Mycorrhizae in Salmon Forests

Salmon are an iconic and economically valuable species whose life history bridges both the sea, where they live as adults, and inland waterways where they spawn. Their yearly migrations and subsequent deaths fertilize the forests, and signals of this subsidy can be seen in vegetation, insect and bird life. What has been little studied, however, are the below-ground dynamics of this seasonal nutrient flux.

Opportunités durables dans la bio-économie basée sur l’utilisation de la biomasse Boréale perturbée

Le projet de recherche sera réalisé sur le site de Muskrat Falls, le nouveau barrage électrique situé au Labrador. Ce projet rendra disponible, d’ici 2016, 450 000m3 de bois coupés en prévision de la construction du réservoir hydraulique. Le projet de recherche constitue à réaliser des études technico-économiques et environnementales (analyse du cycle de vie) sur l’utilisation de ce bois dans un procédé de bioraffinage. De plus, le projet permettra d’inclure dans les modèles économiques et environnementaux, le bois perturbés de la région de Goose-Bay (feu, insectes et vent).

Analytical chemistry method development for lignin breakdown products

The partner organization MetaMixis Inc. is attempting to use biocatalytic ways to process lignin, the second most abundant biopolymer on earth, with microbiology methods to transform lignin into fine chemicals in useful quantities within a reasonable time frame. The process and end products need to be fully characterized using analytical tools to ensure the efficiency. The end products include vanillin, vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, syringaldehyde, syringic acid, and vanillyl alcohol.

Multiproxy reconstructions of mixed-severity fire dynamics in the Alberta Foothills

The proposed research will use a multiproxy fire history approach to reconstruct wildfire history, severity, and impacts, as well as controls on and changes to the fire regime in the Alberta Foothills region. Fire scar and stand origin records will be used to reconstruct the fire history of the study area over recent decades and centuries. These records will be extended in length using the macroscopic sedimentary charcoal record.

Further development of sulphite-based dissolving pulp production

The requested Mitacs-Accelerate Internship application will support Dr. Yishan Liu (as an intern) and Dr. Yonghao Ni (as supervisor) of the University of New Brunswick and Neucel Specialty Cellulose. The overall objectives of the project are: 1) to improve the quality of dissolving pulps; 2) to decrease the manufacturing costs by using low-cost wood material. The improvements in pulp quality will be achieved based on enzymatic/ mechanical treatments that can be readily implemented at the existing mill configurations.

Economic development through sustainable forest management at Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve

Master of Forest Conservation Candidates from the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto will partake in the research and development of biochar in Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. Studies will provide a greater basis for certification and standardization of the product for use in forest systems and operations in Haliburton Forest, as well as in urban gardening applications as a soil amendment.

The efficacy of fall and burn operations on the erradication of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in Alberta

Bunch and burn operations is a common tool for controlling the spread of mountain pine beetle in Alberta and involves felling and piling of infested pine trees and subsequently, burning the log decks to eradicate the beetles. Current practices mandate the complete burn of the bark, whereas past studies and government standards have shown that heat levels of 56˚C is sufficient to kill most pests and pathogens. This study will test the efficiency of bunch and burn operations, as well as comparing different log deck structures, in eradicating mountain pine beetle larvae.

Property evaluation of tamarack veneer and plywood

Tamarack is deemed as an underutilized species. Recently York North Veneer Products Inc. (YNVP) received an inquiry on use of Tamarack veneer as sheathing materials in construction of light frame walls in Japanese market with an aim to replace Russian larch and Douglas-fir veneer.


City parks and outdoor recreational opportunities are among Toronto’s most valued resources. The Discovery Walks Program has been one of  Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation’s flagship outreach efforts to engage residents and tourists alike in learning about culturally and environmentally significant areas across the city. The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a mobile interactive Discovery Walks application that delivers an in-depth and customizable experience to users.

Business Transformation: Forest Firms

Business transformation involves firms changing their business models to pursue new opportunities. The ambitions of transformation are to  enhance a firm’s competitiveness. Transformation is risky— literature highlights that transformation efforts often fail; reasons include firms not having the sufficient competencies or enough capital to carry the changes through. As Canadian forest sector firms look to new opportunities in the bio-economy, they must change their business models to successfully compete in these new segments.