The potential to co-process biogenic feedstocks in commercial oil refineries

To decarbonise, the participation of the oil industry is key. Rather than process crude oils, refineries are able to co-process biogenic feedstocks alongside their fossil fuel to reduce the carbon intensities of the fuels they produced. Our project will evaluate what’s the impact of adding these biogenic feedstocks to the existing refining units by long term operations and what we can expect from the future more challenging biocrudes when they are available. The result of the work can be used by the refinery to further improve their process.

The Next Generation Agriculture: Role of Functional Microbiome in Cannabis Breeding strategies against biotic stress

Plants including Cannabis host distinct beneficial microbial communities on and inside their tissues designated the plant microbiota from the moment that they are planted into the soil as seed. Understanding the microbial partnerships with Cannabis has the potential to affect agricultural practices by improving plant fitness and production yield of Cannabinoids. Much less is known about these beneficial Cannabis-microbe interactions, particularly,the role that Cannabis may play in supporting or enhancing them.

Effect of agro?climatic conditions on the cannabinoid quantities in hemp crops

We want to determine the relationship between weather such as rainfall and temperature on outdoor grown hemp. Specifically what these variables do in terms of changing the content of THC and CBD in certain varieties of hemp. Our goal is to give farmers the knowledge so that they can determine when is optimal time to harvest their crop based on that years weather if they want to be below a .3 thc content, and have a high CBD content. However, the research we do will lend itself to farmers seeking other CBD and THC outcomes in their crops.

Developing and validating population models to estimate wildlife densities and inform land-use management in industrializing boreal landscapes

Monitoring of population density is crucial for conserving wildlife species and determining responses to management efforts. However, estimating density is particularly difficult when individuals are not distinguishable from each other. There is pressing need to validate the robustness of recently developed models that estimate density from such ‘unmarked’ populations before widespread application to real-world data, especially for species under management or at risk.

Evaluation of value-added lignin-based bioproducts for commercial applications

During the production of pulp, in the pulp and paper manufacturing process, one component of the tree is extracted into the pulping liquid. This component, called lignin, has potential value as an important renewable material for adhesives, fibre, and coatings. The proposed research has the focus on evaluating the pulping liquid for all of its components and transforming the lignin material into prototype materials for forest industries in British Columbia.

Governing innovation and knowledge sharing to increase adaptive capacity of forest industry in Quesnel, British Columbia

In Quesnel, British Columbia, efforts to stimulate innovation and diversify actors of local forest industry can be challenging for emerging locally-driven small forest enterprises that have limited capacity and resources. Building an inclusive forest industry that constitutes existing large forest enterprises and locally-controlled small forest enterprises in the landscapes therefore involves strengthening networks of knowledge and innovation.

Optimizing cellulose nanocrystal performance via in situ surface modification

Cellulose nanocrystals are plant-based materials that will enable us to shift from a reliance on oil and gas to the bioeconomy by replacing plastics and other chemicals made from oil. Potential products include biodegradable films for food packaging and thickening agents in food products and cosmetics. Nonetheless, their affinity for water limits the range of applications that they can be used in. We propose adding carbohydrates onto their surface to modulate their interaction.

Field evaluation of bacilin 20: Herbicide stress and accelerated flowering

Plants are always associated with a well coordinated and beneficial community of microbes - the phytomicrobiome; this plus the associated plant forms the holobiont, the entity that provides crop yield. There is considerable communication between the phytomicrobiome and the plant, often in through signal compounds. Bacilin 20 is a small protein produced a Bacillus thuringiensis strain and discovered by the Smith laboratory. It is improves plant ability to tolerate stress when applied at very low concentrations.

High solid content wood foams for thermal insulation

The proposed research aims to develop a new wood foam to be used as thermal insulation in the construction industry. The wood foam has the potential to replace plastic foams and will be made out of unwanted forest residue (pine beetle kill, ash borer kills and forest trimmings) and environmentally-benign additives that impart strength and flame retardancy. Different water-based routes to prepare wet foams and then dry them will be tested. The mechanical, chemical, thermal, and flame-retardant performance of the foams will be characterized.

Revitalizing Indigenous fire management and fire-resilient forests in northern British Columbia

There is a growing need for improved biophysical and social methods to manage wildfire risk in northern British Columbia (BC) as uncharacteristically large wildfires exceed government capacities for their control and suppression. My research approach weaves historical (tree rings and fire scars) and contemporary fire data (remote sensing) with Indigenous Ecological Knowledge (IEK) to map and validate historic fire activity in subboreal forests across northern BC.