Guelph Institute for Environmental Research – GIER Launch at the University of Guelph

From climate impacts on migrating caribou to the “green” effects of plant-based ingredients, six projects by University of Guelph researchers have been selected for funding by U of G’s Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER).

The interdisciplinary projects were chosen through GIER’s Small Grants Program competition.

Dr. Madhur Anand, director of the institute, said the diverse perspectives and approaches represented by the projects are needed to address the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.

“Every year, it is inspiring to discover and support the imaginative ways in which GIER researchers across our colleges aspire to sustain our environment and improve life for humans and other species,” she said.

Referring to International Mother Earth Day marked on April 22 by the United Nations, Anand said, “These new projects highlight the spirit of International Mother Earth Day. Now more than ever, we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet.”

Since 2020, GIER’s Small Grants Program has supported 27 cross-disciplinary projects involving researchers from all seven U of G colleges. 

GIER is intended to stimulate research collaborations across campus and at interdisciplinary boundaries. Researchers are encouraged to apply during next year’s call, to be posted in fall 2023.

Link to announcement video

The GIER Small Grants Program awardees for 2022-23 are as follows:

Dr. Sarah Adamowicz and Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs, Department of Integrative Biology
Dr. Thomas McIlwraith, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

  • Develop integrative, collaborative approaches to monitor biting flies and to predict and mitigate impacts from climate change in Arctic Canada.

Dr. Yuanfang Lin, Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies
Dr. Xiaodong Lin, School of Computer Science

  • Investigate awareness of the environmental impacts of PPE (personal protective equipment) waste, gauge interest in recycling programs and design social media campaigns about PPE disposal

Dr. Jennifer McWhirter, Dr. Andrew Papadopoulos and Dr. Melissa MacKay, Department of Population Medicine
Dr. Nadia Amoroso and Dr. Karen Landman, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development

  • Investigate shade design for climate adaptation and promote interdisciplinary collaboration among public health, landscape architecture and planning

Dr. Kieran O’Doherty, Department of Psychology
Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology

  • Develop guiding principles for policy and practice to ensure healthy environments for the development of individual and collective microbiomes

Dr. Jesse Popp, School of Environmental Sciences

  • Taking lead from the Van Tat Gwich’in, work with land guardians to co-develop and co-implement a study that uplifts Indigenous values and braids knowledge systems to understand the impacts of habitat change on humans, wolves, caribou and moose

Dr. Sunghwan Yi, Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies
Dr. Paula Brauer, Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition
Dr. Lisa Duizer, Department of Food Science

  • Quantify the environmental impact of substituting plant-based ingredients for red meat in campus food operations.