Developing statistical methods to discover genetic variants underlying longitudinal decline in lung function

COPD is a common inflammatory lung condition that is characterized by airflow limitation and symptoms of cough and shortness of breath. Globally, it affects 384 million people and is responsible for ~4-7% of all deaths. Longitudinal genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are needed to unravel the molecular determinants of dynamic quantitative traits underlying COPD, such as decline in lung function over time.
Analysis of longitudinal GWAS to find biomarker of lung function decline was unsuccessful in the past. None of the discovered biomarkers were replicable.

Evaluation and analysis of citizen science golden eagle migration data collected by the Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation, Mount Lorette, Alberta 1993-2016

The goal of this project is to evaluate the data quality of the citizen science Golden Eagle count data collected by the Rocky Mountain Eagle Research Foundation and to determine the population trend over 25 years. Since 1993 they have collected data, consisting of daily raptor migration counts in the Fall and Spring seasons. It is vital to determine the usefulness of the citizen science data, check and evaluate its quality and determine whether available datasets are suitable for further research or not.

Sustainability and energy independence for Indigenous communities in BC

Indigenous people, particularly on reserves, suffer from some of the worst housing conditions in Canada today. Inadequate housing contributes to mental and physical health problems, poor educational outcomes, family conflict, and outright homelessness. This research project will contribute to the housing solutions space through partnering with Cleantech Community Gateway and the T’Sou-ke First Nation to develop and model a sustainable, culturally appropriate prototype building and simulate its energy performance.

Online Aboriginal Business Incubator

Online business incubation is a rapidly growing field. For many First Nations entrepreneurs who live in remote locations away from large cities, these online incubators allow access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable. While online incubators are becoming more prevalent, the majority of business incubators still operate through face-to-face methods. As such, there is a need not only for more developed online business incubators, but also online business incubators designed specifically for use by Aboriginal entrepreneurs.

The influence of local and global stressors on coral reef ecosystems

Vibrant coral reefs are amongst the world’s most diverse and economically important marine ecosystems, but are also imminently threatened by climate change and local threats, including fishing and pollution. Understanding how these threats impact coral reefs, and the capacity for reefs to recover after bleaching events is critically important. This project will focus on Kiritimati (Christmas Island), a ‘natural laboratory’ in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, which experienced extensive coral bleaching during a recent intense heat wave.

A novel, bioactive compound, found in the leaves and bark of a tree species abundant on the west coast of British Columbia, as a candidate natural pesticide

In nature, plants have evolved sophisticated defense mechanisms against insects, fungi, and other pests. When isolated, many of these chemicals have tremendous potential as natural pesticides, as they pose little threat to the environment, are non-toxic to the user, and are readily biodegradable. Recent research has determined a correlation between a novel compound found at significant concentration in a tree species abundant on the west coast of Canada, and increased resistance to leaf eating pests.

Detecting Work Site Fatigue for High Risk Positions Utilizing Portable Electroencephalography

It is fairly common knowledge that we should not drive while drowsy. Yet often in high risk professions, people grow tired throughout the day and begin to make mistakes. How do we know when that person needs a rest? Recent advancements now allow us to read peoples’ brain activity as they go about their day-to-day life without intrusion, something never before possible. By using a MUSE device, available at any large electronics retail store, we can begin to creating a system for alerting us of when you need a break in a normal workday.

Georeferencing oblique imagery for vegetation analysis

To responsibly manage forest resources in southwestern Alberta, it is important to understand the disturbance regimes they have experienced in the past, are experiencing now, and are likely to experience in the future. The Mountain Legacy Project has several thousand repeat photographs which show areas of the mountains and foothills of the Rockies a century ago and today. This project will develop methods to georectify those photographs (i.e. flatten the pictures onto a map) in order to analyze them in a spatially relevant way.

Modelling the effects of industrial disturbance and predation risk on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) seasonal habitat selection in the boreal forest of Alberta, Canada

My master’s project in partnership with InnoTech Alberta will be assessing potential effects of industrial activity from in-situ oil and gas extraction on carnivore and white-tailed deer populations in northeastern Alberta. Deer populations have been increasing for the past fifty years and two of the leading causes are attributed to climate change and human disturbance.

Use of non-invasive wildlife detection data to identify habitat of importance to focal species in a conservation and forestry matrix

Understanding how many animals live in a given area, and how those animals move from one place to another, is centrally important for properly conserving and managing landscapes. This project aims to study grizzly bear populations in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia, BC. It will use DNA data collectively non-invasively from grizzly bears at sampling stations throughout the region.