News & Events


Dr. Wilma Ethel Elias Scholarship in Chemistry

Dr. Wilma Ethel Elias (1925-2018) was the first woman to obtain a PhD from the University of British Columbia. Thanks to a thoughtful and generous bequest from this distinguished alumna, the Dr. Wilma Ethel Elias Scholarship in Chemistry endowment has been established to provide scholarships for women studying chemistry at the graduate level.

Wilma Elias was born in Calgary, Alberta, in 1925. Her mother had been a school teacher, which may have perhaps inspired an interest in...

Chemistry Welcomes New Faculty Member Dr. Eva Nichols

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Eva Nichols as an Assistant Professor in the area of Inorganic Chemistry. She will join the department in August 2020.

Dr. Nichols completed her PhD in Chemistry at the University of California, Berkley, where she examined the role of second coordination sphere groups in promoting electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction and developed hybrid bio-materials platforms for artificial photosynthesis. She went on to a...

Chemistry Department Response to COVID-19

As of March 19, 2020, the department will be maintaining essential services only until further notice. Department members are working from home. Staff and faculty can still be reached via email during regular work hours here:


For more detailed updates on COVID-19, please visit:


Congratulations to Maria Cleveland and David Tonkin!

Congratulations to Maria Cleveland and David Tonkin for the 2020 Science Excellence in Service Award. This award recognizes the exceptional service contributions of Science’s staff, students and faculty. Maria and David were presented this award at the Faculty of Science meeting on March 4, 2020. Congratulations once again on their outstanding contributions to the Faculty of Science!

Chemistry Welcomes New Faculty Member Dr. Jolene Reid

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jolene Reid as an assistant professor in the area of Machine Learning in Chemistry. She will join the department on July 1st.

Dr. Reid received her PhD in chemistry from the University of Cambridge and is currently an NSF Marie Curie fellow working at the University of Utah on combining machine learning with statistical and computational techniques in modeling molecular structure effects on experimental outcomes...

Congratulations to Laurel Schafer!

Professor Laurel Schafer has been selected for the Society of Chemical Industry LeSueur Memorial Award. This award is presented for development of technical excellence, in either a university, industrial setting or research institution in Canada, which is of benefit to Canada in an industry that is based on Chemistry.

Congratulations Laurel!

Investigation of the Fine Structure of Antihydrogen

Prof. Momose’s team has been collaborating as part of ALPHA with CERN to investigate a quantum theory, the Lamb shift in hydrogen. Research efforts by TRIUMF researchers at UBC, including Prof. Momose, have detected the Lamb shift in anti-hydrogen, hydrogen’s antimatter counterpart. Their research findings are published in Nature.   

Read the paper here:

Congratulations to Ed Grant!

Dr. Ed Grant has been awarded the Canadian Society for Chemistry John C. Polanyi Award. This award is presented for excellence by a scientist carrying out research in Canada in physical, theoretical or computational chemistry or chemical physics.

Congratulations Dr. Grant!

Women in Science: Alyssa Henderson

Alyssa Henderson has always been more inclined towards math and science. A big part of her interest comes from having fantastic teachers that made science exciting. For example, her biology teacher in high school had her class design their own experiments, even though they were only 17 at the time. He would say, “Pick a question that you would like to answer and then go answer it.” Knowing that she could pose a...

Congratulations to Curtis Berlinguette!

Dr. Curtis Berlinguette has been awarded the Canadian Society for Chemistry Research Excellence in Materials Chemistry. This award is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has made an outstanding contribution to materials chemistry while working in Canada.

Congratulations Dr. Berlinguette!

Chemistry Welcomes New Faculty Member Dr. Orlando Rojas

The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Orlando Rojas as a Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Forest Bioproducts. He shares a joint appointment with the Faculty of Applied Science, Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering and Faculty of Forestry, Department of Wood Science. He joined UBC in December 2019.

Dr. Rojas comes to us...

Congratulations to Laurel Schafer!

Professor Laurel Schafer has been selected for the 2020 Canadian Green Chemistry and Engineering Award. This award is presented to an individual working in Canada who has made significant contributions to advance green chemistry and/or engineering, including the technical, human health and environmental benefits.

Congratulations Laurel!

The Department Mourns the Passing of Dr. F. Geoffrey Herring

Dr. F. Geoffrey Herring, Professor Emeritus, passed away on December 30th, 2019. He was 80 years old.


Just hours before the beginning of a new decade Geoff died at home, peacefully, in his sleep. He had problems with his heart for many years, a fact which he largely kept private, and this as well as the effects of more recent treatment for prostate cancer appears to have finally caught up with the avid soccer fan, runner, darts player and University researcher and educator....

Rubber Materials that Change Colour when Stretched

Congratulations to Charlotte Boott and Andy Tran (from the MacLachlan lab) whose recent paper was published in Angewandte Chemie and identified by the reviewers as a very important paper (VIP). In this work, Charlotte and Andy developed an elastomeric material with cellulose nanocrystals that becomes coloured and iridescent only when it is stretched.  The elastomers could be made so that they display a pattern when they are stretched. These materials could open new avenues in sensor...

The Department Mourns the Passing of Dr. William R. Cullen

Dr. William R. Cullen, FRSC, Professor Emeritus (Inorganic and Environmental Chemistry) passed away on December 1st, 2019. He was 86 years old.

Bill, a New Zealand cricketer with a knack for chemistry, from Dunedin on the South Island, received his BSc and MSc degrees from Otago University, and his PhD from Cambridge University working with Harry Emeléus FRS, one of the giants of the post-war era.  Bill then joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of British Columbia (UBC...

Congratulations to the Perrin Lab!

The Perrin lab's work on one-step, metal-free peptide stapling has been featured on the inside cover of Angewandte Chemie. Congratulations!

Read more:

A New Approach to CO2 Conversion

Prof. Berlinguette’s team has been collaborating with Marc Robert (University of Paris / CNRS) to develop efficient CO2 conversion technologies that will contribute to a carbon-neutral environment. Their latest findings, published in Science, demonstrate that simple, commercially available molecules can drive CO2 electro-reduction at efficiencies that rival state-of-the-art gold and silver catalysts.


Read the paper here:...

Self-driving Laboratory for Accelerated Discovery of Thin-Film Materials

Profs. Berlinguette and Hein are happy to announce the first publication coming out of Project Ada, a three year, $8 million program in partnership with Prof. Aspuru-Guzik at the University of Toronto. They have successfully demonstrated the ability of their platform to optimize a thin film coating critical to solar cell fabrication, accomplished through autonomous cycles of fabrication, analysis, and AI-driven iteration.

Read the paper here:...

Congratulations to Laurel Schafer!

Dr. Laurel Schafer has been appointed as a Canada Research Chair in Catalyst Development, Tier 1.

On June 14, 2019, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced an investment of over $275 million for 346 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 52 institutions across Canada for research excellence. The Canada Research Chair program helps attract and retain top researchers across the country. Today’s announcement will support 15 new chairs at UBC, 16 renewed...

Congratulations to Katherine Ryan!

Katherine Ryan, an Associate Professor here at the Department of Chemistry, has been selected for the 2018 Charles A. McDowell Award for Excellence in Research. Katherine was recognized for demonstrating excellence in pure or applied scientific research.

Congratulations Katherine!

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