Fuelling Alternative Energy Research

     McGuinty Government Driving Innovation to Create Jobs, Fight
                               Climate Change

    OSHAWA, ON, Sept. 25 /CNW/ -


    World-class research supported by the Ontario government will help create
jobs, develop new energy sources and fight climate change.
    The government is investing more than $5 million to support innovative
research projects in the cleantech (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleantech)
sector, an area of the economy that brings together environmental solutions
and economic potential.

    Promising research projects receiving funding include:

    -   Pioneering new hydrogen-based energy technologies to reduce
        greenhouse gas emissions, led by Dr. Greg Naterer
        (http://engineering.uoit.ca/people/naterer.php) (University of
        Ontario Institute of Technology) (http://www.uoit.ca/EN/index.html)
    -   Developing workable, cost-efficient fuel cells that can run on both
        traditional fuels and on renewable fuels such as hydrogen, biogas and
        ethanol, led by Dr. Olivera Kesler
        (University of Toronto) (http://www.research.utoronto.ca/).

    Supporting innovation is part of the McGuinty government's five-point
plan for growing Ontario's economy (http://www.fin.gov.on.ca/budgetsplash/).


    "Provincial support for clean technologies and energy research is an
important part of Ontario's Innovation Agenda
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp) - turning good
ideas into good-paying jobs and better lives for Ontario families," said
Minister of Research and Innovation John Wilkinson
    "Research and innovation has a major role to play in helping us reach our
targets for greenhouse gas reductions and transforming Ontario into a green
economy. Becoming a leader in green technology will translate into better jobs
for Ontarians and healthier, stronger and more successful communities all
across the province," said Minister of the Environment John Gerretsen
    "Our remarkable team is grateful for the provincial government's funding
commitment to our research," said Dr. Greg Naterer
(http://engineering.uoit.ca/people/naterer.php). "We have taken important
steps towards making sustainable, low-cost hydrogen production a reality,
while building on Durham Region's strengths in the energy sector. The
groundbreaking advances will benefit the Ontario economy and our environment
beyond anything we can now imagine."
    "All of us at UOIT are proud of the work being carried out by Dr. Naterer
 and his team," said UOIT President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ronald Bordessa
(http://www.uoit.ca/EN/main2/about/14057/14557/ronald_bordessa.html). "Because
hydrogen is a clean energy carrier, this research has the vast potential to
have one of the most significant impacts on greenhouse gas reductions over the
coming decade and greatly improve the future environmental health of the


    -   Ontario is home to innovative clean tech companies like Menova
        6N Silicon (http://www.6nsilicon.com/s/Home.asp),
        Verdant Power (http://www.verdantpower.com/),
        Greencore Composites (http://www.greencorenfc.com/index.htm),
        KMX (http://www.kmxcorp.com/) and Stemergy (http://www.stemergy.com/)
        - and more than half of this year's Corporate Knights'
        (http://static.corporateknights.ca/CleanTech2007.pdf) "Next 10
        Emerging CleanTech Leaders of Tomorrow" are Ontario-based companies.

    -   Ontario is home to the largest geothermal well field in Canada and
        second largest in North America. Established at the University of
        Ontario Institute for Technology (UOIT) (http://www.uoit.ca/), it
        consists of 384 holes each drilled 213 metres (700 feet) into the
        earth and linked to mechanical systems that provide efficient and
        environmentally friendly heating and cooling to the entire university

    -   Funding from today's announcement comes from the Ontario Research
        Fund (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/ResearchFund.asp).
        The funding will support 260 researchers involved with 34 projects at
        11 institutions.

    -   The funding is part of $37 million worth of Ontario Research Fund
        investments the province is announcing this fall to support more than
        1,800 researchers working on over 200 projects at 17 institutions.


