoing a breakdown into hydrogen when exposed to radiation. The other is a chemical reaction called serpentization, a mineral alteration reaction that is common in such ancient rocks. This study has important implications for the search for deep microbial life. Quantifying the global hydrogen budget is key to understanding the amount of the Earth’s biomass that is in the subsurface, as many deep ecosystems contain chemolithotrophic – so-called “rock-eating” – organisms that consume hydrogen. In the deep gold mines of South Africa, and under the sea, at hydrothermal vents where breaks in the fissure of Earth’s surface that release geothermally heated waters – hydrogen-rich fluids host complex microbial communities that are nurtured by the chemicals dissolved in the fluids. This study identifies a global network of sites with hydrogen-rich waters that will be targeted for exploration for deep life over the coming years. Further, because Mars – like the Precambrian crust – consists of billions-of-year-old rocks with hydrogen-producing potential, this finding has ramifications for astrobiology. “If the ancient rocks of Earth are producing this much hydrogen, it may be that similar processes are taking place on Mars,” said Sherwood Lollar. Other key members of the research team are Chris Ballentine of Oxford University, Tulis Onstott at Princeton University and Georges Lacrampe-Couloume of the University of Toronto. The research was funded by the Canada Research Chairs program, the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council, the Sloan Foundation Deep Carbon Observatory, the Canadian Space Agency and the National Science Foundation. IMAGES and Nature paper: uoft.me/ancient

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For more information, please contact: Barbara Sherwood Lollar Department of Earth Sciences University of Toronto Tel: 416-978-0770 bslollar@chem.utoronto.ca Kim Luke Communications, Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto Tel: 416-978-4352 Kim.luke@utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON – Scientists have long known that air pollution caused by cars and trucks, solvent use and even plants, is reduced when broken down by naturally occurring compounds that act like detergents of the atmosphere. What has not been well understood until now are the relative contributions of all the processes producing such compounds. A new study, led by University of Toronto atmospheric chemist Jennifer Murphy, shows a key component of the process is the soil beneath our feet. “Pollutants in the atmosphere are broken down by hydroxyl radicals that are produced when nitrous acid breaks down in sunlight,” said Murphy. “What scientists have been working to solve for over 15 years is where nitrous acid comes from during the daytime.” Murphy and her team investigated chemical interactions that take place when different components of the atmosphere reach the ground. “We found that soil can take up nitrous acid at night when these components react with carbonate minerals often found in soil. Examples of everyday carbonates are lime and sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda,” said Murphy. “The following day, nitrous acid is displaced from the soil and released into the atmosphere by the strong acids nitric acid and hydrochloric acid,” said Trevor VandenBoer, lead author of the study published today in Nature Geoscience and former PhD student in Murphy’s research group, now a Banting postdoctoral fellow at Memorial University. “Those strong acids are the product of combustion processes that occur in virtually all environments, so this cycle occurs daily.” Nitrous acid breaks down extremely quickly in sunlight to form hydroxyl radicals. So, something must be producing nitrous acid just as quickly, or at least in sufficient amounts, during the daytime in order to reach measurable concentrations. To find the answer, the researchers designed a combination of experiments to measure nitrous acid reacting with atmospheric particles they suspected were coming from soils. They followed up on promising field observations with laboratory tests and discovered that nitrous acid can be taken up by soils and subsequently released the next day through reaction with the stronger acids. The team found nitrite – the salt form of nitrous acid – in particles containing large amounts of calcium and sodium. This suggested that reactions with mineral dust or soil produces nitrite salts, which react with the stronger acids produced by combustions processes, releasing nitrous acid. “We have demonstrated a process through which a significant amount of nitrous acid can be produced and observed in the daytime,” said Murphy. “This process can account for the majority of daytime nitrous acid produced from noon through sunset,” said VandenBoer. “Other mechanisms proposed previously have not been shown to be equally important both in the lab and in the field.” “This discovery allows us to better understand the sources of hydroxyl radical,” said Murphy. “Knowing where nitrous acid comes from during the daytime helps to understand the factors controlling air pollution.” The research is described in a study titled “Nocturnal loss and daytime source of nitrous acid through reactive uptake and displacement” published this week in Nature Geoscience. Additional researchers included scientists at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The research was supported by funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

