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.

Developing a High Throughput RNA Synthesis and Purification Microfluidic Platform

Modern molecular techniques increasingly rely on high quality synthetic RNA molecules. One of the most important examples of this is the CRISPR-Cas genome editing technology. However, synthesis of RNA molecules important for this process suffer from a number of limitations including being slow and expensive. In order to accelerate research and development in this important area of science we propose to develop a new platform for synthesizing high quality RNAs, cheaply and in large amounts.

Quantification of Intra-Host Diversity of Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV-1) Infecting Atlantic and Chinook Salmon in BC

The decline in many populations of wild Pacific salmon is of great concern given their critical importance to First Nations, the ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest, and wild and farmed fisheries. The conservation efforts of the Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) have provided opportunity for research into infectious diseases like Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) and jaundice/anemia that may contribute to these declines. Piscine orthoreovirus (PRV) causes HSMI in Norwegian Atlantic salmon.

Development of testing & quality control methods for e-textiles

From the invention and commercialization points of view, the world of the textile industry has been undergoing revolutionary changes at an unprecedented speed with novel research works in the field of textile processing chemicals, fibres and yarns, technical textiles, and now e-textiles (electronic textiles). E-textiles have massive potentials to change the health care, safety, and protection industries due to their unique capability to sense physiological and environmental conditions, alert about a potential issue, and mitigate the change in conditions.

Fish passage and the importance of sea-run brook trout in small coastal watersheds in Prince Edward Island

Diadromous native salmonid species in coastal areas have been impacted by a multitude of factors including poor fish passage for over a century, and by an introduced salmonid, the rainbow trout. The overall goal of this study is to examine the impact of fishway improvement and anadromy, or the lack thereof, on brook trout populations. This research will provide data to inform coastal restoration efforts, particularly fish passage/fishway design, and generate new knowledge useful to the assessment environmental flows and the impacts of the introduction of non-native fish species.

Epigenetic effects of smolt-to-adult rearing in Atlantic Salmon

Stocking remains an important component of managing and conserving Atlantic Salmon populations, but it also has the potential to cause negative effects to wild populations. To understand the cause of these effects and the potential consequences of using a smolt-to-adult supplementation approach we will use cutting edge technology to investigate epigenetic changes in captive reared salmon. Epigenetic changes do not alter the genetic makeup of the fish but cause changes in the way genes are expressed which can affect their ability to survive.