Behavioural responses of Varroa destructor mites to volatiles within Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies

Western honey bees are economically important insects that provide essential pollination services to agriculture. It is generally acknowledged that Varroa destructor mites, since making their way from Asia to the rest of the world, have become the most serious threat to the stability of the apiculture industry. To control V. destructor, apiculturists apply miticides, but this entails significant costs and additional labour, has collateral effects on honey bees, and can leave residues in commercial products; moreover, miticide resistance has repeatedly evolved.

Wild bee microbiomes and pollinator health - Year Two

The holobiont view of organism microbiomes suggests that microbial communities influence and are influenced by animal behaviour. While many microbes are beneficial and necessary for digestion and homeostasis, others can be detrimental, including pathogens leading to compromised immunity and disease states. Recent studies suggest microbiomes covary with landscape floral and fungal diversity, yet fine scale data does not exist examining consistent hubs for beneficial and pathogenic microbes outside of select few crop and flower species.

Turkey Vulture Migration, Ecology, and Health in the Pacific Northwest

This project is examining the movements (migratory and local), status, and health of the Turkey Vulture in the Pacific Northwest, with a particular focus on Vancouver Island. This is at the northwestern edge of their relatively recent (and continuing) apparent range expansion and population growth locally. Through a process of trapping, tagging, monitoring, and observing vultures, we aim to learn about various aspects of their life history. These aspects include their local movements, foraging, and breeding habits/habitats, including details of nest sites and roosts.

Unpacking the role of environmental stress and disease in salmon declines.

This program will investigate the role disease plays in salmon declines and the risks posed by open-net salmon farming to wild Pacific salmon. First, our ongoing partnership with the Broughton Archipelago Transition Initiative (BATI) will monitor salmon-farm impacts, serving as a testing ground for monitoring technologies to support Indigenous self-determination. Second, we will expand our work on the west coast of Vancouver Island, casting focus on the impacts of BC’s last major salmon-farm cluster on imperiled populations of Chinook salmon.

Testing species range limits using remote sensing techniques

Many species on earth are experiencing changes in their geographic distributions as climate change progresses. Ecologists don’t fully understand what limits or promotes a species ability to move in response to global change- factors such as temperature, interactions with other species, and population genetics can all play a role. I am interested in exploring how the availability of habitat might determine how far species can move beyond their current distributions.

Centralized and Decentralized Waste and stormwater Treatment Intensification

Carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and micropollutants are primary environmental stressors that pollute lakes, drinking water wells, and streams. They originate from human activities and come through point and non-point sources. In the case of point sources, wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) must remove these stressors before discharge into water bodies. Driven by population increase and climate change, wastewater treatment objectives have become more stringent to ensure clean water, requiring extensive removal of nutrients and other pollutants.

Sport Product Testing – Canadian Sport Institute Calgary – Wearable Technology and the Use in Health and Sport Applications – Accuracy, Reliability, Usability and Data Analytics

This proposed research project will be performed to understand accuracy/reliability of consumer wearable technologies for health and sport applications. There is an emerging and growing need in the health and life sciences markets to use wearable technology to monitor physiologic and movement related signals and understand how this data is related to health outcomes. The first step is to understand how accurate the data is and the next step would be to understand the meaning of the data, related to health outcomes.

Wildlife Risk Assessment and Response Capacity in the Pacific Northwest

Response to an oil spill involving wildlife can be challenging in the Pacific Northwest. The terrain, weather and remoteness of many locations are all elements to be considered when determining an effective response strategy. A goal of a wildlife response team is to be as prepared as possible when responding to an incident. The animals present at any particular time depend on factors such as migration, breeding, and food abundance. Using existing studies, environmental sensitivity maps and novel research, we will enable the best wildlife response at a given time of year at a given location.

Avifaunal species responses to a restored migratory stopover habitat in an urban park

Bird populations in North America have been in decline since mid-1900s due to a multitude of stressors including pesticide use, habitat loss, predation by cats, as well as window and vehicle collisions. Tommy Thompson Park is a constructed wilderness park in Toronto (Ontario) that is along the migratory path for many species that are exhibiting the largest declines.

Wastewater innovation using algae-based photo reactors

Requirements for nutrient removal from municipal wastewater (MWW) are stringent in order to reduce environmental impact of anthropogenic activities on natural ecosystems. Common practices in MWW treatment involve chemical and bacterial processes. Micro—algae have been proposed as an alternative or complementary approach to MWW treatment but technologies for such implementations remain limited. We propose to test, as a proof of principle, a photo-selection process, designed to reduce the complexity and costs of MWW treatment.