Measuring the contributions of non-crop areas to precision canola yield

Canola growers recognize that the beneficial arthropods that live in natural habitats and non-crop areas may play an important role in augmenting and stabilizing crop yields. These bees, flies, beetles, spiders and other arthropods may spill over into the crop, and through pollination or pest control, help to improve yields, decrease inputs, and increase profitability. A postdoctoral fellow will assess the relationship between natural habitats and canola yield that may result from these spillover effects, or other ecosystem services.

Connecting ecological dots through striped bass diets by using DNA barcoding and stable isotopes

Striped bass invaded Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador in August 2017 and were identified to feed on Atlantic salmon and capelin; two important fishes to NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC). This project aims to sample striped bass in Labrador to identify what it is consuming. We will combine traditional stomach content morphological identification with a new approach for identifying stomach contents using DNA from the partially digested stomach “goo”. Species-specific DNA fragments (primers) will be used to identify prey through methods like the ‘barcode of life’ project.

The control of pathogen infection in Cannabis sativa

The cannabis boom in Canada is reaching a full swing. At the same time, the research on agricultural and medicinal cannabis is still lagging behind. Cannabis is typically grown at high density in the contained environment. Such conditions lead to high pathogen pressure. Fungal pathogens like those causing powdery mildew, grey and white mold result in a significant decrease in yield and sometimes even in a loss of entire crop or a recall of various products.

Management and conservation of polar bears in Davis Strait: An integrated population modeling approach to estimating population size, growth rate and Total Allowable Harvest of a priority species in Nunavut, Canada.

Estimates of population size and structure of the Davis Strait polar bear population are uncertain due, in large part, to the prohibitive costs of conducting regular aerial surveys. In recent years, Inuit have indicated that increased bear abundance has resulted in public safety concerns. In addition, Inuit believe that polar bears have negatively impacted other wildlife through increased consumption of seals, and eggs in bird colonies.

Treating the Untreatable: Targeting Paediatric Brain Tumours with Multi-omics and Drug Discovery - Year two

Brain tumours, including ependymoma, are some of the most difficult cancers to treat. Although the past few years have seen many exciting advances in characterizing these brain tumours, there are few effective therapies available for patients, many of whom are children and young adults (and for whom long-term side effects can be extremely damaging). Until very recently, research in this area has been hampered by a complete lack of cell lines and animal models.

Using bioelectrochemical approaches to study microbes associated with oil and gas operations - Year two

Microbial activities in oil and gas operations can be beneficial or detrimental which economically impact the energy industry. Microorganisms can be responsible for souring and microbiologically influenced corrosion which damage oil and gas infrastructure, but they can also play a beneficial role in enhancing energy production, recovering chemicals from waste streams, bioremediation, and biofuel production. The threat of global warming and diminishing fossil fuel resources is creating an ever-increasing drive to implement new technologies for renewable fuel production.

Developing Cannabis resources for the 21st century

Over the past few years Cannabis has gone through a revolution with respect to its applications to both the medical and recreational markets. For legal reasons, much Cannabis genetics has been hap hazard but now with legalization scientific approaches can be used to develop useful Cannabis strains for the industry. In this proposal, we will develop two transformative programs to revolutionize Cannabis genetics. The first involves the development of a cheap fast method to identify Cannabis strains.

Molecular effects of novel high-CBD Cannabis cultivars: from mechanisms to novel applications and therapeutics

With the legalization of cannabis, a serious issue facing Canadians is: how will consumers know their products are safe and created with their health in mind? Many Cannabis products claim diverse health benefits, ranging from treating pain to reducing inflammation and affecting tumor growth. While this is incredibly exciting, have all of these products been researched to ensure their claims are rooted in scientific proof?

Biocontrol potential of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) against selected key insect pests of canola, cereal and high value crops in Alberta.

Crop losses and the economic impact caused by canola insect pests is substantial, depending on outbreak conditions. With the predicted de-registration of two key insecticides, canola producers are potential subject to greater economic losses. Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs), also known as predatory nematodes, are commercially available biocontrol agents for the management of insect pests. Although below-ground insect stages are more susceptible to EPNs, recent advancement in application technology has improved their biocontrol efficiency against the foliar insect pests.

Integrating biodiversity functional guild responses to land use and climate change in natural heritage system update - Year two

Urbanization continues to drive the land conversion from natural areas to urban uses dominated by impermeable surfaces. This conversion has direct and indirect impacts on ecosystem services that are critical for a sustainable and resilient ecosystem as well as human wellbeing. Habitat removal and fragmentation accelerate biodiversity loss in urban landscapes. Additionally, climate change exacerbates these impacts even further. Hence, green infrastructure is also becoming more common in urban landscapes to offset negative urbanization impacts.