Design and Refinement of a Colour-based Metabolomic Biosensor System

This project involves designing a portable device for measuring concentrations of certain metabolites in a person’s blood or urine. This is an easy-to-use device that connects to a smartphone to display a final result based on measurements of multiple components to generate a specific health diagnosis. Different tests can be run on the same device. The device works by loading custom-made fluidic chips into the device which contains dried chemical reactions.

Development and Application of Marine Mammal Density Estimation Methods for Directional and Omnidirectional Hydrophones

Estimates of the population density of marine mammals in an area and the change in population over space and time are critical inputs for managing the interactions of human activity and mammal populations. Visual surveys from boats, shore stations, and aircraft have served as the basis for most population estimates currently used by managers. However, these survey methods are generally only performed in good weather conditions and require many trained observers. These factors make visual surveys expensive and reduce the temporal and spatial coverage of population estimates.

Developing effective eDNA tools for environmental monitoring at MOWI salmon aquaculture sites in Atlantic Canada

This project addresses a major challenge in ensuring the sustainability of the salmon aquaculture industry: how to reliably monitor the effects of organic waste (excess feed and feces) on the surrounding marine environment, in an environmentally-friendly way.

Counteracting habitat loss: Comparing the efficacy of major management practices in restoring and maintaining grassland habitats for at risk reptiles

Prescribed fire and mechanical removal of woody vegetation have become popular disturbance methods for restoring globally rare alvar and grassland habitats that support many species at risk, such as reptiles. However, the effects that these restoration efforts have on rare reptiles is largely unknown. This study will identify alterations in habitat usage of endangered snake species by monitoring their presence within habitats, surveying vegetative structure, and monitoring environmental temperatures both before and after management across multiple locations with grassland-alvar habitat.

Understanding the contribution of ??-tetrahydrocanabinol and cannabidiol isomers and related compounds to the therapeutic effects and safety of cannabinoids using zebrafish larvae

Most of the medicines available today are either purified from plants or derived from compounds produced by plants. The Cannabis (marijuana) plant in particular produces an enormous variety of molecules that have valuable pharmaceutical potential – in addition to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive molecule in the pant, the cannabis plant produces dozens of other molecules with poorly understood effects on animal cells.

Microbial detection of hydrocarbon seeps offshore Nova Scotia

Offshore petroleum exploration requires a multitude of techniques to identify a petroleum system in an offshore area. Novel microbiology technologies which focus on the distribution of marine microbes (microbial biogeography) have been proposed as complementary tools to conventional techniques for oil and gas exploration. Hydrocarbon seepage from subsurface petroleum reservoirs is hypothesized to explain the transport of thermophilic bacterial endospores, i.e. “thermospores”, to cold seabed sediments.

An in vitro Platform of Antigen-Presenting Cells to Evaluate Critical Quality Attributes in Vaccine Formulations

Sanofi-Pasteur is developing new vaccine formulations that need to be evaluated on their efficacy and potency. Traditionally, the use of animal models to predict human immunity has been accepted as the best way to select vaccine formulations. However, animal models can be costly and time-prohibitive, and the assays employed to assess vaccine efficacy and potency are not ideal for rapid screening and optimization of multiple formulations. To overcome these limitations, we propose to test new vaccine formulations utilizing laboratory cultured macrophage cells.

New algal bioreactor design for clean food production with inland aquaculture

With increasing demand for fish and seafood products globally, inland aquaculture is becoming an important source of global food production. This is primarily because food can be produced in proximity to large and densely populated areas, cutting down on transportation costs and emissions. It also allows the use of a more diverse set of species as the risk of local species introductions is significantly reduced. Finally, inland aquaculture is less prone to natural disasters (hurricanes, typhoons, blooms, water contamination etc.).

Determination of factors affecting Atlantic salmon hatching and recruitment in Prince Edward Island streams

The goal is to help understand the effects of cold water temperatures, and the infiltration of sediment from agriculture on the survival of Atlantic salmon from egg to juvenile in PEI. Three rivers on PEI will be studied that have a range of fair to excellent Atlantic salmon populations. Total year class failure has been noted on more than one occasion over recent years and understanding the cause will be implement to help address this major population limiting factor.

Transfer of nutrients and contaminants from wetlands to rivers by water boatmen

This research will explore how the annual migration of small insects known as water boatmen affect fish in rivers. It will first use natural fingerprints called stable isotope ratios that differ between wetlands and rivers, to trace how much of fish diet is made up of water boatmen after they arrive in rivers from wetlands in the fall. It will then test to see if water boatmen are bringing any toxic chemicals with them when they migrate.