 - 30 -

MEDIA CONTACTS: Jennifer Murphy Department of Chemistry University of Toronto 416-946-0260 jmuprhy@chem.utoronto.ca Trevor VandenBoer Department of Earth Science Memorial University 709-864-3001 tvandenboer@mun.ca Sean Bettam Communications, Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto 416-946-7950 s.bettam@utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON -- Countries with higher levels of compassion and openness score better when it comes to environmental sustainability, says research from the University of Toronto. A new study by Jacob Hirsh, an Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour & Human Resource Management at the University of Toronto Mississauga's Institute for Management & Innovation, who is cross-appointed to U of T's Rotman School of Management, demonstrates that a country’s personality profile can predict its environmental sustainability records. While Prof. Hirsh’s previous work has looked at how personality traits predict an individual’s attitudes about the environment, this latest study takes the research to another level, examining how those traits play out across whole nations. "We used to think that personality only mattered for individual outcomes,” says Prof. Hirsh, “but we’re finding that population differences in personality characteristics have many large-scale consequences”. The new study examined nation-level personality traits from a database of over 12,000 people in 51 countries. National personality differences, reflecting average trait profiles of a country’s citizens, were used to predict scores on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The EPI, developed at Yale and Columbia Universities, ranks countries across 22 environmental indicators, including Co2 emission levels, use of renewable energy, and ecosystem management. Higher scores on the EPI, reflecting more environmentally sustainable practices, were positively correlated with national levels of two personality traits: Agreeableness, which reflects empathy and compassion, and Openness, which reflects cognitive flexibility and aesthetic appreciation. The same relationships were observed even when controlling for national differences in wealth, education, and population size. These results highlight the psychological factors that can shape a nation’s environmental policies, says Prof. Hirsh. “Not only can a person’s attitudes about the environment be predicted from his or her personality traits, but the environmental practices of entire nations can be predicted from the personality profiles of their citizens”. The paper was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Environmental Psychology. For the latest thinking on business, management and economics from the Rotman School of Management, visit www.rotman.utoronto.ca/FacultyAndResearch/NewThinking.aspx.

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For more information: Ken McGuffin Manager, Media Relations Rotman School of Management University of Toronto Voice 416.946.3818 E-mail mcguffin@rotman.utoronto.ca Follow Rotman on Twitter @rotmanschool Watch Rotman on You Tube www.youtube.com/rotmanschool  

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON -- NASA announced last week that the next rover, being sent to Mars in 2020, will carry seven highly sophisticated instruments to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet. The instruments were selected from 58 proposals received from researchers and engineers around the world and Rebecca Ghent of the University of Toronto’s Department of Earth Sciences is on the team behind one of the carefully chosen winners: a ground-penetrating radar known as RIMFAX. The Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Exploration (RIMFAX) will conduct shallow profiling of the geological structure of Martian subsurface as the rover drives along the surface. Its goals are to discover evidence of the geological processes that shaped Mars' sedimentary environment, to search for evidence of past habitable environments and to look for variations in subsurface composition. “I'm very excited to be part of this mission,” said Ghent. “The community has been talking about putting a ground-penetrating radar on a Mars rover for a long time, and I'm delighted that I get to be part of the team to do it.  I expect that it will give us something that Earth geologists take for granted, but is very rare for planetary geologists: a view into the third or vertical dimension.” Unravelling the geological history of any region on any planet requires that third dimension, because it represents time, explains Ghent. Without it, we only have a snapshot, representing a single point in time. “Ground-penetrating radar gives us the opportunity to detect things beneath the surface, and should provide a wealth of new information that will help us put the rest of the rover' s findings into perspective. The opportunity to discover the geological history is what really excites me.” Ghent’s tasks prior to launch will be to measure the electrical properties of materials that represent analogs of those that will be found on Mars so that the scientists can interpret the radar’s results. She will also participate in field testing of instrument prototypes and related data analysis. After launch and during the science phase of the mission, Ghent will be involved in science planning for the investigation, data processing and scientific analysis as well as geological interpretation of the radar data. How does one end up being part of a Mars rover mission? Ghent’s interest in the geological process on the terrestrial planets – Venus, Mercury, Earth, the Moon and Mars – began in graduate school when she was analysing radar data from the Magellan mission to Venus. She’s been involved in various missions since, including the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which launched in 2009, and the OSIRIS REx asteroid sample return mission, scheduled for launch in 2016. The Mars 2020 mission will be based on the design of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which landed on Mars almost two years ago, and is currently operating there. In addition to geological assessments of the rover's landing site, Mars 2020 hopes to determine the potential habitability of the environment and directly search for signs of ancient Martian life.

-30-

For more information, contact: Rebecca Ghent Earth Sciences University of Toronto Cell: 619-481-4321 ghentr@es.utoronto.ca Kim Luke Communications Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto Tel: 416-978-4352 kim.luke@utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON - New research from the University of Toronto Scarborough shows that animal dispersal is influenced by a gene associated with feeding and food search behaviours. The study, which was carried out by UTSC Professor Mark Fitzpatrick and PhD student Allan Edelsparre, provides one of the first aimed at gaining a functional understanding of how genes can influence dispersal tendencies in nature. Using common fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), the researchers observed how two different foraging types – known as sitter flies and rover flies – moved over large distances when released in nature. They discovered that the rover flies, which are very active foragers as larvae, dispersed farther and more frequently than sitter flies, which are less active foragers. “What is fascinating is that we were able to observe, both in nature and in the laboratory, a system that links their feeding activity as larvae and how far they disperse as adults to levels of the foraging gene in their brain,” says Fitzpatrick. In the laboratory, the researchers were also able to confirm that the foraging gene influences dispersal by artificially inducing higher levels of the gene in sitters, which caused them to disperse like rover flies. Work on the dispersal tendencies of a variety of animals seem to converge on the notion that dispersal is not a random process. “Some individuals seem to have greater innate dispersal tendencies than others,” says Edelsparre. Like humans, animals have personalities including shyness, aggressiveness and sociability. Individuals with similar personalities often share several related behaviours and the authors suggest this may explain the link between feeding, food searching and dispersal. The findings may also shine light on links between feeding and dispersal in other animals. For example, dispersing naked mole rats and lizards are more active eaters. Fitzpatrick and Edelsparre also point to studies tracing the chemical signatures and dental records of early humans. While the chemical isotopes and tooth wear of most specimens indicated they foraged and resided locally, a few specimens carried isotopes from very different habitats suggesting they may have immigrated from far away. Whether the foraging gene plays a role in their dispersal tendencies remains unknown. The ability to predict differences in dispersal tendencies could also influence how we build and maintain natural corridors for threatened species or how we stop the spread of invasive species like the round goby, emerald ash borer, or the Asian longhorned beetle, adds Fitzpatrick. “We are at an exciting critical juncture where work on genes and genomes are merging with a wealth of work on behavioural personalities and animal movement ecology,” he says. The research is currently available online and will be published in the upcoming edition of Ecology Letters.

