Faculty of Science News

Dr. Vardy

This weekend’s episode of the long-running hit British television show, Doctor Who, will have a special connection to one Memorial University researcher.

The season’s second episode will see “The Doctor” visiting the colony world of Gliese 581 D, a bright, sunny world tended to by a swarm of tiny bird-like robots called Vardies. The Vardies, it just so happens, are named for Dr. Andrew Vardy, a professor jointly appointed with the faculties of Science and Engineering and Applied Science.

Psychology winners

The Department of Psychology celebrated their best and brightest on April 6, as the unit held their eighth annual research day.

The event showcased research conducted by master’s and honours students, with seven second-year master’s students holding talks in the morning followed by an afternoon poster session representing the work of 48 honours students.

Original biochemistry staff.

On July 1, 2017, Memorial University will mark a special milestone.

On that date, the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, which first opened on July 1, 1967, will turn 50 years old. To commemorate, the department is hosting a reunion weekend Sept. 8-10 and hopes to reconnect with many former students, staff and faculty.


Students at convocation

Along with the newest cohort of spring graduates crossing the stage, Memorial University is presenting seven extraordinary people with degrees honoris causa at spring convocation ceremonies.

Honorary degrees will be awarded to Calvin White, a Mi’kmaw elder; Dr. Frank Hayden, founder of the Special Olympics; Moya Greene, president and CEO of the Royal Mail; Bob McDonald, popular host of the national science radio program, Quirks and Quarks; gardener Ross Traverse; businessperson and philanthropist Donald Lawson; and Marilyn Churley, environmentalist and politician.

Storytellers logo

A pair of Memorial master’s students are among 25 finalists from across Canada taking part in a prestigious annual research competition.

Laura Fallon and Meagan McCardle — both graduate students in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science — were selected from nearly 200 entries for the 2017 Storytellers Challenge sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SHHRC).


Computer Science students

The discipline of computer science is a rapidly expanding frontier, and Memorial’s Department of Computer Science is evolving right along with it.

Following an academic program review and consultation, the department has decided to provide the option of more specialized majors in its undergraduate program, starting with the introduction of two new majors this fall.


Grand Opening

Now faculty and friends of the Ocean Sciences Centre are being invited back to celebrate achievements and memories from the past 50 years at a reunion scheduled for Sept. 8-10.


Team photo

After devoting nearly 10 months to the building their hyperloop pod, a team of nine students from Memorial University travelled to Los Angeles in January to test drive it.

The event, hosted by SpaceX at a mile-long track built adjacent to their Hawthorne, California headquarters, marked the first time this mode of transportation, was tested anywhere in the world.


Single urchin feeding

A Memorial researcher is investigating a new opportunity he hopes will help diversify the range of seafood produced in Newfoundland and Labrador for worldwide distribution.

Marc Gruell

Completing a PhD takes years, but some Memorial doctoral students will be presenting their research in just three minutes.

Through a partnership with the School of Graduate Studies and CBC Radio, 10 PhD students will be featured on CBC’s On the Go program at the end of March and beginning of April.


Dr. Daniel Ansari

The inaugural Dr. Patricia Canning Memorial Lecture in Child Health and Development will take place on March 28. 

The lecture, titled Why should educators care about cognitive neuroscience?, will be given by Dr. Daniel Ansari, Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and a professor in the Department of Psychology and the Brain and Mind Institute at Western University.

Blue whale skeleton

An exhibit opening March 11 at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) provides a sneak peek at what visitors to Memorial University can expect to see three years from now.

Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story tells the story of two blue whales that washed ashore in Western Newfoundland in April of 2014.



This September, students can begin studies in one of three brand new science majors: ocean sciences, ocean sciences (environmental systems) and marine biology.


Students with a strong interest in arts and science no longer have to choose between the two degrees.

Memorial’s Senate recently approved a proposal from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences for a new joint degree program.


Announcement group shot

Eleven Memorial researchers working on five diverse projects will receive more than $680,000 in new federal funding, allowing the teams to purchase sophisticated new tools, technology and equipment.