Understanding the threats: plastic pollution and migrating shorebirds

Discarded plastic is a significant environmental contaminant. Plastic pollution is found in marine and freshwater systems and affects a substantial number of aquatic species around the world, either by entanglement or ingestion of small pieces (i.e. microplastics). These plastic debris release dangerous chemicals with unknown toxic effects for species that rely on marine environments to survive. Estuarine mudflats are critical feeding habitats for migratory shorebirds and are also the last stop for high levels of microplastics coming from populated areas via freshwater rivers.

Bioenergetics and population dynamics of polar bears past, present, and future: Understanding the effects of climate change

In the Arctic, climate change is leading to declines in seasonal sea-ice cover. Polar bears are increasingly at-risk from sea-ice loss because they use the ice as a platform to hunt seals, their preferred food source. When the ice retreats seasonally, bears rely on their stored energy reserves as fuel, but climate-driven changes in sea-ice melt and refreezing have forced bears to go for longer periods without access to seals. With temperatures expected to increase, it is important to know how polar bear populations will respond to never-before-seen declines in sea ice.

Wild bee microbiomes and pollinator health

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.

Evaluating synergism effects of selected plant extract compounds with metal-based antimicrobials for their antibacterial and anti-biofilm potency - Year two

The progression of bacterial antimicrobials resistance (AMR) has led us to an era that urgently requires alternative antimicrobial therapies. Metal-based antimicrobials (MBA) are increasingly seen as part of the solution. Several metals are already extensively used to prevent and treatment of infections. Silver/copper ionizers are presently used to control pathogens in Canadian hospital water distributions systems.

Development of a high-throughput cardiac differentiation assay to elucidate placental trophoblast stem cell signaling during heart development

Heart defects that affect newborns are often correlated to a disfunction in the placenta, although we currently do not fully understand why this occurs. Our objective is to develop a screening platform that uses a model of heart development to understand how cells of the placenta communicate with to cells in the developing heart. This improved understanding will aid in developing therapies for congenital heart defects.

Characterizing the effects of suspended sediment on the smoltification of Atlantic salmon in the Restigouche watershed

In recent decades, the number of wild Atlantic Salmon returning to rivers of Eastern Canada has declined to unprecedented lows. One conservation effort by the Gespe'gewaq Mi'gmaq Resource Council (GMRC) was the construction of various sedimentation basins on Little Main Restigouche near Saint Quentin (NB). These basins are designed to prevent potato fields sediment from entering the Restigouche River watershed after rain events.

Assessment of RNA quantities from environmental water samples using CBSAlife TRIzol (RNA Isolation) extraction kit

CBSAlife Ltd, a company based in Manitoba, supplies microbial reagents and products to the scientific community at a reduced cost. CBSAlife Ltd has prepared a newly available kit for RNA extraction and is keen on generating data that validates the efficacy of this product, required for increased sales.In the proposed study, a total of nine 10L environmental water samples from Red River, Winnipeg, MB will be collected over a three-month period.

Evaluating the effective and equitable outcomes of coral reef conservation to meet international biodiversity goals

International momentum is building to protect 30% of the planet by 2030 under the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, which calls for “effectively and equitably managed” areas. However, key research gaps remain in how on-the-ground conservation can lead to win-wins for people and nature, where management areas are both ecologically effective for biodiversity and equitable for local communities.

Process development with PAT solutions to manufacture the oil-based raw material

The goal of this study will be to development a process to manufacture the oil-based raw material with PAT implementation.

The Development of Nano-Carbon Ecotechnologies Derived from Polymeric Waste

As we move towards the use of the sun as a primary source of energy, we are interested in incorporating solar cell systems into urban environments. However, downtown urban environments do not have enough surface area or direct sunlight to accommodate solar panels. Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) fill in this gap as they are semi-transparent and work well in indirect lighting. To realize this application, we need to improve the fabrication process and performance of the DSSC.