The UBC Faculty of Forestry’s Dr Emily Cranston and Dr Tara Martin are among the esteemed Canadian researchers awarded funding by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). Their awards are part of a $96-million national investment in projects to support state-of-the-art labs and equipment.
About Dr Emily Cranston’s Research
Dr Cranston’s research project “High-Performance Atomic Force Microscopy to Elucidate Structure-Property Relationships in Nanocellulose Materials” examines the design of new high-quality biodegradable materials made from nanocellulose, derived from wood pulp, to help reduce society’s dependency on plastic-based products.
The project’s $240,000 award will be used to purchase an atomic force microscope – the first of its kind in Canada based on its speed, resolution and the range of samples it can measure. It will enable the design of bio-based materials such as films, composites, emulsions, and gels. These materials could replace petrochemical-based substances in a wide variety of products ranging from medical devices and household goods to cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It is a critical time for the Canadian forest sector and establishing nanocellulose as a new product platform could provide new market opportunities.
About Dr Tara Martin’s Research
Dr Martin’s project “Predicting Impacts of Cumulative Threats to Inform Conservation Decisions under Global Change” will receive $312,500 for a mobile lab to enable access to remote field sites and state-of-the-art data modeling technology. Southwest BC is identified as one of 11 priority places under the Pan-Canadian Approach to Transforming Species at Risk. Currently the majority of BC study sites are only accessible by boat or four-wheel drive vehicle, making the mobile lab critical infrastructure for onsite analysis and cross-cultural collaboration with First Nations partners.
By better understanding the impact of cumulative threats on biodiversity, strategies & policy alternatives can be developed to maximize conservation outcomes. Through this work, a new generation of conservation scientists will be trained in innovative analytical techniques.
Congratulations to Our Researchers
The faculty is proud of the research conducted by Dr Cranston and Dr Martin, which is helping society move to a low-carbon economy and better understand and abate threats to species at risk. In total, the University of British Columbia received $10.61 million for 41 projects.
About the John R. Evans Leaders Fund
The JELF is a critical strategic investment tool designed to help institutions attract and retain the best of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers.
The fund’s name pays tribute to the outstanding contributions of John R. Evans, the first Board of Directors Chair of CFI.