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For more information, contact: Dr. Mark Fitzpatrick Assistant Professor Integrative Behaviour and Neuroscience Group Dept. of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough Office: 416-208-2703 Lab: 416-208-2799 Allan Edelsparre PhD Student, University of Toronto Scarborough a.edelsparre@utoronto.ca Cell: 905-809-8581

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

KOOTENAY NATIONAL PARK, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Yoho National Park’s 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale – home to some of the planet’s earliest animals, including a very primitive human relative – is one of the world’s most important fossil sites. Now, more than a century after its discovery, a compelling sequel has been unearthed: 42 kilometres away in Kootenay National Park, a new Burgess Shale fossil site has been located that appears to equal the importance of the original discovery, and may one day even surpass it. The find was made in the summer of 2012 by a team from the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM, Jean-Bernard Caron), Pomona College (Robert Gaines), the University of Toronto (Jean-Bernard Caron, Cédric Aria), the University of Saskatchewan (Gabriela Mángano) and Uppsala University (Michael Streng). A paper published today in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications describes Kootenay National Park’s new ‘Marble Canyon’ fossil beds for the first time. The authors suggest that the area and its extraordinary fossils will greatly further our understanding of the sudden explosion of animal life during the Cambrian Period. The new fossil site is protected by Parks Canada, with the exact location remaining confidential to protect its integrity, though future visitor opportunities have not been ruled out. The ROM is especially proud of this discovery as it comes in a year the organization celebrates its 100th anniversary. Quick Facts
  • This new finding is the latest in a recent string of Burgess Shale discoveries, including confirmation that Pikaia, found only in Yoho National Park, is the most primitive known vertebrate and therefore the ancestor of all descendant vertebrates, including humans.
  • In over 100 years of research, approximately 200 animal species have been identified at the original Burgess Shale discovery in Yoho National Park in over 600 field days. In just 15 days of field collecting, 50 animal species have already been unearthed at the new Kootenay National Park site.
  • Some species found at the new Kootenay site are also found in China’s famous Chengjiang fossil beds, which are 10 million years older. This contributes to the pool of evidence suggesting that the local and worldwide distribution of Cambrian animals, as well as their longevity, might have been underestimated.
Explore and Discover
  • Explore the ROM/Parks Canada award winning website about Burgess Shale www.burgess-shale.rom.on.ca
  • Discover more about the Burgess Shale in Yoho and Kootenay national parks by visiting www.pc.gc.ca/burgessshale
  • Follow on Twitter with hashtag #BurgessShale or follow @ParksCanada or @ROMToronto
Quotes “This new discovery is an epic sequel to a research story that began at the turn of the previous century, and there is no doubt in my mind that this new material will significantly increase our understanding of early animal evolution. The rate at which we are finding animals – many of which are new – is astonishing, and there is a high possibility that we’ll eventually find more species here than at the original Yoho National Park site, and potentially more than from anywhere else in the world. We are very excited to go back to the field this summer, during the ROM’s Centennial year, with one of our main goals being to increase the number of new species discovered.” Dr. Jean-Bernard Caron Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Royal Ontario Museum, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and the study’s lead author “We were already aware of the presence of some Burgess Shale fossils in Kootenay National Park. We had a hunch that if we followed the formation along the mountain topography into new areas with the right rock types, maybe, just maybe, we would get lucky – though we never in our wildest dreams thought we’d track down a motherload like this. It didn’t take us very long at all to realize that we had dug up something special. To me, the Burgess Shale is a grand tale in every way imaginable, and we are incredibly proud to be part of this new chapter and to keep the story alive and thriving in everyone’s imagination.” Dr. Robert Gaines Geologist, Pomona College “The Burgess Shale is a tremendously rich resource important to our understanding of the development of life on this planet. Parks Canada is immensely proud to provide access to the fossils for cutting edge research such as this, for our award-winning guided hikes, and to protect forever these fossils in a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.” Melanie Kwong Parks Canada’s Superintendent responsible for the Burgess Shale

