Fertilization to Increase Soil C Sequestration and Mitigate Climate Change

Forest soils are a significant sink for the greenhouse gas, CO2. Concerns over climate change have led to increased interest in methods to increase the forest C sink. Fertilization of forests has been demonstrated to increase productivity of many forest types and this has an associated benefit of increased C sequestration in biomass. There is mounting evidence that N fertilization will also increase C sequestration in soil as more and more little material is produced. N also appears to interfere with the decomposition of this litter.

Ecosystem Recovery after Disturbance: Thresholds for Biodiversity and Resiliency Indicators

This project will use vegetation indicators of biodiversity to define response curves for measuring ecological resilience in three forest ecosystems in central BC. The vegetation indicators to be evaluated are: 1) the rate of regrowth; 2) the rate of recovery of species richness; and 3) the rate of recovery of original species composition. The research team hypothesizes that ecological resilience increases with site productivity and decreases with the length of intervals between wildfires.

Fire Hazard and the Effects of Natural vs Anthropogenic Disturbances on the Early Successional Patterns of ICH Forests in BC

Historical fire suppression and subsequent increases in fuel loading have led to more frequent and damaging forest fires across North America. This has prompted much research into how changing disturbance regimes affect forests and how to manage fires appropriately and in a more natural way. Parks Canada is interested in how disturbance regimes have shifted, how these shifts affect ecosystem function and what this means for management.

Statistical Methods for High Through-Put Flow Cytometry

This research project aims to develop automated statistical methodology to analyze data generated by flow cytometry (FCM), a high-throughput technology widely used in health research and disease diagnostics. FCM is commonly used to define the overall status of the immune system either in healthy or diseased subjects by performing quantitative measurements on a variety of cell types belonging to the immune system.

Measuring and Modelling Ecological Resilience

The BC Ministry of Forests and Range has recently undertaken a Future Forest Ecosystem Initiative (FFEI) whose purpose is to adapt the BC forest and range legislation and policy to a changing climate and to ensure BC’s forest and rangeland ecosystems remain resilient to stress. This research project helps to provide a scientific underpinning for the FFEI by developing mathematical models that predict how ecological resilience varies across environmental gradients and in response to cumulative environmental stress.

Influence of Viruses on Marine Prokaryotes in Canada's Arctic Waters

Viruses are an abundant and dynamic component of marine microbial communities. The project will use information encoded in the genomes of viruses and their bacterial hosts to obtain a measure of the number of different types of viruses and bacterial species in Canadian Arctic waters. Additionally, the project will focus on the relationship between viral and bacterial communities by trying to identify patterns in their geographical distribution in response to changing environmental conditions such as temperature or salinity.

Determining the Kinetics of Self-assembly of Islet Amyloid Polypeptide in Type 2 Diabetes

The intern will be conducting experiments to gather real-time data on the formation of toxic fibrous proteins that occur as part of the disease process in type 2 diabetes. These experiments will be carried out at BC Children’s Hospital in vitro for various concentrations of protein precursor to study the kinetics of assembly of the polymer with and without “seeding” of the reaction with preformed fibrils. This data will then be analyzed using mathematical modeling techniques to discover the key steps in the formation and growth of the toxic fibers.

Active Learning of Hierarchically Parameterized Policies

Next Level Games is a full-service videogame developer based in Vancouver, BC. This intern research project will investigate mathematical solutions to the incredibly difficult problem of sequential decision making in an uncertain, partially observed, multi-agent environment with realistic motor dynamics. The problem is formalized under the reinforcement learning framework, where the agent observes the world state, takes action, receives a reward and observes the new state.

Operations on Graphs

The main focus of this internship is to define and optimize geo-spatial operations for spatial queries, coordinate transformations, routing and topological error detection and correction. The intern will define and implement spatial operators on graphs to enable efficient analysis and retrieval of geo-spatial data.

Interaction of Log-Probabilities and Taxonomic Hierarchies

The intern’s project aims to provide a formal mathematical foundation to the weightings applied to terms used to describe complex models (eg mineral deposit models or landslide hazards) when measuring the similarity between models and existing natural phenomena such as mineral occurrences or seemingly dangerous slopes. These weightings are important to correctly matching models with existing natural phenomena, an activity which experts carry out mentally and which GeoReference Online Ltd has implemented on a computer.

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