Gallagher Colloquium Series

The Gallagher Colloquium Series is a public lecture series hosted by the Department of Geoscience in the Faculty of Science. Taking place between September and April each year, the Colloquium brings in best-in-class speakers to Calgary to strengthen our science community and to increase scientific knowledge and awareness in the public.

Philanthropic Supporters behind the Series:

The Gallagher Colloquium Series was established in 2015, with a generous philanthropic contribution from the Gallagher family. Legendary oilman and geologist Jack Gallagher was a dedicated supporter of UCalgary, and his sons Thomas, Frederick and James have continued this tradition of generosity. The Gallagher family has also established the Gallagher Library, the Gallagher Fellowship in Geoscience, and many other university initiatives for more than 40 years. We thank the family for their continued support and contributions to UCalgary.

Banner image: Dr. Jim Green, NASA Chief Scientist, delivering his Gallagher Colloquium presentation on February 20, 2020

We are pleased to announce our speaker line-up for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022. Presentation and registration details are available below. If you want to receive information and invitations about the Gallagher Lecture Series, please email and ask to be included on the Faculty of Science events and communications list.

We look forward to you joining us this year. 

Field-based pilot for CO2 sequestration and critical metal recovery from mineral wastes

Field-based pilot for CO2 sequestration and critical metal recovery from mineral wastes

Dr. Sasha Wilson, University of Alberta

Enhanced Weathering as an Ore Processing Technique for CO2 Mineralization & Critical Metal Recovery

The critical metals needed to build infrastructure for the renewable energy transition are commonly found in ultramafic rocks. This type of rock is abundant in Canada. It can also be used to bind carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere within carbonate minerals, which are common components of antacids and the Rocky Mountains. Enhanced weathering of ultramafic rock to make carbonate minerals has potential to store billions of tonnes of CO2 per year while improving the efficiency of critical metal recovery from mines. This talk will describe how using CO2 sequestration as an ore processing technology could turn mining into a carbon negative industry while enhancing the supply of the metals we need to create the green economy.

Presenter: Dr. Sasha Wilson, Associate Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta

Date:  Thursday, November 18, 2021
Time:  6:30 – 7:45 p.m. (MT)
Location:  Online

Dr. Sasha Wilson is Associate Professor and the Canada Research Chair in Biogeochemistry of Sustainable Mineral Resources. She leads the Environmental Economic Geology Lab in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta. Dr. Wilson is a mineralogist/biogeochemist whose work focuses on environmental aspects of economic geology and on chemical sedimentology. She uses mineral behaviour, with a particular focus on crystal chemistry, to understand and manage environmental change in engineered and natural settings. Her research employs fieldwork, analytical geochemistry and experiments in the field, laboratory and at synchrotron light sources.

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Snowy Campus

January Gallagher Presentation

January presentation details coming soon.

Date:  TBC
Time:  6:30 – 7:45 p.m. (MT)
Location:  TBC

Registration details will be available December 2021.

Simmering volcano

Geological Storage of Carbon and the Role of Geophysics

Presenter: Dr. Don White, Senior Geophysicist, Geological Survey of Canada

Date:  Thursday, March 3, 2022
Time:  6:30 – 7:45 p.m. (MT)
Location: TBC

Presentation abstract and speaker bio coming soon.  Registration details will be available December 2021.

Surface of Mars

Driving Curiosity: Exploring Martian Geology and Habitability through Mineralogy

Presenter: Dr. Shaunna M. Morrison, Carnegie Research Scientist & 4D Initiative Co-Director, Earth and Planets Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science

Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2022*                   
Time:  6:30 – 7:45 p.m. (MT)
Location: TBC

*Note: This event is scheduled for a Wednesday evening.

Presentation abstract and speaker bio coming soon.  Registration details will be available December 2021.


