Estimating the benefit of green infrastructure to urban ecosystems: A synthesis and case-study

Globally cities are expanding and this has a negative impact on natural systems. Green infrastructure (GI), such as green roofs, retention ponds, or urban tree canopies, is used to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather and provide resources for people in the city. However, GI can also provide a benefit for native species and wildlife by providing a habitat for them to live. Although this is commonly suggested, to our knowledge, no one has attempted to quantify the effects of GI on natural systems.

Factors influencing overwintering survival in the tick Ixodes scapularis, including the effect of infection with Borrelia spp.

The plan is to research the physiology and behaviour of Ixodes scapularis, and Dermacentor variabilis ticks with and without the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium, Rickettsia bacterium, Francisella bacterium, and Bartonella bacterium to answer the overarching question: Are tick-borne bacteria that are pathogenic to humans also harmful to the tick vectors in Nova Scotia? Cold hardiness and fat content, and temperature preference will be used as measures of physiology and behaviour respectively.

The Greater Toronto Area Watershed Readiness Pilot Project: Gaging how climate and land use change might impact aquatic ecosystems in urban environments.

Cities are often located near sources of water such as lakes, rivers, and oceans. Due to their location, the effects of climate change and urbanization will introduce unique challenges to aquatic habitats located within cities. These challenges could range from flooding, extreme wind, ice storm damage, extreme heat events, and drought as well as long term climate changes.

Dinosaur bonebed amber: paleoecological and paleoenvironmental reconstructions

Amber, or fossilized tree resin, is a natural trap that provides a valuable source of palaeontological data on insects in ancient ecosystems. The chemistry and composition of the amber itself can also be used to explore which trees produced each amber deposit, and what conditions these trees lived under. Western Canada contains multiple amber deposits near the end of the Cretaceous period (66 million years ago), and small quantities of amber have been found in the sediments of dinosaur bonebeds.

Characterizing the role of probiotics in physiologically relevant ex vivo and in vivo models of infectious colitis

In the intestines of people living with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), the balance of beneficial bacteria is shifted. Instead, the intestine is overloaded with potentially harmful bacteria – a phenomenon known as dysbiosis. This shift in bacterial populations is believed to be among the key contributors to the onset of inflammation observed in IBD patients.
Bioactive bacteria that help to re-establish equilibrium in the intestine are known as probiotics. They work by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria while simultaneously warding off harmful bacteria.

CRISPR-based precision breeding of semi-dwarf high-performance hops

Traditional breeding of agricultural plants is based on repeated self fertilization of large number of parental plants followed by screening larger offspring populations to uncover random natural or induced genetic variants with a desired trait. This approach can take many years and considerable resources to complete. This approach cannot directly be applied to hops breeding as hops have separate female and male individuals, preventing self fertilization. As a consequence, hops breeding is relatively undeveloped.

Evaluating effects of local, landscape, and regional factors on Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) nest survival

The bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) is a migratory songbird that is currently a species at risk in Canada due to steep population declines. Because bobolink nest on the ground in pastures, hayfields, and other grassland-type habitats, nest success and abundance may be influenced by various environmental factors. Our goal is to understand whether these factors directly or indirectly affect bobolink nest success. This is important as it will contribute to filling current knowledge gaps regarding bobolink breeding success.

Quantifying fish-turbine spatio-temporal overlap for assessing risk to migratory fishes using VEMCO’s new high residency acoustic electronic tagging technology

The lack of scientific data on the potential effects of instream tidal power is delaying the decision-making process on a technology that shows promise for reducing carbon emissions, and for which Canada could become a global leader in the production of infrastructure. It remains unclear if fishes that occupy Canada’s leading tidal energy test site will be negatively affected by turbine installations. The objective here is to determine spatial and temporal overlap of fishes with areas scheduled for turbine deployment.

Quantifying fish-turbine interactions using VEMCO’s new high residency acoustic electronic tagging technology

It remains unclear if fishes that occupy Canada’s leading tidal energy test site in Minas Passage, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, will be negatively affected by turbine installations. The objective of this project is to determine fishes’ interactions with operating turbines. Of approximately 70 species of fishes that interact with Minas Passage only three have abundance estimates (Gaspereau River Alewife; Shubenacadie River Striped Bass; Saint John River Atlantic Sturgeon) that are necessary to predict effects at the population level.

Phenotyping and genotyping collection of Cannabis sativa lines

Upcoming legalization of marijuana provides many opportunities for all Canadians. Licensed Producers (LPs) are the main providers of medicinal cannabis to patients and will be the main suppliers for recreational market. The significant disadvantage in the current environment is the limited number of strains available to LPs. Sundial Growers have acquired a collection of Cannabis sativa lines. There is little to no information on these lines.

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