Experts in the spotlight during UBC Okanagan research showcase

University's celebrate research week set for march 7 to 14

Chronic health problems such as obesity, heart disease and depression are front and centre during one of the public events featured in UBC Okanagan’s Celebrate Research Week, March 7 to 14.

Managing lifestyle for better health: Choices that impact our physical and mental well-being, a free public panel discussion at the Kelowna Community Theatre, 7 p.m. Mar. 9, features top experts in physical fitness, stress, mental health and diet sharing their research and ideas for leading a long, healthy life.

It’s one of many public events showcasing UBC Okanagan research excellence and presenting cutting-edge findings on topics ranging from myths about immigrants in Canada, to the things that give us away when we tell lies.

“In part, the vision of UBC Okanagan is to conduct outstanding research to serve the people of British Columbia, Canada and the world,” says Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, Provost at UBC Okanagan. “As UBC Okanagan grows and evolves into the institution that fulfills this vision, we recognize that it is our researchers who provide the means to achieve this. Research and teaching are two fundamental pillars in building a great institution, and as they have all along our faculty continue to excel in both of these areas.”

Research strengthens ties between educators, faculty, scientists, students and communities, both locally and globally, notes Dr. Abd-El-Aziz. “Through research, UBC Okanagan is able to have a wide-ranging and important impact on the world, affecting everything from cultural and social understanding to the prevention and treatment of disease.”

Events on- and off-campus include two evening presentations with panel discussions, and a series of lunchtime expert speakers on campus.

The Monday, Mar. 9, public forum Managing lifestyle for better health: Choices that impact our physical and mental well-being includes:

  • Edward Taylor, Director of UBC Okanagan's School of Social Work, who will address the impact of diet and exercise on depression
  • Wolfgang Linden, Professor of Clinical Psychology and head of UBC's Behavioural Cardiology Lab, who will speak about the effects of stress on health
  • Menno Salverda, Manager of Community Nutrition and Special Projects, Population Health, with the Interior Health Authority who will be speaking on the role of diet in developing chronic illnesses and the barriers that may exist to accessing healthy diets
  • Darren Warburton, Associate Professor and Director of the Cardiovascular Physiology and Rehabilitation Laboratory at UBC's Vancouver campus, who will talk about how physical activity and fitness influence health across the lifespan

This public forum is co-sponsored by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon. Admission is free, but pre-registration online is required (go to and select the “You are here” Celebrate Research Week image).

On Tuesday, March 10, the public is invited to attend a screening and panel discussion of the internationally acclaimed documentary She's a Boy I Knew. Writer and director Gwen Haworth will join experts from UBC Okanagan's Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies for an inside look at the film and the story behind it.

The screening of She’s a Boy I Knew begins at 7 p.m. in the Fipke Centre lecture theatre at UBC Okanagan. Admission is free, but online pre-registration is required.

Daily lunchtime features on campus include:

  • "The Immigrants are coming!" -- Breaking the myths about immigrants, with Shirley Chau, Assistant Professor with the School of Social Work. Monday, March 9 in the Arts Building atrium at UBC Okanagan. (12 noon to 1 p.m.)
  • Secrets and lies: The facial expressions and body language that accompany emotional and high-stakes lies, with Stephen Porter, Professor of Psychology. Tuesday, March 10 in Library building, room LIB306. (12 noon to 1 p.m.)
  • The cycle of star formation, with Erik Rosolowsky, Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Physics. Wednesday, March 11, in Library building, room LIB306. (12 noon to 1 p.m.)
  • Men's health: minds, bodies and masculine ideals, with a panel including Joan Bottorff, Professor and Chair in Health Promotion and Cancer Prevention and Director, Centre for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention at UBC Okanagan. Thursday, March 12, in Library building, room LIB306. (12 noon to 1:30 p.m.)
  • Media, culture and technology: contemporary manifestations of crime, deviance and social control, with Christopher Schneider, Assistant Professor of Sociology. Friday, March 13, in Library building, room LIB306. (12 noon to 1 p.m.)

All presentations are free and open to the public.

Much more information about Celebrate Research Week events is available from the UBC Okanagan website at:

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