Land surface temperature can tell us a lot about the health of ecosystems, forests and trees. Generally, the healthier, greener and more diverse a forest is, the colder it is, as plants use solar energy to grow, rather than releasing it as heat. This project focuses on using images of temperature measurements from satellites, space station and drones to monitor the health and development of conservation and restoration areas and find patches where the plants are stressed, and therefore hotter, due to disease, drought, pests or any other issue.
Protecting healthy populations of wild animals is an important goal for British Columbians and all Canadians. Wildlife provide important economic, ecological, and cultural values, yet are increasingly under threat from a range of impacts, including land use change, overharvest, climate change, and growing recreational pressure on our parks. A key challenge facing wildlife managers is a lack of reliable data on many wildlife populations at the large scales relevant to land use planning.
Winter wheat is crop that is growing in popularity in Quebec, as it produces more grain per hectare than spring-planted wheat and has many positive effects on soil health. However, many of the varieties used by farmers are not actually bred for this region, and are often maladapted to the local environment. The Center for Grain Research of Quebec (CEROM) is dedicated to bringing new, better varieties of winter wheat to the Quebec and has partnered with McGill University to use the latest genomic techniques to ensure that this process is as efficient as possible.
Multiple species of wild Pacific salmon in British Columbia have faced declines over the past three decades and the role of disease in these declines is poorly understood. High-throughput molecular methods have led to the development of a novel, multi-year dataset that has unprecedented breadth across pathogen taxa and unusually large coverage over space and time. We will use these data for Coho salmon to determine: 1) where infection “hotspots” occur along the British Columbia Coast for each pathogen, 2) whether any spatial factors (e.g.
Forage fish, including Pacific sand lance, play a critical role in marine food webs in the Salish Sea. They feed on plankton and transfer this energy to predators like Chinook salmon. In turn, Chinook are an important prey item for the federally listed Southern resident killer whale, playing an important role in their survival. Any variations in forage fish productivity, and distribution resulting from human impacts (e.g., shipping, expanding ports) can contribute to widespread and unanticipated ecological impacts (e.g., recent losses of iconic predators like salmon, and whales).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.