- 30 -

Journal Article Related Online Products Contacts Dr. Jean-Bernard Caron (bilingual – English-French) Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology, Royal Ontario Museum Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Toronto 416 586 5593; jcaron@rom.on.ca Dr. Robert Gaines Associate Professor of Geology, Pomona College Office: 909 621 8674, Cell: 909 451 3073; robert.gaines@pomona.edu Dr. Michael Streng Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University +46 70-9622588 or +46 18-4712579; michael.streng@geo.uu.se David McKay Communications Coordinator Royal Ontario Museum 416 586 5559; davidm@rom.on.ca Jennifer Thoma Media Relations Specialist University of Saskatchewan 306-966-1851; jennifer.thoma@usask.ca Omar McDadi (bilingual – English-French) Public Relations and Communications Officer Yoho and Kootenay national parks 403 760 1090; omar.mcdadi@pc.gc.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON – A new comprehensive modeling assessment of contamination in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region indicates that officially reported emissions of certain hazardous air pollutants have been greatly underestimated. The results of the assessment, which was carried out by University of Toronto Scarborough Environmental Chemistry professor Frank Wania and his PhD candidate Abha Parajulee, will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Monday, February 3 2014. The study constitutes the most comprehensive such model that has been done for the Oil Sands Region. The team used a model to assess the plausibility of reported emissions of a group of atmospheric pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Many PAHs are highly carcinogenic. “When dealing with chemicals that have the potential to harm people and animals, it is vital that we have a good understanding of how, and how much they are entering the environment,” said Parajulee, the lead author of the paper. PAHs are released during the process of extracting petroleum from the oil sands. Environmental Impact Assessments have so far only considered the PAHs that are released directly into the atmosphere. The risk associated with those direct releases was judged to fall within acceptable regulatory limits. The model used by Parajulee and Wania takes into account other indirect pathways for the release of PAHs that hadn’t been assessed before or were deemed negligible. For instance, they found that evaporation from tailings ponds – lakes of polluted water also created through oil sands processing – may actually introduce more PAHs into the atmosphere than direct emissions. “Tailings ponds are not the end of the journey for many of the pollutants they contain. Some PAHs are volatile, meaning they escape into the air much more than many people think,” says Parajulee. (pictured seated at right with Wania). The higher levels of PAHs the UTSC scientists’ model predicts when accounting for emissions from tailings ponds are consistent with what has actually been measured in samples taken from areas near and in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region. The authors also found, however, that tailings ponds emissions are likely not significant contributors of relatively involatile PAHs to the Oil Sands Region atmosphere. Instead, other emissions sources not taken into account by the environmental impact assessment, such as blowing dust, are probably more important for these chemicals. The pair of researchers modeled only three PAHs, which they believe are representative of others. Still, they say, their model indicates better monitoring data and emissions information are needed to improve our understanding of the environmental impact of the oil sands even further. “Our study implies that PAH concentrations in air, water, and food, that are estimated as part of environmental impact assessments of oil sands mining operations are very likely too low,” says Wania. “Therefore the potential risks to humans and wildlife may also have been underestimated.”

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Contact: Abha Parajulee PhD Candidate UTSC Department of Environmental Science Tel: 416-287-7506 a.parajulee@mail.utoronto.ca Media contact: Don Campbell Media Relations Officer University of Toronto Scarborough Tel: 416-208-2938 dcampbell@utsc.utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON – International high-energy physics research project IceCube has been named the 2013 Breakthrough of the Year by British magazine Physics World. The Antarctic observatory has been selected for making the first observation of cosmic neutrinos, but also for overcoming the many challenges of creating and operating a colossal detector deep under the ice at the South Pole. “The ability to detect cosmic neutrinos is a remarkable achievement that gives astronomers a completely new way of studying the cosmos,” says Hamish Johnston, editor of physicsworld.com. “The judges of the 2013 award were also impressed with the IceCube collaboration’s ability to build and operate a huge and extremely sensitive detector in the most remote and inhospitable place on Earth.” Essentially a telescope in the ground, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory was completed in December 2010, after seven years of construction at the South Pole. But the idea of a huge detector buried in the ice was conceived a long time ago And in the 1990s, the AMANDA detector was built as a proof of concept for IceCube. By January 2005, the first sensors of IceCube had already reached 2,450 metres below the Antarctic ice sheet, and a few weeks ago the IceCube Collaboration published the first evidence for a very high-energy astrophysical neutrino flux in Science. “This is the beginning of a new era for astronomy,” says University of Toronto physicist and IceCube collaborator Ken Clark. “This result opens up the ability to use neutrinos to explore our universe. These really are the ideal messenger particles since they can travel vast distances without stopping or slowing.” IceCube principal investigator is Francis Halzen, the Hilldale and Gregory Breit Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As he envisioned, the Antarctic ice became the perfect medium to search for very high-energy neutrinos that, after travelling through the universe during millions — even billions — of years, haphazardly interact with the nucleus of a molecule of ice. “I did not imagine that the science would be as exciting as building this detector,” says Halzen. “Challenges were many, from deciphering the optical properties of ice that we have never seen, to drilling a hole to 2.5 kilometres in two days, and then repeating 86 times. The success of IceCube builds on the efforts of hundreds of collaborators around the world — from the design, the deployment in a harsh environment and the AMANDA prototype, to data harvesting and physics analysis.” IceCube is comprised of 5,160 digital optical modules suspended along 86 cables embedded in a cubic kilometre of ice beneath the South Pole. It detects neutrinos through the tiny flashes of blue light, called Cherenkov light, that are produced when neutrinos interact in the ice. Physics World will be hosting a Google Hangout on Friday, December 13, at 11a.m. EST with: •           Hamish Johnston, editor of physicsworld.com (in London) •           Francis Halzen, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and principal investigator of IceCube (in Madison, Wisconsin) •           James Roth, a member of the IceCube Collaboration and a senior electronics instrument specialist at the University of Delaware (at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station) The Hangout can also be viewed live on the Physics World YouTube channel. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory was built under a National Science Foundation Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction grant, with assistance from partner funding agencies around the world. The project continues with support from a Maintenance and Operations grant from the NSF’s Division of Polar Programs and Physics Division, along with international support from participating institutions and their funding agencies. UW–Madison is the lead institution and the international collaboration includes 275 physicists and engineers from the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, U.K., Korea and Denmark.

