Complementary and competitive interactions between wild and managed bees - Year two

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.

Drivers and early warning signs of biodiversity change in urban ecosystems

With increasingly urban populations worldwide and a growing need to ensure ecosystem service provision, managers must plan not only for the urban woodlands we have today, but also for what they might become. This project will develop indicators to detect changes urban woodland succession and its repercussions on future biodiversity.

Modeling the phenotypic effects of neuromodulatory agents on human neuronal cells using cerebral organoids

Emerging therapeutic agents that function through the brain’s neurotransmitter systems have recently shown robust benefits in a number of otherwise challenging to treat neurological conditions including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The long-term changes that these agents induce within neural tissue is still however unclear. This MITSCS program aims to to use expertise in tissue bioengineering models to explore the molecular changes that modulation of these pathways induces in neuronal cells.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Protected Areas in Canada

Global biodiversity is declining due to habitat loss and protected areas provide an opportunity to prevent this. While governments create and manage most protected areas in the world, non-governmental organizations can also play a significant role in the acquisition and management of properties for the purpose of conserving biodiversity. We propose to measure the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s contribution to the protection of biodiversity in Canada.

Exploiting wild tomato genetic resources and pathogen effector diversity for resistance

Plant pathogens, including bacteria, can damage plants and cause significant crop losses. Among those Pseudomonas syringae is a major pathogen of tomato plants. It is now accepted that domesticated plant crops are often more sensitive to pathogens than their wild relatives. We aim to exploit a library of pathogens virulence factors to find new bacterial gene that trigger an immune response. Then we will use a targeted approach to sequence wild tomato resistance genes.

Developing fluorescent viability stain compounds and uses for anti-cancer drug screening

Breast cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in Canada, and affects one in X women during their lifetimes. A variety of different treatments have been tried, some of which damage cellular DNA of the quickly growing cancer cells. High-level DNA damage causes cells to die, and can shrink the tumour and arrest cancer growth. The Sabatinos lab studies how cells deal with DNA damage caused by drugs, and how this impacts their ability to grow and divide. A long-time drug used in cancer chemotherapy is a drug called cis-platinum. Our collaborator, Dr. R.

To the root of the problem: preventing excess copper waste and remediation, by targeted treatment of downy mildew in grape crops

Grapes are an important Canadian crop. Canadian winemaking industries rely on grape growers. However, grape crops are threatened by a mould that causes downy mildew. This disease spreads onto grape leaves and if left untreated can kill much of the plant. The grape fruit becomes covered in a dense carpet of mould tissue, and the crop is spoiled and lost. Not just a Canadian problem, downy mildew has become an agricultural concern for vineyards world-wide. Global warming is expected to make the incidence and impact of downy mildew worse.

Applied Flood Modelling System for Flood Inundation Simulation

The team of interns will together build a complete framework for collecting quality data, building flood models, and visualizing the results in an understandable and comprehensive manner. The benefit to the partner organization will be the development of the services to communities at risk of flooding in British Columbia. The deliverable product developed by the intern team will be a flood forecasting application hosted with cloud services.

Biodegradable Polyurethane Elastomers Comprised of Bio-based Plasticizers

Polyurethane elastomers for consumer applications, are developed with primarily bio-based polyester-polyols, isocyanates and bio-based plasticizers which are specifically tailored to result with the required mechanical, flexibility, and biodegradability characteristics useful for consumer applications, especially for footwear and foam products for furniture and automotive industry.

Evaluation of pollinator restoration and management in The Meadoway

The purpose of this project is to identify bees and evaluate plant-pollinator networks based on the biomonitoring surveys conducted at the Meadoway in 2020 in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The aim of these surveys is to develop a baseline understanding of bee diversity in the Meadoway and evaluate the impacts of restoration, as well, to improve these practices for restoration by TRCA into the future. The intern will conduct timed bee surveys at the Meadoway at sites 1-3 years post restoration and on specific flowers.