The Suncor/McMaster partnership is generating a pipeline of novel, green, agricultural chemicals to be applied as crop sprays. The proposed collaboration will expand the application of the sprays to various crop species in both greenhouse and field settings and contribute to the understanding of the mode of action of the active ingredients.
The Fraser River watershed, British Columbia provides habitat for Chinook salmon, which delivers food for First Nations, recreational anglers, commercial fisheries and endangered Southern Resident killer whales. Extensive forestry, agricultural, industrial and urban activities take place in the Fraser Valley exposing early life history stages of Chinook to a mix of legacy and new contaminants, including PCBs, pesticides and pharmaceuticals and personal care products.
Cannabis production requires highly manipulated, sterile growing conditions for optimum yields and product quality. However, plant performance, and in particular plant biosynthesis of metabolites such as cannabinoids, terpenes and alkaloids, depends on beneficial plant/microbial interactions. This project aims to develop a cannabis-specific bioinoculant of beneficial microbes to improve production yield and metabolic profile.
Salt marshes are important coastal ecosystems that provide many services. Due to their high soil fertility, they have a long history of being converted to farmland. There is now growing interest in restoring salt marshes to protect against coastal erosion, mitigate sea level rise, and provide increased habitat for birds, fish, etc.
Rangelands store carbon, regulate water, and conserve biodiversity. This research will study the effect of cattle grazing on wet meadow rangelands and their soils. Specifically, this project will measure the effect of changes in plants on soil nematodes. Soil nematodes are important in the cycling of nutrients and carbon and help sustain soil health. We will use surveys of soil nematodes to measure the changing function of soil food webs following grazing.
Most of the drugs used to treat cancer have been originally identified from natural sources. While Nature did a great job selecting those compounds, some of them have shown limitations in the treatment of cancer and others have shown to be insufficient on some cancer types. Furthermore, it exists a gigantic number (nearly infinite) of small molecules human can synthetize.
The evolving resistance of pathogenic (bad) bacteria to antibiotics is already causing a large number of illnesses and deaths not only in Canada but throughout the world. Countries are calling desperately for new drugs to address these bacteria that are becoming untreatable by current drugs. Viotika Life Sciences has identified a new platform of drugs that may circumvent this resistance and save lives in the process.
Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and rough-legged hawks (Buteo lagops) breed throughout the Canadian Arctic. Several monitoring programs were established in the 1970’s and 1980’s to evaluate the recovery of these and other raptors following the banning of DDT. DDT is a pesticide that was once widely used, but resulted in severe population declines in many raptors via its action of reducing egg shell thickness, resulting in low breeding success.
Our world is witnessing an increase in the spread of multidrug resistant (MDR) microbes and the irony is that the hospitals serve as an important reservoir for these microbes. MDR infections kills 8,000 Canadians each year, which may rise to 400,000 in next 30 years. Primarily, the spread of pathogens between patients are believed to be due to direct or indirect contact with the hospital textile.
As fisheries for the Atlantic Sea Cucumber (Cucumaria frondosa) develop in Atlantic Canada, effective management will require a thorough understanding of the underlying genetic relationships within and between different populations to assess “genetic health.” Detecting genetic structure, such as differences in allelic frequencies and heterozygosity, is challenging in marine invertebrate species like C. frondosa due to having a highly dispersive and long larval stage, which results in high levels of gene flow between populations.