Developing solutions for safer harvesting techniques on steep terrain - Year two

The forest industry in British Columbia (BC) is facing increasingly difficult challenges regarding fibre supply. New winch-assist technology that enables fully mechanized ground-based forest harvesting on steep terrain has been increasingly used in BC since 2016. The new systems have improved safety and provide access to fibre that was previously uneconomic. New low-consumption small-size cable yarders have also received increasing interest in non-trafficable terrain.

Modeling of Pressurized Chemical Looping Combustion in a Novel Toroidal Fluidized Bed

This study aims to produce a feasibility report on establishing a district energy system in Toronto, Ontario. The district energy system will be powered by wood chips sourced by a local, privately held forest and transported by rail to the proposed combined heat and power facility. Areas that will be examined in this study include transportation costs and logistics as well as carbon emissions throughout the supply chain. We hope that the outcome of this study will help create a path to revitalize Ontario's forest industry.

Adding Value to Canola Oilseed Production

Canola is one of the world’s most important oilseed crops and is the most profitable commodity for Canadian farmers. It has applications in production of cooking oil, bio diesel and animal feed. The value of this crop will be enhanced by optimizing methods for sorting, dehulling and further processing. Sorting the seeds will streamline seed applications based on the relationship between seed properties and seed quality. Dehulling seeds will lower the fiber and increase the protein content of Canola meal which can then be used for plant-based protein like the Beyond BurgerTM or animal feed.

The potential of utilizing existing oil refineries to produce low carbon fuels via co-processing

Mitigating climate change will need to decrease the demand on fossil fuels and developing low carbon fuels. Co-processing biogenic feedstocks in existing oil refineries could provide significant amount of low carbon fuels as well as displacing the demand on fossil fuels. The proposed research work with an oil refinery who is commercialising co-processing oleochemical feedstocks in their facility.

Diversity and Abundance of Beneficial and Pest Insects in Canadian Prairie Agroecosystems

The proposed research project will assess the insect fauna present associated with prairie wetlands, as well as those found in adjacent fields of crop plants (canola, barley, wheat) and restored grasslands. Insects will be collected using various trapping methods to sample taxa exhibiting different lifestyles. Collected specimens will be identified as specifically as possible to determine taxa found in sampled habitats.

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.

Determining an effective management strategy for invasive exotic cattails (Typha spp.) in the Fraser River Estuary

Invasive species represent a major threat to global biodiversity, and are projected to increase in impact as globalization promotes the continued introduction of novel species. Proactive research that investigates the ecological, social, and economic threat of novel species prior to or early in their establishment is therefore critical to effective conservation planning. For our research we will be investigating the threat of cattails (Typha spp.) in the Fraser River Estuary (FRE).

Production Data Analysis From Mechanised Forest Operations

The aim of the study is to look at the available research on forest machinery production data and collect further data on forest machinery working in conditions that have not been studied before. In so doing we hope to determine what value the production data collected in British Columbia provides as a management tool when it is used in the conventional way and compare that to systems around the world that have access to the same or more advanced production data.

Implementing biological control of introduced Phragmites australis in Ontario

Introduced Phragmites australis (common reed) is considered one of the most invasive plants in North America. European genotypes spread widely and can form dense stands with undesirable ecological impacts. Conventional management approaches have proved largely ineffective, leaving classical biocontrol (i.e., introducing herbivores of the plant from its native range) as the most promising alternative.

An Examination and Case Study of Forest Management Activities in BC to Support Grizzly Bear Conservation

This project will involve identifying, comparing and contrasting how different forestry practices affect grizzly bear habitat in BC. The research will involve examination of peer-reviewed scientific literature as well as NGO and government reports in order to categorize and explain how grizzlies respond to different management techniques. Key comparisons and concepts will then be applied to create models that can estimate the chances of grizzly bear occurrence using remotely sensed data. This includes satellite imagery, airborne or UAV imagery as well as GPS collar data.