Helping Ontario Meet its Environmental Goals- Hydrogen Adoption report for Ontario

Hydrogen technology in Ontario has incredible potential as an alternative energy source that can eliminate the use of harmful fuels and greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Canada is currently developing a nation-wide strategy to increase the adoption of hydrogen technology; however, Ontario is underrepresented in this discussion.

Bacterial biosensors for detection of naphthenic acids and as high throughput bioremediation screening tools

Extracting oil from the Athabasca oil sands generates large volumes of processed water that is stored in vast tailings ponds. Due to the accumulation of numerous organic compounds, this water needs to be monitored and eventually treated. Bioremediation is the use of bacteria to degrade the contaminants in the wastewater and is a low cost, feasible approach to treat large volumes of water. This proposal aims to develop a new biosensor technology to detect naphthenic acids in water, one of the primary chemicals of concern.

Therapeutic efficacy of tryptamine analogues in a PC12 Cell as a model of depression via assessment of neurite outgrowth and enhanced cellular viability

There is a growing body of evidence that certain combinations of bioactives derived from natural source products may have potent effect on neuritogenesis and foster neuronal cell viability. The effect of neuron plasticity suggests there are potential treatments of major neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions.

Measuring the contributions of non-crop areas to precision canola yield: Phase 2

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.

Whales from Space: Surveying Baleen Whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence using VHR Satellite Imagery

Ship strikes and fishing gear entanglement in particular have put right whales at risk of extinction with approximately 400 of this species remaining. Monitoring the remaining whale requires reliable detection of whales over large spatial scales. Traditionally, whale population size and distribution are estimated using trained experts on survey boats and planes. This project will develop an automated methods to visually detect endangered North Atlantic right whales from aerial and satellite imagery.

Development of a rapid and sensitive test for food spoilage bacteria

Food waste is a multibillion-dollar problem in Canada and around the world. Some level of waste may be unavoidable, but large amounts of safe food are lost every year because of the arbitrary nature of measuring food spoilage. This is especially true at the wholesale and retail level for meat products. Food typically spoil in a highly predictable and reproducible way. Here, we will develop a device that will allow an untrained worker to quickly assess whether food is spoiled to allow a rational design about whether that product is fit for consumption or should be discarded.

SARS-CoV-2 Genomics for COVID-19 wastewater tracking

This project aims to develop SARS-CoV-2 genomics tools to apply to the tracking of COVID-19 in municipal wastewater. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in wastewater has been used to estimate prevalence of the virus in the corresponding community. This has the potential to be a relatively inexpensive early warning system that is complementary to testing in the clinic. However, genome sequencing to differentiate between lineages or genetic variants, which could be used to track origin of outbreaks, has not yet been applied to wastewater.

Impact of Livestock Grazing on Grassland Herpetofauna

Grasslands cover approximately one third of the Earth’s surface but are among the most threatened and least protected habitats. Livestock grazing is one management strategy to restore degraded grassland ecosystems, but little is known about the effect of grazing on grassland reptiles and amphibians (herpetofauna). World-wide, herpetofauna are in decline and may be particularly susceptible to impacts from grazing.

Polymer Nanoparticle-Based Vaccines for COVID-19

The current COVID-19 pandemic urgently calls for vaccines able to be rolled out on a global scale. This proposal aims to develop nanoparticle-based vaccine delivery vehicles that can enhance vaccination programs by improving vaccine storage and transport without need for refrigeration, as well as enhance the actual performance of the antigen, a protein found on the Sars-CoV-2 virus surface, in eliciting formation of neutralizing antibodies that protect against serious infection.

In-line Method Development for Vaccine Production

The safety and quality of vaccine products are an integral requirement for all vaccine manufacturing and production. Most current tests are using laboratory equipment that requires trained personnel, equipment qualification, method validation, manual sampling, and testing at various stages of product manufacturing. However, the off-line testing is slow, often requires significant volume of material for testing and requires extensive maintenance and upkeep of many different analytical instruments. This is both expensive and time consuming.