Dr. Steven Hallam, University of British Columbia

Co-metabolic Innovation along Eco-thermodynamic Gradients

For over 3.5 billion years microorganisms have evolved to solve complex metabolic problems at the individual, population and community levels, innovating distributed solutions to nutrient and energy conversion processes that have fundamentally transformed the surface chemistry of the earth and generated a deep reservoir of genomic diversity. Over the past decade, high-throughput sequencing and mass spectrometry platforms have transformed our perception of this microcosmos, illuminating microbial dark matter and conceptually linking microbial interactions to a wide range of ecosystem functions and services. Dr. Hallam will explore problems and solutions in environmental sequence analysis spanning different levels of biological organization along defined redox gradients in the ocean. He will highlight emerging open source tools for integrating and visualizing multi-omic (DNA, RNA and protein) and environmental parameter information, and consider the future of data intensive computation and environmental sensing as it relates to metabolic pathway reconstruction, predictive modeling and synthetic ecology.

Presenter:  Dr. Steven Hallam, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Leopold Leadership Fellow, University of British Columbia

Date:  Thursday, October 21, 2021
Time:  6:30 – 7:45 p.m. (MT)
Location:  Online

Dr. Steven Hallam is a University of California Santa Cruz and Massachusetts Institute of Technology trained molecular biologist, microbial ecologist, entrepreneur, and innovator with over 20 years of experience in field and laboratory research. He is Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a Leopold Leadership Fellow at the University of British Columbia. He is also a program faculty member in the Bioinformatics and Genome Sciences and Technology training programs at UBC. Dr. Hallam co-directs the ECOSCOPE innovation ecosystem consisting of an NSERC CREATE training program, a research network, the Biofactorial core facility for high-throughput screening, and a curriculum development initiative in data science (EDUCE) based on four research and training pillars: i) microbial ecology, ii) biological engineering, iii) data platforms, and iv) networking and entrepreneurship. His research intersects these pillars with specific emphasis on creation of functional screens and computational tools to reveal hidden metabolic powers of the microcosmos. His laboratory developed MetaPathways, a scalable annotation and analysis pipeline to predict metabolic interactions from environmental sequence information. Other research areas include single-cell genome sequencing and biosensor development for environmental monitoring and high-throughput enzyme discovery. In 2016, he co-founded Koonkie Inc., a bioinformatics consulting company that designs and provides scalable algorithmic and data analytics solutions in the cloud.

Destroyed hydro-power plant

Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower plant, destroyed in the debris flow of February 7, 2021

Irfan Rashid, University of Kashmir

Mountain Hazards Cascades in North America and High Mountain Asia

Geohazards, including landslides and floods, are becoming more common with climate change. As glaciers melt and permafrost thaws, steep slopes are becoming less stable and more prone to failure, which can result in disaster when the geophysical event intersects with human settlements and infrastructure. In this talk, Dr. Shugar will discuss the changing hazards landscape, with particular attention to recent events in the mountain landscapes of western North America and High Mountain Asia.

Presenter: Dr. Dan Shugar, Associate Professor of Geoscience & Director, Environmental Science Program, University of Calgary

Date:  Thursday, September 23, 2021
Time:  6:30 – 7:45 p.m. (MT)
Location:  Online

Dr. Dan Shugar is Associate Prof essor of Geoscience and Director of the Environmental Science Program at the University of Calgary. His main area of expertise is rapid geological change, particularly in alpine environments, but he has also worked on slower phenomena in flatter environments, including sea level change, fluvial geomorphology, and permafrost. He serves as a Scientific Editor for the Journal of Glaciology and is a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Dr. Shugar earned a BSc in physical geography from Carleton University, an MSc in physical geography from the University of Guelph, and a PhD in earth sciences from Simon Fraser University. He was a Hakai-Mitacs postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria, and an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Tacoma prior to joining the UCalgary.

“The series is excellent and provides a good variety of speakers and subjects to keep it very interesting and give a good overview of what is happening in the scientific world. It also helps me keep up to date with what is going on in the world. It is one of the very few good things happening in the world these days. Thank you.”

Attendee from January 2020 lecture by Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar