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.

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.

Towards automatic tree selection through fusion of mobile lidar and computer vision information

The aim of this project is to explore the automation of tree selection, which consist of selecting which trees to cut in a forest harvesting operation. When selecting a tree, one must consider multiple characteristic of the tree: its size, its position relative to other trees, its health and many other things. We begin this endeavor by developing a method to precisely measure the diameter and the position of trees in a given area. To do this, a combination of a laser scanner and a camera will be used.

Effects of a probiotic product from Lallemand Inc. on growth performance and intestinal morphology of chickens raised under suboptimal conditions

According to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada produced 1.2 billion kilograms of chicken with chicken products worth $2.5 billion. Domestic consumption of chicken in 2016 was 32.5 kilograms per person. Canada exported over 5.3 million chicks worth over $13.4 million, mainly to the United States. That same year, 134.1 million kilograms of chicken meat and edible bi-products, worth $453.1 million, was exported to 60 countries, with the largest importers being the United States and Philippines.

A Device for the Effective Use of Composted Chicken Manure in Hydroponics Systems

Innovative agricultural methods may be able to provide affordable food and vegetables in Canada’s North. In support of this, Choice North Farms has partnered with PolarPonics to develop a ‘PoultryPonics’ facility that will reduce production costs by integrating chicken and hydroponic production with an automated composting system. To effectively do this, they will require optimal methodologies for composting chicken manure which will need a high-precision, high-frequency sampling device to measure the nutrient content of the manure solutions that are produced.

Grain consumption patterns, their respective nutrient contribution and related health outcomes in Canadians

More than 41 percent of field crops produced in Canada are consumed within this country. However, there is little information available about the common consumption patterns of grain-based foods among Canadians as well as the health outcomes associated with different degrees of grain-based food consumption. Using the most recent Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) released in July 2017, this study investigates the data on consumption pattern of grain-based foods and contributions of grains to Canadian diet, health and wellbeing.