 - 30 -

Note to media: Visit http://icecube.wisc.edu/gallery/press for a multimedia gallery about the IceCube project. MEDIA CONTACTS: Ken Clark Department of Physics University of Toronto kclark@physics.utoronto.ca 416-978-4742 Sean Bettam Communications, Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto s.bettam@utoronto.ca 416-946-7950

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON - Scientists from U of T’s Department of Chemistry have discovered a novel chemical lurking in the atmosphere that appears to be a long-lived greenhouse gas (LLGHG).  The chemical – perfluorotributylamine (PFTBA) – is the most radiatively efficient chemical found to date, breaking all other chemical records for its potential to impact climate. Radiative efficiency describes how effectively a molecule can affect climate. This value is then multiplied by its atmospheric concentration to determine the total climate impact. PFTBA has been in use since the mid-20th century for various applications in electrical equipment and is currently used in thermally and chemically stable liquids marketed for use in electronic testing and as heat transfer agents.  It does not occur naturally, that is, it is produced by humans. There are no known processes that would destroy or remove PFTBA in the lower atmosphere so it has a very long lifetime, possibly hundreds of years, and is destroyed in the upper atmosphere. “Global warming potential is a metric used to compare the cumulative effects of different greenhouse gases on climate over a specified time period,” said Cora Young who was part of the U of T team, along with Angela Hong and their supervisor, Scott Mabury.  Time is incorporated in the global warming potential metric as different compounds stay in the atmosphere for different lengths of time, which determines how long-lasting the climate impacts are. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is used as the baseline for comparison since it is the most important greenhouse gas responsible for human-induced climate change.  “PFTBA is extremely long-lived in the atmosphere and it has a very high radiative efficiency; the result of this is a very high global warming potential.  If we release the same mass of PFTBA as CO2, PFTBA is 7100 times as impactful as CO2 over 100 years,” said Hong. The research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and was published online at Geophysical Research Letters on November 27, 2013.

 -30-

MEDIA CONTACTS: Angela C. Hong Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto ahong@chem.utoronto.ca 416-946-3011

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON — The University of Toronto Scarborough broke ground today (Oct. 8) on the technologically advanced Environmental Science and Chemistry Building (ESCB). Since the new building will be home to environmental sciences, UTSC is walking the talk: targeting LEED Gold certification with sustainable features that include geothermal boreholes, an Earth Tube system to supply 100 percent fresh air to the administrative wing, unique fritted glazing to minimize solar heat gain, all LED lighting fixtures and a high performance curtainwall. Once completed it would become the first new building at the University of Toronto to receive LEED Gold certification. “As a graduate of UTSC, I have experienced first-hand the commitment to excellence that this school has and the new Environmental Science and Chemistry Building will be no different. The University’s choice of a cutting-edge sustainable building design is just another sign of the innovative spirit of this campus and its students,” said the Honourable Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. The 110,000-square-foot (9,290-square-metre) facility provides innovative design solutions for sustainable and highly flexible research and study space. It will house two disciplines in the Department of Physical and Environmental Science, with research and teaching laboratories, an analytical instrumentation centre, office and meeting space. The ESCB will also include student study space, a librarian office, a police office, seminar rooms and multi-purpose space. “Not so long ago this wonderful location was the site of a parking lot. In about 18 months, it will be the site of another beautiful new building, designed to support the excellence of our faculty, staff, and students at UTSC,” said University of Toronto President David Naylor. UTSC’s Department of Physical and Environmental Science and its chemistry program have a history of highly respected teaching as well as innovative water and environmental research. This building will enable UTSC to remain at the forefront of preparing students to work in the interdisciplinary context of environmental science. It will also help train the next generation of experts to address the scientific challenges presented by environmental issues such as groundwater pollution in urban settings, restoration of degraded environmental systems, climate change and rising sea levels. “The Department of Physical and Environmental Science is a powerhouse, with a great story of innovation and discovery,” said UTSC Principal Franco Vaccarino.  “That story can now continue to unfold and be celebrated in this exceptional new facility as it becomes home to the faculty and staff of the Environmental Science and Chemistry programs, and almost 200 graduate students in U of T’s Environmental Science professional master’s and PhD programs.” The new building will be a science education and research hub on UTSC’s north campus complementing development that already includes the Instructional Centre and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre that is currently under construction. The building is scheduled to open in July 2015; total project cost for this own funds building is $65.1 million.  The Design/Build contract was awarded to internationally renowned Diamond Schmitt Architects in partnership with EllisDon. About University of Toronto Scarborough UTSC offers undergraduate and graduate students the academic rigour for which the University of Toronto is renowned. Combined with innovative experiential education opportunities, a focus on emerging areas of scholarship and a wide range of programming spanning the sciences, arts, management, teacher education, and U of T’s only co-op prorgrams, UTSC has everything needed to help students achieve their life goals. UTSC’s $35 million fundraising campaign is an integral component of Boundless: The Campaign for University of Toronto, which is raising $2 billion for a suite of initiatives directed toward Preparing Global Citizens and Meeting Global Challenges. It is the largest fundraising campaign in Canadian history.  For more information on the University of Toronto Scarborough, visit:http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/home/

