Diversity of coastal eelgrass communities and their importance for maintaining juvenile Pacific salmon - Year Two

On the coast of British Columbia, both eelgrass meadows and Pacific salmon species are declining, yet eelgrass community dynamics and reliance of juvenile salmon on these communities are poorly understood. We will assemble the first large-scale dataset from monitoring efforts of coastal BC organizations in order to assess eelgrass community diversity and structure across environmental and human disturbance gradients (including boating, fishing, and non-native species).

Integrated pathogen management of co-infection in Atlantic salmon

The partner in this project is EWOS Canada, a producer of salmon feed. Salmon feed is made with sustainable and Canadian Food Inspection Agency approved ingredients. A major challenge in feed manufacturing is to support maximal growth and health of fish. This project addresses a health challenge which has received little attention in academic programs: that salmon in sea farms often have several infectious agents such as skin lice and bacterial infection.

Recovery of fish populations from environmental nanosilver release

Nanosilver is an antimicrobial agent found in thousands of commercial products, frequently released into waterways as a result of their use in clothing and washing machines, as well as many other products with potential for environmental release. Though regulations on environmental release exist for elemental silver, no regulations exist for nanosilver release into the environment. Many studies have now demonstrated that nanosilver causes very different toxic reactions in organisms compared with elemental silver, suggesting different guidelines for environmental release are required.

Acoustically derived indicators of demersal and forage species productivity in the Strait of Georgia, and their link to the survival of juvenile salmon - Year two

With a rich acoustic dataset available in the Strait of Georgia (SoG), we propose this research to develop a series of acoustic indicators of productivity for forage (e.g. Pacific herring, mesopelagic fish, euphausiids, zooplankton and ichthyoplankton) and semi-demersal (e.g. Pacific hake and walleye pollock) species within the SoG by using robust multi-frequency techniques. Along with existing time-series of forage species catch from trawl surveys, the acoustic indicators of productivity will be investigated for potential links to marine survival of juvenile salmon in the SoG.

Harrison River Watershed Salmon Habitat Restoration Assessment

Many of the Harrison River tributaries no longer support historic levels of salmon productivity because of barriers to fish passage, loss of in-stream structural complexity, and ingress of invasive species. The Sts’ailes Fisheries Group has identified the need for an investigation of the historic and current stream characteristic to identify future fisheries restoration opportunities along the Harrison River. This watershed requires a large-scale, holistic, and proactive approach to planning, management, and restoration activities to improve salmon productivity.

Wintering Hills Reverse Auction

This research would determine the costs of securing and restoring drained wetland areas on private lands in the Wintering Hills area of Alberta, Canada, through the use of an approach called a “reverse auction.” Collaborating with Ducks Unlimited Canada, the project would pay farmers to allow wetlands to be restored on their property. The payment levels would be determined by the landowners through the auction process. Understanding the costs of restoration is largely unknown, but is critical for the Government of Alberta as they implement the 2013 Alberta Wetland Policy.

Mapping quantitative trait loci for disease resistance to Infectious salmon anemia in a commercial strain of Atlantic salmon

This research project is intended to take the first steps forward in breeding hardier, disease resistant Atlantic salmon. Infectious salmon anemia is a disease of Atlantic salmon that has led to millions of dollars of losses within the aquaculture industry yearly on a global scale. Through a combination of genomic data and disease trial data, the intern will be able to determine which genes confer a measurable resistance to Infectious salmon anemia. The partner organization (Cooke Aquaculture) will potentially be able to use the data generated by the intern in future breeding schemes.

Development of best strategies for the control of flowering rush in Alberta

Invasive plants represent a major threat to the economy and environment, with annual economic costs in North America estimated at $30-40 billion CDN. Aquatic invasives rank among the most destructive, affecting recreational activities such as boating, fishing and swimming, displacing native vegetation, slowing down water flow and altering oxygen levels. Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) is an aquatic invasive plant species that is currently forming dense stands that interfere with recreational lake use and water availability in Alberta.

Investigation and optimization of Avalon Alliance bio-mineral composite products and pre-design of the manufacturing process

This UBC-Vancouver research will contribute to the optimization of novel composite bio-mineral products for sustainable agriculture, pollution remediation and other environmental applications, with special emphasis on equipment pilot testing and manufacturing process pre-design, as well as the testing of the product as chicken/fish feed.

Ecology of sitatunga in Uganda

Trophy hunting, while a controversial issue in the developed world, is an important management strategy by wildlife management agencies across the equator. Due to negative public opinions, trophy hunting outfitters are under increased scrutiny to demonstrate that hunting has no detrimental effects on animal populations. To this end, we are embarking upon research into the size and extent of the sitatunga population on the Mayanja River in Uganda, which is part of the hunting concession managed by Uganda Wildlife Safaris.