Enzyme immobilization to enhance the hydrolysis of soluble, biomass derived xylo-oligomers

The proposed research project will conduct feasibility studies on the purification and conditioning of industrial, hemicellulose derived C5 sugars from a number of potentially commercial liquor fractions, derived from lignocellulosic biomass. In the first two Mitacs projects, enzyme hydrolysis showed considerable benefits over traditional acid hydrolysis for S2G’s bio-glycol production. However, relatively high enzyme loadings were still required to achieve fast and efficient hydrolysis!

Physiological and environmental factors affecting the migratory behavior and survival of sockeye and steelhead salmon smolts

The great number and variety of factors influencing the survival of migrating salmon smolts in the early marine environment makes it difficult to understand the causes of recent declines in smolt survival and salmon population productivity. We will combine novel methodologies (biotelemetry and biomarkers) simultaneously to examine a variety of factors influencing the migratory behaviour and survival of sockeye and steelhead smolts in the Salish Sea.

Processes Governing Hydrocarbon Movement in Heterogenous Soils

Groundwater contamination by hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel is a serious threat to the environment and human health. Sources of this contamination include leaking underground storage tanks, pipleline breaks, tanker truck accidents and train derailments. There is a need for improved understanding of the mobility of hydrocarbon fuels in the subsurface to allow more accurate risk assessment and design of more effective remediation schemes.

Improvements for automatic pushback generation

In open pit mining, planning production phases, i.e. pushbacks, significantly affects the profitability. Generating practical pushbacks is a complex and time consuming task, mostly due to the difficulty of adhering to the geometric constraints of the mining operation such as the minimum width, the smoothness of the pit shell, and continuity of each pushback. A new method has recently been developed by our team that successfully integrates these constraints. The method modifies the infeasible pushbacks created by conventional methods to have feasible geometries.

Integrated hydrodynamic and water quality modelling tool for the Toronto Waterfront

The goal of this project is to develop the first ever high definition integrated water circulation and water quality model for the Toronto Waterfront. As one of the most urbanized freshwater ecosystems with complex geometries and physical processes, Toronto Waterfront is in an urgent need for modern scientific tools that can support effective environmental management strategies and inform design of costly new development and restoration projects that have considerable socioeconomic implications.

Exposing the Invisible ? Wind?s Potential in Architecture

The objective of this project is to improve the communication between architects and wind engineers so that affects associated with wind such as pedestrian comfort, building strength and ventilation may be considered earlier on within the design phase of a project. By documenting the development of the invisible yet extremely prominent winds that flow through the intersection of Bay and King in Toronto, Ontario, I hope to apply and emphasize how key concepts of aerodynamics apply to a full-scale example that is relatable.

Diversity and structure of coastal eelgrass communities and their importance for maintaining juvenile Pacific salmon

On the coast of British Columbia, both eelgrass meadows and Pacific salmon species are declining, yet eelgrass community dynamics and reliance of juvenile salmon on these communities are poorly understood. We will assemble the first large-scale dataset from monitoring efforts of coastal BC organizations in order to assess eelgrass community diversity and structure across environmental and human disturbance gradients (including boating, fishing, and non-native species).

Eutrophication Risk Assessment and Adaptive Management Implementation in Lake Simcoe: Integration of the Watershed Processes with the Receiving Waterbody Year Two

Environmental modelling has been an indispensable tool of the Lake Simcoe restoration efforts. The proposed research aims to develop an integrated watershed-receiving waterbody modelling network that will provide a realistic platform for the evaluation of a variety of land-use management and climatic scenarios.

Quality Assurance of Biosand Filters: Production and Distribution

The Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST) is a non-profit organization promoting appropriate technologies in water and sanitation for the developing world. An example is the biosand filter, currently manufactured by hundreds of organizations in 55 countries, and used by 650,000+ families. Ensuring filter quality will accelerate its dissemination worldwide. In this project, the quality assurance (QA) procedures are developed for (1) biosand filters (2) their construction processes, and (3) the distribution network, using Nepal as a case study.

Assessing the impacts of fisheries, hydroelectric infrastructure, and temperature on Gates Creek sockeye salmon migration

The annual return of sockeye salmon to the Fraser River is a vital part of British Columbia’s environment, economy, and First Nations heritage. However, sockeye salmon can face numerous challenges during their migration including fisheries, warm water temperatures, and dams. Recent population declines in sockeye salmon have prompted concerns over the challenges salmon face during their migration and studies are needed to determine how the these challenges combine to affect salmon.