    Learn more about Ontario's Innovation Agenda

    Learn more about alternative energy projects
(http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/index.cfm?fuseaction=electricity.newenergymap) in

    Learn more about what Ontario is doing about climate change

                                                      Disponible en français


                               CLIMATE CHANGE

     Creating the Jobs, Clean Technologies and Energy Sources of the Future

    Ontario is committed to supporting research and innovation as a means of
turning global challenges into our next generation of jobs - and most
importantly, better lives for Ontario families.
    The $3-billion Ontario Innovation Agenda
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/default.asp) is about making investments in
our greatest asset - our people and our best ideas - to make this province
greener, healthier and to strengthen our economy. We are focused on supporting
innovation that will make Ontario more sustainable, create solutions to
climate change, lead to better health care, and ignite growth in the
industries that will shape our future.


    Cleantech is more than just green energy and recycling. It spans across
the economy.
    In agriculture, there are bio-based materials, farm efficiency
technologies, micro-irrigation systems, and natural pesticides.
    In energy, there is distributed and renewable energy generation and
conversion (including fuel cells, geothermal, wind and photovoltaics). There
is energy storage and power quality, key enabling technologies, and related
Internet and information technology-based services.
    In manufacturing, there is advanced packaging, high value materials
recovery, natural chemistry, sensors, smart construction materials, precision
manufacturing instruments.
    In transportation, hybrid vehicles, lighter materials, smart logistics
software, and telecommuting.
    In water, there is recycling and ultra-filtration systems (UV and
membrane based systems), sensors and automation systems, and more.

    "Greentech could be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st

    Source: John Doerr, Senior Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers,
    2006 as quoted in Corporate Knights CleanTech Issue 2007.


    Ontario has a proud legacy of research excellence and innovation, and of
turning our best science and ideas into world-leading products and services.
    Ontario discovered stem cells and insulin. We invented the pacemaker. And
right now Ontario companies are building cleaner ways to generate the energy
we need, by engineering new technologies that do a better job of tapping into
the power of the sun, wind, and water. From IMAX to the Blackberry, to the
science and technology that helped put a man on the moon and robots on Mars,
Ontario ideas, discoveries and inventions reach around the globe.
    And with support from the Ontario government, innovative people and
companies are turning global challenges like climate change and cancer into
solutions that provide cleaner air, better health care, and better, more
sustainable jobs for the 21st century.


    Through the Ontario Research Fund
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/ResearchFund.asp), we are
strengthening Ontario's legacy of innovation and ingenuity by supporting our
best and brightest researchers, the world-class research institutions that
support their work, and the entrepreneurs that are helping to bring their best
ideas to the global market.


    The Ontario Research Fund is an important part of Ontario's Innovation
Agenda (http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/oia/program.asp). Supported
by $3 billion over eight years, the Ontario Innovation Agenda is focused on
supporting world-class research and innovative companies in areas where the
province already is, or can be, a global leader.

    Ontario's priorities are:

    -   Tackling climate change through bio-based, environmental, alternative
        energy and clean technologies

    -   Advancing the digital universe through new information and
        communications technologies

    -   Conquering disease through life sciences, biotechnology, advanced
        health technologies and pharmaceutical research.


    Ontario's investments are supporting the development of clean
automobiles, fuels and technologies in line with the government's
comprehensive climate change plan and recognition that innovation is key to
"greening" the economy.
    Global investment in new, clean technologies - like those being funded
through the Ontario Research Fund - is growing rapidly. Besides reducing
energy use, emissions and waste, these new technologies can also reduce
production costs.
    Ontario has the natural resources, industries and research strengths to
become a global leader in clean technology. New areas such as alternative
energy, fuel cells and biomaterials are growing strongly in Ontario, with
developments that include:

    -   Wind, solar and energy-management companies

    -   Companies offering water and waste-water, mineral processing, air
        emission reduction and other environmental technologies, as well as
        environmental management systems

    -   Opportunities to combine existing strengths in forestry and
        agriculture with new technologies to create bio-based industries and
        boost regional development, especially in rural and northern Ontario.

