Mitacs research fellow helps pivot decontamination from fruit to N95 masks

When postdoctoral fellow Mahdiyeh Hasani of University of Guelph came to Canada in 2017 and began working with Professor Keith Warriner to decontaminate produce, she had no idea that in just a few years COVID-19 would dramatically change the world — and the impact of her research.

Ontario__University of Guelph

A limited number of fully funded fellowships are available. However, Mitacs strongly recommends that you confirm the availability of $5,000 per year from your academic supervisor or university before applying.
Fellowships will be awarded competitively.

Efficacy and insect resistance management of new insecticidal proteins targeting western bean cutworm in Ontario, Canada - Year two

Western bean cutworm (WBC) is the most important corn pest in Ontario and lack of control can reduce grain yield and quality due to insect feeding and mycotoxin contamination. Unlike other primary corn pests, WBC are not controlled by most transgenic corn expressing Bt proteins. Monsanto has developed new insecticidal proteins to which WBC are susceptible according to preliminary research. To support long-term use of these promising management tools, this project aims to generate information necessary to develop an insect resistance management (IRM) plan.

Development of a novel IPM strategy for brown marmorated stink bugs (Halyomorpha halys) using RNA interference (RNAi) technology - Year two

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) (Halyomorpha halys (Stål)) is an invasive pest with a large host range that includes many economically important fruits, vegetables, and row crops. Native to Asia, BMSB was first detected in North America in 1998 and since has become established in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario; and 44 American states. In order to develop efficient BMSB focused integrated pest management program (IPM), it is critical that novel alternative control tactics are investigated primarily because there are no effective insecticides available.

Heat Transfer Analysis of an Electric Baseboard Heater using Computational Fluid Dynamics

This research is an attempt to understand a heat transfer challenge encountered in the Glen Dimplex electric baseboard heaters in details and provide recommendations to resolve that. This baseboard heater uses electricity to heat up an internal element which is designed to transfer the heat to the room?s air via a series of thin aluminum plates called fins. The poor heat transfer from heater fins to air results in low efficiency of the heater as well as the unwanted physical deformation of fins by thermal expansion.

Investigation of the relationship between firefighting water additive formulation and environmental fate and toxicity

Firefighting water additives are a mixture of chemicals that are mixed with water to more effectively extinguish fires (i.e., residential, industrial, forest fires). The use of these additives is likely to increase in fighting forest fires due to the projected increase in forest fire occurrence and intensity due to climate change. Ingredients of firefighting water additives used in the past were found to be persistent and detrimental to the environment.

Advancing biomonitoring eDNA practices. The case of PCR inhibition and implications on eDNA detections

Conventional biomonitoring methods based on capture and observations can be difficult, destructive of habitat, stressful for the organisms, inefficient, and expensive. Living organisms shed DNA into the environment (eDNA) and this signal can be detected using molecular methods. eDNA allows species detection without physical observation or capture. The non-invasive nature of eDNA is essential for revealing elusive and invasive species.

Formulating a novel goat-whey based drink and studying its nutritional and health functions - Year two

This project will create novel goat milk-based products and test their health effects in healthy adults. Interest in goat milk is increasing, mainly due to two market trends: consumers’ new taste trends for niche/ethnic products, and the perception of goat milk having added health properties. Goat milk is perceived as having intestinal anti-inflammatory effects and improved digestive properties compared to bovine milk, due to the unique functionalities of its oligosaccharides and triglycerides.

Root associated microbiome of trees growing in a fractured bedrock toluene phytoremediation site

Phytoremediation is a promising in-situ technology that uses plants and its associated microorganisms (particularly bacteria and fungi) to clean up contaminated soils. The efficacy of these processes however, requires an in-depth knowledge on the diversity of microbial communities closely interacting with plant roots. Several studies have demonstrated that plants growing in contaminated soils select for competent microorganisms able to degrade these contaminants.

Assessing the lice cleaning efficacy and diet of lumpfish in Canadian Atlantic salmon sea cages using metabarcoding and conventional diet analysis

The salmon aquaculture industry is a highly profitable industry, known to contribute significantly to the Canadian economy. During this time an ectoparasite called the sea louse may infect the salmon leading to animal welfare concerns a significant economic loss. Lumpfish are a species of cleaner fish used as a biological control for sea lice and offer a more sustainable and ecologically friendly option for sea lice management than previous chemical controls. They are a recent addition to Canadian aquaculture, and their cleaning efficacy must be well understood under Canadian conditions.