Alumni Week(end): Campus to Couch Edition

Alumni Weekend Sept. 21-27, 2020

Though COVID-19 prevents us from celebrating our grads in person this year, we’re keeping our September tradition alive by bringing Alumni Weekend to you—wherever you are!

For the week of September 21-27, 2020, we’ll be bringing you exclusive digital content straight to your device’s screen. You’ll find an exciting lineup of virtual tours of our world-class labs and museums, a live and exclusive Science Talks webinar—featuring Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell, dean of the Faculty of Scienceon the science of sound, family-friendly content and more! Get your full fix of campus, all from the comfort of your couch.

Learn more about our virtual tours and presentations, organized by department below, and check out the full content listing for Alumni Week(end) events across the University of Alberta.

Watch a Welcome Video from the Dean of Science


Tour several incredible collections and facilities in the Faculty of Science as part of Alumni Week 2020.

Virtual Tours and Presentations

Alumni Week(end) kicks off in the Faculty of Science with exclusive digital content to help keep our alumni community connected to campus, even while we're apart. View virtual tours of some of the Faculty of Science's world-renowned collections and facilities, including:

In addition to these up-close tours through faculty facilities, learn about the latest research in a series of recent presentations by our faculty. Learn more, organized by department, below.

Dean Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell presents her research on the ultrasonic communication of mice and bats in Science Talks 2020.

Science Talks: The Science of Sound

Join Matina Kalcounis-Rueppell, dean of the Faculty of Science, as she shares her research on the biology of acoustic communication in bats and mice, two diverse groups of mammals that communicate using ultrasound. Using innovative and integrative approaches in the field, she characterizes the communication behaviours of wild bats and mice at multiple scales and determines how ecological, physiological, and anthropogenic effects mediate those behaviours under natural contexts.

This talk is suitable for general audiences, targeted at ages 16+. The presentation will be recorded and available on demand if you're unable to catch the webinar live.

Date: Friday, September 25, 2020
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. MDT
Register online

From Campus to Couch

Fossils in the Dino Lab, one of the virtual tours in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Biological Sciences

Get up close with fossils, animal specimens, and more from the Department of Biological Sciences, and read a welcome message from department chair David Coltman. Join us for virtual tours of some of the stand-out facilities in the department, including: 

   The Dino Lab virtual tour
   Rowan Lab, Museum of Zoology virtual tour

And learn about the dinosaurs of Northern Alberta in a webinar with Associate Professor Corwin Sullivan.

A student pictured in one of the chemistry labs at the University of Alberta.


Chair Rik Tykwinski shares recent news from the Department of Chemistry, including how faculty members produced more than 1500 litres of hand sanitizer in labs on campus to assist in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Learn about the role sugars play in understanding human health with a webinar with Professor Lara Mahal, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Glycomics.

Department of Computing Science alumnus Jack Newton.

Computing Science

Department chair Mario Nascimento greets alumni and shares the research success of the Department of Computing Science—including five faculty members using artificial intelligence techniques to aid in combating COVID-19 via precision health.

Learn about Associate Professor Martha White's research and recognition with a Killam Accelerator Research Award, and hear from Computing Science alumnus Jack Newton on the value of educational breadth.

A sample of minerals from the Mineralogy & Petrology Collection in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

There's lots going on beneath the surface in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences—as department chair Stephen Johnston shares. View some of the incredible collections housed in the department, including:

   Mineralogy & Petrology Museum virtual tour
   Paleontology Museum virtual tour

Learn about the incredible data coming from ice cores in the Canadian Arctic in a webinar with Alison Criscitiello, director of the Canadian Ice Core Lab, and hear from Assistant Professor Joshua Evans in a webinar on community approaches to housing affordability.

Faculty members and statisticians Bei Jian and Linglong Kong, pictured on the University of Alberta campus.

Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Terry Gannon began his tenure as department chair on July 1, 2020 and has plenty to share with alumni in his greeting on goings-on in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences.

Meet alumnus Betsy Varughese, using her expertise in statistics and modeling to track the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta, arming our public health officials with the information they need to combat the pandemic. And learn about the next big movement in money—artificial intelligence—and how faculty members are partnering with Canadian financial institutions to responsibility manage and put data to use in the field of financial technology.

A planetary model, pictured outside the Department of Physics Observatory in CCIS.


Department chair Mauricio Sacchi greets alumni of the Department of Physics with a message sharing some of the renowned facilities the department is known for on campus. Did you know that on top of the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science sits the Physics Observatory? Visit it and the student maker space known as The Shack in two virtual tours

   Physics Observatory virtual tour
   Science Hardware Makerspace: The Shack virtual tour

Rock, paper, and scissor on a table. Associate Professor Ben Dyson shares the psychology behind the common game in a new webinar.


The Department of Psychology has a lot on its mind—and plenty of successes to share, as department chair Anthony Singhal shares with alumni in his message. Learn how a donation of 50 wearable EEG headsets is bringing modern neuroscience research to undergraduate psychology students. And hear from Associate Professor Ben Dyson on the psychology behind the game of rock, paper, scissors in a new webinar—including a fool-proof strategy to maximize your odds of winning.