Effects of plant mix, restoration year, and management regime of urban meadows on plant-pollinator network size, structure, and diversity

The purpose of this project is to identify bees and evaluate plant-pollinator networks based on the biomonitoring surveys conducted at the Meadoway in 2020-2021 with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The aim of these surveys is to develop a baseline understanding of bee diversity in The Meadoway and evaluate the effects of plant mix, restoration age, and management regime to improve TRCA best practices for future projects. The intern will conduct timed bee surveys at the Meadoway at sites 1-5 years post restoration and on specific flowers.

Data analytics in asset management of erosion control structures

The project aims to study the use of advanced machine learning algorithms to enhance the ability of TRCA to detect shoreline erosion. Accurate detection of shoreline erosion will have significant contribution to optimizing TRCA asset management plans. This will enable TRCA to work with local communities to reduce the impacts of climate change on shoreline erosion, which in turn will help safe shoreline properties and community spaces from increased erosion. The accurate perdition of erosion will also enable TRCA to develop effective plans to protect natural habitat.

Hydrologic regulating services of non-woody grassed and meadow urban landscapes

Due to urbanization in the GTA, many green areas are replaced by impervious infrastructure, preventing runoff infiltration and increasing flood risks.

Drivers and early warning signs of biodiversity change in urban ecosystems

With increasingly urban populations worldwide and a growing need to ensure ecosystem service provision, managers must plan not only for the urban woodlands we have today, but also for what they might become. This project will develop indicators to detect changes urban woodland succession and its repercussions on future biodiversity.

Evaluation of pollinator restoration and management in The Meadoway

The purpose of this project is to identify bees and evaluate plant-pollinator networks based on the biomonitoring surveys conducted at the Meadoway in 2020 in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The aim of these surveys is to develop a baseline understanding of bee diversity in the Meadoway and evaluate the impacts of restoration, as well, to improve these practices for restoration by TRCA into the future. The intern will conduct timed bee surveys at the Meadoway at sites 1-3 years post restoration and on specific flowers.

Understanding Erosion Sensitivity in the Etobicoke Creek Watershed

The Etobicoke Creek watershed is heavily urbanized with erosion issues due to the high amount of impervious cover and creek channelization. This research will help to better understand the current erosion sensitivities and risks within the watershed for inclusion in a comprehensive watershed plan that will inform municipal land use and infrastructure planning.

Understanding Toronto’s Historical Watercourses

Today almost 3 million people live in Toronto (almost 6 million in the Greater Toronto Area). As the city's population continues to grow, people are increasingly seeking connection to the natural landscape within the city limits. This project will illuminate and re-invigorate understanding and appreciation of the natural history of the area and the importance of connected waterways. It will inform future planning related to the connection between natural and engineered water resources in an urban environment.

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.

Developing A Framework and Tools for Strategic Management of Invasive Species in Greater Toronto Area, Ontario

With limited funding available, managers must prioritize which invasive species and which areas need to be managed. This project will involve finding out which sites and species need to be prioritized for management within the Greater Toronto Area. Through formal discussions with different stakeholders in the area and by using existing data (e.g. species distribution and city attributes), high priority areas and invasive species can be mapped to help managers know where and which invasive species need to be controlled.

Connecting watershed-scale land-use with coastal wetland ecologicalintegrity: The tributary – coastal wetland nexus in Durham Region

Coastal wetlands and embayments are sensitive ecosystems located between rivers and the shoreline of lakes. Human activities (e.g., urban development and agriculture) on land can influence the functioning of these ecosystems and the quality of water that flows through them. Healthy coastal wetlands can offer significant services in the form of water quality purification, flood control, and storm surge protection, as well as provide important habitat for wildlife.

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