Developing A Framework and Tools for Strategic Management of Invasive Species in Greater Toronto Area, Ontario

With limited funding available, managers must prioritize which invasive species and which areas need to be managed. This project will involve finding out which sites and species need to be prioritized for management within the Greater Toronto Area. Through formal discussions with different stakeholders in the area and by using existing data (e.g. species distribution and city attributes), high priority areas and invasive species can be mapped to help managers know where and which invasive species need to be controlled.

Mechanisms of Antibacterial Activity of Kisameet Clay, A Natural Clay Mineral from British Columbia, Canada

The discovery and development of antimicrobials as therapeutic agents has transformed modern medicine. However, their further mass production, global distribution, and gross misapplication have resulted in escalating emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria worldwide. Given the limited arsenal of antimicrobials available to combat MDR bacteria, there is growing apprehension about the threat posed by “superbugs” and a pressing need for novel therapeutics.

Evaluation of Plant Promotion Growth Promotion and Antifungal effects through the application of the novel strains KGS-2 and KGS-3

This project will investigate the use of novel bacterial strains as inoculants for agricultural crops that will promote plant growth. It has been demonstrated, in a previous MITACS funded project, that the application of the novel KGS strains of bacteria to plants in a greenhouse will promote the growth of the plants. This current project will seek to demonstrate the same effect in field trials. In addition, this project will also isolate and identify the natural products produced by these strains to determine the molecules responsible for the observed effect.

The Great River Rapport

The Great River Rapport is an initiative that involves collaboration, consultation, and input from scientists, Indigenous partners, citizens and students. The goal is to provide a report on the health of the Upper St. Lawrence River ecosystem and inspire people to become engaged and aware of how ecosystem health is linked to all of us.

Evaluating Gradients of Natural and Induced Stress on Fish Blood Parameters; Developing more accurate results from Point-of-Care Devices

The point-of-care i-STAT and VETSCAN units are easily portable blood-based assessment tools that can produce relevant blood parameters within minutes with only 2-3 drops of blood. The objective of this study is to examine both natural and investigator-applied stress gradients in fishes and compare blood chemistry of fishes from a range of environments (e.g., low to high stress).

Winter Ecology of Chinook Salmon in the Canadian Salish Sea

Chinook Salmon are a species of high ecological, economic and cultural value in BC. Recent declines in Chinook Salmon abundance have highlighted a need to understand factors controlling their productivity. One hypothesis suggests that the first winter in the ocean plays a critical role in controlling Chinook Salmon survival, and in turn, abundance. Little research has been conducted during the winter, limiting our understanding of this potentially critical period.

Surface property optimization of an insulation coating for glass

The handling and storage of perishables like vaccines are critical to retain medical potency and effectiveness for patient administration. The delivery of vaccines can succumb to several pitfalls such as physical damage, losses in transit and expiration. One of the primary causes of vaccine wastage is a result of heat and freezing of the biological products. These sensitive perishables quickly spoil if not maintained in the correct temperature range of a refrigerator that is kept to +2°C to +8°C.

Presence of AM dikaryosis in a culture collection and its impact on plants

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are essential for plant growth, yet their genetics are very poorly understood. The proposed research aims to identify the genetic identify and symbiotic potential of AMF strains currently cultivated by an industrial partner. The ultimate goal is to determine if a certain AMF genotype can be beneficial to boost the yield of certain crops, or to produce better bio-fertilizers. This work will be done by combining a variety of molecular techniques, including digital droplets and Sanger sequencing.

Exploration of Hybrid Bio-Nanocomposite Materials for Smart Textiles and Wearable Health Technology

Wearable technology is contributing to the movement toward seamless connectivity. In the health industry, applications of wearable technology, and functional ‘smart’ fabrics more generally, are improving lives every day. Merging biotechnology with nanomaterials science is one avenue along which scientists are pursuing advanced materials with enhanced functionalities. From anti-bacterial activity to protection from the sun, the next generation of ‘smart’ textiles will draw upon the synergistic combination of components such as enzymes, nanoparticles and synthetic chemical complexes.

Developing ‘all-natural’ approaches to food-grade Malic acid production

Malic acid is a naturally-occurring chemical found in fruits such as blueberries, apples, cherries and grapes. Malic acid gives food a sour or tart taste. Because of this, it is an important food additive used to balance sweetness or salt. Examples of industrial malic acid use in snack foods are sour gummy candies and flavoured potato chips. Bartek Ingredients Inc. is a Canadian company and the largest manufacturer of malic acid in the world. Malic acid is made commercially from petroleum products, a non-renewable resource. Bartek Ingredients Inc.