-30- 

For more information, contact: University of Toronto Scarborough Don Campbell Media Relations Officer Tel: 416-208-2938 Dcampbell@utsc.utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON - A team of scientists from Canada and Australia have discovered that the decline in shark populations is detrimental to coral reefs. “Where shark numbers are reduced due to commercial fishing, there is also a decrease in the herbivorous fishes which play a key role in promoting reef health,” said Jonathan Ruppert, a recent University of Toronto PhD graduate. Ruppert was part of a team engaged in long-term monitoring of reefs off Australians northwest coast. Team leader Mark Meekan of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), said that the results might, at first glance, seem strange. “However our analysis suggests that where shark numbers are reduced, we see a fundamental change in the structure of food chains on reefs.” “We saw increasing numbers of mid-level predators – such as snappers – and a reduction in the number of herbivores such as parrotfishes. The parrotfishes are very important to coral reef health because they eat the algae that would otherwise overwhelm young corals on reefs recovering from natural disturbances,” said Meekan. According to Ruppert, the study comes at an opportune time – coral reefs are facing a number of pressures both from direct human activity, such as over-fishing, as well as from climate change. The reefs studied are about 300 kilometres off the coast of northwest Australia where Indonesian fishers target sharks – a practice stretching back several centuries and which continues under an Australian-Indonesian memorandum of understanding. “The reefs provided us with a unique opportunity to isolate the impact of over-fishing of sharks on reef resilience, and assess that impact in the broader context of climate change pressures threatening coral reefs,” said Ruppert. “Shark fishing appears to have quite dramatic effects on coral reef ecosystems. Given that sharks are in decline on reefs worldwide, largely due to the shark fin trade, this information may prove integral to restoration and conservation efforts.” Tracking studies show that, in many cases, individual reef sharks are closely attached to certain coral reefs.  This means that even relatively small marine-protected areas could be effective in protecting the top-level predators and allowing coral reefs to better able to recover from coral bleaching or large cyclones which are increasing in frequency due to the warming of the oceans as a result of climate change. The study will appear in the September 28issue of journal PLOS One. Lead author Jonathan Ruppert completed his PhD at the University of Toronto and was also based at AIMS for part of his research. Ruppert is currently a post-doctoral research associate at York University. Other team members included Marie-Josée Fortin of U of T’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Michael Travers of AIM and Luke Smith, the principal environmental scientist at Woodside Energy. The research was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Woodside Energy of Perth, Australia. Images are at http://uoft.me/sharks For more information, please contact: Jonathan Ruppert, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Department of Biology, York University 647-205-8636 jonathanruppert@gmail.com https://sites.google.com/site/jonathanlwruppert/ Kim Luke Communications, Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto Kim.luke@utoronto.ca 416-978-4352 Media Relations media.relations@utoronto.ca 416-978-0100

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON – The University of Toronto is very pleased that Toronto city councillors re-affirmed the city's commitment to renewed fields on the university’s historic back campus. City council voted in favour of the University’s plan to proceed with the project, which will involve creating two artificial turf fields. The fields will provide a venue for field hockey and para-sports during the 2015 Pan/Parapan-Am games. More importantly for the university, they will resolve a long-standing problem of limited utilization of the back campus playing fields, and allow increased access for sport and recreation for students and the entire university community.  Construction on the fields will begin before the end of the month. “The debate over the back campus has been waged with passion on both sides,” said David Naylor, President of the University of Toronto.  “The University and its partners made a commitment to support the Pan/Parapan-American Games with this facility. The City has now re-confirmed its commitment, and we’re grateful. We look forward both to new opportunities for our intramural and other recreational athletes and, of course, to helping host the Toronto 2015 events.” While the motion voted on today at city council was a last-minute effort to stop the project, Vice President Scott Mabury stressed that the University consulted widely and first publicly surfaced the proposal for the facility back in 2009.  He added: “We know that emotions ran high on this issue, and it’s unfortunate that so much misinformation was circulated. All the more reason for us to keep communicating, and to keep looking at this new installation from every angle once it’s installed.” Naylor thanked students, community members, faculty, staff and its partners at Toronto 2015, for making the project a reality and for their strong support during the debate leading up to today’s city council decision. "Without the enthusiasm of those who recognize the value these new fields have for the university and the community, this project would not have been possible,” he said.  “We are happy to continue to work with the city and all our partners on all aspects of this project.” Naylor also noted that the University is already engaged in planning to ensure the preservation of the heritage of the entire St. George campus, including the back campus. That planning will continue with the City as a full partner.

