New study confirms Newfoundland as home to world's oldest animal fossils

The island of Newfoundland is famously known as “The Rock”, but new research reveals that it is the fossils from “The Rock” that are capturing the attention of scientists worldwide.

An international research team, including geologists from Memorial, has concluded fossils from within the province are the world’s oldest evidence of animal life. The study focuses on the southern shore of the Avalon and Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve, which was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.

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Update on university travel outside of Newfoundland and Labrador during COVID-19

Memorial University continues to actively monitor the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. Requests for university travel within and outside of Canada deemed essential for student academic progression, research purposes, and faculty and staff activities, will be supported with certain key elements in place (e.g. proof of health insurance coverage) in advance of the travel, and travel request approval from the dean or director of a unit. Essential university-related travel within the four Atlantic Provinces can proceed without restriction or self-isolation requirements upon entering one province and exiting another.

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Memorial graduate student receives 'life-changing' Rothermere Fellowship

Gerissa Fowler (B.Sc.’16) has been named this year’s Rothermere Fellowship recipient, one of Memorial’s most prestigious and lucrative scholarships.

Originally from Happy Valley-Goose Bay and an alumna of the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, she is currently finishing a master’s degree in genetics with the Faculty of Medicine.


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Harris Centre connects with local experts on N.L. economy post COVID-19

Trying to predict the economic future of Newfoundland and Labrador has never been an easy task.

And given the current global situation, assessing what the future might hold has become even more difficult – but essential.

To explore and elaborate on this important topic, Memorial’s Harris Centre has launched a special series of public forums.


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Dr. Ken Fowler to lead Student Wellness and Counselling Centre

The search committee for the role of director of the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre (SWCC) has completed its work and recommended Dr. Ken Fowler for the position.

President Vianne Timmons approved the appointment on July 14, 2020. Dr. Fowler’s appointment as director is effective Aug. 1, 2020 until July 31, 2023.


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ESL program helps students and families grow in unexpected ways

Memorial’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program recently opened up its classes to spouses of students and it’s already having a big impact on its participants.

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing the ESL program to lose four summer programs, the team decided to turn the challenges into positive outcomes by offering the open spots to the spouses of international students.

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COVID-19 prevention best practices

The province has been successful at flattening the curve of COVID-19. It’s important to continue to be vigilant and ensure we keep in mind that preventing another outbreak or minimizing impacts will depend on our collective adherence to best practices.

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A message to science students regarding the fall semester

The fall semester at Memorial University, including in the Faculty of Science, will continue to be primarily a remote teaching and learning environment for students. As previously stated, full in-person, on-campus courses will not resume before January 2021. 

Faculty and staff are working toward ensuring that your courses are of the same high quality and academic standard that you are used to, but delivering them in way that is mostly new to us all; via remote instruction. This includes courses that involve labs.

While inter-provincial travel is beginning in select areas, many of our out-of-province and international students remain unable to return to Newfoundland and Labrador. Additionally, opening up travel increases the risk of a second wave of the virus – which may lead to the province raising the alert levels if deemed necessary. Shifting from face-to-face back to remote teaching and learning in that instance would be time consuming and disruptive.

Offering remote teaching and learning at this time ensures equitable access to our high quality programming for all students, while helping to flatten the COVID-19 curve in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Please note – Limited forms of necessary on-campus activity in the fall semester will occur in a measured and safe manner that adheres to the provincial health directives. 

In the Faculty of Science some students conducting honours research projects will be allowed to come to campus to carry out research that cannot be conducted remotely. Such students will be contacted by their departments in the coming weeks.



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Update on fall semester

On July 14 undergraduate students of Memorial University will begin the course registration process for the fall semester. In preparation for this task, we would like to remind the university community that teaching and learning will take place in a primarily remote and online teaching and learning environment in fall 2020.

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Laboratory instructors get creative to teach remotely

Instructors in the Faculty of Science are getting ready to teach laboratory courses online this fall.

In May, Memorial University confirmed in-person, on-campus classes wouldn’t resume before January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That meant new and returning students would be continuing remote learning in place of face-to-face classes in September.

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Research shows Beothuk, Maritime Archaic peoples have modern relatives

A Memorial University researcher has identified living persons with DNA sequences identical or nearly identical to Beothuk and Maritime Archaic sequences.

“That indicates those lineages are still in existence – meaning their descendants are in the general population,” said Dr. Steve Carr, a professor of biology in the Faculty of Science.

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Correction: Update on fall semester

Students in designated courses in Engineering will have limited forms of in-person, on-campus lab activities which will be communicated separately from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science to students. Incorrect information appeared in an earlier Newsline message.

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Fall fees

Suspension of two student fees to continue in fall semester

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Plan for faculty return to campus

As a follow up to last week’s message, we want to provide an update regarding the plan to enable faculty to return to individual offices on a more regular basis.

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Update: Guiding Principles for Living with COVID-19 in our communities and more

Newfoundland and Labrador continues to operate under Public Health COVID-19 Alert Levels, which outline services, businesses and functions allowed to operate at each alert level. The province is currently scheduled to move to Alert Level 3 on Monday, June 8. Work is ongoing at Memorial to implement a phased resumption of on-campus academic, research and administrative activities, in consideration of government’s five-level approach.

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Faculty of Science

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000