Core Gut Microbiome of Commercial Black Soldier Flies in Standardized Diets

This project aims to characterize the interplay between gut microbiome community and BSF larvae in different diets and establishing a standard diet for BSF larvae. Commercialized BSF larva will be purchased and grown in a standard environment with different diets purchased from markets, collected from farmers, and artificially generated. The gut microbiome of BSF in both larval and adult stages reared on these diets will be extracted and sequenced.

The Next Generation Agriculture: Role of functional endophytic microbiome in Cannabis varieties against mycotoxigenic fungi and Powdery mildew.

Recent publications have surveyed cannabis flower microbiological communities, detecting several concerning genera like Aspergillus spp., Penicillium spp. Clostridium, Eschericia, Salmonella and Staphyloccus. There are several documented cannabis complications and even fatalities due to Aspergillosis in immuno-compromised patients. One must also recognize that strict and nonspecific microbial regulations can eliminate the use of beneficial microorganisms in agriculture and deliver unforeseen consequences in the marketplace.

Elucidating composition–structure–property relationships in fibre foams

The proposed research aims to develop novel wood foams to be used for thermal insulation in buildings and houses. The wood foam will be designed to replace plastic foams, which are linked to environmental and health concerns. The wood foams will be prepared from unwanted forest residues (beetle killed wood) and green additives to impart strength and flame retardancy. Wet foams will be prepared with several water-based compositions and then oven dried to make porous hard sponge-like materials.

Understanding juvenile salmon passage at newly created breaches in two major barriers in the Fraser River estuary, BC.

Estuaries are crucial stopover areas for juvenile salmon during outmigration and especially for Chinook salmon who can reside in this habitat for over a month. Many populations of Chinook salmon from the Pacific Northwest are threatened and endangered making conservation important for this species. Currently, managers are investing significant public funds in estuary restoration and understanding the effectiveness of these investments is crucial to recovery of many salmon populations.

Kiln Drying Optimization of Subalpine Fir and Yellow Spruce

For decades, drying sub-alpine fir and yellow spruce is known as an unmanageable task mainly due to the high moisture variation and the presence of wet-wood that result in a broad spread of moisture in kiln-dried timbers. For this reason, a considerable portion of under-dried and over-dried wood can be observed in kiln-dried subalpine fir and yellow spruce. In this research, I will examine whether the final moisture variation could be alleviated by optimizing sorting methods and drying schedules.

Evaluation of Changes in Urban Forests in The Annex Neighbourhood, Toronto from 2010 to 2022

Urban forests are an essential component of green and sustainable communities. They play a critical role in ecological and social wellbeing by providing beneficial ecosystem services which improve environment and human health. Nonetheless, urban and infrastructure development, invasive species, and environmental stresses threaten urban tree survivorship. While public trees are often well-documented, there is limited knowledge and research related to trees on private land.

Investigation of Canadian hemp cottonization using steam explosion technology

The overall goal of the proposed two-year project focuses on the development of textile fibres from Canadian grown hemp. In the first year, we will complete the characterization of the Canadian hemp bast fibres, obtained after different growing cycles, and compare them with the hemp bast grown for textile applications (e.g., collected from China and USA). We will establish the degumming process to produce cottonized hemp fibres. Cottonized hemp fibres will be produced from both Canadian hemp and the Chinese and American hemp using steam pretreatment/explosion and mild delignification process.

Predicting Perishable Field Vegetables’ Supply Using Artificial Intelligence and Satellite Imagery

Uncertainty at the upstream supply of agricultural products has been a challenge for growers. This uncertainty governs the market of non-strategic crops such as perishable field vegetables by affecting suppliers (or growers), distributors, and consumers. It causes too much or too little supply and consequently unexpected price variations. The supply chain of perishable food is a complex puzzle made up of many elements. Among these elements, this project is focused on estimating the area under harvest of specific crops using Satellite Imagery and Machine Learning.

Exploring climate action pathways towards a broader, deeper social mandate for a net-zero carbon economy

Climate change is understood variously across populations, and climate action strategies receive varying degrees of support. This study will explore climate action pathways towards a broader, deeper social mandate for a net-zero carbon economy. It will specifically identify the communication and engagement strategies that are most resonant with certain segments of the population in BC, as well as more broadly in Canada.

Impact of Prescribed fire on Grassland Productivity and Diversity

Prescribed fire is an important tool to maintain the productivity and diversity of grasslands. Remnant grasslands within the jurisdiction of the Meewasin Valley Authority are thought to require fire to both maintain ecosystem integrity and to reduce the danger of wildfire. While there are many individual studies demonstrating the value of prescribed fire in Western Canada, there has been no comprehensive quantitative review and assessment of the evidence. This proposed project will support a post-doctoral fellow in conducting a formal synthesis of existing data of fire effects on grasslands.