    Clean technologies can add value to Ontario's traditional industries, as
well as create new ones. For example, fossil fuel-based plastics and similar
materials are being replaced with biodegradable and plant-based versions. The
estimated North American market for bioplastics alone is expected to be in the
order of $10 billion. This presents opportunities for companies serving
Ontario's automotive sector, among others.
    Ontario's investments in clean, green technologies are part of the
government's plan to end coal-fired electrical generation and reduce Ontario's
carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30 mega tonnes.
    Through the latest rounds of funding from the Ontario Research Fund
program, the province is investing more than $5 million in 34 research
projects at 11 postsecondary institutions across the province. The investments
will help support the work of 260 of Ontario's leading scientists working in
areas such as clean technologies, climate change and the bioeconomy.
    And through the province's Innovation Demonstration Fund
(http://www.mri.gov.on.ca/english/programs/MRI.asp)and Next Generation of Jobs
Fund (http://www.ontario-canada.com/ontcan/en/nextgen_main_en.jsp), Ontario is
helping savvy entrepreneurs turn their research and ideas into reality. Here
are just a few shining examples:

    -   Menova (http://www.power-spar.com/Power-Spar/index.php)
    -   6N Silicon (http://www.6nsilicon.com/s/Home.asp)
    -   KMX (http://www.kmxcorp.com/)
    -   Verdant Power (http://www.verdantpower.com/)
    -   Greencore Composites (http://www.greencorenfc.com/index.htm)
    -   Stemergy (http://www.stemergy.com/)

                                                      Disponible en français


            Bioeconomy, Environment and Clean Technology Projects


    University of Ontario Institute of Technology

    Dr. Greg Naterer
    Creating cleaner, energy-efficient power sources
    Provincial Funding: $125,000

    Ontario's dependence on imported fossil fuels for the energy requirements
of society and industry is environmentally and economically unsustainable. Dr.
Greg Naterer at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology is
developing new energy technologies that include thermochemical hydrogen
production, micro energy sources powered by nanotechnology and "entropy-based
design" to improve energy efficiency. His research will reduce the
environmental impact and greenhouse gas emissions of power systems, as well as
develop technology commercialization opportunities for the province's energy

    University of Toronto

    Dr. Vy Dong
    Developing new tools for constructing organic molecules
    Provincial Funding: $380,000

    Organic molecules are carbon-containing compounds that make up important
goods all around us, including our food, pharmaceuticals, clothing and fuels.
Research in organic synthesis is therefore essential to our ability to make
useful organic products. At the Modern Laboratory for Innovation in Organic
Synthesis and Catalysis at the University of Toronto, researchers are
inventing better tools for constructing various organic molecules. Ultimately,
this research will lead to more efficient, environmentally-friendly and less
wasteful processes for synthesizing drug candidates and other innovative

    Dr. Elizabeth Edwards
    Developing solutions for pressing environmental and energy problems
    Provincial Funding: $218,144

    Motivated by health, environmental and economic security, the 21st
century is poised to be the century of biotechnology. With roughly 10 per cent
of the world's forests, seven per cent of its fresh water and a highly
educated research community, Canada has the potential to become a world leader
in biotechnologies in the areas of renewable energy and materials, clean soil
and water. At BioZone, a unique research facility at the University of
Toronto, Dr. Elizabeth Edwards heads a multidisciplinary team of scientists
engaged in developing solutions for pressing problems in energy and the

    Dr. Mansoor Barati
    Developing solutions for efficient energy, high-quality materials and
    environmentally responsible processes
    Provincial Funding: $92,043

    Ontario is a leader in the minerals and metals industry, contributing
substantially to the nation's economy. Research and development in this key
resource industry is keeping Ontario competitive internationally. Dr. Mansoor
Barati at the University of Toronto is focused on high temperature materials
processing research, specifically, novel and advanced processes for extracting
and refining metals and alloys with high performance at low cost. His work
will lead to innovative solutions for energy efficiency, higher quality
materials and environmentally responsible processes.

