Long-Term Ecosystem Monitoring of the British Columbia Coast across a Gradient of Human Stressors - Year Two

Proposed developments (pipelines, super-tankers) along the coast of BC have the potential to negatively impact (shell)fisheries. Direct monitoring of fisheries can only detect negative impacts which have already occurred; therefore, indicator species (meiofauna) and environmental variables are monitored to detect disturbances before productivity is impacted. Our project will monitor intertidal ecosystems (numerous species and environmental variables) spanning the entire coast of BC, across a gradient of human impacts, long term.

Development of colony-specific genetic markers for murres hunted off Newfoundland and Labrador

Thick-billed murres from breeding colonies throughout the North Atlantic, and common murres from colonies throughout the northwest Atlantic winter off Newfoundland, Labrador and Greenland where they are the object of an annual hunt. The winter murre or ‘turr’ hunt is an important part of the culture of coastal communities, and is protected under Canadian legislation. The colony of origin of hunted murres is unknown, although it is necessary to assess the impact of the hunt on specific colonies. The hunt could target colonies that are suffering great declines.

Smart mutational exploration of the CalB lipase active site using a combination of virtual screening and iterative saturation mutagenesis

The company Odyssée Biotech specializes in the production of natural flavors and fragrances using innovative enzyme technologies. Using natural enzymes allows the enterprise to produce highly pure ingredients in mild conditions with a natural label. This green approach also makes this technology highly competitive and environmentally sustainable relative to other production methodologies employed in the industry. The strawberry and ice mint flavors are priority target products in the food and flavoring industry, but they are hard to produce using currently available enzymes.

Prioritizing decision-making for agriculture and conservation in North America’s prairies under climate change and land-use change

Wetland habitats are critically important to many animal and plant species, and they are in trouble. The North American prairies, for example, comprise some of the most productive wetland habitats in the world, but many areas of the prairies have lost up to 90% of their wetlands and more than 90% of their native grasslands due to farming practices and more recently, climate change. This project will build a decision-support framework to prescribe the conservation actions needed to sustain wetland biodiversity in the face of climate and land-use changes.

Develop integrated management of bacterial canker disease for greenhouse tomato

Greenhouse industry is an important agricultural sector in Canada. Approximately half of the Canadian vegetables is produced in commercial greenhouses. Ontario greenhouse industry contributes to 40% of greenhouse production in Canada. As one of the most important greenhouse crops, tomato production is threatened by canker disease leading to significant loss for growers. Tomato canker disease is caused by Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm), a Gram-positive bacterium. This is a very difficult plant disease to eradicate or manage. In this proposal, the academic supervisor Dr.

Definition of attributes of a TB vaccine critical to antigen uptake, processing and presentation

The way a vaccine performs after injection is not completely understood and not all vaccines behave in the same way. To make a vaccine we must understand what is important or critical to make it work. For example a vaccine may have specific features such as its size or shape that are critical to the way the body reacts to it. When we know what these critical factors are then we make sure these are monitored and controlled as early possible in vaccine development. In this way we build quality into the product right from the start.

Long-term response of boreal forest bird community to changes in habitat structure and configuration due to forestry and other land uses

Long-term effects of forest harvest and other land uses on boreal forest birds are unknown, because most studies of forestry practices on boreal birds occur over short periods, while effects of habitat fragmentation may be realized over longer periods and affected by climate change. I will analyze >20 years of forestry treatment and bird abundance data from Alberta forest sites that were revisited yearly to survey birds, and use results from these analyses to predict bird abundance within future land use scenarios created by timber supply and land use simulation software.

Development and application of molecular tools to assess the acute and chronic impacts of petroleum hydrocarbons on birds

The Northern Gateway Pipeline and similar projects propose to transport oil from Alberta to tidewater terminals in British Columbia and eastern Canada. Accidental release of petroleum distillates and related by-products would have consequences on the marine ecosystem. To evaluate spill implications for seabirds, we propose to develop and apply molecular tools to assess toxicological and health endpoints in selected seabird monitoring species, using a combination of laboratory and field research.

Predicting noise impact on fish communities in the western Canadian Arctic using Passive Acoustic Monitoring.

Several fish species produce species-specific sounds that can be identified in the wild using Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) (i.e. dataloggers configured with underwater microphones). Our project will use existing and new PAM recordings to monitor the distribution of several fish species in the western Canadian Arctic, with particular focus on a keystone Arctic species, the Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida). Acoustic signal detection techniques will be implemented to identify different fish species from large acoustic datasets.

Synchronicity between phytoplankton and zooplankton phenology in the Salish Sea

The Salish Sea is a highly productive, dynamic coastal ocean with substantial temporal and spatial variability at lower trophic levels (e.g. phytoplankton and zooplankton). This variability, in turn, may directly impact resident and migratory fish populations that are of major economic importance in the region. The main goal of this research is to investigate the level of synchronicity between phytoplankton and zooplankton phenology in the Salish Sea.