UVic researchers (L-R) Rachel Cleves, Robert Gifford, Chris Darimont, James Tanaka, at Finnerty Gardens, September 2019. Credit: UVic Photo Services.

Royal Society of Canada elects four University of Victoria researchers

Robert Gifford, James Tanaka, Rachel Cleves, Chris Darimont earn honours

Four University of Victoria (UVic) researchers have been elected to the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). The RSC is a 137-year-old council of distinguished scholars and leaders recognized with the country’s highest academic honour. The new researchers are Professor Robert Gifford, James Tanaka, Rachel Cleves, and Chris Darimont.

Gifford is an expert in environmental psychology. He developed the term Dragons of Inactionthe reasons why people don’t do more to mitigate climate change. Gifford works towards understanding what it takes to improve climate-related human behaviour.

Gifford’s work attracts global media attention and government officials in the Netherlands and Canada. “I am honoured and privileged to be able to work on human decision-making about the environment. Helping to discover how people think about this crucial problem is what inspires me.”

Tanaka is internationally recognized as an expert on facial recognition. Much of his career focuses on facial recognition in people on the autism spectrum. Tanaka aspires to use his work as a bridge between education and community engagement.

These new tools are used to improve the lives of thousands of individuals with autism across the globe.

“[We] share a common belief that cognitive and brain sciences can unlock the mysteries of the human mind and this knowledge can be used to help others.”

SEE ALSO: New web tool aims to enlist Canadians to help find missing kids

Cleves is UVic’s first humanities scholar admitted as an RSC college member. Cleves uses historical stories to illuminate contemporary times.

“A lot of my work is dedicated to promoting diversity and equity,” Cleves says. Her writings push topical boundaries with violence, sexuality, and illicit sex.

“We can’t just write about the things that are romantic and erotic to us. We have to write about the unpleasant stuff too.” Cleves plans to continue her advocacy on equity and diversity as a member of the RSC.

Darimont is an interdisciplinary conservation scientist and the Raincoast Chair of Applied Conservation Science. His work focuses on ‘human predators’: hunters and fishers. He questions the causes and consequences of humanity’s predatory behaviour.

Darimont also works with Indigenous governments of coastal British Columbia researching wildlife and fisheries. This work provides habitat, foods, and security for culturally, economic, and ecologically important animals.

Darimont was an expert witness for the National Energy Board and Auditor General of BC. He was also an expert panel member on the design of BC’s proposed endangered species legislation. “I’m infinitely curious about the natural world, passionate about applied research to protect it, and have the privilege to work with extraordinary people who make a difference.”

SEE ALSO: WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Flurry of Yuletide activities coming to Sidney

Sidney Business Improvement Area Society and members organize festive events

Russell Books marks opening of new location by setting Guinness World Record

Store stacks world record books more than six metres high

PHOTOS: 11th annual Gingerbread Showcase comes to Victoria

Bakers spent more than 100 hours perfecting their creations

Time is ticking for Victoria school relocation

Beausoleil school hopes a one year extension is enough time to find a new home

Petition calls on province to cover transfer fees after Island adoption centre closes – again

‘Choices clients weren’t told the ship was sinking,’ says would-be parent

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

Most Read