    Dr. Olivera Kesler
    Realizing the potential of fuel cell technology
    Provincial Funding: $200,000

    Despite the perception that fuel cell technology is years away, fuel
cells are in use in many places - and once the technology is perfected, it has
the potential to power everything from vehicles to homes and businesses. Dr.
Olivera Kesler at the University of Toronto is working to realize the
potential of fuel cells. Her focus is on the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC),
which can run on both traditional fuels and on renewable fuels such as
hydrogen, biogas and ethanol. Her goal is to reduce the cost and improve the
performance and lifetime of fuel cells.

    Dr. Jochen Halfar
    Determining human impact on marine climate change
    Provincial Funding: $118,922

    Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing humans today. Using
state-of-the-art equipment and methods, Dr. Jochen Halfar at the University of
Toronto, Mississauga, will investigate marine climate change by analyzing
climate archives with unprecedented precision. His goal is to determine human
impact on climate and ecosystems with a view to predicting future climate
evolution. His work will help to assess the consequences of rapid climate
change in Ontario and globally.

    Dr. Helene Wagner
    Discovering how landscape modification impacts ecosystems
    Provincial funding: $37,187

    What happens to an ecosystem when humans modify the landscape? It's a
question that needs answering as we urbanize the province's southern regions
and mine the north's natural resources. It's one Dr. Helene Wagner aims to
shed light on at a new Spatial Ecology and Landscape Genetics Laboratory at
the University of Toronto Mississauga. Working with a local conservation
management agency, Dr. Wagner will use a variety of methods including field
data collection of plant species and modeling to evaluate a landscape
modification experiment that has been running for nearly 20 years. Her goal is
the development of conservation best practices based on a scientific
understanding of how landscape modification affects the organisms at the
actual location of human activity and in the surrounding landscape.

    Dr. Arthur Weis
    Anticipating the effects of climate change
    Provincial Funding: $603,200

    The global climate is changing at a rate and scale not seen since the end
of the last ice age. How will this dramatic change in climate affect efforts
to preserve important plant and tree species? How will it change the threat
they face from weed and pest species? These are questions of immense
importance to our agriculture and forestry industries and they're ones Dr.
Arthur Weis at the University of Toronto aims to answer through field- and
growth-chamber-based experiments that will test the fitness of plant species
under conditions that simulate the future climate.

    Dr. Georgia Fotopoulos
    Monitoring urban centres to protect our infrastructure
    Provincial Funding: $149,787

    Land subsidence is the lowering of the land-surface elevation due to
changes that take place underground. It can cause great damage to buildings,
bridges, roads and pipelines. At a new Goedetic Urban Monitoring Facility at
the University of Toronto - the first and only one of its kind in Canada - Dr.
Georgia Fotopoulos is using multi-sensor geodetic satellite data and
state-of-the-art terrestrial tools to monitor land subsidence. The goal is to
provide an accurate framework and contemporary solutions to the imminent
problem of land deformation in urban areas of Canada.

    Dr. Nathan Basiliko
    Learning how soil microorganisms work to help us manage our resources in
    the face of climate change
    Provincial Funding: $84,308

    At the Advanced Soil Biogeochemistry and Microbial Ecology Research
Facility at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Dr. Nathan Basiliko is
looking for answers to important issues of environmental change in soil
microorganisms. These microorganisms are essential to the life-giving
properties of soil yet are poorly understood. Using advanced technology, Dr.
Basiliko is researching the link between communities of soil microorganisms
and larger wetland and forest ecosystem dynamics. The goal is to improve our
ability to adapt resource management in the face of climate change.

