Story Highlights

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Bayly Mapping a species niche and its distribution

Article by Matthew Bayly (Angert Lab).

A current important area of research effort involves understanding how species’ geographic distributions and range limits will respond to climate change. But for most species of interest we lack basic data on how their fitness changes along climatic gradients. In many cases distribution data from…

Douglas Poplar Update on plant sex: breakthrough discovery in poplars

Article by Carl Douglas

Do plants have different sexes, meaning distinct male and female individual organisms within a species? The separation of male and female sexual function into different individuals is called “dioecy” and is common in eukaryotes, occurring in 94% of animals. Yes - this occurs in plants but in contrast to animals it…

Haslam How do plants make exceptionally long lipids for their cuticles?

Article by Tegan Haslam (Kunst Lab)

The transition of plants to life on land required many adaptations for survival in an environment so radically different from the sea. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of terrestrial life is the necessity of retaining water, which makes up more than 70% of most non-woody plant parts. Plants have…

Hind Seaweed Diversity on Calvert Island, British Columbia

Article by Katy Hind, Sandra Lindstrom, and Patrick Martone

It is estimated that we have described only 10-20% of species diversity on Earth.  In particular, floristic surveys using modern molecular techniques have revealed that we are vastly underestimating the number of seaweed species.  This finding has implications for researchers…

Samuel pic Biomechanical consequences of branching in flexible, wave-swept macroalgae

Article by Samuel Starko and Patrick Martone

What physical factors influence the morphological variation of plants? How do different morphologies coexist, if they perform similar ecological roles? Marine, non-vascular plants (seaweeds) live in some of the most physically stressful habitats on the planet: wave-swept rocky shores. Seaweeds…

Haughn article Exploring cell wall structure and function with seed coat mucilage

Article by George Haughn

The primary plant cell wall of land plants is an essential cellular structure needed for support, cell-cell adhesion, signaling and interaction with both the biotic and abiotic environment. It is composed of a complex, dynamic extracellular matrix consisting of a network of carbohydrate polymers (cellulose,…

Curtis Suttle Viruses have helped to sculpture life and the world we live on

By 2019 Wall Scholar Curtis Suttle, a Professor and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada at the University of British Columbia, where he shares an office with billions of viruses.

The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is just the latest in what seems to be a never-ending war against the spread of viral diseases; Measles, Influenza, HIV,…

Coral Reefs Dive into the mysterious connection between malaria and coral reefs - Patrick Keeling

For most of us, microbes mean only one thing: disease. Disease-causing microbes are actually the extreme minority of the most abundant form of life on Earth. But because of their immediate and direct importance to our health, they are much better studied than the rest of the microbial world. Still, new discoveries about the basic biology and…

Stalked Glandular Trichome The frostier the flower, the more potent the cannabis

Cannabis flowers with the most mushroom-shaped hairs pack the biggest cannabinoid and fragrance punch, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

While the cannabis leaf is iconic, it’s the chemicals produced by the tiny, frostlike hairs on cannabis flowers that give the plant its psychoactive and medicinal…

Takakia Lepidozioides Collecting the Impossible moss: BC species key to charting 1 billion years of plant evolution

An international team of researchers have completed a massive effort to sequence genes from more than 1,100 plant species—an undertaking that saw UBC botanists collect rare mosses from remote corners of BC, and travel to the South Pacific to collect parasitic plants.

"One of the crucial samples we wanted to include was a parasitic…