Ministry of Research and Innovation Grants $247,383 to Trent University Scientists
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Funding to Support Strategic Research Infrastructure Priorities in DNA Profiling and Aquatic Sciences
Monday, August 13, 2007, Peterborough
The provincial government announced today that Trent University will receive a total of $247,383 from the Ministry of Research and Innovation to support research infrastructure costs of two recently appointed Canada Research Chairs in DNA Profiling and Aquatic Sciences.
Professor Céline Guéguen (pronounced GAI-gen), who holds the Canada Research Chair in Aquatic Sciences and Biogeochemistry, will receive $167,383, and Professor Paul Wilson, who holds the Canada Research Chair in DNA Profiling, Forensics and Functional Genomics, will receive $80,000, to support technology, equipment and lab space costs as part of their groundbreaking research.
“Today’s announcement is very exciting for Trent as it supports the University’s strategic research priorities in the fields of environmental science and forensic science,” explained Professor Jim Parker, associate vice-president of research at Trent University. “This funding will not only advance high-calibre research at Trent that addresses key global issues, but will enhance research facilities on campus for the benefit of both undergraduate and graduate students.”
In order to gauge the health hazard that might be posed by heavy metals such as lead in Canada’s northern lakes and rivers, Professor Céline Guéguen is investigating how dissolved organic matter, including such items as dead algae, fallen leaves, and soil runoff move around in these waterways. She and her team will use the provincial funding to establish a research laboratory at Trent that will study the dynamics of such matter in the underwater environment, and how it affects the fate of metals that might also be found there. This work will lay the foundation for much more accurate measurements of the potential impact of waterborne contaminants, along with prevention or clean-up strategies to safeguard the quality of a resource that is vital to all Canadians. Currently, Prof. Guéguen is onboard the Canada Coast Guard icebreaker, the Louis St. Laurent, to take samples of Arctic waters near the Mackenzie River delta for her research.
Prof. Paul Wilson is leading a cadre of Trent University researchers to enhance the DNA Centre’s capacity to protection threatened wildlife species using genetic identification. With the provincial funding announced today he will be adding specialized equipment to the forensics laboratory that allow for the rapid identification of various mammals, birds, insects, and microscopic organisms. This initiative will enable a more accurate assessment of the impact of hunting on animal populations in the wild, the conservation of endangered species under the Species-at-Risk Act (SARA) as well as broadening partnerships with biotechnology firms in the Peterborough area.
Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal extended his congratulations to the researchers at Trent University and said “This investment from the Ontario Research Fund showcases the University’s widespread reputation for excellence in the forensic and environmental sciences. By supporting high calibre research in our own community, it puts Peterborough and Trent at the centre of future innovations in these fields.”
Today’s announcement represents the provincial component toward Professors Guéguen and Wilson’s Canada Research Chair funding announced by the Canada Foundation for Innovation in May 2007.
For further information, please contact:
(705) 748-1011, ext. 6185