    Dr. Kaley Walker
    Determining how ozone is changing our atmosphere
    Provincial Funding: $211,428

    Thirty years ago when people talked about environmental concerns, they
focused on urban smog, industrial pollution and acid rain. Today, ozone
depletion and climate change are the topics on everyone's mind. One big
question is: how is human activity changing the earth's atmosphere? At the
University of Toronto's Laboratory for Atmospheric Spectroscopy and
Applications (LASSA), Dr. Kaley Walker is constructing, testing and deploying
an instrument to accurately measure the concentrations of ozone and related
gases in the atmosphere. The goal is to find out how the amounts of these
gases are changing and what the changes mean for our environment. Her research
will help policy makers develop programs to protect the environment and human

    Dr. Myrna Simpson
    Discovering the effects of contaminants in soil, air and water
    Provincial funding: $200,000

    Developing remediation strategies for land contaminated through
industrial use is a fast-growing business. But the methods currently available
are either prohibitively expensive or ineffective in removing all the
contaminants - in part, because the effects of contaminants in soil, air and
water are poorly understood. Using an innovative form of research involving
molecular level technology, Dr. Myrna Simpson at the University of Toronto is
developing metabolic profiling methods to assess organism stress after
exposure to contaminated soils. This could become a leading diagnostic tool
for government and industry to use to screen potential human health risks from
long-term exposure to low levels of organic chemicals in the environment, and
determine "healthy" contaminant levels. It could also lead to more effective
remediation methods.


    University of Guelph

    Dr. Laura Van Eerd
    Optimizing nitrogen use to maintain crop yields and minimize
    environmental impact
    Provincial funding: $125,219

    Good crop yields depend on an adequate supply of nitrogen. But what's the
optimum amount of nitrogen? That's the question Dr. Laura Van Eerd wants to
answer at a new facility at the University of Guelph dedicated to innovation
in soil fertility and plant nutrition in horticultural crops. The goal of Dr.
Van Eerd's research is the development of new approaches to maintaining or
improving crop yields by optimizing nitrogen use, while minimizing its
environmental impact on ground water - a subject of tremendous interest to the
agricultural sector. Dr. Van Eerd's research will also be used to assess new
legislation regarding nutrient management and drinking water source protection
in Ontario.

    Dr. Peter Tremaine
    Developing new energy technologies
    Provincial Funding: $171,330

    At the new Hydrothermal Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Guelph,
Dr. Peter Tremaine is carrying out research on water chemistry under extreme
conditions. Dr. Tremaine is one of a small group of international scientists
who have pioneered the use of "small-scale flow techniques" for high-precision
measurements of the properties of water solutions at very high temperatures
and pressures. Among the applications for his research are the development of
next-generation CANDU nuclear reactors and new technologies for hydrogen
production, which will benefit Ontario's energy sector.

    Dr. William David Lubitz
    Developing tools to predict the best places to locate wind turbines
    Provincial funding: $121,197

    Interest in renewable energy, including wind energy, is growing: more and
more Ontarians are looking to incorporate some form of renewable energy into
their current energy system. Led by Dr. William David Lubitz, researchers at
the University of Guelph's new Wind Engineering Laboratory are using wind
tunnels, computer simulation and field data to develop tools to predict wind
turbine performance at potential sites. Their research will help people
interested in installing wind turbines decide where to locate them for best
results. In the process, it will help grow Ontario's wind energy industry. The
researchers will also conduct important related research, including
local-scale air quality studies, wind engineering studies and design of
buildings for wind comfort.

    Dr. Karl Cottenie
    Advancing more scientific ecosystem-based management practices
    Provincial Funding: $63,099

    What effects will climate change have on ecosystems? How about invasive
species? Those are questions Dr. Karl Cottenie at the University of Guelph
hopes to answer. By studying zooplankton in a hydrologically dynamic pond
system, Dr. Cottenie will investigate the interactions among the fundamental
processes that structure ecosystems. By helping researchers predict ecosystem
responses to stresses, Dr. Cottenie's research will enable conservation
biologists to develop strategies to reduce the negative effects. It will also
help policy makers develop more scientific, ecosystem-based management

    Dr. Marc Habash
    Assessing how micro-organisms affect our drinking water
    Provincial Funding: $124,350

    Municipal water systems can be a significant source of microbial
contamination, where communities of micro-organisms (known as biofilms) form
on the surface of pipes. How they adhere to surfaces and the impact they have
on our drinking water distribution systems is the focus of research being
conducted by Dr. Marc Habash at the University of Guelph. His work will help
municipal and provincial governments better assess the risk to human health of
micro-organisms in our drinking water distribution systems and develop ways to
prevent and control contamination.


