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					             D A L H O U S I E                  U N I V E R S I T Y   Vol. 2 No. 1 Spring/Summer 2007




            OutFront                                                     RESEARCH
                                                                         THAT    MATTERS




                    Dr. Katja Fennel – simulating ocean
                    changes through computer modelling




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    DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH PROJECTS:
    KEY FUNDING RESOURCES

    While Dalhousie University receives research dollars from more than 500 funding agencies
    and private sector companies, it is also the recipient of over $50 million from the public
    sector. Below are some of the key government groups that have provided support:


    AIF – ATLANTIC INNOVATION FUND, managed by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency,
    is designed to strengthen Atlantic Canada’s economy by accelerating the development of
    a knowledge-based industry. www.acoa.ca/e/financial/aif/



    NSERC – NATURAL SCIENCES AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH COUNCIL OF CANADA makes strategic
    investments in Canada’s capability in science and technology. www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca



    SSHRC – SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL OF CANADA
    promotes and supports university-based research and training in the social sciences
    and humanities. www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca



    CIHR – CANADIAN INSTITUTE OF HEALTH RESEARCH funds more than 8,500 researchers in
    universities, teaching hospitals and research institutes across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca



    CFI – CANADA FOUNDATION FOR INNOVATION provides 40 per cent of infrastructure costs
    for quality research projects; research institutions must then secure the remaining funds
    from other government sources and the private sector. www.innovation.ca



    NSRIT – NOVA SCOTIA RESEARCH AND INNOVATION TRUST FUND helps the province’s researchers
    pursue projects with social and economic benefits in virtually any sector. The fund helps Nova
    Scotia’s research institutions to secure grants from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
    www.gov.ns.ca/econ/



    CRC – CANADA RESEARCH CHAIRS PROGRAM invests $300 million a year to attract and
    retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds, in the effort to make
    Canada one of the world’s top five countries for research and development. www.chairs.gc.ca



    NSHRF – NOVA SCOTIA HEALTH RESEARCH FOUNDATION works with the health research community
    and other stakeholders to invest the province’s health research resources in a manner that will
    best serve to improve the health of Nova Scotians. www.nshrf.ca




OUTFRONT
TRANSLATING
    DALHOUSIE’S                   RESEARCH
Since the last issue of OutFront, Dalhousie University and the             Indeed many of the stories in this
research community lost a great teacher, scientist and friend.             issue of OutFront have a direct link
Dr. Ransom A. Myers (RAM to his friends) passed away on                    to influencing protocols, regulations
March 27, 2007, at the young age of 54 years. While he will                and guidelines in areas of medicine,
be greatly missed, I know that his very important work in ocean            the environment and basic societal
studies will leave a legacy considered often by others. I invite           good. Some of the researchers’
you to read two tributes included in this issue – one by Dr.               profiled work is still in its infancy,
David Suzuki, an avid supporter of Ransom’s research, and                  but has great potential to direct
another by Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings, a friend and longtime                    decision makers in the future. Others have already
colleague of RAM’s.                                                        made a significant impact on the way things are today.

On a brighter note, and also since the last issue, Dalhousie
University has augmented its excellent reputation in ocean
research. Indeed, the international Ocean Tracking Network
(OTN) project, overseen by Drs. Ron O’Dor and Mike Stokesbury,
was the recipient of the largest CIF contribution ($35 million)
ever in Atlantic Canada and the second largest in the country.
Of this we are incredibly proud.
                                                                           Carl Breckenridge, PhD
In the not-too-distant-future, OTN’s research results will play            Vice-President, Research
a significant role in setting fisheries management policy both             Dalhousie University
nationally and internationally. While less tangible than the
product commercialization and technology transfer we focused
on in our last issue of OutFront, directing policy is a very
powerful and important outcome.




