Science Talks Webinars

 headshot of Stephanie Green

Science Talks Webinar: Protecting our oceans: Alien invaders and how to stop them

“Biological invasions” are a global problem created by people intentionally and unwittingly moving flora and fauna into environments where they don’t belong. This talk will explore the causes and consequences of 'biological invasions’, a global problem created by people intentionally and unwittingly moving flora and fauna into environments where they don’t belong. Today, thousands of invasive species threaten biodiversity and disrupt societies globally, and the problem is expected to intensify as our global climate continues to change. In searching for solutions, the talk will highlight innovative ways that communities are dealing with invasive species– from designing robots to creating cookbooks– and defending nature and local livelihoods in the process.

Join us on April 17 for a webinar with faculty member and Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Global Change Ecology and Conservation, Stephanie Green. In this webinar, Green explains what invasive species are, why they are a problem and how they relate to our global and local communities, here in Edmonton, and what can be done to defend against invasive species and conserve threatened ecosystems.

Wednesday, April 17
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Head shot of Joseph Maciejko

Science Talks: Quantum Materials: From exotic particles to new technologies
To learn about the world at the most fundamental level, particle physicists use enormous machines called particle colliders. These devices cause atoms to collide head-on at very high energies — revealing the ultrasmall elementary particles that make up this matter, such as electrons and quarks. Condensed matter physicists have discovered that when the same matter is probed in table-top experiments at much lower energy and temperatures where quantum effects manifest, matter often behaves as though it is made up of new particles very different from electrons and quarks. In this webinar, Joseph Maciejko explains how theoretical physics can help us identify new kinds of materials hosting “exotic particles.” These very foundational discoveries are what is advancing quantum science and will have vast implications for the technology we use every day — with potential applications in communications, computing and data security.
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Cannabis use in the modern era: The highs and lows
The first documented use of cannabis occurred about five thousand years ago when it was used as a treatment for malaria, rheumatic pain and as an analgesic. In the modern era cannabis has been labelled as an illicit drug of abuse due to the actions of its primary psychoactive ingredient, Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, several countries have legalized cannabis use for recreational purposes which has created a drive to more fully understand its effects on populations as a whole.

Hear from Declan Ali, dean of the Faculty of Science on a short but intriguing history of cannabis use and abuse and its effects in the modern era as more countries look towards legalization of cannabis as a recreational compound and as an important medicinal agent.
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Headshot of Alona Fyshe
Science Talks: Artificial Intelligence - What can language models tell us about the brain?
Language models like ChatGPT produce very human-like text, but do they understand it like we do? What can language models teach us about how the brain understands language?  Alona Fyshe (’05 BSc,’07 MSc) is an associate professor in both the Department of Computing Science and Department of Psychology,  and has discovered interesting connections between meaning representations in computer models and those in the human brain. Conversations about the use of highly accessible artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT have recently made their way to our offices, classrooms and kitchen tables. Learn how researchers are using language models to study how the brain processes language and what they have learned as a result.

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