    McMaster University

    Dr. David Novog
    Using technology to improve safety at nuclear power facilities
    Provincial Funding: $106,313

    With nuclear power use on the rise, nuclear safety is a growing issue.
Current safety analysis uses analytical models and computer codes to predict a
plant's response to hypothetical accident scenarios. Research being conducted
by Dr. David Novog at McMaster University aims to improve on the current
prediction methods by constructing new models based on a unique measurement
system, the phase-doppler anemometer. His long-term goal is to improve safety
in Ontario's nuclear power facilities.


    Queen's University

    Dr. Kurt Kyser
    Protecting ecosystems through improved element tracing
    Provincial Funding: $313,903

    At the Queen's Centre for Isotope Research, scientists led by Dr. Kurt
Kyser are analyzing isotopes from tree rings, rocks, ice, lake sediments and
mineral deposits. Isotopes are forms of chemical elements that are slightly
altered at the atomic level, and the researchers have developed a way to
measure them that makes it possible to use the isotopes as tracers for
elements and compounds moving around in the near surface environment. Their
goal is to solve problems in a diversity of fields, such as controls on
climate change, and locating mineral deposits, including uranium, nickel,
diamonds and gold. This research will help develop ways to protect our natural
environment, the safety of our food and environmentally responsible extraction
of our mineral resources.

    Dr. Paul Grogan
    Predicting how arctic ecosystems will respond to climate change
    Provincial funding: $50,000

    Although Canada contains a substantial portion of the Arctic, long-term
research into the ecology of arctic tundra ecosystems and how they're likely
to respond to changes in climate has been scarce. Dr. Paul Grogan at Queen's
University is changing that. He's studying the structure and functioning of
plant and soil microbial communities at Daring Lake, north of Yellowknife in
the Northwest Territories. His work will help answer questions about how
arctic ecosystems will respond to changes in summer air temperature, winter
snow accumulation, vegetation distribution and caribou migration patterns. The
goal of his research is to develop optimal management strategies to adapt to
changes - as well as a greater appreciation of the ecological value of the


    University of Waterloo

    Dr. Maren Oelbermann, Dr. Merrin Macrae, Dr. Hargurdeep Saini
    Repairing damage done to our ecosystems
    Provincial Funding: $177,475

    Ontario's agricultural, forestry and industrial sectors are all grappling
with problems related to soil and water contamination as well as greenhouse
gas emissions. Led by Drs. Maren Oelbermann, Merrin Macrae and Hargurdeep
Saini, researchers at the Centre for Biophysical Research in Ecosystems
Restoration and Rehabilitation at the University of Waterloo are exploring the
processes that influence soil and water quality with the goal of developing
new methods and techniques in ecological restoration and bio-remediation of
Ontario's ecosystems. This research will be able to be applied in other parts
of Canada and internationally.

    Dr. Claude Duguay
    Developing new approaches to mapping and monitoring snow and ice
    Provincial Funding: $243,070

    Active radar remote sensors have become invaluable tools for studying the
cryosphere, the portion of the earth where water is in a solid form (ice and
snow). A great deal remains to be learned about the radar response to snow and
ice at higher microwave frequencies, which are sensitive to many more aspects
than the frequency currently used on Canada's Radarsat satellite. Dr. Claude
Duguay at the University of Waterloo is developing new approaches to mapping
and monitoring snow and ice properties from upcoming remote sensing satellite
missions. This research is essential to industries such as agriculture,
hydropower generation and recreation that depend on accurate forecasts of
snowmelt runoff.

