Spatial variation in the foraging and nutritional ecology of Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) in the Kivalliq region

This research project will examine the diets of two geographically separate populations of Arctic char in proximity to the communities of Rankin Inlet and Naujaat, Nunavut. Using methods of stomach content, stable isotope, and highly branched isoprenoid analysis, we will determine whether the diets differ between the two separate populations. In addition, we will explore multiple quantitative and qualitative methods such as chromatography and the use of colour palettes to determine whether Arctic char diet has an influence on their flesh colour.

Environmental forensic source identification for complex contaminant mixtures using advanced computational fingerprinting

Environmental forensic investigations endeavour to identify connections between environmental pollution and polluters. There assessments are integral to legal cases spanning pollution from accidental spills to illegal disposal of chemical waste.

Impact of human activities on seabirds: the case of declining Leach's storm petrels in Atlantic Canada

Leach’s storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) are long-lived seabirds that spend most of the year on the open ocean and return from overwinter grounds in the southern hemisphere to breed in large colonies in Atlantic Canada. Since the 1990s, breeding colonies have severely declined and Leach’s storm-petrels are listed as Threatened in the COSEWIC registry of species at risk. Several factors are likely to drive this decline, such as the interaction with offshore human activities.

Antifouling Performance of Graphene-based Coatings in Varying Flow Conditions

Marine biofouling, which is the growth of organisms on ocean infrastructure, is a widespread problem with
substantial economic and environmental costs. This project undertaken by the intern will develop dynamic tests
of a novel graphene-based antifouling coating designed by Graphite Innovation & Technologies (GIT). The
dynamic tests involve generating water flow over the coating surface, better mimicking real-life conditions for the
antifouling coating. The 3rd generation GIT coating is designed to be non-toxic, durable, and slippery, making it
difficult for biofouling organisms to attach.

Protein Residue Classification using Graph Convolutional Networks

Recent global progress in artificial intelligence has provided scientists with new tools to reliably predict the molecular 3D structures of proteins. In July 2021, DeepMind and the EMBL-EBI collaborated to release the world’s largest and most complete database of predicted protein structures. However, 3D structure alone is not always enough to build a biological understanding and apply these structures to pharmaceutical or functional research programs.

Development of a plant-based fish skin for processed food applications

This project seeks to trial the use of protein and polysaccharide inputs from plant-based sources for use either individually or in various combinations in the formulation of an alternative fish skin product. The specific target species for this product is an Atlantic salmon fillet. Overall, the physical, chemical and gelling properties of the different input materials will be characterized.

Refinement of a Colour-based Metabolomic Biosensor System (Part 2)

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.

Investigating the potential role of algal-derived astaxanthin for improved health and performance in AquAdvantage Salmon - Year two

The rapid expansion of the aquaculture industry has fueled significant advances in fish health and nutrition. One such innovation has been the development of the growth-enhanced Atlantic salmon, AquAdvantage Salmon (AAS), which was approved for commercial production and consumption in the US in 2015. AquAdvantage Salmon are raised exclusively in land-based operations using highly efficient recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) that depend on microbial communities to degrade waste and excess feed.

Developing a Field Deployable Assay System for Environmental Monitoring

There are currently over 9,000 potentially contaminated sites in Canada that require environmental assessment. The Field Deployable Assay (FDA) is a simple and cost-effective method for performing accurate environmental monitoring and site assessments. The FDAs are composed of a stationary main body and a variety of interchangeable cartridges. These cartridges act as miniature greenhouses, easily allowing for the monitoring of the growth of plants and fungus over an extended period.

Macrofungal biodiversity in coastal temperate rainforests of British Columbia

Coastal temperate rainforests hold a high biodiversity of living organisms, including many fungal species. The
diversity of fungi remain poorly described in forests of BC. In the proposed study, we will document these species
and improve our understanding of ecosystem complexity by gathering essential baseline information on fungal
communities. This will be useful for applied research and for the long-term monitoring these forests, particularly
when considering future climate change impacts. This project has two broad objectives that will target the
macrofungal community in forest ecosystems.

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