The Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER) at the University of Guelph will provide $90,000 from its Small Grants Program to six interdisciplinary research projects to tackle human-environmental crises. 

Established in fall 2019, the institute is intended to stimulate collaborations across campus and raise the profile of environmental research at U of G. 

The institute includes researchers from all seven colleges at the University who are working on solving the world’s environmental problems through innovation and interdisciplinary collaborations. 

“Every year, it is inspiring to discover and support the imaginative ways in which GIER researchers across our colleges aspire to conserve our environment and improve life for humans and other species,” said Dr. Madhur Anand, inaugural director of the GIER.  

“These new projects, as with the work of so many GIER researchers, highlight the spirit of International Mother Earth Day: ‘Acknowledging that the Earth and its ecosystems are our home, and convinced that in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.’” 

The following interdisciplinary environmental projects will receive GIER funding for 2021-22: 

Drs. Lauren Grant and Andrew Papadopoulos, Department of Population Medicine
Dr. Kieran O’Doherty, Department of Psychology

  • Together, they will study food- and water-borne diseases in Canada through social and environmental protection lenses.  

Drs. Andrea Bradford, School of Engineering
Dr. Brittany Luby, Department of History

  • Together, they will work on the Manomin Project, a research initiative to restore ancestral biodiversity of crops and revitalize cultural foodways in Anishinaabe-Aki. 

Drs. Heather Murphy and Andrew Papadopoulos, Department of Population Medicine
Dr. Ed McBean, School of Engineering

  • Together, they will improve ecosystem management and water quality in recreational areas by developing innovative sampling methods integrating engineering, microbiology and public health policy.  

Dr. Ryan Prosser, School of Environmental Sciences

  • Along with collaborators, they will determine the effects of petroleum hydrocarbon spills on biodiversity of marine bivalve species, specifically those of cultural, ecological and economic importance to the Heiltsuk Nation. 

Drs. Ritu Chaturvedi, School of Computer Science
Dr. Jackie Cockburn, Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics
Dr. Tamara Small, Department of Political Science

  • Together, they will evaluate public understanding of climate change and ecosystem vulnerability by studying social media alongside hazardous environmental events.  

Dr. Catherine Bush, School of English and Theatre Studies
Drs. Shoshanah Jacobs and Alex Smith, Department of Integrative Biology
Dr. Amanda Boetzkes, School of Fine Art and Music
Dr. Emmanuelle Arnaud, School of Environmental Sciences
Dr. Jana Levison, School of Engineering
Dr. Jeji Varghese, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Dr. Philip Loring, Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics

  • Together, they will collaboratively determine how to narrate the truths of climate science and inspire change for conservation and sustainability of humans and their environment.