URSCA 2020

This year, the 6th annual URSCA conference was originally scheduled to return to MacEwan University. However, due to concerns over public gatherings during COVID-19, the conference was restructured as an on-line event and hosted by the University of Lethbridge.

The University of Lethbridge is proud to have had the opportunity to showcase the outstanding original research produced by Alberta’s undergraduate students at URSCA 2020. During this unprecedented time, we remain committed to highlighting undergraduate research in science, and although we can't gather in person, there is nothing stopping us from moving this conference to an online format. We are proud of the hard work that students have done in the lab, in the field, on their computer and, recently, in the safe confines of their residence. We are living through some challenging times right now, so the Faculty of Arts & Science is pleased to be able to provide students with this opportunity to safely disseminate their work and socialize with students with a diversity of related interests from across the province of Alberta.

The 6thth annual Undergraduate Research in Science Conference of Alberta (URSCA) was hosted online by the University of Lethbridge on May 25-26,2020. 114 abstracts were submitted from eight post-secondary institutions from across Alberta and it is estimated that we had close to 220 people in attendance over the two days. This number included presenters, judges, moderators, hosts and guests.

The conference opened on Monday night (May 25th) with our very own computational chemist, Dr. Stacey Wetmore who presented "The Things Computers Can Teach Us About the Chemistry of DNA and RNA."

The next day, the formal conference kicked-off and attendees were treated to what could only be described as, excellence in undergraduate research. View a complete list of award winners.

Thank you to all who supported and encouraged us in the planning and delivery of this conference. Download the Conference Program here.


To empower the next generation of researchers, it is essential to provide the opportunity for budding scientists to gain experience in the public dissemination of their work, as they become members of a community of scholars. It bodes well that Alberta universities understand this need and celebrate this form of experiential learning.

It was an honour to be granted the opportunity to host the 6th Annual Undergraduate Research in Science Conference of Alberta (URSCA 2020). We are thrilled to see so many students eager to present their undergraduate research. The quality of submitted abstracts is exceptional, which is a testament to their dedication to scholarship, and to the support, they receive from their faculty supervisors. We are humbled by the number of our colleagues from across Alberta who stepped forward to volunteer throughout the conference. Thank you!!

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Stacey Wetmore, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Judges & Moderators
Ramses Ilarraza (Concordia University of Edmonton)
Yasser Tabana (Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Alberta)
Erin Walton (MacEwan University)
Hilary Corlett (MacEwan University)
Lisa Prichard (MacEwan University)
Orla Aaquist (MacEwan University)
Tina Bott (MacEwan University)
Vahid Rezania (MacEwan University)
Ashok Krishnamurthy (Mount Royal University)
David Bird (Mount Royal University)
Eniko Kapocsi-Kiss (Mount Royal University)
Jeella Acedo (Mount Royal University)
John Chik (Mount Royal University)
Kartika Tjandra (Mount Royal University)
Laura Atkinson (Mount Royal University)
Maryam Elahi (Mount Royal University)
Mehdi Dehghany (Mount Royal University)
Shweta Chugh (Mount Royal University)
Trevor Day (Mount Royal University)
Annerieke Wolmarans (The King’s University)
Heather Prior (The King’s University)
Collin Horn (University of Alberta)
Crystal Snyder (University of Alberta)
Mahmoud Elghiaty (University of Alberta)
Carla Craveiro Salvado (University of Alberta and Concordia University of Edmonton)
Phil Langill (University of Calgary)
Jon Doan (University of Lethbridge)
Julie Lee-Yaw (University of Lethbridge)
Matt Letts (University of Lethbridge)

U of L Zoom Hosts
Tony Montina
Trevor Armstrong
Brad Reamsbottom
Layla Lahiji
Michael Opyr
Catharine Reader

U of L Teaching Centre
Brad Reamsbottom & Layla Lahiji

U of L Organizing Committee
Dr. Matthew Letts
Catharine Reader
Tony Montina
Brad Reamsbottom
Layla Lahiji
Trevor Armstrong