Trent University Researchers Receive Federal Funding to Better Understand Impacts of Climate Change and Support Species-at-Risk
Exploring wildlife genomics, the neuroscience of forgetting, and how Southern Ontario hardwood forests will weather the future of climate change among five Trent-led projects awarded NSERC funding
Getting to the root of how tree planting mitigates global warming and utilizing DNA data to understand how climate change is impacting (and will continue to impact) ecosystems and species-at-risk, are among five Trent University-led projects to receive funding through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Discovery Grants program.
“Researchers at Trent University are among the nation’s most respected environmental research leaders, and are a driving force behind shifts in ecological, social and governmental systems that are being impacted by climate change,” said Dr. Cathy Bruce, vice-president of Research and Innovation at Trent University. “We are pleased that NSERC supports Trent University and its outstanding researchers to lead these significant and timely projects, as well as other important natural sciences research.”
The Trent projects were part of a national announcement by NSERC, investing more than $506 million in some of the world’s brightest minds to increase the impact of science, technology and innovation in Canada.
“Discovery is the foundation of all advancements,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, the federal minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Through this major investment in some of Canada's most promising and innovative researchers, we are supporting scientists and students to become global leaders in their field. By helping to expand the frontiers of science, we are investing in a better society and a brighter future for Canadians.”
Understanding rapid adaptation in wildlife conservation
Dr. Paul Wilson, professor of Biology, will receive $235,000 to support Rapid molecular evolution in adaptive genomics – a project that gives industry, academia and governments the resources to better understand the mitigation strategies that will be required with significant range redistribution of wildlife species and species-at-risk today and into the future. Professor Wilson will utilize the funding to advance a genomics research program that seeks to understand how wildlife populations at the margins are affected by habitat loss, human activity, and the impact of changing biodiversity and ecological processes.
Climate change and forest carbon capture
Dr. Shaun Watmough, professor and director of the Trent School of the Environment, is the recipient of $215,000, to lead research that seeks to understand how nutrients might “put the brakes” on forest carbon capture. This research program will connect changes in nitrogen and calcium biogeochemistry with forest growth and health in southern Ontario. Funding will support a research program that combines extensive field sampling and experimental field studies with state-of-the-art biogeochemical models to assess the current forest condition, and forecast future changes in growth and health under different climatic and management scenarios. This work, which engages student researchers at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as the professional research community, will enable more accurate estimations of the future health and growth of hardwood forests – a critical component of government policy to combat climate change.
The development of efficient synthetic methods for C-C bond formation
Dr. Eric Keske, assistant professor in the Chemistry Department at Trent, has received $125,000 through the NSERC Discovery Grants program, as well as a Discovery Launch Supplement of $12,500 to support early career researchers in kick-starting their programs. The funding will be used to develop a new robust synthetic methodology focusing on the construction of carbon-carbon bonds. This work will have a significant impact for researchers in the chemical industry and academia, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry –which represents a growing part of Canada’s economy.
Chemical property estimation for unusual environments
Dr. Mark Parnis, professor of Chemistry and director of the Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre at Trent, has received $120,000 through the Discovery Grants program for research focused on the development of models and methods used to create estimates of chemical properties in environments to support environmental modelling and governmental regulatory policy work.
Neural mechanisms underlying accelerated forgetting
Dr. Neil Fournier, associate professor of Psychology, has received $30,000 in funding from NSERC’s Discovery Development Grant for a short-term project that aims to examine the neurobiological mechanisms underlying accelerated memory loss, using a combination of behavioural, molecular, and imaging techniques. This research will provide novel data on how kindled seizures disrupt molecular mechanisms related to learning and forgetting.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or email@example.com