    Dr. Mary Wells, Dr. Michael Worswick, Dr. Norman Zhou
    Helping Ontario manufacturers produce products based on customer demands
    Provincial Funding: $200,000

    For Ontario manufacturers to compete successfully in the global
marketplace they need to be able to process advanced metals and alloys
efficiently and produce tailored products based on customer demands. Using a
state-of-the-art Gleeble 3500 thermomechanical simulator, Drs. Mary Wells,
Michael Worswick and Norman Zhou at the University of Waterloo will model
thermal and mechanical processing of materials, an essential part of most
manufacturing processes, to get a greater understanding of these processes and
their effect on a product's final structure and properties. This research will
help Ontario manufacturers improve efficiency and reduce energy use.

    Dr. Kevin Lamb, Dr. Francis Poulin, Dr. Marek Stastna
    Exploring how climate change will affect water quality
    Provincial Funding: $78,613

    Stratification is the layering of water temperatures and salinity in
lakes and oceans. A stratified lake supports a complex variety of mixing
phenomena that vary naturally with the changing seasons. So how do mixing
processes affect the ecological health and water quality of lakes? That's one
of the questions Drs. Kevin Lamb, Francis Poulin and Marek Stastna are
exploring at the University of Waterloo. Using advanced theoretical and
numerical methods they're developing models of complex physical processes,
which will provide important insights into the dynamics of coastal oceans and
lakes. Their work will lead to the formation of science-based policy to
address important issues such as water quality.


    The University of Western Ontario

    Dr. Irena Creed
    Ensuring healthy forests
    Provincial Funding: $236,325

    Increasing pressure on our ecosystems from climate change and escalating
extraction of natural resources has created an urgent need for the development
of strategies to protect and conserve healthy ecosystems. At the Catchment
Research Facility at the University of Western Ontario, Dr. Irena Creed is
tracking the fate of water, nutrients and contaminants cascading down a range
of watershed systems. Her findings will guide policy makers towards watershed
management strategies that ensure sustainability of natural resources.


    Carleton University
    Dr. Paul Simms
    Environmental test pit for pilot-scale testing of mine waste management
    Provincial Funding: $50,634

    Disposal of excavated mining materials carries both economic and
environmental risks for mining companies worldwide. Led by Dr. Paul Simms,
researchers at Carleton University are testing innovative mine waste
management technologies under controlled climate conditions. Their work will
lead to new environmentally responsible disposal and clean-up techniques.

    Dr. Susan Bertram
    Developing natural pest controls
    Provincial Funding: $85,000

    Pests such as grasshoppers cost Ontario's agricultural sector millions of
dollars a year in lost crops. The growing interest in organic crops, coupled
with public concern over pesticide effects, has increased interest in
developing alternative pest control. Dr. Susan Bertram at Carleton University
is studying how genetics and the environment interact to influence survival
and reproduction of crop pests. Her research could lead to innovative
biological control methods.

    University of Ottawa

    Dr. Charles Darveau
    Uncovering the reason for the decline in pollinating insects
    Provincial Funding: $102,014

    Gaining a greater understanding of how organisms respond and adapt to a
changing environment is the focus of research being conducted at the new
Evolution of Animal Energetics Laboratory at the University of Ottawa. Led by
Dr. Charles Darveau, researchers are focusing on pollinating insects, which
are in decline worldwide. The goal of Dr. Darveau's research is to learn how
organisms can cope with changes, both within their lifetime and over time.
This will enable researchers to predict the ability of a population or species
to remain in a given environment - and lead to strategies to ensure their

    Dr. Glenn Milne
    High performance computer for numerical simulations of earth system
    Provincial Funding: $130,000

    How is climate change affecting the evolution of coastlines and
landforms? It's an important question for a country with coastline on three
sides - and one that Dr. Glenn Milne at the University of Ottawa hopes to
answer. Dr. Milne is investigating the interactions between ice sheets, solid
earth and the sea in an effort to more accurately predict how sea levels
change as a result of changes to ice sheets and glaciers, and how solid earth
deforms as ice sheets grow and melt. With Ontario on the verge of massive
changes in its northern region, Dr. Milne's research will help guide future
environmental, engineering and socio-economic planning.

