Building relevant datasets and performance indicators to drive Canadian nature-based solutions (NbS) to achieve 30x30 and climate targets while promoting synergy between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities

If Canada is to achieve its 30x30 targets (protecting 30% of land and water by 2030), a combination of emissionsreductions and innovative carbon sequestration solutions are needed. Further, these solutions must achieve multiplebenefits for health and community resilience given that adverse health and climate change impacts are predicted todisproportionately impact vulnerable communities. Nature-based solutions (NbS) [Cohen-Shacham et al., 2016; aredefined as interventions to protect, manage, and restore landscapes that store carbon and ultimately benefit humanwell-being.

Localized node-based collection of wastewater samples for molecular monitoring of public health markers

Wastewater testing can measure levels of COVID-19 in a population that is contributing to the sewer system being monitored. This testing provides an early warning signal of the burden of COVID-19 in municipalities, independent of clinical testing. Calgary based start-up company C.E.C. Analytics (CEC) has developed a compact wastewater autosampler that enables this kind of testing to be conducted from city-wide to neighbourhood to individual buildings.

Lichens, lichenivorous gastropods, and acidification at clearcut and natural forest edges

Clearcut logging and acid deposition affect lichens and slugs (lichen consumers). The main research goal of this project is to improve our understanding of clearcutting and acidification impacts on lichens in Nova Scotia. The effects of forest logging on ecological communities may extend beyond the edge of the clearcut into the forest. We will: (i) identify the responses of lichens to clearcut and unharvested wetland forest edges; (ii) determine how lichens relate to acidity; and (iii) examine the influences on lichen survival and health on a landscape scale.

Integrating autonomously recorded audio data with traditional field surveys to improve detectability estimates for North American birds

Around the world, birds have been declining at an alarming rate. It is therefore important that conservationists use as many resources as they can when making informed conservation decisions. Autonomous recording units (ARUs) have become an increasingly popular choice for monitoring bird populations, because they can be left in highly remote regions (such as Canada’s Boreal Forest) and automatically record birds throughout their breeding season.

Discovering new insight on pathogenic mechanisms to identify new therapeutic opportunities in thalassemia

We are well aware of the impact heart disease has in thalassemia patients. This impacts upon patients quality of life, and ultimately that death due to heart failure is an all too common event. We now understand much about the complexity of the heart, its structure and how it functions. This has also allowed researchers to identify things which change in the heart that cause failure of the heart.Exactly WHY heart failure develops in people with thalassemia has still to be fully understood.

Bioprospecting in mushroom fungi: mushroom metabolites with antimicrobial, antihelminth and neuro-regenerative potentials

We propose to collect and grow varied mushrooms found in Ontario in order to bioprospect for compounds of medical or health benefits in their fruiting bodies and cultures. The industrial partner is a mushroom grower and the academic partners have many years of experience in the study of mushroom fungi and analyses of plant chemistry. We propose to bring these skill sets together to research bioactive compounds produced by some of the many species of mushrooms whose potential has not been fully explored.

Development of RNAi Enhancers using a yeast-based bio-manufacturing and delivery system and applications as a biopesticide against economically important crop pests in Canada

Biological pest control strategies (bio pesticides) offer promise as non-toxic and environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional chemical pesticides. The use of RNA-interference as a potential biopesticide has become increasingly attractive due to its highly specific activity against target pest species, non-toxic and biodegradability, but as an emerging technology, has its limitations.

Improved detection of Blueberry Scorch virus, a major pathogen in BC blueberry farms

Disease and death of blueberry plants caused by Blueberry Scorch Virus (BlScV) is a major problem in Blueberry farms of British Columbia, a key sector of the local agricultural economy. Correct diagnosis is instrumental to separate from non-lethal Shock Virus as BlScV-infected plants should be removed to reduced spread to other plants. In recent years, however, a substantial portion of diseased plants test negative for both viruses using the preferred and affordable ELISA method.

Structure-Activity Relationships of Hafnium Dioxide Nanoparticles for Cancer Radiotherapy and Imaging

Nanoparticles made from hafnium dioxide (hafnia; HfO2) have emerged as a potential enhancer of cancer radiation therapy. Such nanoparticles allow for reduced doses of radiation to be used on tumors, sparing healthy tissue from side effects without reducing its anti-cancer effects. However, despite their potential, it is not yet known how different nanoparticle properties, such as size and shape, effect their efficacy or risk of side effects. This project thus aims to gain an understanding of the relationship between nanoparticle properties and their biological effects.

Engineering 3D-printed re-usable soil for hydroponic farming

Some agricultural crops are grown indoors using crop cultivation systems known as hydroponics. For example lettuce, basil, and tomatoes can be grown in greenhouses inside artificial soil known as grow media. Existing grow media are single-use materials made from mineral wool, peat-plugs, and clay pellets. The proposed research presented here by Lyrata is the engineering and testing of 3D-printed grow media made from the biopolymer known as polylactic acid.

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