Laurentian University is one of 11 universities to receive $4.4 million in funding for research into northern aquatic ecosystems.
The funding, which comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), will be paired with $4.3 million from partner organizations to create the Canadian Network for Aquatic Ecosystem Services (CNAES), which will play a key role in ensuring knowledgeable and well-informed stewardship of Canada’s wetlands, lakes and rivers.
The CNAES is a consortium of 27 researchers from 11 universities, Canadian government scientists, industrial partners, and environmental and technology associations that conducts research and training in aquatic ecosystems.
CNAES will help develop the tools and knowledge to advise the government, industry and other stakeholders in decisions regarding development and environmental protection.
“This is a tremendous move forward for those of us working in freshwater ecology and related fields,” said Dr. John Gunn, Canada research chair for stressed aquatic systems and director of the Vale Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian University.
“The CNAES represents our foremost researchers nationwide, working in the academic, governmental and industrial sectors to improve the long-term health of our waterways and wilderness areas,” he added. “We are gratified by the SNG funding, and by the support of our partners in government and industry, to help us continue our fieldwork and our partnerships with First Nations in the Attawapiskat watershed and other regions of Northern Ontario.”
The first full meeting of the CNAES will be held at Laurentian on April 29 and 30 at the Vale Living with Lakes Centre.
Other participating schools include University of British Columbia, University of Guelph, McGill University, University of New Brunswick, Nipissing University, Université du Québec à Montréal, University of Toronto, Trent University, University of Waterloo and Western University.
Research partner organizations include Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, DeBeers
Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Kongsberg Maritime, Le Ministère des Resources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, NRCan – Canadian Forest Services and Parks Canada.