Environmental & Life Sciences
Several Research Centres are associated with the Environmental & Life Sciences Program Graduate Program and Trent University and provide opportunities for our students to undertake research using world-class facilities such as:
Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre
The mission of the Centre is to contribute to improved management of chemicals in our environment, locally, regionally, nationally and globally, by acquiring and analysing appropriate data on chemical properties and developing, validating and disseminating mass balance models, which describe the fate of these chemicals in the environment.
The Dorset Environmental Science Centre of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment began its scientific activities in 1975. Since then, the centre has grown in size and scope and investigates a wide variety of issues. The study area is comprised of a collection of lake basins located in south-central Ontario that have varying amounts of cottage development. The centre’s primary focus is on integrated environmental monitoring, experimentation and data recording.
This field station is located near Bobcaygeon on Pigeon Lake. The waterfront property consists of 270 acres, and provides a location for study of various habitats on the property and in the area. Several Trent graduate and undergraduate students have conducted research on site, and undergraduate courses are held there annually.
The relationship between the MNR and Trent University provides students with the unique learning and research opportunities. “The work done here will improve our understanding of Ontario’s fish and wildlife, and will help us ensure these resources are managed and sustained with the benefit of the best available science”.
The Natural Resources DNA Profiling & Forensic Centre (NRDPFC), located in the Environmental Sciences Centre, is a partnership between Trent University and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The primary purpose of the NRDPFC is for the benefit of wildlife management and, as such, it is a non-profit organization. The Centre is equipped with instrumentation for robotic, high throughput, long-term genetic monitoring of natural populations. The NRDPFC is presently involved in collaborations to produce DNA profiling data bases on a number of Ontario species, including caribou, moose, white-tailed deer, wolves, black bears and elk.
The goal of the Institute for Watershed Science (IWS) is to further the understanding of physical and ecological processes governing watershed function and to transfer this knowledge to support resource management decisions. The partnership fosters the application of peer reviewed, multidisciplinary, scientific research to resource management questions and the efficient transfer of that knowledge and related methods to practitioners. In doing so, the IWS provides a valuable source for watershed ecosystem expertise in the province of Ontario.
The Water Quality Centre is located in the new Chemical Sciences Building. The Centre houses many state-of-the-science analytical instruments for determining trace quantities of substances found in natural aquatic environments including rivers, streams and drinking water. In particular, the Centre houses one of the largest collections of mass spectrometers devoted to environmental analysis in North America. The equipment is used primarily in the detection of trace pollutants, but finds application in a wide range of research areas including biochemistry and synthetic organic chemistry, gas-phase ion chemistry, ecology, limnology, hydrology and geochemistry. The facility provides research support to graduate students in the WEGP as well as to university scientists from across Canada. Consultation and analytical support services are available to any interested user. The mission of the Centre is to develop analytical techniques in response to the needs of individuals, governments and industry in all areas of water quality assurance.
The Microenvironment Laboratory is a key component for the advancement of multi-faceted and multidisciplinary research on environmental issues, employing simulated and controlled micro environments to help determine and measure the impacts of environmental change on the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the pedosphere and the biosphere.
The Frost Centre promotes and funds new research initiatives under the Centre's liaison and facilitating umbrella. It supports research and faculty development through the sponsorship of colloquia, conferences and workshops, and encourages young scholars and post-doctoral fellows through Centre-sponsored collaborative research programs.
The Wind Tunnel is a low-speed research facility designed for simulation of the atmospheric boundary layer both in clean air and with sediment transport. The development of this facility has been completed entirely 'in-house' with funds provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Trent University (TU-NSRC).
Researchers in the Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory aim to understand fundamental geochemical and mineralogical processes and apply this knowledge to address environmental challenges, particularly for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The major themes for the laboratory are: CO2 sequestration in mine wastes, natural analogues for CO2 sequestration, and tailings weathering and cementation. The laboratory focuses on experiments to study mineral-water interactions supplemented with fieldwork and geochemical modelling. Research outcomes are contributing towards sustainable development of mineral resources and novel processes for CO2 sequestration. See more.
Laboratory of Aquatic Sciences and Biogeochemistry
Specializing in determination of interactions between metals and DOM in Arctic fresh and marine waters.
Ecosystems Research Group
Our research group studies the impact of various pollutants on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These pollutants include acid rain, nitrogen, ozone and heavy metals. Information from our studies is used in steady-state and dynamic models to predict 'acceptable levels' of pollutants that will not cause adverse biological effects according to present knowledge. Output from these model runs may be used as a guide for policy makers to establish pollutant emission targets.
Reproductive strategies play a key role in driving patterns of biodiversity in the flowering plants. We use a combination of field experimentation, genetic marker analysis and modeling to investigate the ecology and evolution of plant reproductive strategies.
The Blue Lab facilitates several research projects related to atmospheric science. Project links are directed to viewers with a general interest in climatology, wetlands, peatlands, and low Arctic tundra, and to other researchers with similar interests.
Applied Geomatics, Remote Sensing and Land Resources Laboratory (GEORESLAR)
The GEORESLAR lab is a facility within Trent University devoted to conducting research, graduate training, public education and systems development in the generic field of Geomatics. This includes Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS) and computer modelling (CM) of spatial phenomena or processes distributed in the geographical space, and their applications to spatial modelling of natural and anthropogenic phenomena in the natural resource management, human geography, rural and urban domains.
The vision of the International Institute for Environmental Studies is to become a global leader in the development of research and policy for the management of environmental issues having international dimensions. To meet this vision the Institute shall bring together world class research scientists and policy analysts from institutions from around the globe to work collaboratively, sharing expertise, facilities and research programs.