Attend MURC

About the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference

The Multipdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conferencce (MURC) is a conference for UBC undergraduate students to showcase their research in front of their fellow UBC students, family, and friends. Researchers may choose one of two formats to showcase their research: presentation or poster.

See the MURC 2021 Program Guide (pdf) for more information.

Who presents at MURC?

Any UBC undergraduate student who is participating in, or has completed, their own UBC Faculty-supervised research project can apply to present at Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC). All Faculties and Schools are welcome. Find more details on presenting at MURC.

Conference Schedule

Saturday, March 20, 2021 

Time (PDT) Session
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Opening Keynote 
10:30 AM - 11:45 M Wave 1 - Oral and Poster Presentations 
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Health & Wellness Panel Session
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Wave 2 - Oral and Poster Presentations
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM Ask Me Anything Session:
Breaking into Research 
4:30 PM - 5:45 PM Wave 3 - Oral and Poster Presentations
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM Ask Me Anything Session:
Research & Post-Grad Opportunities
7:00 PM - 8:15 PM Wave 4 - Oral and Poster Presentations

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Start Time (PDT) Session
7:00 AM - 8:15 AM Wave 5 - Oral and Poster Presentations 
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Ask Me Anything Session:
Research & Real-World Impact 
9:30 PM - 10:30 AM Education & Technology Panel
11:00 PM - 12:15 PM Wave 6 - Oral and Poster Presentations
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Research Trivia 
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Wave 7 - Oral and Poster Presentations
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM Ask Me Anything Session:
Research & into the Future
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM Applying to Graduate School Workshop
5:30 PM - 6:45 PM Wave 8 - Oral and Poster Presentations

Conference Programming 

Opening Keynote - Dr. Kai Chan 

Saturday, March 20 | 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM (PDT) 

Dr. Kai Chan

Kai Chan is a professor at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Kai is an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented sustainability scientist, trained in ecology, policy, and ethics from Princeton and Stanford Universities. He strives to understand how social-ecological systems can be transformed to be both better and wilder.

Leadership and membership experiences

  • leader of Connecting Human and Natural Systems lab (CHANS lab).
  • Co-founder of CoSphere (a Community of Small-Planet Heroes).
  • A UBC Killam Research Fellow
  • Member of Canada’s Clean16  and Clean50 for 2020
  • A Leopold Leadership Program fellow
  • Senior fellow of the Global Young Academy and of the Environmental Leadership Program
  • A member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists
  • Lead Editor of the new British Ecological Society journal People and Nature
  • A coordinating lead author for the IPBES Global Assessment 
  • 2021 Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Find Kai on Google Scholar or ResearchGate.

Panels Sessions 

Health & Wellness Panel Session
Saturday, March 20, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM (PDT) 

The aim of this panel is to spark a dialogue on improving general health and well-being across a broad range of communities. Under this lens, panelists will highlight the factors that contribute to and hinder the well-being of various populations, and how research could contribute to bettering life. 


Avery Simmons Newman

Avery is aiming to close the genomic information gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations by identifying genetic factors involved in the development of cerebral aneurysms in the Canadian Indigenous population; Antoine First Nation descent

Courtney Ballegooie

Courtney van Ballegooie

Courtney van Ballegooie is a fourth year PhD student in the Department of Medicine at the BC Cancer Research Institute. Her research focuses on how external energy sources in the clinic, such as X-rays, can be used to trigger localized drug release in nanoparticle based cancer treatments. Outside of the lab, Courtney is involved in student advocacy and well-being in her roles as the Faculty of Medicine and Interdisciplinary Oncology Program Graduate Representative, and Graduate Student and Post Doctoral Society Wellness Coordinator. 

Dr. Theresa Pauly

Dr. Theresa Pauly

Dr. Theresa Pauly is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Zurich. Her research focuses on social health science across the adult life span. She is particularly interested in finding answers to the question how social relationships get under the skin. To do so, she uses an interdisciplinary approach focusing on health behaviors and health biomarkers (e.g., cortisol). She combines intensive longitudinal methods with the analysis of longer-term trajectories to better understand social determinants of health and well-being in adulthood and old age. 


Education & Technology Panel Session 
Sunday, March 21 | 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM (PDT) 

The aim of this panel is to spark a discussion on how technology has transformed different fields and made an impact on society, as well as the implications of these effects. Panelists will share how they envision their work to impact students, the community they study, and future experts in their fields of work.

Dr. Cinda Heeren

Dr. Cinda Heeren

Cinda Heeren is an Associate Professor of Teaching and Associate Head for Undergrad in the UBC Department of Computer Science. She usually teaches CPSC221 — data structures, and has recently created CPSC203, a new algorithms course for non-CS majors. In her teaching, she recognizes, unequivocally, that diverse voices are the seed of innovation, and she works hard to create learning environments where everyone is heard. 

