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Trent University receives $132,591 in CFI Funding to support new researcher's study of the global change of aquatic systems

Wednesday, June 29, 2005, Peterborough

Today Trent University welcomed the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) investment of $132,591 supporting the research of Dr. Marguerite Xenopoulos [pronounced Zenopolus], one of the University's newly-recruited faculty members.

"This award represents a strategic boost to the research capacities of Trent University," said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the CFI. "This funding allows Canada to attract and retain leading-edge researchers and provides our graduate students with access to world-class facilities and training environments."

The funding for Trent University will support the development of an internationally-recognized laboratory at Trent to study the global change of aquatic ecosystems. The infrastructure will allow Prof. Xenopoulos to seamlessly integrate measures of water quality, physico-chemical characteristics of streams and lakes, and biodiversity to ultimately quantify how they relate to important environmental drivers such as climate change, water consumption and land use change. Expected changes in global climatic conditions and other environmental stressors will alter future water supply, quantity and quality, worldwide and in Canada.

"This infrastructure will benefit Ontario through an increased understanding of climate change effects on freshwater biodiversity and how runoff from agricultural lands changes freshwater quality and biodiversity in streams of south-central Ontario," explains Prof. Xenopoulos, who is involved in regional, national and international research projects,

including the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

Prof. Xenopoulos was one of more than 1,300 experts from 95 countries who contributed to the landmark Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The study, released in April, reveals that approximately 60 per cent of the ecosystem

services that support life on Earth are being degraded or used unsustainably.

"Freshwaters and their biodiversity provide many services that are critical for human well-being such as food, recreation and air purification. Ongoing research to assess and mitigate the damage done to lakes and streams by agriculture or other global change drivers is important because many of these environmental stressors result from

activities that are vitally important for the Canadian economy," says Prof Xenopoulos.

An expert in aquatic ecology, Prof. Xenopoulos joined Trent University in July 2004 after working for the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

"We are extremely pleased that CFI has recognized the calibre of one of our newest researchers and the potential of her research," says James D. A. Parker, Trent's Associate Vice-President, Research.

The CFI was joined by the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry, in Ottawa today to announce $25.5 million. The CFI Board of Directors approved this investment through two funds: $19.6 million under the New Opportunities Fund (NOF); and $5.9 million under the Infrastructure Operating Fund which assists universities with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with new infrastructure projects.

"I'm really pleased that Trent University continues to benefit from Canada Foundation for Innovation funds," says MP Peter Adams. "It was one of the first institutions to receive funds from the foundation and it's been very successful since."

A complete list of NOFprojects, by university, can be found at: www.innovation.ca.

The CFI's New Opportunities Fund enables eligible universities to provide research infrastructure for newly-recruited faculty members, in their first full-time academic appointment in Canadian degree-granting institutions, so that these researchers can undertake leading-edge research. The fund also enables institutions to recruit new faculty members in the areas of research identified as priorities in their strategic research plans.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and other non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

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For more information, please contact:

Prof. James Parker, Associate Vice-President, Research, Trent University, 748-1011, ext. 7935

Prof. Marguerite Xenopoulos, Department of Biology, Trent University, 748-1011, ext. 5101.

Alastair Sinclair, Coordinator, Media Relations, Canada Foundation for Innovation, (613) 996-3160 or (613) 447-1723 (mobile)

Peter Adams, MP, 741-4030                


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