Chemistry

News Stories

Trevor Michalchuk and Lily Eggert, wearing high visibility vests, while standing in front of the Mass Specmobile.

VIU researchers measure methane at Alberni Valley Landfill

August 17, 2022

Student researchers gain valuable hands-on experiences while helping to fight climate change.Methane is more potent than carbon dioxide and reducing or eliminating emissions is a critical step to help fight climate change. Researchers at Vancouver Island University (VIU) are working with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to monitor the Alberni Valley Landfill to find methane hot... Read more


Misha Zvekic stands in a garden at VIU's Nanaimo campus.

Microplastics Exposed to Sunlight Can Change their Behaviour in the Environment

March 1, 2022

VIU alum Misha Zvekic’s research on microplastics and the effects of exposure to light was recently published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.Microplastics are everywhere – in the oceans, rivers and the air you breathe – and are being ingested by various animals and other organisms. And while microplastics are already problematic on their own, they can also absorb toxins and other harmful... Read more


Dr. Chris Gill stands in a forested area at VIU's Nanaimo campus.

VIU Researcher Developing Precise Chemical Tests Requiring Minutes Instead of Hours

February 23, 2022

Chemistry Professor Dr. Chris Gill receives a $240,000 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada grant to pursue research.For two decades, Dr. Chris Gill and his research team have been revolutionizing scientific methods using direct mass spectrometry – an analytical technique that is used to rapidly measure the chemical makeup of substances.Gill, Co-Director of Vancouver Island... Read more


Students and a professor at VIU hold models of molecules in their hands.

VIU Researcher Investigating Impact of Plastic Pollution on Deep-Sea Organisms

October 13, 2021

Chemistry professor Dr. Heather Wiebe is pursuing her research with the help of a $120,000 NSERC Discovery Grant.Plastic pollution is reaching the deepest depths of the ocean and the impact of these contaminants on marine life that live in these high-pressure environments is unknown.Dr. Heather Wiebe, a VIU Chemistry Professor, is investigating the ability of deep-sea organisms to... Read more


Sara Guzman stands in front of a building, wearing an orange sweater.

Alum of the Month: Sara Guzman

September 15, 2021

Sara Guzman has always been fascinated by tiny things you can’t see with the naked eye, from microbes to chemical reactions in cells. It’s the reason Guzman knew she wanted a science career.Her parents encouraged her to pursue higher education. Guzman, originally from Bogota, Colombia, decided to attend university abroad and selected Vancouver Island University (VIU). She graduated from VIU in... Read more


Five people stand in VIU's Health and Science Centre during a media conference.

BC Government announces support for VIU-developed drug checking technology

August 17, 2021

Vancouver Island University (VIU) is excited to share the news that the provincial government is providing $305,000 for HarmCheck – a cutting-edge drug-checking technology that was developed at VIU.It uses high-throughput paper spray mass spectrometry to provide rapid drug-checking and can be used on-site as a harm reduction method. HarmCheck is a collaboration between VIU and the Victoria-based... Read more


Bed of nails physics experiment

VIU Faculty Take Popular Extreme Science Show Online

April 12, 2021

Series of videos showcase daring and exciting physics and chemistry experiments to get youth interested in science.A show that has been getting kids excited about science for more than a decade went virtual this year – and caught thousands of elementary school-aged children up in a challenge that saw 11 lucky classrooms win science supplies.Every spring, Vancouver Island University (VIU) Physics... Read more


Dr. Erik Krogn and Dr. Chris Gill stand beside each other in a wooded area

Researchers Developing "Game-Changing" Methods to Measure Contaminants

December 3, 2020

VIU acquiring first high-resolution mass spectrometry instrument of its kind in the central Vancouver Island region thanks to grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and BC Knowledge Development Fund.Vancouver Island University (VIU) researchers are striving for faster, better and more economical mass spectrometry methods to measure environmental and biological samples in the field to... Read more


Air Quality Improves Across the Province During the COVID-19 Crisis

May 26, 2020

Vancouver Island University (VIU) student researchers see a dramatic decrease in air pollution levels due to reduced car and plane traffic.Restrictions imposed to help save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to less people driving and flying, which has created a rare opportunity for Vancouver Island University (VIU) researchers and students to study the impacts of automobile and plane... Read more


VIU Donates Critical Health Supplies During COVID-19 Crisis

VIU Donates Critical Health Supplies During Covid-19 Crisis

May 25, 2020

University community puts expertise and resources to work to benefit frontline workers. ­­As COVID-19 quickly spread around the world and critical health supplies became scarce, Vancouver Island University (VIU) employees have found ways to help protect frontline responders and their colleagues on campus providing essential services. “Universities have enormous intellectual... Read more