Group shot with insects

Kitchener MPP Mike Harris Jr., far left, and Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner toured the collections unit of the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, Biodiversity Institute of Ontario on Tuesday as part of a major provincial funding announcement.

University of Guelph researchers will receive just over $2.5 million from the Ontario Research Fund (ORF) as part of a provincial investment in research and development announced on Sept. 10.

Ten U of G research projects will receive support, from $50,000 for a digital design research hub in landscape architecture, to $1.4 million for a network intended to improve online materials in cultural research.

“The array of research projects that will be generously supported by the province speaks to University of Guelph excellence in a wide range of important areas of research,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research).

“The University of Guelph has a tremendous diversity of strengths across many disciplines, improving life in many ways, including in physics, health, agriculture, engineering and cultural scholarship. We are delighted with the province’s support of our exceptional researchers with this essential research funding.”

Prof. Sarah Adamowicz, Department of Integrative Biology, will receive $166,666 for analyzing biodiversity using high-throughput sequence data. She will develop new analytical tools, working with colleagues from departments across campus.

The research of Prof. Sarah Adamowicz, Department of Integrative Biology, is focused on analyzing biodiversity using high-throughput sequence data.

“High-throughput DNA sequencing technologies can enable real-time biodiversity monitoring for the protection of Ontario’s forestry, fisheries and agricultural resources,” said Adamowicz, referring to technology that generates from thousands to millions of DNA sequences. “We want to go from high-throughput data to high-throughput knowledge. In light of the climate and biodiversity crises, it is urgent to build the tools needed to monitor and protect biodiversity, natural resources and ecosystems.”

A total of 174 leading-edge research projects at institutions across the province received ORF funding. Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade, said investment in research and innovation is an economic development and job creation measure.

“It is truly an honour to recognize and support the fantastic research being done here at the University of Guelph,” said Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris during a visit to U of G on Tuesday. “Today’s provincial investment in 10 local projects will help researchers — some at the beginning of their careers — innovate in their fields of study and strengthen our economy.”

Kitchener MPP Mike Harris Jr. examines a specimen.

Nearly $41 million will be invested through three ORF programs: Research Infrastructure (86 projects receiving more than $22.8 million); Genomics (14 projects, nearly $7.7 million); and Early Researcher Awards (74 projects, more than $10.3 million).

Other U of G research projects receiving ORF investment:

  • Susan Brown, English and Theatre Studies: LINCS, the Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship, connecting datasets to provide access to vast digital cultural records, $1,400,166
  • Christopher Collier, Engineering: Innovations in terahertz technologies to detect microbes, allergens and foreign objects in food products, $83,992
  • Nadia Amoroso, Environmental Design and Rural Development: 3-D technology for the Digital Design Research Hub to guide design and increase productivity in development planning, $50,001
  • Dennis Muecher, Physics: Infrastructure for a silicon detector to measure elements heavier than iron, $186,000
  • Jasmin Lalonde, Molecular and Cellular Biology: Underlying mechanisms of brain disorders to identify better therapies, $72,000
  • Scott Ryan, Integrative Biology: Studying links between pesticide exposure and Parkinson’s disease using stem cell technology, $140,000
  • Emily Yi Wai Chiang, Engineering: Developing mineral-coated fertilizers to environmentally and economically benefit Ontario agriculture, $140,000
  • Philip Millar, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences: Investigating regulation of sympathetic nervous system mechanisms to develop better diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, $140,000
  • Geoffrey Power, Human Health and Nutritional Sciences: Age-related change in muscles and how they contribute to muscle weakness and function, $140,000