Developing Tools to Track Vocalizing Marine Mammals with Long Baseline Hydrophone Arrays

The scope of this project is to use acoustic data from long-baseline arrays of hydrophones to detect, locate, and track marine mammals based on their vocalization. Specifically, the project aims to assess methods and develop automated tracking algorithms that provide accurate results for individual signals, and a maximum of flexibility regarding the channel, array, and signal characteristics.

Towards a sustainable anti-biofilm technology based on natural materials

Biofilms, surface-adherent microbial populations with enhanced tolerance to antibiotics and disinfectants, are widely-known contamination sources in environmental, industrial and medical settings. Novel approaches for the prevention and remediation of biofilms using nontoxic materials are urgently required. Interestingly, natural polysaccharides and nanopowders have anti-biofilm properties. We will develop a sustainable anti-biofilm technology using PhytoSpherix™ (Mirexus), a natural nanosized polysaccharide extracted from corn.

Cross-sector partnerships for implementing sustainable community plans: comparison between a Canadian city and international communities to determine drivers for partners to remain in the partnerships

The project involves the identification of a Canadian community to be compared with Barcelona (Spain), Bristol (UK) and other two international communities, all experienced cities on sustainability with more than 100 partners including businesses, NGOs, academia and the public sector. The Canadian community must comply with certain criteria to make findings comparable with the international communities.

Hybrid Power Systems for Integrated Energy and Food Production in Autonomous Communities

Community integrated energy and food systems bring production and management to the local scale in order to increase autonomy and resiliency. These are particularly expedient in the face of global climate change, more frequent and severe extreme weather, geopolitical instability and peak oil. Bioenergy systems offer enormous potential for such applications because they stand at the nexus between food and energy security; specifically, food waste is an input to bioenergy systems, and bioenergy effluent is an agricultural input.

Roche Lake Eutrophication study

Roche Lake is the Roche Lake is the largest lake among 12 highly productive water bodies in the Thomson-Nicola region of BC’s southern Interior Plateau. It has experienced algal blooms over the past four years indicating a change in nutrient loadings to the lake. Roche Lake suffered a winterkill of more than 50% of fish due to low oxygen levels during the 2013-2014 winter, with low oxygen levels persisting throughout summer 2014. The algal blooms and impacts on fish populations indicate a significant level of eutrophication that needs to be addressed.

Combining telemetry and mark-recapture models to manage a mixed stock fishery

In 1995, proportions of several stocks of Fraser River sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) began to enter the Fraser River system early to spawn creating uncertainty in mortality and spawning abundance estimates. This has created large problems for fisheries management in their attempt to protect less abundant stocks. To address this issue, Fisheries and Oceans Canada performed a large tagging study of sockeye salmon using radio telemetry in the Harrison River.

Encapsulation strategies for the enhanced performance of active ingredients in foods and non-food products

"Functional foods and cosmetics contain physiologically active compounds. However, many active ingredients are susceptible to degradation and/or are not efficiently absorbed by the body. It is increasingly recognized that the composition and physical structures of the products, and interactions between ingredients in the matrix can impact the stability and availability of active ingredients. Encapsulation is an important strategy for protecting and delivering active ingredients and it has a long history of use in food and cosmetic industries.

Linking microbiome to eco-industrial function: the in silico and metagenomic exploration of microbial dark matter and taxonomic blind spots

"A large majority of microbes cannot be cultured. Recently, microbiome sequencing has begun to identify the genetic potential of these lineages, often referred to as microbial “dark matter”. By integrating my taxonomic profiling methods with function profiling developed by the academic supervisor, I aim to develop and apply a comprehensive pipeline for microbial dark matter characterization, placing unclassified taxa into both a taxonomic and functional context.

Benchmarking and improving the energy efficiency of water distribution systems

Water and wastewater utilities typically represent the single largest municipal consumer of electricity. Previous studies have shown the potential to significantly reduce this use through infrastructure and operational improvements, particularly for water distribution. The proposed research seeks to validate and expand the application of energy metrics, developed by the applicant, that describe how energy is supplied, dissipated, lost, and delivered, throughout water distribution systems.

Enhancing water stress tolerance in soybean through phytoglobin manipulations

The purpose of the project is to generate soybean plants able to tolerate whole plant submergence and waterlogging (soil submergence). This will be achieved by inducing Pgb, a gene normally present in soybean and known to confer tolerance to excessive humidity, through genetic manipulations. Correlative studies between Pgb expression and performance under excessive water conditions will also be conducted in commercial varieties of soybean. Similar studies will be conducted to assess the effect of altered Pgb level to drought stress.