UPEI researchers in the news, part 13

 Swapping spies, insects in the Arctic, and how technology affects our personal relationships. Time for another round-up of UPEI researchers in the news.

Thursday, June 24 CBC Radio’s Maritime Noon asked the question: is technology bringing us closer together or driving us further apart? UPEI’s Dr. Stacey MacKinnon, Assistant Professor of Social Psychology, answered questions from callers for the better part of an hour.

Listen to the whole phone-in here.

Tuesday, June 29, CBC Radio’s Island Morning spoke with Dr. Pierre Yves Daoust, Professor Anatomic Pathology and Wildlife Pathology at the AVC and Director of the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre, Atlantic region.

During a recent necropsy of a whale that had washed up on a Prince Edward Island beach, Daoust found evidence that the whale had been killed by fishing gear.

"This one, there was no rope, but the marks, the deep cuts on the tail were very reminiscent in what we had seen in some of the three whales that had definitely died of entrapment in lobster fishing gears."

Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, July 6 Dr. Donna Giberson, Professor of Biology, made a media sweep of Yellowknife, NWT, discussing her Northern Biodiversity Program. The NSERC-funded program is conducting a multi-year survey of insects in Canada’s North, and digging into decades’ worth of insect collections.

"We're very aware of disease-causing mosquitoes down in the South, mosquitoes that are carrying West Nile virus. Although some of those mosquitoes actually occur in the North, the West Nile virus is not in the North,” she said."It is possible with climate change that some of these diseases can be coming north, and it's important to know how well those insects can adapt."

Read the rest of the story here. Students on the research trip are documenting their northern adventures on a blog. Follow along here.

In a much sneakier story, Thursday, July 8 Dr. Bruce Craig, Assistant Professor of History was quoted in a Globe and Mail article about a high-profile swap of spies between Russia and the United Sates. Craig indicates a Russian arms researcher and scientist, Igor Suyagin, was apparently the key figure sought by Washington in the trade.

“The Americans must have really wanted this guy,” said Bruce Craig, an espionage historian at the University of Prince Edward Island and a member of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies. Mr. Craig said the circumstances surrounding the roll-up of the nest of spies “was rather strange and suggests that a swap was the goal all along.”

Read the whole story here.

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