  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  FINDING THE WEAK LINK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2      DIGGING DEEP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

  TURNING POWDER INTO PRODUCTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3               CHEMICALS ON THE RUN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

  PROBING THE MICROBE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4      PREDICTING THE FUTURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

  NOT YOUR AVERAGE TEEN SLEEPOVER . . . . . . . . . . . . 5                THE INFLUENCE OF SALMON INTERBREEDING . . . . . 13

  DISABILITY AND DIS-CITIZENSHIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6         FINAL WORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

  ASKING CHALLENGING QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7             ODDS AND SODS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

  MEMORY OVERLOAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8    POWERFUL OCEAN RESEARCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

  LEGAL INTERVENTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9




                                                                                                                                                    OUTFRONT
                                                                                 FINDING THE WEAK LINK




                                                                                                                                          Dr. Farid Taheri



        Dr. Farid Taheri deals with reality – well, sort of. With his 23          Taheri can take the guesswork out of preventative maintenance.
        years of engineering coupled with computer software development           “I can recreate the working scenario and determine very accurately
        experience he can simulate reality and accurately predict the             when a pipe or a riser will fail due to the stresses put on it,” says
        response and expected life span of some very important materials          Taheri, a civil engineering professor at Dalhousie. By recording
        – all with a view of making things more efficient, safe and               the vibration response of the pipe, he can detect whether the
        cost-effective.                                                           pipe is damaged or not. “With this information, you can pinpoint
                                                                                  the best time to replace equipment pieces, avoiding costly
        Taheri knows his work is not something people think about every           shutdowns and workplace accidents.”
        day. He says even his wife’s eyes glaze over when he talks about
        his work, but he is confident in his ability and has no doubt             For the oil company, this is an exceptionally important service.
        about its importance.                                                     Instead of dealing with equipment failure, managers would be
                                                                                  able to make informed decisions about preventative maintenance
        Think about an oil rig. Expensive to run. Lots of metals and other        or repairs.
        materials. Constant drilling to seek out the coveted crude. But
        the relentless drilling and continuous ocean currents create an           Taheri has taken a signal processing procedure developed by
        inordinate amount of stress, causing the metal to become fatigued         NASA, integrated it into his computation work, and now can
        and weaker over time. But over what period of time? This is a very        remotely assess a component’s “health.” His technique is as
        important question to oil rig managers. If something fractures in         accurate as and less expensive than the standard methods.
        the rig’s infrastructure, it can cost millions of dollars in downtime,    “Other techniques either require more costly equipment and
        even if the downtime is very short.                                       considerably more human intervention.”

                                                                                  Taheri further extends the effective use of smart materials to
                                                                                  improve the performance of structures. He has conducted
      “ With this information, you can pinpoint the best
                                                                                  advanced research for over 20 years for National Defence
        time to replace equipment pieces, avoiding costly                         whereby he attempts to enhance the conditions of structural
                                                                                  components of naval vessels either by elongating their fatigue
        shutdowns and workplace accidents.”                                       life, or by reducing their stress, using smart materials such as
                                                                                  shape memory alloys.

                                                                                  “The techniques we have developed are broad. Not only can they
                                                                                  account for traditional factors like load, weight and exposure to
                                                                                  elements, they can also include the effect of suddenly applied
                                                                                  loads caused by storms at sea, friction between materials and
                                                                                  stresses caused from welding,” explains Taheri. “All of these
                                                                                  influence the longevity of a material.”
2   OUTFRONT
                                                                                     Dr. Paul Bishop

“ With the powder metallurgy process, our end product
 has what is called a near-net-shape. This means that
 its final dimensions are so accurately formed that it
 requires no machining and there is no material
 wastage, both of which are considered the Achilles’
 heel of the casting process.”




 TURNING POWDER
      INTO
                     PRODUCTS
 For years, large metal product users have relied heavily on die-
 casting to engineer metallic materials into components of the
 desired shape and mechanical performance. In this process, the
 alloy is melted, poured into a mold and then cooled so it solidifies.
 Although this approach is rapid and economically efficient, the
 geometry of the as-cast product is relatively imprecise. A significant
 amount of machining is then needed to ensure that that final
 product has the exact shape required for installation.

