Industry Canada

Industry Canada

July 31, 2015 09:58 ET

Minister of State Holder Announces Research Investment to Protect Atlantic Aquaculture, Improve the Quality of Life of Canadians

Minister of State highlights research of UPEI's Dr. Collins Kamunde into detection of contaminants in farmed and wild aquatic species

CHARLOTTETOWN, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND--(Marketwired - July 31, 2015) - Industry Canada

Five researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) received a significant long-term investment from the federal government today. The announcement was made by the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology).

Funding of $480,000 will go to UPEI researchers and students, including Dr. Collins Kamunde, who is receiving $100,000 to study mechanisms of metal toxicity in fish. This research will result in a better understanding of the mixture of metals within aquatic systems and how they impact the ability of fish to create energy at the cellular level. It will also inform how best to protect wild and farmed fish and other aquatic organisms from contaminants.

This federal investment supports academic researchers, post-doctoral fellows and students at UPEI as they make new discoveries in science and engineering that push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and opportunities, and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants Program is part of the Government's efforts to develop and support talented researchers at Canadian universities. The program funds discoveries in chemistry, physics, life sciences, mathematics, computer science, geoscience and the many branches of engineering. The broad base of research capacity built by these awards has given Canada a strong reputation for research excellence around the world.

Quick facts

  • On June 22, 2015, Minister of State Holder announced a major federal investment of more than $440 million to support academic researchers, post-doctoral fellows and students across the country.
  • The awards highlighted today at the University of Prince Edward Island are part of the results of the 2015 competition for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Discovery Grants, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, Postgraduate Scholarships, Postdoctoral Fellowships and Research Tools and Instruments Grants.
  • Dr. Collins Kamunde is one of several researchers at the Atlantic Veterinary College who is working with federal and provincial regulators and private research institutions to help Atlantic fish farmers produce a healthy, environmentally sustainable source of quality protein for the world.
  • About 50 percent of Canada's aquaculture production originates in Atlantic Canada. The aquaculture industry in Atlantic Canada employs about 35,000 people and generates over $2.5 billion in annual exports.

Quotes

"Our government has made record investments in science, technology and innovation to push the boundaries of knowledge, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians. The research of UPEI's Dr. Collins Kamunde will inform guidelines to protect farmed and wild fish populations from contaminants."

- The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

"A key pillar of our government's updated science, technology and innovation strategy is ensuring Canada develops, attracts and retains the world's most talented researchers. Our investment in more than 3,800 researchers at 70 universities across the country ensures Canada has a broad base of talented men and women whose research continues to push the boundaries of knowledge, creates jobs and opportunities, and improve the quality of life of Canadians."

- The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"NSERC's Discovery Grants Program is our flagship. It invests in the full range of science and engineering disciplines and thus builds the strong foundation that is a necessary prerequisite for innovation. We're building on its success with our Discovery Development Grants because we want to take advantage of the full diversity of insights and ideas across Canada. Complementing our support for discovery research, NSERC's scholarships and fellowships invest in a new generation of talent and give some of Canada's most brilliant students and fellows the skills and experience to meet the challenges of the future."

- B. Mario Pinto, President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

"UPEI is delighted and proud to have successfully competed for crucial research funding support from NSERC, both for our long-standing NSERC grant recipients and for two faculty who received their first awards this year. In the current climate of increased competition for NSERC funding, particularly for faculty at smaller institutions, UPEI's success rate this past year is all the more noteworthy, and in that regard, we are very thankful to have Minister of State Holder present today to help celebrate the achievements of our faculty."

- Dr. Robert Gilmour, Vice-President Research and Graduate Study, University of Prince Edward Island

"Aquatic organisms, in general, are extraordinarily sensitive to very low levels of metals such as copper, cadmium and zinc. These sorts of compounds impede the ability of the cell to use oxygen to produce the energy to survive. The equipment obtained thanks to this funding will ultimately lead to a better understanding of mixture and thus a greater ability to set compound environmental guidelines to protect aquatic organisms in the environment."

- Dr. Michael van den Heuvel, on behalf of his research collaborator, Dr. Collins Kamunde

Associated links

University of Prince Edward Island

Dr. Collins Kamunde

Competition statistics:

Discovery Grants

Scholarships and Fellowships

Research Tools and Instruments Grants

List of recipients

A World of Discoveries - web page

A World of Discoveries - video

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About NSERC

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is the primary funding agency supporting Canada's science and engineering research community. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and works with over 3,000 Canadian companies that are participating and investing in post-secondary research projects.

Contact Information

  • Scott French
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    343-291-2700

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations-medias@ic.gc.ca

    Martin Leroux
    Media and Public Affairs Officer
    Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
    613-943-7618
    media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca