Advancing biomonitoring eDNA practices. The case of PCR inhibition and implications on eDNA detections

Conventional biomonitoring methods based on capture and observations can be difficult, destructive of habitat, stressful for the organisms, inefficient, and expensive. Living organisms shed DNA into the environment (eDNA) and this signal can be detected using molecular methods. eDNA allows species detection without physical observation or capture. The non-invasive nature of eDNA is essential for revealing elusive and invasive species.

Complementary and competitive interactions between wild and managed bees

A diversity of native bee species inhabit agricultural and urban landscapes and can be more effective pollinators than the widely employed European honey bee. However, honey and wild bee communities often overlap, which means these bees compete for the same floral resources. Studies of competition between wild and managed pollinators are limited due to methodological constraints. This restricts our ability to predict how pollination and bee diversity will be affected by changes in pollinator community composition.

Development, implementation and validation of new anti-E6 therapeutics for the treatment of HPV-associated cancer

Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are responsible for almost all cervical cancers. Current treatment available relies on chemo- or radiation-therapy or surgery. These methods have several side-effects with high morbidity and survival of just ~ 70%. Our lab, therefore, develops a more patient-centered approach based on targeting the viral E6 protein, the main culprit of carcinogenesis in HPV-related malignancies.

Impact of Wind Energy Turbines on Bat and Bird Mortality

In this Mitacs-funded project, a postdoctoral researcher will work with partners at Trent University and Bird Studies Canada to expand our understanding of how wind turbines affect birds and bats. We will leverage an extremely detailed database on wind-wildlife interactions that is managed by Bird Canada. Using these data, we will investigate whether bat and bird mortality are affected by turbine characteristics including height and the area swept by the turbine blades.

Assessing the lice cleaning efficacy and diet of lumpfish in Canadian Atlantic salmon sea cages using metabarcoding and conventional diet analysis

The salmon aquaculture industry is a highly profitable industry, known to contribute significantly to the Canadian economy. During this time an ectoparasite called the sea louse may infect the salmon leading to animal welfare concerns a significant economic loss. Lumpfish are a species of cleaner fish used as a biological control for sea lice and offer a more sustainable and ecologically friendly option for sea lice management than previous chemical controls. They are a recent addition to Canadian aquaculture, and their cleaning efficacy must be well understood under Canadian conditions.

Development of a tissue culture platform to investigate piscine orthoreovirus infectious cycle in-vitro

The aquaculture industry is constantly growing worldwide. Vast arrays of fish species are farmed in freshwater, brackish, and marine systems. In farms, fish reach high-population densities, which facilitates the outbreaks of infectious diseases. This is a big challenge for the aquaculture industry, particularly in the case of viral pathogens because there are few, if any, efficacious treatments against emergent and re-emergent fish viruses. Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) is an emerging viral pathogen that causes high economic losses in the salmon farming industry.

Defining epigenetic drivers of primary and metastatic medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common childhood brain cancer. Current treatment for these tumors is invasive involving irradiation of the entire brain and spine. Although some types of MB respond well, others have an abysmal prognosis, and the lack of less invasive therapies means that children undergoing treatment suffer from severe developmental defects and reduced quality of life.

Assessing Quality of Life for Canadians with Mobility-Limiting Disabilities through use of Emitto Technology: Creation of Implementation and Knowledge Translation Frameworks

Many people in Canada are aging and/or may be living with a disability. These people often have to rely on caregivers, and are limited in what they can do independently. Novalte has developed a SMART technology system that connects to WiFi devices in the home to allow someone living with a disability more independence and control over their home and space. This project will involve creating implementation and knowledge translation frameworks to support a larger research project on the system and help in its rollout to a larger number of users.

Quantification and Improvement of Juvenile American Eel Passage Through Fishways and Wetland Water Control Infrastructure.

The American Eel is a species of significant ecological, social and commercial value and a species of conservation concern in part due to reduced habitat connectivity to both freshwater habitat as juveniles, commonly known as glass eels or elvers. During the proposed research period the intern will work to quantify passage of elvers through existing infrastructure that is representative of the majority of infrastructure within Ducks Unlimited projects within Atlantic Canada.

Bacteriophage Endolysin Proteins Development

In response to the antimicrobial resistance crisis, several nations (including Canada, U.S., and Europe) have drastically limited the use of medically important antibiotics for livestock production. As a result, alternative methods must be explored for disease prevention and treatment in animals from bacterial infections. The intern will explore the effects of using toxic proteins that destroy bacteria derived from viruses that only infect and kill bacteria as a plausible alternative. The benefit of this research to Cytophage Technologies Inc.

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