Dr. Farshid Agharebparast

Dr. Farshid Agharebparast

Farshid Agharebparast is an Associate Professor of Teaching in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Agharebparast’s teaching interests include computer networking and Internet, computing systems and programming. His current research interests are in the areas of learning technologies, machine learning and engineering education. 

Haley Seven Deers

Haley Seven Deers

Haley is a first year History MA student at UBC. Her research concentrates on modern histories of medicine, science and gender. She previously worked on a project that digitally mapped global negative heritage sites and investigated digital technologies as a conservation strategy for cultural heritage.  

Jordan Joseph Wadden

Jordan Joseph Wadden

Jordan is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Philosophy at UBC and is a clinical ethics fellow for the Provincial Health Service Authority. His research interests are in biomedical ethics, clinical ethics, and technology ethics. His SSHRC funded research focuses on determining ethically permissible applications of artificial intelligence in healthcare settings, particularly regarding the potential benefits and harms of autonomous AI decision-makers. 

Ask Me Anything (AMA) Sessions 

The Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions provide delegates and presenters a chance to connect with graduate student representatives (GSR) and to ask any burning questions they may have about breaking into research, post-graduate opportunities, and more. 

Dentiza Dramkin

AMA: Breaking into Research
Saturday, March 20 | 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM (PDT)

Graduate Student Representative: Dentiza Dramkin 

Dentiza Dramkin

Denitza (Denny) is a third year PhD student in Developmental Psychology at UBC. Her work primarily focuses on understanding how we link language to our rich perceptual representations, including how children attach number words to their intuitive perception of quantity. Her work integrates perspectives from developmental and cognitive psychology, vision sciences, and computational methods to explore the puzzle how language shapes and enriches our abilities to reason about the information within our complex world.

Nathan Seef

AMA: Research & Post-Grad Opportunities
Saturday, March 20 | 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM (PDT) 

Graduate Student Representative: Nathan Seef

Nathan Seef

Nathan graduated from UBC in 2018 with a Masters in Public Policy and Global Affairs. Following graduation, he worked with Natural Resources Canada as a policy analyst specialising in trade and investment in Canada’s clean energy sector. Nathan is now a Policy Advisor with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat supporting the Federal government’s implementation of policies and programs related to Canada’s new Climate Plan.

 Lauren Stankiewicz

AMA: Research & Real-World Impact
Sunday, March 21 | 8:30 AM - 9:00 AM (PDT) 

Graduate Student Representative: Lauren Stankiewicz

Lauren Stankiewicz

Laura graduated from Chemical Engineering at Queen's University in 2019 and is currently working on her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at UBC. Her research focuses on learning how immune cells are trained during their development, and how we can use this information to make immune cells in the lab that can be engineered to kill cancer cells. In her spare time you can find Laura outdoors chasing sunlight on mountain hikes and morning rows.

 Maunish Barvalia

AMA: Research & into the Future
Sunday, March 21 | 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM (PDT)

Graduate Student Representative: Maunish Barvalia

Maunish Barvalia

Maunish Barvalia obtained a B.Tech (Hons.) in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras in 2015 and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Kenneth Harder. For his PhD thesis, Maunish is using systems immunology approaches such as mass cytometry (CyTOF), single cell RNA-sequencing and CITE-seq to comprehensively profile the myeloid compartment under homeostasis and in various disease contexts. Using this approach, he has found marked heterogeneity in myeloid cells and identified novel perturbation states in Lyn deficiency and colorectal cancer. Building up on his training in single cell biology, Maunish plans to use cutting edge technologies and develop a career in the realm of precision medicine. Outside of research, Maunish greatly enjoys running and playing basketball.


Applying to Graduate School Workshop
Sunday, March 21 | 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM (PDT) 

Interested in applying to graduate or professional programs? This workshop will cover some of the major aspects of the graduate school application process, including identifying a program and finding a supervisor, asking for reference letters, and putting together a statement of intent. The workshop will be facilitated by Danielle Barkley, who is the Graduate Career Educator at the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers.

Facilitator: Danielle Barkley, PhD 

Danielle Barkley

Danielle Barkley, PhD, is a Career Educator who works with the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers to support graduate students at UBC. She completed her PhD in English literature at McGill University and has previous experience as a university instructor and writing consultant.

Research Trivia

Sunday, March 21 | 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM (PDT)

Take a break from presentations and programming, and join us for our MURC 2021 Research Trivia session! Test your knowledge on categories ranging from research methods and prominent researchers, to social issues and big discoveries in different fields of research. The winner will receive a $25 e-gift card! This event is open to all delegates or presenters. 


Delegate registration is now closed. For any inquiries, please send an email to

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