-30-

For more information, contact: University of Toronto Media Relations 416-978-0100; media.relations@utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO, ON – Many plants are self-fertilizing, meaning they act as both mother and father to their own seeds. This strategy – known as selfing – guarantees reproduction but, over time, leads to reduced diversity and the accumulation of harmful mutations. A new study published in the scientific journal Nature Genetics shows that these negative consequences are apparent across a selfing plant’s genome, and can arise more rapidly than previously thought. In the study, an international consortium led by Stephen Wright in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto and Detlef Weigel at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology sequenced the genome of the plant species Capsella rubella, commonly known as Red Shepherd’s Purse. They found clear evidence that harmful mutations were accumulating over the species’ relatively short existence. “The results underscore the long-term advantages of outcrossing, which is the practice of mating between individuals, that gives us the wide array of beautiful flowers,” said Wright. “Selfing is a good short-term strategy but over long timescales may lead to extinction.” Red Shepherd’s Purse is a very young species that has been self-fertilizing for less than 200,000 years. It is therefore especially well-suited for studying the early effects of self-fertilization. By contrasting Red Shepherd’s Purse with the outcrossing species that gave rise to it, the researchers showed that self-fertilization has already left traces across the genome of Red Shepherd’s Purse. “Harmful mutations are always happening,” said Wright. “In crops, they could reduce yield just as harmful mutations in humans can cause disease. The mutations we were looking at are changes in the DNA that change the protein sequence and structure.” The findings represent a major breakthrough in the study of self-fertilization. "It is expected that harmful mutations should accumulate in selfing species, but it has been difficult to support this claim in the absence of large-scale genomic data,” says lead author Tanja Slotte, a past member of Wright’s research team and now a researcher at Uppsala University. “The results help to explain why ancient self-fertilizing lineages are rare, and support the long-standing hypothesis that the process is an evolutionary dead-end and leads to extinction." The researchers said that with many crops known to be self-fertilizing, the study highlights the importance of preserving crop genetic variation to avoid losses in yield due to mutations accumulating. The findings are reported in the paper “The Capsella rubella genome and the genomic consequences of rapid mating system evolution” in Nature Genetics this week. Other lead collaborators on the study included researchers from the Max Planck Institute in Tübigen, Germany and the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute. The research is supported by funding from the US Department of Energy, the Max Planck Institute, Genome Canada and Genome Quebec.

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Note to media: Visit http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/main/media-releases/self-fertilizing-plants-study for images related to the research study described here. For more information, please contact: Stephen Wright Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of Toronto 416-946-8508 stephen.wright@utoronto.ca Sean Bettam Communications, Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto 416-946-7950 s.bettam@utoronto.ca

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more. 

TORONTO – A team of scientists from the University of Toronto and Manchester University in the United Kingdom have gone three kilometres beneath the surface of the Canadian Shield to find some of the oldest fluids in our planet’s history. The waters are rich in clues about lives lived without sunlight on Earth and possibly on Mars. Their discovery will be published in the May 16 issue of Nature. “The saline waters bubbling out of fractures in the rocks are not unlike the black smoker fluids found at deep sea hydrothermal vents,” said University Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar, a geochemist in U of T’s Department of Earth Sciences. “The water is the product of geochemical reactions with the rock and contains dissolved hydrogen, as well as noble gases – helium, neon, argon and particularly xenon – that have been trapped since early in Earth’s history.” Noble gas isotopes from radiogenic reactions in the rock accumulate in water over time enabling scientists to calculate that these waters have collected the by-products of water-rock interaction for more than a billion years – possibly even back to the formation of these ancient rocks more than 2.7 billion years ago. The team behind this latest discovery is part of the same group that identified some of the deepest chemolithotrophic – rock and chemical-eating – microbial communities found to date. In 2006, at 2.8 km below the surface in South African gold mines, they found hydrogen-utilizing sulfate-reducing microbes eking out an existence in saline fracture waters that have been cut off from the sun for tens of millions of years. “The ancient waters of the Canadian Shield contain abundant chemicals that we know microbes can use as energy in the absence of sunlight-driven photosynthesis,” said Sherwood Lollar. “This shows that ancient rocks have the potential to support life and this could be the case whether they are three kilometres below the Earth’s surface or below the surface of Mars.” Large regions of Mars are made up of terrain like that of the Earth’s Precambrian Shield – billions of years-old rocks with similar mineralogy. The Canadian Shield discovery puts the age of the fluids much farther back in time than the South Africa discovery, identifying a groundwater system that has been isolated from the planet’s surface for billions, rather than tens of millions of years. “Our discovery establishes that ancient fluids, hitherto thought to have survived only in microscopic fluid inclusions trapped in the rocks, may instead still flow from ancient fractures,” said Sherwood Lollar. The team hopes answers can be found to other pressing questions such as how widespread are ancient fluids trapped in the subsurface? What range of fluid ages might be preserved in the Canadian Shield and in billions-year-old rocks worldwide? How do microbes, if any can be found, in these very ancient fluids compare to those discovered in South Africa, and to surface life? “These are like trapped time capsules,” said Sherwood Lollar. “They may tell us about the atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago, and about the fluids that formed the valuable ore deposits that are the foundation of Canada’s mineral wealth.” Team members include co-principal investigator Sherwood Lollar and her postdoctoral fellow Long Li, co-principal investigator Christopher Ballentine and postdoctoral fellow Greg Holland, both of the University of Manchester and Greg Slater from McMaster University. Funding was provided by a Discovery grant from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canada Research Chairs Program, the National Environment Research Council in the UK and the Deep Carbon Observatory Deep Energy Project.

