Understanding mixed-severity fire regimes, their dynamics and their resilience to climate change in the southern Alberta Foothills - Year two

Mounting evidence shows that boreal and mountain forests are not solely driven by high severity fires that kill most of the above-ground vegetation (i.e. stand-replacing fires). Indeed, wildfire severity can be highly heterogeneous, leading to spatially complex forest landscapes, with multiple species and uneven ages. Many existing fire dynamics models do not explicitly consider the complex interactions and feedbacks between fire, vegetation and climate, which drive mixed-severity fire regimes.

The Next Generation Agriculture: Botanical extracts and essential oils as the new antimicrobials against microbial contaminants and diseases of Cannabis

The majority of license producers (LP) Cannabis producers have witnessed evidence of powdery mildew and grey mold and bud rot diseases. Plant yields and ultimate profitability can be severely undermined by these diseases. Medicinal plants produce essential oils in the form of secondary metabolites. The essential oils have the potential to be used as antibacterial, antifungal compounds. The proposed research will screen a wide range of medicinal plants and essential oils for their potency against fungal diseases and mycotoxigenic organisms that affect Cannabis production and products.

Model based optimisation of operational level harvest planning and integration with tactical level plans: Towards the improvement of planning process performance

In this project, computer based models will be developed to support operational harvest planning suitable for the use by a large forest products company operating in British Columbia, Canada. The models aims to enhance decision making processes related to equipment/crew allocation, scheduling, transportation and vehicle routing.

Identification of heterotic gene pools to accelerate hybrid breeding in Brassica napus (canola) - Year two

Heterosis is a natural phenomenon where offspring (hybrids) outperform their parents in many agronomic traits, although exploited in breeding the mechanisms controlling heterosis remain elusive. Genetic distance between parents has been positively correlated with heterosis, yet does not adequately explain the phenomenon. Dividing lines from any crop into heterotic groups that provide optimal combining ability upon crossing, is one of the most important goals of any hybrid breeding program. The main objective of this proposal is to define the heterotic pools of Brassica napus (canola).

Displacement-based Design of Hybrid Steel-timber Structures - Year two

Driven by heightened environmental awareness, the construction industry increasingly strives to utilize materials such as timber with a low-carbon footprint in their life cycle. High-strength mass-timber products, innovative ductile connections, and fast computer-numerically-controlled pre-fabrication, combined with changing legislation create better opportunities to also build tall timber structures. However, low ductility and limited tensile strength of timber are challenges for such buildings particularly in high seismic zones.

Understanding Relationships between the BC Forest industry and Indigenous entities in BC

The for the health and well being of the BC forest industry and First Nations communities in BC, it is important to know how these two groups are interacting with each other. The goal of this research is to better understand what kind of relationships forestry companies and First Nations communities have. This research would use a survey that was given to members of the largest representative group of the forest industry in BC.

Prioritizing salmonid connectivity through the removal of barriers in a highly urbanized landscape

Systematic conservation planning tools allow us to use data on species distributions, habitat quality, and cost to and identify optimal areas to invest conservation and restoration resources. These tools can be particularly helpful in highly contested biodiverse landscapes where pressures from growing populations and economic development compete with conservation objectives.

Hybrid biocatalytic valorization of lignin to green aviation bio-jet fuel (ligno-jet fuel) and bio-BTX aromatics

‘Sustainable biofuels’ refers to the fuels produced from biological resources such as plant/forest biomass. The suggested tailored biocatalytic processes could enable sustainable production of drop-in ligno-biojet fuel by using renewable resources, including forest biomass. The pulp mill biorefinery side-streams such as lignin extracted from black liquors are relatively inexpensive, widely available and attractive sources for biorefining. The main bioprocessing steps for production of bioject fuel include pretreatment, fermentation, hydroprocessing and oligomerization.

Technology transfer of bioenergy systems for remote communities

The goal of this research is to use the developed information around the technical, economical and social political challenges for the implementation of small-scale bioenergy systems in remote indigenous communities in Canada. The targeted outcome creates a multi faceted model to evaluate the success and impact of future installation with less input factors to simplify the technology transfer and lower the overall investment requirements for communities or stakeholders.

Optimization of new hydrophobic pulp on conventional pulp moulding machines

Moulded pulp, is a packaging material, made from recycled papers. It is used for protective packaging such as egg packaging, fruit trays and coffee cup carriers. For many applications moulded pulp is less expensive and environmentally friendly than plastics and styrofoams, however, due to their high water absorption and low strength, these products are limited to only few packaging products. Biobinder, a biobased binder, has been developed from University of Toronto to imparts water repellency and improves the strength of moulded pulp products.