CBU Biology Professor Recognized as Leading Science Communicator

Last night at the Eighth Annual Discovery Awards for Science and Technology, CBU biology professor, Dr. Martha Jones, was recognized with the 2010 Science Champion Award. The ceremony celebrated the achievements of talented individuals and outstanding companies in Nova Scotia for their national and international work in the fields of science and technology.

“I am extremely honoured to have been selected for this award,” says Dr. Jones. “The other nominees are all leading researchers who share my passion of communicating science with a broader audience. Regardless of last night’s outcome, we all champion science, and that is what is important.”

Dr. Jones, who is Chair of the Department of Biology at CBU, has fuelled many community outreach activities in the region and has assisted with the remediation efforts of the Sydney Tar Ponds. Her current area of research is studying invasive alien species in aquatic habitats throughout Cape Breton Island, which has led to Project UFO (unidentified foreign organisms), a public outreach initiative to educate the public about the issues surrounding invasive alien species in the area.

“Since my interest in science began, I have always loved to talk about it,” she says. “I was a volunteer interpreter at the Discovery Centre in high school, and now I am editor of BIOLuminescence, a periodic newsletter that highlights student and faculty research initiatives in CBU’s Biology Department.

Over the past few years, Dr. Jones has been filling her science communications portfolio by writing articles, developing web sites, giving interviews, producing videos, developing curriculum and being involved in strategic planning. But after exploring various channels Dr. Jones says “the best way to raise awareness about science is to get out in the community and talk about it.”

Other nominees in the Science Champion category included John C. Young, St. Mary’s University and Tarah Wright, Dalhousie University.