Development and evaluation of semi-passive biological water treatment processes for water impacted by resource extraction

One of the most vital challenges within the mining and oil sands industries is management of water impacted by resource extraction. Semi-passive biological treatment systems (PTSs) treat water close to the source of contamination and often prevent contamination from occurring in the first place, making them suitable options for management of water impacted by resource extraction. These biological treatment systems require minimal or no chemicals and energy input and minimal ongoing management and care. Therefore, semi-passive biological treatment systems are ideal for closure scenarios.

Diversity and Abundance of Beneficial and Pest Insects in Canadian Prairie Agroecosystems

The proposed research project will assess the insect fauna present associated with prairie wetlands, as well as those found in adjacent fields of crop plants (canola, barley, wheat) and restored grasslands. Insects will be collected using various trapping methods to sample taxa exhibiting different lifestyles. Collected specimens will be identified as specifically as possible to determine taxa found in sampled habitats.

Data Mining and Statistical Analysis of Hydraulic Fracture Performance in the Eagle Ford Formation

As the global supply of oil and gas from conventional reservoirs (i.e., porous rock formations) continues to diminish, it becomes increasingly important to produce these fluids from unconventional (“tight”) reservoirs. Hydraulic fracturing is generally required in order to achieve sufficient production rates from these tight reservoirs. Key questions to be addressed in hydraulic fracture design include the following: How much fluid and proppant (sand) should be injected? How many fractures should be created, and at what spacing?

The potential for ground mustard seed to improve the environment in the farrowing room for sows and piglets

Mustard is grown throughout Western Canada, primarily for use as a condiment. However, mustard growers are seeking other uses for this crop. Of interest is the potential of ground mustard as an anti-microbial. Mustard contains a compound called glucosinolate, which under the right conditions can be converted to isothiocyanate, a proven anti-microbial. This study will determine if rubbing a small amount of ground mustard on the skin of baby piglets, or placed in the sows’ environment, will reduce the environmental pathogen load those piglets are exposed to.

Transfer of nutrients and contaminants from wetlands to rivers by water boatmen

This research will explore how the annual migration of small insects known as water boatmen affect fish in rivers. It will first use natural fingerprints called stable isotope ratios that differ between wetlands and rivers, to trace how much of fish diet is made up of water boatmen after they arrive in rivers from wetlands in the fall. It will then test to see if water boatmen are bringing any toxic chemicals with them when they migrate.

Identification of heterotic gene pools to accelerate hybrid breeding in Brassica napus (canola) - Year two

Heterosis is a natural phenomenon where offspring (hybrids) outperform their parents in many agronomic traits, although exploited in breeding the mechanisms controlling heterosis remain elusive. Genetic distance between parents has been positively correlated with heterosis, yet does not adequately explain the phenomenon. Dividing lines from any crop into heterotic groups that provide optimal combining ability upon crossing, is one of the most important goals of any hybrid breeding program. The main objective of this proposal is to define the heterotic pools of Brassica napus (canola).

Use of X-rays as an alternative for fungal and bacterial pathogen control in seeds and stored food

The shortage and quality of food to feed the existing and growing population is an issue of global concern. There is also serious problem with the fungal and bacterial pathogens which result in losses of billions of dollars of annual loss of agricultural products. This project is an attempt to mitigate this with the use of X-ray treatment of seeds and organic products in stead of gamma rays or electron beams of a few MeV energies.

Development and application of physiological markers of Grizzly Bear health

Grizzly bears reside on changing landscapes across Alberta, Canada. The goal of this study is to determine how disturbances in the landscape affect the health of grizzly bears. This will be monitored by analyzing the (1) expression of proteins in skin that are associated with energetics, reproduction, and stress and (2) concentrations of hormones in hair that are associated with reproductive status and long-term stress. In collaboration with the Foothills Research Institute (FRI), skin and hair samples will be collected from free-ranging grizzly bears in Alberta, Canada.

MEPOWSS Wastestream Analysis

This project involves the characterization and assessment of a settling and evaporative pond system used to treat wastewater generated by the Melville Potable Water Supply System (MEPOWSS). The plant is currently being upgraded with a change in treatment processes and increased capacity that will impact the ability of the pond system to treat the new wastewater stream. The pond system consists of five pond cells in series, and current influent includes backwash from a greensand-filter and electrodialysis reversal (EDR) waste streams.

Stability and Functionality of Oleosome-Containing Mixtures

The stability of commercial ingredient emulsions is hugely important to the end-user. To that end, Botaneco’s oleosome-containing emulsions are characterized by the absence of changes over time in physical parameters such as particle size, pH and colour. Botaneco’s Hydresia® and CapsolTM products, which contain safflower and almond oleosomes, exhibit proven physical stabilities of up to two years.

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