 Because of this difficulty, the casting tradition now has a
 challenger. Over the last decade a more efficient process has
 surfaced to replace the long-time casting technique. Known as            of the growing popularity of powder metallurgy, it has a feature
 “powder metallurgy,” it involves taking metallic powder and              that can either be its own Achilles’ heel or a market advantage
 pressing it directly into the desired shape of the finished product,     depending on the desired outcome.
 a process Dr. Paul Bishop says has the potential to save money
 and be more environmentally friendly                                     “The powder is pressed into a die so as to precisely form it into
                                                                          the shape of the desired product. It’s heated and goes through a
 “With the powder metallurgy process, our end product has what            sintering process where the particles essentially weld themselves
 is called a near-net-shape,” explains Bishop, associate professor        together,” explains Bishop. “The end result is an accurately-
 in Materials Engineering. “This means that its final dimensions          shaped product that has a controlled amount of internal porosity.
 are so accurately formed that it requires no machining and there         Typically, five per cent is void space, taken up by air.”
 is no material wastage, both of which are considered the Achilles’
 heel of the casting process.” In other words, several costly steps       For some products, such as bearings, the porosity is a benefit.
 are removed when using powder metallurgy technology.                     In these situations, the pores are filled with oil before the part
                                                                          is placed in the assembly. In service, oil gradually work its way
 Bishop works specifically with aluminum. While some of his work          out of the pores so that the bearing becomes self-lubricating.
 emphasizes an advanced understanding of existing commercial              For others, such as automotive parts that require high strength,
 alloys, another part of his research is devoted to the development       porosity is a disadvantage.
 of new compositions that are stronger and have improved wear
 resistance. He currently has several combinations of aluminum            Bishop and his six-member team are looking at ways to minimize
 silicon and aluminum nickel undergoing industrial testing.               porosity as part of their research. “Our ultimate goal is to devise
                                                                          new powder metallurgy alloys and processing strategies that enable
 “This process is still quite new and there is obviously potential        the production of components that are near-net-shape, geometrically
 to make it even better for the end user,” says Bishop. In spite          complex, and exhibit excellent mechanical performance.”


                                                                                                                                        OUTFRONT   3
        PROBING THE             MICROBE
        Microbes deserve more respect. These microscopic organisms –            While these organisms are challenging fundamental concepts in
        in particular bacteria and archaea – defy basic science when it         genealogy and the ways living things evolve, they will also play a
        comes to species identification. They also play a critical role in      host of relevant roles when it comes to global warming.
        maintaining the earth’s biosphere and evolve very differently
        than plants or animals.                                                 “Microbes recycle and metabolize substances in the atmosphere,”
                                                                                explains Doolittle. This is essential for the long-term survival of
        And they fascinate Dr. Ford Doolittle, Dalhousie’s Canada Research      all life, our own included, but there is much that we don’t
        Chair in Comparative Microbial Genomics, who has been involved          understand, and desperately need to.
        in the gene sequencing of several bacterium types. “Unlike
        humans, a species that evolves through gene mutation, bacteria          “It will be sad if the polar bears die off or get misplaced due
        are able to transfer genes laterally to adapt to their environment.”    to the melting of the Arctic ice cap. It may be disastrous if the
        Their fluidity and adeptness in taking on new genes needed to           permafrost melts, bringing to active life the vast community of
        survive poses great danger to the long-term effectiveness of            methane-producing microbes currently mostly dormant in that
        antibiotic treatment. It also makes it very difficult to decide         environment.” Doolittle says that modern molecular methods,
        just what makes up a bacterial species.                                 in particular “metagenomics”, which involves high-throughput
                                                                                sequencing of DNA isolated directly from soil or water, hold the
        They also appear to have the so far inexplicable ability to transfer    key to monitoring (not fixing) this problem.
        genes over long distances and through hostile conditions. “Bacteria
        that can only thrive in hot temperatures have been found with           It’s all of these issues and many more that make Doolittle’s and
        the same genetic pattern in oil wells of Japan and in the hot           other molecular biologists’ work so critical. He plans to continue
        springs of Italy, meaning some kind of natural lateral gene             studying how bacteria have evolved over the last four billion years
        transfer,” says Doolittle, also a professor at Dalhousie’s School       and researching what is happening genetically today. “The time
        of Medicine. “There is so much cold in between these two areas          is ripe to try to understand the biological, ecological and
        that it’s a mystery as to how the DNA travelled.”                       environmental impacts of microbes as they relate to the basics
                                                                                of the biosphere.”




                                                                               “ It will be sad if the polar bears die off or get
                                                                                misplaced due to the melting of the Arctic ice
                                                                                cap. It may be disastrous if the permafrost melts,
                                                                                bringing to active life the vast community
                                                                                of methane-producing microbes currently mostly
                                                                                dormant in that environment.”




                                                                                   Dr. Ford Doolittle




4   OUTFRONT
NOT    YOUR AVERAGE
        TEEN
             SLEEPOVER




                                                                                             Dr. Christine Chambers with Claudia Watt



Children in pain. It often upsets the parents more than the kids      “ As we learn more and more about children and
themselves. For the children, pain can be debilitating, fatiguing
and depressing. Dr. Christine Chambers, Dalhousie’s Canada             pain, we can direct public policy around pain
Research Chair in Pain and Child Health, has a goal to decrease        management systems for kids.”
suffering in children and their families and increase their ability
to cope.

