Multi-species sustainable fisheries management using scientific and traditional ecological methods - Year two

I am conducting a multi-species fish population monitoring project in Quebec’s largest lake (Mistassini), to facilitate community-based fisheries management with the Cree Nation of Mistissini. Mistassini is home to recreational fisheries for walleye, lake trout, brook trout and pike. With a 31% increase in the regional human population since 2001 and increasing fishing pressure, effective monitoring of Mistassini’s harvested fish populations is essential.

Mapping associations between drought and simultaneous fires across space and time within the Southern Canadian Cordillera

The sequence of costly wildfires that burned at multiple locations in British Columbia and Alberta during fire seasons in 2003, 2015, 2016 and 2017 remind people that fires play an important part in forests of southwestern Canada. However, people are also increasingly recognizing the role of fire in providing ecological renewal and diversification. As a testament to this growth in understanding, forestry companies are embracing practices which include emulating historical fire regimes that exhibit a wide range of spatial and temporal characteristics such as fire shape and severity.

Development of a reject refining method in the magnesium bisulfite pulping process

Twin Rivers Paper previously installed and ran a reject refining process in order to improve their pulp yield. However, once the process was implemented it decreased the cleanness in the produced pulp which is undesirable for customers therefore the process was shut down. Currently the rejected chips are either being burned or sent to landfill but the issue with this is that there are still good fibers within those rejects that are able to be pulped.

Development of wine smoke-taint analysis strategies to provide more accurate risk-assessments and guide in-winery and in-vineyard amelioration methods

The proposed research project will focus on understanding the in-vineyard and in-winery mechanisms responsible for the phenomenon of smoke-taint in wines—that is, the tendency of grapes exposed to forest fire smoke to produce smoke-flavoured wines in the absence of any perceptible aroma in the grapes. Of interest here is discerning exactly how the flavoured compounds of smoke are biochemically stored within ripening grapes in addition to how they are released again by yeast enzymes during the fermentation process.

The use of crickets (Gryllus sigillatus) in poultry diets and their antimicrobial potential to defend against necrotic enteritis

The production of chicken requires a large amount of protein, and producers currently use antibiotics to help keep chickens healthy. However, there is a leading trend to reduce the amount of antibiotics used today, and with the growing population there is a need to find alternative protein sources. Insects, like crickets, could be a solution to both of these problems. Crickets have shown antimicrobial capacity and are high in protein, so they maybe able to reduce feed cost, while also reducing the need for antibiotics.

Long-term response of boreal forest bird community to changes in habitat structure and configuration due to forestry and other land uses

There are both immediate and long-term effects of forestry on boreal birds. To minimize incidental take of birds and nests during harvest, foresters need accurate tools for predicting abundance of nesting birds in the peak breeding season, to time harvests year-round. Longer-term effects of harvest and other land uses on boreal birds are unknown, because most studies of forestry practices on boreal birds occur over short periods.

Climate change and water use: can increased diversity help protect forests?

Forests provide habitat to more than 65% of terrestrial biodiversity, yet are being eliminated or greatly simplified at an alarming rate under global change (GC). Current forestry practices tend to favour a handful of species, without considering resilience of resulting forests to GC. During the past two decades, studies have investigated the complex relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem service provision to humanity.

Selective breeding of honey bees

Over the past eight years we have a diagnostic test for disease resistance in honey bees and then attempted to use this test to selectively breed disease-resistant bees. The bees selected in this way appear to not lose other economically important traits (e.g., honey production) but are far better equipped to deal with disease than ‘average’ bees. This then opens up many doors, some of which we would like to pursue here. First and foremost though is to get the tools we have developed into the hands of the bee industry.

Development of climate sensitive growth functions for western North America’s boreal tree species

The Mixedwood Growth Model (MGM) is used by forest managers in estimating growth and yield outcomes for common boreal tree species in North America. MGM has been shown to effectively model both managed and unmanaged stands in Alberta and surrounding regions. Currently, climate effects are not accounted for in growth functions used in MGM. Recent work for black spruce has shown that there is need to understand and model the effect of climate for other boreal tree species including white spruce, aspen, balsam poplar, lodgepole pine and jack pine.

Evaluation of Phytosanitary Measure Efficacy Using Genomics

In recent years, globalization and increasing international traffic have allowed tree infecting micro-organisms and pests to colonize new forests and plantations. These invasions are a threat to global trade and the delicate ecological balance of our forests. Good examples are the Sudden Oak Death (SOD) outbreak caused by Phytophthora ramorum in California and the emerald ash borer in eastern Canada. Such epidemics can wreak havoc and halt international trade resulting in loss of millions of dollars.