Explore Science@Carleton

Keeping you up to date on the latest in faculty and student news, research achievements, and upcoming events.
Faculty and Research News
Portrait, Maria DeRosa

Interim Science Dean Focused on Safe Return to Campus and Big-Picture Goals

As a mid-career scientist and teacher, Carleton University Chemistry Prof. Maria DeRosa has her hands full in the lab and classroom. She’s built a successful research program, exploring, among other areas, the use of short DNA sequences called aptamers to address Parkinson’s disease and in smart fertilizers that release nutrients at critical growing times. She’s also supporting and mentoring dozens of students and is halfway through a two-year term as chair of the Department of Chemistry. But DeRosa didn’t shy away when asked to serve as interim dean of the Faculty of Science.

Read the full story

Person Typing and Lock Graphic

Carleton Takes Second at National Cyber Security Challenge After Sweeping Regional Competition

To stop a hacker, you need to think like one and the CyberSCI Cyber Security Challenge asks competitors to put themselves in a hacking state of mind. In January 2021 Carleton swept the podium in the regional competition before the winning team, Team Rocket, went on to place second in the online national competition in July. Read the full story

Carleton Professor Named Top Influential Biologist 2010-2020 published its list of individuals who have significantly impacted the academic discipline of biology within the last decade, and Carleton Biology Prof. Steven Cooke made the list! Cooke has published over 800 peer-reviewed scientific papers, been influential in policy making and received numerous awards for his research. Learn more

Corn field

Enzyme Discovery Will Decrease Dangerous Toxins in Corn Production

The growth of dangerous mycotoxins is threatening the corn that we use for food, animal feed and biofuel. A team led by Mark Sumarah, adjunct research professor with Carleton's Department of Chemistry and research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, has discovered an enzyme that can detoxify these toxins and keep corn healthy for consumption. Learn more

Frosted Flies: Carleton Research Explores Genes that Lead to Cell Death in Insects

Which insects will survive, thrive or die in our changing climate? Biology Prof. Heath MacMillan's research on insects' thermal limits may hold the answer. Learn more

Prof. Heath MacMillan

And the Early Researcher Award Goes To...

...Biology Prof. Heath MacMillan! This Early Researcher Award from the Ontario Government will support his work in animal physiology and cold tolerance, which will help discover new ways to control winter survival in mosquitoes that spread diseases. Read the announcement


Carleton Researchers Discover Timing Is Everything When Birds Trick Predators

In nature, most animals are at risk of being attacked by predators. This has led many species to use camouflage as a means of avoiding detection. However, the effectiveness of camouflage is significantly reduced when the animal moves, leading to the need for defence adaptations when in motion. One such adaptation, flash behaviour, is the focus of newly-published research by Carleton biology researchers Karl Loeffler-Henry and Tom Sherratt, and Changku Kang (a former Carleton postdoctoral fellow). Learn more

Beth Nyboer

New Study Finds the Future of Recreational Fishing is at Risk Due to Climate Change

Like all species, recreational fish are under threat from climate change and there is growing urgency to understand risks so conservation efforts and resources can be appropriately focused. “This study is the first global assessment of the vulnerability of recreational fish species to climate change, and it is unique because it compares freshwater fish and saltwater fish,” said Beth Nyboer, lead author and postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. “By linking the vulnerability of specific fish species with current conservation efforts, we were able to pinpoint regions and species that need to be conservation priorities.” Learn more

Portrait, Ian Pulsifer

Biology's Ian Pulsifer Named 2021 Carleton University Teaching Award Recipient

The Excellence in Learning Support Award has gone to Ian Pulsifer for his outstanding contribution to the student learning experience. He has developed various teaching and grading tools that have been especially beneficial in assisting his colleagues and students transition to online learning. Read the announcement

Alien Graphic / Brain wrapped in bandage

Minding the Brain – Cognitive & Brain Science Episodes from Jim Davies and Kim Hellemans

