Year in Review 2019: Top headlines at York University, January to March

As a new year emerges, YFile takes a look back on 2019 to share with readers a snapshot of the year’s highlights. “Year in Review” will run as a four-part series and will feature a random selection of top news stories published in YFile. Here are the stories and highlights for January to March 2019, as chosen by YFile editors.


The official ribbon cutting for the Rob & Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building

Schulich’s Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building opens with focus on future
York University and the Schulich School of Business officially opened the Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building on Jan. 10. The facility is designed to bring industry into the classroom and to stimulate interdisciplinary research in fields ranging from business ethics and big data to global enterprise and real estate and infrastructure.

Lassonde researchers develop portable cannabis detection device for roadside screening
Lassonde Assistant Professor Nima Tabatabaei and his team of researchers developed and tested a patent-pending technology for fast, on-site detection and quantification of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive substance of cannabis – in saliva. The technology uses thermal signatures of gold nanoparticles attached to THC molecules.

Second-year Space Engineering student launching her dreams this April
For many Space Engineering students, launching a rocket into the ether is a dream that takes years of school and work experience to achieve. Second-year space engineering student Megan Gran is one of 24 students in the world who has been selected to participate in the Fly a Rocket! program offered by the European Space Agency at the Andøya Space Center in Norway.

Unravelling the mystery of a strange, deadly fungus that is infecting frogs worldwide
While completing her master’s degree in biology, Julia Gauberg spent three months in Australia trying to figure out how a particular fungus is causing the death of so many Australian green tree frogs and other amphibians around the world. Gauberg thought tight junction (TJ) proteins might play a role.


York University celebrates its green heroes
York University’s green heroes were celebrated during the annual President’s Sustainability Leadership Awards reception. York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton presented the awards and each recipient was presented with a bespoke award crafted from recycled material by York University student Maira Zafar.

Professor Ali Kazimi earns Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts
Ali Kazimi, a filmmaker, writer, visual artist and associate professor at York University, is one of eight recipients of the 2019 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Announced by the Canada Council for the Arts on Feb. 13, the award honours artists for their exceptional careers and excellent contributions to the arts.

Biologists identify honeybee ‘clean’ genes known for improving survival
The key to breeding disease-resistant honeybees could lie in a group of genes – known for controlling hygienic behaviour – that enable colonies to limit the spread of harmful mites and bacteria, according to genomics research conducted at York University.

Ideas intersect at the Elia Scholars Dinner honouring graduate student researchers
Art, science, philosophy and social justice all intersect at the Elia Scholars Dinner, an annual event that honours some of York University’s most innovative graduate student researchers. The Elia Scholars Program is York’s most prestigious internal award.


York research projects honoured by lieutenant-governor of Ontario
The Lieutenant-Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards for Excellence in Conservation celebrate outstanding contributions to cultural and natural heritage conservation, environmental sustainability and biodiversity. This year, York University’s Department of History was honoured with two of these awards.

John Moores

New research led by York U planetary scientist provides clues on methane’s interaction with surface of Mars
A study led by John Moores, an associate professor in the Department of Earth & Space Science & Engineering, found evidence of a link between the surface rocks and the methane in the atmosphere detected by the Curiosity Rover on Mars. Researchers say it is this process that is controlling how much methane is released into the atmosphere above Gale Crater, the landing site of the Curiosity Rover.

Meet the inaugural recipients of the York Science Scholars Award
Ten students from the Faculty of Science are the first to be part of the prestigious York Science Scholars Award (YSSA) program, which includes an entrance scholarship and a summer research placement.

National recognition given to York student group supporting refugees
The World University Services of Canada (WUSC) awarded York University’s student Keele Campus Local Committee the 2018 Local Committee of the Year Award, the highest award given at the organization’s annual international forum. York-Keele is a local committee of the WUSC, a non-profit dedicated to improving education, employment and empowerment opportunities for youth around the world.

Check back in the next edition of YFile for Year in Review 2019: Top headlines at York University, April to June.