Passion for nature sparks a career in environmental education

Julie Ostrem has spent her life building relationships with the land – and wants to help others do the same

Passion for nature sparks a career in environmental educationWhen Julie Ostrem was a child, she spent most of her time outdoors on her family’s acreage just outside Sherwood Park, Alta., playing with earthworms and collecting bugs. These critter-filled hours, paired with family camping trips and her mother’s influence, shaped how she viewed the world around her. “My mother really taught me why caring…

Depression didn’t spike after initial pandemic wave: social media data

Researchers who used AI to analyze keywords on Twitter say people were more resilient than anticipated

Depression didn’t spike after initial pandemic wave: social media dataResearchers who analyzed language related to depression on social media during the pandemic say the data suggest people learned to cope as the waves wore on. University of Alberta researcher Alona Fyshe and her collaborators at the University of Western Ontario hypothesized that depression-related language would spike during each wave of COVID-19. But their study shows…

Plant diversity minimally affected by intensive cattle grazing: study

The large-scale study adds to the understanding of how different grazing practices affect the land

Plant diversity minimally affected by intensive cattle grazing: studyThe way ranchers graze their cattle doesn’t make much difference in plant diversity on the land, according to a U of A study. That’s important because plant diversity is a useful metric to gauge the resilience of a landscape, including rangeland used by cattle producers, says Jessica Grenke, first author of the study. Researchers compared adaptive…

New approach using species traits could be critical for conservation efforts

Examining characteristics could help scientists better predict how climate change will affect all life

New approach using species traits could be critical for conservation effortsIt’s not enough to understand what the effects of climate change are. Society needs ways to get ahead of these changes, to predict them before they actually happen. And when it comes to conservation, the approach scientists use to study species in the wild could be critical to these predictions, according to a recent research…

Uptick in avian flu cases poses little threat to humans

Risk of transmission to people and pets is very low unless you're regularly in contact with birds

Uptick in avian flu cases poses little threat to humansIf the recent increase in avian influenza cases has you concerned, you likely have nothing to worry about and don’t need to take any added measures, according to a University of Alberta expert on influenza in birds. As with human flu, there are a variety of strains of avian flu, explains Katharine Magor, a professor…

Mild electrical stimulation could boost cognitive ability

Pilots, athletes, dementia patients and more could benefit from this brain boost

Mild electrical stimulation could boost cognitive abilityImagine putting on a helmet embedded with tiny electrodes that sit on your scalp, delivering a gentle electrical current to certain areas of your brain. After about 10 to 20 minutes, you might find yourself with a better ability to focus, sharper memory and a host of other cognitive benefits. That’s the idea behind a…

U of A has best-ever showing in global ranking of top universities

Latest rankings put university at 77th worldwide, highlighting outstanding faculty and research

U of A has best-ever showing in global ranking of top universitiesThe University of Alberta had its best-ever showing in the Global 2000 list, moving further up in the top 100 to 77th in the world, according to the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) World University Rankings 2022-23. The latest rankings also saw the U of A move up in a category rating the quality of…

New evidence shows cancer is not as heritable as once thought

Recent review highlights need to gain a broader scientific view of cancer to better prevent and treat it

New evidence shows cancer is not as heritable as once thoughtWhile cancer is a genetic disease, the genetic component is just one piece of the puzzle – and researchers need to consider environmental and metabolic factors as well, according to a research review by a leading expert at the University of Alberta. Nearly all the theories about the causes of cancer that have emerged over the…

Community key to providing support for children

Giving children the tools and skills to enter school with their “best foot forward

Community key to providing support for childrenDespite what many first-time parents may wish for, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. Even seemingly straightforward developmental milestones, like when to introduce solid food, can vary across countries. And when it comes to language development, things get even more complicated. It can be challenging to gauge what is just a child’s creativity and what…

Researchers can identify people with PTSD through text data alone

Machine learning model has potential to be developed into an accessible and cost-effective tool

Researchers can identify people with PTSD through text data aloneUniversity of Alberta researchers have trained a machine learning model to identify people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with 80 per cent accuracy by analyzing the text those people wrote. The model could one day serve as an accessible and inexpensive screening tool to support health professionals in detecting and diagnosing PTSD or other mental health…