    Dr. Julian Starr
    What sedges can tell us about the conservation and management of our
    natural resources
    Provincial funding: $89,683

    Systematics is the science that names, classifies and determines the
evolutionary relationships of organisms. It's becoming increasingly important
to Ontario as the province's unique biodiversity becomes ever more threatened
by global warming, invasive species and habitat loss. At a new Laboratory for
Molecular Systematics at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Julian Starr is using
DNA fragment and sequencing techniques to study the Cyperaceae (sedges) and
other land plants. This plant group represents one of the most diverse,
ecologically significant and economically important plant families on earth
and it dominates vast tracks of Ontario's land. But this unique diversity is
threatened and Dr. Starr hopes to save it for future generations. In the
process he aims to develop new molecular techniques for recognizing
biodiversity and combating its loss on earth.


    Lakehead University

    Dr. Lionel Catalan, Dr. Steve Kinrade, Dr. Charles Xu
    Developing beneficial uses for waste from natural resources
    Provincial Funding: $136,526

    While Ontario's natural resources sector makes vital contributions to the
economy, it also generates significant quantities of waste. Drs. Lionel
Catalan, Steve Kinrade and Charles Xu at Lakehead University are exploring
ways of reducing the environmental impact of waste produced by the natural
resource industries through advances in prediction methods, treatment
processes and design of disposal sites. Their research also focuses on
developing beneficial uses for waste, including new biomass-derived products
from one of Canada's richest resources, the Boreal Forest.


    University of Windsor

    Dr. Stéphanie Doucet
    Exploring how animals communicate visually and how it relates to their
    Provincial funding: $49,998

    The ecology and evolution of visual communication in animals and how it
contributes to their breeding success and survival is the focus of research
being conducted by Dr. Stéphanie Doucet at the University of Windsor. Using
sophisticated analysis techniques, Dr. Doucet and her research team are
studying the signals produced by the colouring and patterning of animals' fur,
feathers, scales and skin with the goal of learning more about how they
communicate. Her research will provide critical information on the state of
the environment and various species by documenting whether populations of
animals are stable or changing and which environmental factors have the
greatest impact on their survival.

    Dr. Melania Cristescu
    Monitoring and managing the spread of dangerous invasive species
    Provincial Funding: $50,000

    Invasive species like the zebra mussel, the Asian long-horned beetle and
purple loosestrife can have serious impacts. They can lower crop yields, kill
livestock and timber, reduce the quality of water and forest environments,
clog water intake pipes and filtration systems - even cause human disease.
It's estimated they cost North American economies $160 to 180 billion a year.
At a new ecological genomics laboratory at the University of Windsor, a
research team led by Dr. Melania Cristescu is focused on understanding the
ecological, evolutionary and genetic factors involved in the establishment of
non-indigenous species, with the goal of developing ways to monitor and manage
the spread of invasive species and eventually prevent future invasions.

    Dr. Jerald Lalman
    Using agricultural crops and residues to produce hydrogen
    Provincial Funding: $49,575

    Ontario's dependence on imported fossil fuels is economically and
environmentally unsustainable. At a new Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory
at the University of Windsor, Dr. Jerald Lalman is working to produce
hydrogen, one of the most promising sources of clean power, from agricultural
crops and residues. Lalman's work could create a new fuel source and help
ensure Canada remains a dominant player in the energy sector for generations
to come.

                                                        Available in English

For further information:

For further information: Sandra Watts, Minister's Office, (416)
314-7067; Perry Blocher, MRI Communications Branch, (416) 326-7717

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