Two University of New Brunswick research teams were awarded $1,140,556 last week by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Strategic Project Grants program.

Kelly Munkittrick, professor of biology at UNB Saint John, received $591,500 to look at the recovery of fish populations near pulp and paper mills.

His research group will visit closed mill sites across the province to see whether the fish populations have recovered from reproduction effects by comparing the results to previous studies done in these areas when the mills were operational.

Brigitte Leblon, professor of remote sensing at UNB Fredericton, and her team were awarded $549,056.  The funding will go towards their work on the development of new sensors for the forest products industry. The project is being done in collaboration with UNB’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Centre, scientists of FP Innovations, University of Toronto and Nagoya University in Japan.

This project will help the Canadian forest products industry achieve high processing efficiency by using sensing technologies that are able to monitor wood product quality in real time.

The funding announcement was made at the University of Waterloo by Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology).

“Supporting science and research is critical to Canada’s future economic growth,” said Minister Goodyear.  “This investment will bring together 100 teams of some of the world’s top researchers to work with industry on promising new projects that will help strengthen our economy, create jobs and bring other benefits for communities.”

Greg Kealey, UNB provost and vice-president research says enhancing collaboration and partnerships is a priority because it will allow UNB to be a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“NSERC’s Strategic Project Grants program gives our researchers the opportunity to form partnerships and implement their research in our communities.”

In total, the government will invest $55 million through NSERC’s Strategic Project Grants Program in support of more than 120 research teams across the country.

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