Heme is a naturally occurring molecule found in our blood and as well as in animals, responsible for carrying oxygen throughout our body. Interestingly, heme has been commercially used in various products such as in cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and food. The traditional production of heme however often involves animal slaughter and harsh chemical processing, which is costly and ultimately limits other potential applications. The proposed project will investigate a different method of producing heme by fermenting microorganisms; much in the same way that beer, wine, and insulin are made.
Whisky is made by a process of fermentation, distillation, and maturation. The last step is by far the most time-consuming part of this process. In order for maturation to occur, the distilled spirit must sit in a wooden barrel for years, during which the spirit takes on the familiar colour and taste of whisky. This inefficient process is an antiquated approach to creating this beloved class of beverage.
Throughout Western North America with few exceptions all species of Pacific Salmon stocks have been in steady decline for over 50 years. On the West Coast of Vancouver Island, Chinook salmon stocks are of particular concern. These fish provide ecological, cultural and economic value to the region and current numbers are at an all-time low.
Noise from human activities negatively affects the well-being of humans and wildlife alike. In rural areas, ecosystems that are relatively undisturbed by human activities may still be subjected to noise exposure from vehicles passing nearby, industry-related noise (e.g., compressor stations), or from airplanes overhead. To date, however, little work has been done to quantify what proportion of Canada’s land area might be exposed to anthropogenic noise, and how much noise is out there.
The bank swallow is a species of insectivorous songbird considered to be threatened in Canada and has been prioritized for conservation action. All swallow species in Canada are migratory, and in their annual cycle, the post-breeding to first migration period is considered to be a difficult and dangerous time for juvenile birds. We propose to conduct an ecological study of bank swallow post-breeding movements and survival in southern Ontario.
Atlantic salmon is in decline in many places across its range. Reduced habitat quality, declines in at-sea survival, and decreases in availability or timing of food resources are all recognized as factors contributing to spawning declines and early life survival. Healthy rivers are good candidates for adult enhancement programs. Adult enhancement involves removing some smolts from the river, growing them to adults in aquaculture tanks, and returning them to the river to supplement the natural returns from sea.
Striped bass, Morone saxatilis, is a popular anadromous fish caught along the Eastern Coast of North American. Striped bass invaded Labrador, NL in August 2017 and, during Part 1 of this study, were identified to feed on Atlantic salmon, cod, char and capelin; important fishes to NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC). The traditional method to identify stomach contents consists of examining stomach contents and morphologically identifying the species consumed.
Leach’s storm-petrels are tiny, iconic seabirds found from the Bay of Fundy through Labrador in eastern Canada, and forage hundreds of kilometres offshore. Numbers of birds at some colonies have declined by >30% over the past two decades; the reason for these declines remain very unclear. Among the possible factors thought to be negatively influencing storm-petrels is mercury (Hg), a neurotoxic element that some studies have shown is high in this species.
Microorganisms living in marine seafloor sediments are of scientific interest for many reasons including their role in cycling nutrients, their metabolic diversity, and the relatively few investigations of their existence due to their habitation of such an extreme and isolated environment. In addition, subsurface microbes can provide insight into their surrounding environment, including signalling the presence of hydrocarbon seeps.
Little information is known about offshore lobster. Knowledge gaps exist in general population demographics, maturity rates, and movement patterns (migrations). Most notably, nothing is known about offshore lobster in this region especially during the closed season. This project will form a collaboration between captains and their crews and researchers to collect data on the offshore fishery. The primary project goal is to ensure a healthy, viable, and sustainable fishery.