Royal Society honours faculty achievements

Five UBC faculty members have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada.

Professors Ira Nadel, Julian Davies, Nicholas Pippenger, Anthony Sinclair and
F.J.R. (Max) Taylor are among 60 new fellows who will be formally inducted into
the society at a ceremony in Ottawa in November.

The mandate of the Royal Society of Canada is to promote and develop learning
and research in the arts and sciences. This is achieved through the work of its
three academies: the Academie de lettres et des sciences humaines, the Academy
of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Academy of Science.

Prof. Ira Nadel, Dept. of English, is the sole UBC faculty member to be
elected to the Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences this year. He has
written extensively on 19th-century authors such as Pater, Trollope, Dickens,
Thackeray, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, and Queen Victoria. His Biography:
Fiction Fact and Form
has been praised as one of the best modern
examinations of biography as a literary genre and for the new level to which it
raises discussion of biography. His Joyce and the Jews has been well
received for it historical and cultural breadth, its convincing argument, and
its objective scholarship. He has just completed a major biography of Leonard
Cohen and is beginning a biography of the American poet Louis Zukofsky.

Prof. Julian Davies, Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology, and three
other UBC professors were elected to the Academy of Science. Davies, a
prominent microbiologist, has worked in both academia and industry. During his
long career in science his research has focused on studies of antibiotics, and
antibiotic resistance. Recently his work has focused on analyses of microbial
diversity. He is a fellow of the Royal Society, and winner of the
Hoechst-Roussel and Thom awards, two leading prizes in infectious diseases and
industrial microbiology, respectively.

Prof. Nicholas Pippenger, Dept. of Computer Science, is a world leader
in theoretical computer science and is a notable expert on switching networks.
He has also made fundamental contributions to Boolean circuit complexity and
the theory of parallel computation. He is noted both for technical prowess and
mathematical erudition in his use of tools from mathematical analysis, algebra,
combinatorics, probability theory, coding theory, and information theory.

Prof. Anthony Sinclair, Dept. of Zoology, is widely acknowledged as a
world leader in ecosystem dynamics. He is pivotal to an innovative
interdisciplinary study (ranging from molecular biology to ecology) aimed at
biological control of pest populations. He is also one of the world’s leading
experts on population regulation of both animals and humans. His work during
the past three decades on east African large mammals has broadened into
analysis of long-term ecosystem dynamics, including the role of humans, and
sets new standards for the field, while his work on the boreal forests of the
Yukon has opened up new avenues into the chemical ecology of plants and
population dynamics of their herbivores.

Prof. Max Taylor, Dept. of Botany and Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences,
has contributed significantly to understanding of the systematics,
ultrastructure, evolution and applied biology of dinoflagellates (a group of
micro-organisms most frequently involved in the harmful phenomenon known
collectively as red tide). He has a strong interest in early cell evolution and
developed the Serial Endosymbiosis Theory which is the most widely accepted
view of the origin of mitochondria and chloroplasts. He was an active promoter
of the field of protistology, which includes protozoa and algae. In conjunction
with this he was the cofounder of the International Society for Evolutionary
Protistology and recently founded the International Society for the Study of
Harmful Algae.