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For more information, contact: Barbara Sherwood Lollar Department of Earth Sciences University of Toronto bslollar@chem.utoronto.ca 416-978-0770 Kim Luke Communications, Faculty of Arts & Science University of Toronto Kim.luke@utoronto.ca 416-978-4352 @UofTArtSci  

Latest Media Releases

July 24, 2017

New Appointments Strengthen Research and Teaching Activities at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Toronto, ON – An expert in global health and international development and a senior finance professional with over 25 years of experience in capital markets are among the new faculty members who are joining the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management at the start of the 2017/18 academic year. The appointments help to strength the school’s research activities as well its teaching capabilities across all of the School’s pre and post experience programs. Ryann Manning joins the Rotman School as…

July 17, 2017

Machine learning meets materials discovery: Researchers from IBM, Toyota, and Citrine Informatics speak at UofT

Toronto, ON –  Machine learning and artificial intelligence are poised to revolutionize the way companies do business in the fields of healthcare, transportation, and materials research. With the launch of the new Vector Institute, Toronto is quickly becoming a hub for machine learning development. Following this momentum is a three-part limited edition CIFAR seminar series, Machine Learning for Accelerated Materials Discovery, on July 18, 24, and 25, co-hosted by the Departments of Computer Science and The Edward S. Rogers Sr.…

July 12, 2017

New book by UTM prof reveals flaws of workplace discrimination law

Toronto, ON – A new book by U of T Mississauga assistant professor of sociology Ellen Berrey explores the legal outcomes of the most common type of civil litigation in the United States—employment discrimination claims—and the limitations of the law in addressing problems of workplace inequality. In Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality, American Bar Association scholars and co-authors Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson and Laura Beth Nielsen provide a comprehensive analysis of employment civil rights litigation in the U.S., and…

June 29, 2017

City Hall task force says don't overhaul the system, just fix it

Toronto, ON – In the first general review of Toronto governance in over a decade, SPPG’s City Hall Task Force has released its highly anticipated report offering a practical blueprint to reform Toronto’s City Council. The report outlines six key priorities that City Council can act on immediately, without the need for provincial intervention, to make deliberation and decision making more effective, more efficient, more transparent, and more inclusive. “City Council is not functioning as well as it could, plain…

June 21, 2017

Rotman MBA Honoured with Award from Forté Foundation

Toronto, ON – A graduating student in the Full Time MBA program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management has received the Edie Hunt Inspiration Award from the Forté Foundation. Alex Walker Turner, MBA’17, received the award which recognizes the achievements of a woman MBA student who has made significant contributions to her school or community to advance women into business leadership positions.  Turner, along with four Rotman classmates, established a new initiative, Rotman LINKS, which connects Rotman MBA…

June 12, 2017

Can't shake old ideas? Wash them off, suggests Rotman study

Toronto, ON – Handwipes aren't just for germs anymore.  Their uses may extend to more flexible thinking and reorienting one's priorities. A pair of researchers at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has found the physicality of cleaning one's hands acts to shift goal pursuit, making prior goals less important and subsequent goals more important. The researchers' four experiments each began by bringing participants' attention to particular goals through word games or a short survey, a process called "priming."…

June 5, 2017

Canada’s Top University Kicks off #UofTGrad17, The Country’s Biggest Graduation

Toronto, ON – Starting Tuesday, June 6 the next generation of leaders will graduate from Canada’s top university. This year, U of T will host 27 different ceremonies (two more than in 2016) over 13 days for almost 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga. They will be joined by 15 honorary degree recipients who have made notable achievements in their fields. Among them: celebrated Inuk singer and songwriter Susan Aglukark; media…

See all news releases

Media Hotline
+1 (416) 978-0100

Email
media.relations@utoronto.ca

Social

U of T in the News

Toronto Star | July 24, 2017

How Toronto's chief medical officer became the people’s doctor

Profile of Faculty of Medicine alumna Eileen de Villa, who is Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. Read more. 

The Globe and Mail | July 23, 2017

Observers temper expectations for Sears liquidation deals

David Soberman of the Rotman School of Management analyzes how Sears Canada can make the best of their liquidation. Read more. 

CBC News | July 22, 2017

Canadian researchers develop technology for self-driving wheelchairs

The Institute for Aerospace Studies’ Jonathan Kelly describes a program to develop affordable self-driving wheelchairs. Read more.