A new tool for managing introduced Phragmites australis in Ontario: assessing invasion impacts and implementing biological control

Introduced Phragmites australis (common reed) is one of the most invasive plants in North America. Existing management is costly, can negatively affect other species, and is often only effective for small infestations. Classical biological control (i.e., introducing herbivores from the weed’s native range) is a promising tool for P. australis management that can contribute to a broader program of integrated pest management (IPM). Our goal is to partner with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) to implement biological control of introduced P. australis in southern Ontario.

Evaluating the Long-Term Sustainability of Natural Systems in Ontario’s Greenbelt

Ontario’s Greenbelt is composed of nearly 2 million acres of protected land including natural areas that provide ecosystem services to millions of people. While these areas face reduced pressure from land use conversion, they still face a pressures typical of natural systems in peri-urban landscapes including loss of biodiversity, invasive species, impacts from infrastructure projects and a changing climate. In order to determine the extent to which these pressures are shifting natural systems, indicators of system health are needed.

Detailing the Life-History, Biology, and Population Ecology of Phorodon cannabis

Cannabis sativa is a plant grown used as industrial hemp, for CBD oil, and both medicinal and recreational cannabis (marijuana). Since production has historically been prohibited in Canada and the USA, little is known about insect pests of cannabis, including a species of aphid, the cannabis aphid (Phorodon cannabis). In order to develop effective management techniques, one first needs to generate an understanding of the insect’s basic biology. The proposed research will document the life-history and ecology of cannabis aphids in commercial fields and greenhouses.

Genomic tools development for international high sea salmon research

Pacific salmon spend most of their life in the open ocean, where we know little about the factors influencing their health and abundance. Last year, we participated in the first expedition to explore the winter habitat of salmon the Gulf of Alaska. We collect samples to inform ongoing research projects focusing on salmon health and their feeding habits, collected environmental DNA samples that allow us to detect the presence of different species in the environment, and were able to pinpoint coho salmon to their river of origin using a mobile genetic stock identification method.

Advancing Community Energy Transitions in BC with Online Tools

The Community Energy Explorer (CEE) is a unique, interactive and visually compelling web-resource to build capacity of citizens, decision-makers, and local government staff on community energy and related land use issues. The current phase lays out a program to roll-out, host, and scale-up use of an enhanced CEE platform to better support community transitions and decision-making on sustainable energy, leveraging previous support from REFBC and much input from partners.

Developing a regional approach to modelling the co-benefits urban forest ecosystem services provide.

As the intensities of urbanization and climate change increase across the Toronto region, there are many benefits pointing to a need for increased investments in our regions urban forests. Urban forests provide co-benefits, services that benefit both humans and the environment, through heat mitigation and mitigation of the “urban heat island”, removing air pollution, sequestering carbon, managing storm water run-off and flood reduction, as well as benefits to both physical and mental human health.

Achieving energy efficiency and quality control during veneer drying with data-driven approaches

Minimizing energy consumption is essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With that in mind, the industry partner wants to transition to a quantitative monitoring approach to simultaneously manage product quality and energy consumption. The intern will work to understand the relationship between raw material characteristics, process parameters, product quality indices, and energy consumption. They will use industrial data and various data-driven approaches to develop an energy consumption prediction model that could then be adapted into an online monitoring system.

Extensive post treatment monitoring project: barrier remediation on salmonid streams in British Columbia

Out-dated culverts are the most numerous barriers to fish movement and habitat connectivity in British Columbia, barring juvenile salmonids from thousands of kilometers of freshwater rearing habitat. The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) has untaken an initiative to strategically remediate culverts in B.C. for improved juvenile salmon habitat access. However, the impacts and restoration requirements of culvert remediation for juvenile salmonids in the wild remains unclear.

The function of estuarine habitat in the life history of juvenile ChinookSalmon: physical habitat, prey availability, and their relationship to fishbehaviour.

Estuaries are important to juvenile salmon as they transition to the ocean from their natal streams; however, a significant portion of estuary habitat has been lost in North America due to urban development. This loss of habitat has likely played a role in the decline of salmon populations throughout the Pacific Coast of North America. The Squamish River Watershed Society (SRWS) has funding to restore fish access to the Squamish River estuary and the study site presents a unique opportunity to study how restored habitat affects the survival of juvenile salmon.

Probiotics to prevent the Progression of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis to Cirrhosis

As a result of increasing obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is now the most common chronic liver disease. Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the pathogenic form of NAFLD and can progress to cirrhosis and need for liver transplantation. There is currently no Health Canada-approved therapy for the treatment of NASH. The intestinal microbiome has been shown to contribute to the development of NASH.

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