Space-borne water quality assessment

Understanding river water quality is critical for various purposes such as ensuring drinking water safety, protecting public health and aquatic habitat, monitoring pollution, and disease control. The traditional approach to investigating water quality is by acquiring water samples at fixed-locations, which is time and cost consuming and cannot discover spatial distribution of water quality over a large area. The goal of this proposal is using remote sensing imagery to provide a complementary method to map and monitor water quality in large areas at real time.

Transportation Infrastructure Improvements for Wildlife Protection and Economic Productivity

Regional and municipal partners spend resources, time and effort securing and protecting their natural heritage systems. Roadways act as barriers restricting movement of plants and animals, degrading habitat for many species, and increasing mortality affecting the quality of these natural heritage systems. The intern will investigate methods, techniques and technologies that can be used to develop improvements to the practice of road construction.

Bioprocessing of microalgae for functional food applications

Microalgae have potential for use in both the food and feed industries. It is already used in a number of different applications, including biofuels, flavour enhancers, colouring agents and emulsification agents, as well as sources of protein, polysaccharides, lipids and vitamins. Microalgae also contains proteins which can serve as precursor of small fragment (3-20 amino acids), or peptides, that have functions beyond their nutritional value. The peptides potentially act as antioxidants, regulate immune response and lower blood pressure during hypertension.

Using the Arabidopis toolbox to evaluate the plant growth promoting activity of purified molecules from brown algal extracts

Seaweeds and seaweed products have been promoted in agriculture as source of nutrients and activators, to improve plant growth, plant productivity and food production. A wide range of beneficial effects have been observed, including seed germination, enhanced growth and crop yield, elevated resistance to biotic and abiotic stress. However, the bioactive compounds have not been identified using classical methods of bioassay-guided fractionation and the mechanisms of action remain poorly understood.

A new beetle species associated with honey bees (Vietnam)

Beetles, possibly of an undescribed species, frequently inhabit honeybee (Apis cerana) hives in Vietnam. They walk over and around honeybees in their nest with no apparent harm to the bee colony. Surveys of beekeepers and their hives will enable us to determine the distribution and incidence of the beetles. A number of biossays will provide information on the tightness of the relationship between the two insect species (e.g., preference of beetles for various foods; honey bees vs. other bees; beeswax vs. paraffin; etc.). We will rear the beetles to unravel their life cycle.

Atmospheric Acid Emissions, Climate Change, and Coastal Salmon Stream Ecosystems in British Columbia

Atmospheric acid emissions are increasing in north coastal British Columbia from increased metallurgical smelting, marine fossil fuel transport, and development of liquefied natural gas. Acid deposition can cause episodic acidification of streams when acidic compounds are flushed into streams after snowmelt and precipitation events over hours to weeks. Many salmon-bearing coastal streams are likely sensitive to episodic acidification, but these events are poorly quantified in western Canada.

Investigating the use of public food forests in urban food systems planning

Public food forests can be an important way to increase urban resilience, sustainability, and food security. The food forest, or forest garden, is an edible landscape designed for food production. This research investigates how publicly-accessible urban food forests are currently being utilized to enhance food production and resilience. By reviewing existing examples, this research seeks to identify key models for design, participatory decision-making, and ongoing management of food forests on public land.

Creating a Novel Framework: Managing a Tribal Park for Biocultural Conservation

The Dasiqox tribal Park, one of Canada's most exciting current initiatives, was established in 2014 by the Tsilhqot’in First Nation following the Supreme Court of Canada’s landmark recognition of Tsilhqot’in Title in their territory. Dr. Bhattacharyya has been invited to work with Yunesit’in Development Enterprise, in collaboration with partnering First Nations and organizations, to develop a management plan for the Dasiqox Tribal Park.

Invasion process of the nonindigenous golden mussel, Limnoperna fortunei, in the South to North Water Diversion Project, China, and its impact on associated aquatic ecosystem health

The Central Route of South to North Water Diversion (SNWD) project in China aims at transferring water from Yangtze River Basin to Beijing and Tianjin via a 1276 km open water canal across China. This represents a great risk for the accepting water bodies to be biologically invaded. The home university, University of Windsor, has been involved in the International project assessing the bio-risk of the SNWD.

Impacts of Environmental Change on Subsistence Land Use

My internship focuses on the creation of a weighted scale that ranks different types of environmental disturbances, both natural (i.e. wildfires) and anthropogenic (i.e. seismic activity), by the level of transformation they incur in arctic tundra ecosystems. Currently, there is a lack of a widely used ranking system to help understand which types of environmental disturbances in the arctic are most severe.