Ongoing at Wood Buffalo National Park.
Using Canada’s largest national park as his laboratory, a University of Guelph professor will test cutting-edge DNA technology that could change how we monitor and protect the environment.
Prof. Mehrdad Hajibabaei received a $3-million grant from Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute to conduct research in Wood Buffalo National Park, considered one of Canada’s most valued ecosystems.
Hajibabaei’s grant proposal tied for the No. 1 spot in Genome Canada’s Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition for environment and forestry.
“This funding will have a significant impact on helping prevent catastrophic habitat loss,” said Hajibabaei, an integrative biology professor and director of technology development at the Guelph-based Biodiversity Institute of Ontario.
GUELPH — University of Guelph integrative biology professor Mehrdad Hajibabaei has received $3 million to test DNA technology at Canada’s largest national park that could see a prevention of habitat loss.
The grant was awarded by Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute to conduct research in Wood Buffalo National Park, a World Heritage site and the second-largest natural protected area on Earth, located in northeastern Alberta and southern Northwest Territories.
Hajibabaei said environmental agencies and industries monitor environmental impact by examining chemical and physical changes to the environment. More recently, there’s been a shift toward an examination of organisms, called bioindicators, he said.