2016-17 Best in Science Grant Recipients
Shelley E. Arnott, Queen's University - Linking Road Salt Application, Lake Chloride Concentration and Biotic Thresholds
This study will inform better road salt application guidelines to reduce environmental impacts in Canadian Shield watersheds.
Bridget Bergquist, University of Toronto - Tracking Atmospheric Mercury Sources by Isotopic Fingerprinting
This study will develop a technique for determining the source of mercury contamination in the air. It will involve the collection and analysis of air samples from locations throughout Ontario over periods ranging from two to 12 months.
Arthur Chan, University of Toronto - Effect of Fuel Composition on Black Carbon Emissions from Emerging Vehicle Technologies
This study will evaluate how the composition of fuel used in vehicle engines employing gasoline-direct injection may affect the emission of black carbon, a type of soot that contributes to climate warming.
Animesh Dutta, University of Guelph - Hydrothermal Carbonization of Biomass to Produce Bio-Carbon for Canadian Iron and Steel Industry
This study will investigate if carbon produced from renewable biomass, such as sawdust, or fruit and vegetable waste, is a suitable replacement for coal in the manufacture of iron and steel.
Marc Habash, University of Guelph - Bacteriodes Genetic Markers for Microbial Source Tracking Fecal Pollution in Ontario Source Water
This study will investigate the use of genetic markers to identify fecal contamination of water associated with pigs, chickens, Canada geese and gulls.
Juewen Liu, University of Waterloo - A DNA Sensor Array for Heavy Metals in Water
This study presents a technique, based on DNA technology, to detect and measure heavy metals, including mercury, cadmium, lead, copper and silver, in water. The technique will provide a rapid and simultaneous analysis of these metals in a greater number of samples than currently possible.
Stephanie Melles, Ryerson University - Testing Theoretical Expectations that Climate Change Mediated Trophic Shifts will Impact Food Fish Mercury Levels in Inland Lakes
This study will develop models for predicting whether climate change may lead to increased levels of mercury in fish in inland lakes.
Chris Metcalfe, Trent University - Neonicotinoid Pesticides in Common Milkweed and Associated Soils in Regions of Intensive Corn Agriculture in Southern Ontario. Potential for Harmful Effects to Monarch Butterfly Larvae
This study will help determine what impacts neonicotinoid insecticides may have on monarch butterflies. It will help improve understanding of the effect this type of insecticide may have on wild pollinators.
Geoffrey Ozin, University of Toronto - Solar Abatement of Greenhouse Gases through Engineering
This study involves developing a system driven by solar energy that will convert the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane into a gas used for producing valuable industrial chemicals and clean fuels.
Frances Pick, University of Ottawa - Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Microcystin Congeners in Response to Environmental Change
This study will provide better predictions and understanding of what toxins may be produced in algae blooms under different environmental conditions.
Nigel Raine, University of Guelph - Assessing the Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides on the Behaviour and Ecology of Wild Bees
This study will provide information on how neonicotinoid insecticides affect the behavior and ecology of wild bees.
Jeff Ridal, St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences - Source-tracking Mercury Mobilization from St. Lawrence River Wetlands
This study will measure the amount of mercury retained in wetlands along the St. Lawrence River, and estimate the amount of mercury that may be released into the river as water levels change. These findings may be used to inform decisions regarding the management of water levels in river systems.
Clare Robinson, Western University - Assessment of the Performance of Bioswale Bioretention Systems in Reducing Nutrient Loading to Tributaries from Urban Stormwater
This study will help in understanding how effective storm water management technologies could reduce the amount of potentially harmful nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen that gets transferred to rivers and lakes in Ontario.
Michael Schindler, Laurentian University - An Environmental Risk Assessment on the Occurrence and Behavior of Chromite Nanoparticles Released during the Weathering of Cr-Bearing Rocks from the Ring of Fire
This study will investigate the release of chromium in the form of chromite nanoparticles from the weathering of rocks in Northern Ontario's Ring of Fire, and how it may influence the formation of hexavalent chromium, a highly carcinogenic substance.
Sapna Sharma, York University - Does Climate Change and Extreme Climatic Events Contribute to Water Quality Degradation in Ontario Inland Lakes?
The goal of this study is to identify how climate change affects inland lakes that are at risk of water quality degradation and toxic algal blooms.
Peter Taylor, York University - Ontario's Regional Climate: Surface Weather and Upper Level Winds
This study will improve climate forecasting in Ontario by linking and correlating surface weather conditions with the behaviour of winds in the upper atmosphere. It will help with understanding the impacts of climate change on the conditions that create "polar vortexes," which affect Ontario's weather, causing unusually low temperatures.
Naresh Thevathasan, University of Guelph - Quantification and Long-term Monitoring of Soil Carbon Sequestration in Woody and Herbaceous Bioenergy Crop Production Systems on Marginal Lands in Ontario.
This study will provide a better understanding of how plants and trees can capture carbon that would otherwise be released to the atmosphere, reducing the contribution of that carbon to climate change.