August Episode: Alien Abductions
Is there a scientific explanation for the alien abduction phenomenon? Is there a link between nocturnal alien visitations and the many similar stories that have been passed down by various cultures throughout history? What is it about the appearance of those grey, teardrop headed aliens that people find so compelling? Listen now

July Episode: Concussions
Podcast co-hosts Jim Davies and Kim Hellemans interview two experts on the topic of concussions: Andree-Anne Ledoux, a Research Associate at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Dr. Matt Holahan, a neuroscience professor at Carleton University. You'll also hear the story of Nina Nesdoly, someone who has personally experienced the potentially life-changing impact of suffering a concussion. Listen now

Carleton Science in the Media
Bird in field

Parasites and their hosts are in an ‘arms race’ for survival – with evolutionary consequences

It's a question that has long intrigued biologists: Why do some hosts carry more parasites than others? A recent article by Carleton Biology Prof. Mark Forbes explores parasitism and its evolutionary consequences. Read it now at The Conversation CA

Salmon study balances needs of First Nation and grizzly bears

Biology Prof. Joseph Bennett discusses a new salmon study. Read the story by The Globe and Mail

Warrior trees: Distinct DNA of 'survivor' pines may hold the key to mountain pine beetle resiliency

Biology Prof. Catherine Cullingham shares her research on mountain pine beetle resiliency. Read the story on CBC News

Upcoming Events
Throwback Event Graphic

Come for Throwback: Reconnect for Good

Sept. 25 – Oct. 2, 2021

Throwback is Carleton University’s homecoming: an opportunity for Carleton to open its virtual doors to alumni, donors and community members to celebrate our shared past, present and future through reunions, family-friendly and community-building events, spirited challenges, targeted discussions, and much more.

Learn more about Throwback

butterfly on leaf

Save the Date: The 22nd Annual Biology Butterfly Show is coming soon!

The 22nd Annual Biology Butterfly Show is scheduled to take place Saturday, Oct. 2 – Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021 and will be held virtually again this year.  Additional details will be posted closer to the show.

For up-to-date information, please visit the Department of Biology website.

students and professor in science lab

The 2021 Virtual Science Student Alumni Mixer

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

As part of Carleton's Throwback celebration, the Science Student Success Centre (Faculty of Science) will host a special event specifically for science students with a panel of alumni guests. The formal program will begin with opening remarks from Interim Dean of Science, Maria DeRosa, and include a panel of Carleton Science alumni who will answer questions about their careers after graduation. All science students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, and donors are invited to join this insightful event.

Event details

Carleton Science on YouTube
Missed one of our virtual events? No problem! Many of our recent online events are available for viewing on YouTube. Visit our channel to browse the archive.
From the Archive: The 2020 Butterfly Show Lands Online

After two decades of welcoming the public to the Carleton greenhouse and sharing their passion for biology, plants and butterflies in person, the Department of Biology was faced with the prospect of taking the show online in 2020. While not an easy task, the department met the challenge with great enthusiasm and found ways to offer the community a variety of opportunities to learn about butterflies — all from home!

This highlight reel is a capsule of all of the hard work that went on behind the scenes and made Carleton's first-ever online Butterfly Show a success.
University Updates and Messages Related to COVID-19

Coronavirus Resources

Carleton University is following the advice of Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and the Public Health Agency of Canada for the latest information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and recommendations for prevention. Carleton’s Coronavirus website contains a summary of facts from these health agencies as well as answers to questions Carleton faculty, staff, students, and the community may have.

The university has also prepared a list of frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19. Review the FAQ to ensure you are up to speed with the latest information and updates.

Explore Science@Carleton is a monthly newsletter produced by the Faculty of Science at Carleton University. For questions or comments please contact or call 613-520-4388.

Office of the Dean, Faculty of Science, Carleton University
3230 Herzberg Laboratories, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6

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