UBC experts on Earth Day 2024

On April 22, the world will celebrate Earth Day under the theme “Planet vs Plastics.” UBC experts are available to comment.

On April 22, the world will celebrate Earth Day under the theme “Planet vs Plastics.” UBC experts are available to comment.

Health and environment risk

Dr. Juan José Alava (he/him)
Honorary Research Associate, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
Principal Investigator, Ocean Pollution Research Unit
Email: j.alava@oceans.ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English, Spanish 

  • Microplastic and plastic marine pollution, ocean pollution, pollutants in the marine food web, marine ecotoxicology, marine mammal toxicology (e.g., effects and bioaccumulation of pollutants in endangered southern resident killer whales), climate change

Dr. Christopher Carlsten
Professor and Head of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine
Tel: 604-839-1561
Email: christopher.carlsten@ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English 

  • Health impacts of microplastics

Dr. Kai Chan (he/him)
Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, and the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries
Canada Research Chair, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
Email: kaichan@ires.ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English

  • Wildlife, ecosystem services, climate change and its ecological impacts, human action and social transformation, environmental policy

Dr. Iwalaye (Ayo) Oladimeji
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Tel: 604-401-8720
Email: iwalayeoladimeji@gmail.com
Interview language(s): English

  • Impacts of microplastics on marine life, particularly invertebrates

Dr. U. Rashid Sumaila (he/him)
University Killam Professor, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, and School of Public Policy and Global Affairs
Tel: 604-351-7406
Email: r.sumaila@oceans.ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English, Hausa, Norwegian

  • Optimal plastic consumption and use, thoughtful consumption, blue economy

Innovative solutions

Dr. Mohammad Arjmand
Assistant Professor, UBC Okanagan School of Engineering
Canada Research Chair, Advanced Materials and Polymer Engineering
Email: mohammad.arjmand@ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English

  • Plastic recycling

* Available 9 a.m.-noon on April 22

Dr. Johan Foster
Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Tel: 604-817-8882
Email: johan.foster@ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English

  • Plastic degradation, microplastics, bio-based polymers and composites, recycling of plastics, biodegradable materials and packaging

Dr. Feng Jiang (he/him)
Assistant Professor, Department of Wood Science
Canada Research Chair (Tier II), Sustainable Functional Biomaterials
Tel: 604-999-0064
Email: feng.jiang@ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English

  • Renewable and bio-based materials/products for plastic replacement

* Available April 22-24

Dr. Amanda Johnson
Researcher, Faculty of Forestry
Tel: 778-989-1472
Email: amanda.johnson@ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English 

  • Plant-based plastics, end-of-life management of plastics, biodegradation, paper and cardboard packaging substitutes, bio-based materials for single-use items, green chemistry 
  • Created a bioplastic from agricultural waste 

* Unavailable the afternoon of April 24

Policy and change

Kookai Chaimahawong (she/her)
Executive Director, Centre for Climate and Business Solutions
Tel: 778-879-6960
Email: kookai.c@sauder.ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English

  • Circular economy, regenerative business model, impact investing, ESG management, sustainable business models, climate risks and opportunities, the role of private sectors, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)

* Unavailable the afternoon of April 22 or on April 26

Dr. Carol Liao (she/her)
Associate Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law
UBC Sauder Distinguished Fellow, Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics
Tel: 604-822-3752
Email: liao@allard.ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English

  • Corporate law, climate law, climate governance, sustainability, business ethics, EDI

Dr. Jiaying Zhao (she/her)
Associate Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, and Department of Psychology
Cell: 604-865-4765
Email: jiayingz@psych.ubc.ca
Interview language(s): English, Mandarin

  • Plastic waste reduction, recycling, behaviour change