The American Eel is a species of significant ecological, social and commercial value and a species of conservation concern in part due to reduced habitat connectivity to both freshwater habitat as juveniles, commonly known as glass eels or elvers. During the proposed research period the intern will work to quantify passage of elvers through existing infrastructure that is representative of the majority of infrastructure within Ducks Unlimited projects within Atlantic Canada.
The Atlantic salmon aquaculture industry is becoming a strategic economic sector for Canada. Aquaculture in Canada employs approximately 25,000 people with a total economic impact of over $5B. While farmed salmon is already Canada’s top aquaculture export, salmon aquaculture has significant capacity for growth in this country. Atlantic salmon farmed in sea cages on the Canadian coasts face multiple environmental stressors that can impair their growth performance and immune status.
The hatchery industries are faced with huge economic losses in millions of dollars, resulting from incubating nonfertile eggs that will never become chickens. There is therefore an urgent need for non-destructive techniques to predict the fertility chicken eggs early enough (especially prior to incubation). The project seeks to solve the identified problem via optimizing modelling parameters and performances of new and existing egg models using state-of-the-art hyperspectral imaging technology in conjunction with pattern recognition and multivariate analyses.
Estimates of the population density of marine mammals in an area and the change in population over space and time are critical inputs for managing the interactions of human activity and mammal populations. Visual surveys from boats, shore stations, and aircraft have served as the basis for most population estimates currently used by managers. However, these survey methods are generally only performed in good weather conditions and require many trained observers. These factors make visual surveys expensive and reduce the temporal and spatial coverage of population estimates.
Introduced Phragmites australis (common reed) is considered one of the most invasive plants in North America. European genotypes spread widely and can form dense stands with undesirable ecological impacts. Conventional management approaches have proved largely ineffective, leaving classical biocontrol (i.e., introducing herbivores of the plant from its native range) as the most promising alternative.
Porcupine Crab (Neolithodes grimaldii) is harvested off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador and in the eastern Arctic as a by-catch in deep water during the turbot fishery. Its dark red color and long sharp spines make handling and processing very difficult. Preliminary experiments have shown that quality crab meat products can be produced from porcupine crab however no commercial fishery, processing procedures or markets, have been established.
For the Inuit communities that reside in the Canadian Arctic, climate change and regional development have impacted people’s access to essential resources and their preservation of Inuit knowledge. By partnering with the Arctic Eider Society (AES) and Ocean Wise Ikaarvik program, I will translate my primary research in phytoplankton remote sensing into relevant information for northern communities using SIKU.org, an information sharing and social media platform that provides tools for monitoring, archiving and responding to environmental change.
The goal is to help understand the effects of cold water temperatures, and the infiltration of sediment from agriculture on the survival of Atlantic salmon from egg to juvenile in PEI. Three rivers on PEI will be studied that have a range of fair to excellent Atlantic salmon populations. Total year class failure has been noted on more than one occasion over recent years and understanding the cause will be implement to help address this major population limiting factor.
Cavity-nesting ducks, including the wood duck, common goldeneye, and hooded merganser, are of interest in wildlife management programs due to their value to hunters and conservation groups. The lower Saint John River floodplain (New Brunswick, Canada) is a major breeding region for these species in Atlantic Canada that has experienced significant changes in recent decades. These ducks depend on natural cavities that form in trees to nest, but they will also use nest boxes when available.
Virtus is using machine and deep learning to analyse real-time video feeds from fish cages to help the aquaculture industry to calculate biomass, stress and health levels of fish. This information will help companies in various way. Knowing the state of the fish will help to optimize feeding the fish which saves money in what is one of the highest expenses in the aquaculture operation. Such AI will reduce labour by automating the current methods of obtaining measurements of fish which are done manually.