One of her areas of focus is the impact of sleep disturbances
on pain management in teens. She is finding that sleep, or
more specifically the lack of it, may hold the key to some of the
recurring pains like headaches and stomach aches experienced
by many teens today.

Chambers conducted a study involving a “sleepover,” whereby           should be.’ Tactics such as distraction and humour are much
80 adolescents were assigned randomly to overnight in either an       more effective in alleviating pain and distress.”
“optimized sleep condition” or a “restricted sleep condition” for
one night. The next morning, all were subjected to pain-related       Chambers and psychology honours student, Anne-Claire
tasks. Those who had had a good night’s sleep had a higher pain       Larochette, also found that children are terrible at faking pain
tolerance level. This finding could have implications when trying     but are fabulous at hiding it. “We asked kids to put their arms
to alleviate mood disruptions, functional disabilities, coping        in warm water and pretend that it hurt. They were unable to do
problems and medication use that plague teens suffering from          this convincingly. Then, we had children put their arm in cold
chronic pain. A second study currently underway uses a multi-         water and instructed them to hide the fact that they were in
assessment approach (diaries, questionnaires, etc.) to follow the     pain. Here the study group fared much better.” A child’s ability
sleep and pain patterns of teens with recurrent stomach aches         to hide pain is problematic, especially for those who have
and headaches.                                                        undergone a number of medical procedures (and want to avoid
                                                                      more) or don’t want their parents to worry about them.
The correlation of sleep and pain is just one aspect of Chambers’
research. She and her colleagues study two other areas: pain          Chambers says her work will ultimately help improve pain
assessment tools and the role of family in pain. With the latter,     assessment and treatment effectiveness for children. “We’ve
one of her and PhD student Meghan McMuntry’s most surprising          come a long way since the 1970s and 1980s, when it was
findings is that parental reassurance actually has a negative         thought that infants didn’t feel pain and were operated on with-
impact on children. “If a child is having blood drawn, many parents   out the use of pain-relieving drugs. As we learn more and more
offer reassurance telling them that ‘it won’t hurt,’” explains        about children and pain, we can direct public policy around
Chambers. “We have found that this increases the child’s pain         pain management systems for kids. Overall, this bodes well for
and distress and may communicate ‘if you weren’t worried, you         children, their families and the health care system.”

                                                                                                                                  OUTFRONT   5
                                                           Archie Kaiser, Dianne Pothier, Richard Devlin, Constance MacIntosh and Sheila Wildeman


        DISABILITY AND                                                             And MacIntosh is particularly interested in how immigration and
           DIS-CITIZENSHIP                                                         refugee law treats those who we accept as citizens. “People who
                                                                                   can’t yet access the Charter are treated in a way that would be
        “The world is designed for the able-bodied and creates barriers            completely unacceptable for Canadian citizens,” says
        for people with disabilities.” That’s the collective belief that drives    MacIntosh.
        five Dalhousie law professors to research, critique and challenge
        existing laws, while also working toward developing future laws.           Despite their different areas of interests, the group is committed
                                                                                   to increasing awareness of how persons with disabilities are
        Archie Kaiser, Dianne Pothier, Richard Devlin, Sheila Wildeman             restricted – not so much by their disability, but by the way the
        and Constance MacIntosh all believe that, while the rhetoric               world is set up. “The same technology that enables large print
        about moral responsibility and social equality is strong in Canada,        that makes my life so much easier can also avail micro-print
        meaningful action is frequently absent. Devlin refers to it as the         which makes it impossible for me, and thousands of other
        “unpleasant underbelly” of the nation. “Canada believes in the             visually-impaired people, to read,” explains Pothier. “In spite
        importance of democracy, but it’s really only available to people          of this, many publications opt to use the micro-print, alienating
        who have a lot of luck and privilege,” he says. “The 15 per cent           a portion of their potential reading audience.”
        of Canadian citizens who are disabled are denied the right to
        participate equally and as whole persons.”                                 This group makes an impact in various ways. The professors act
                                                                                   as legal counsel or expert witnesses. They research and write
        Kaiser, a long-time advocate for people with mental health                 essays and books influencing government policy. They present
        problems and intellectual disabilities, asserts there is simply            at law conferences attended by key government players. They
        too much control over people with disabilities, due in part to             help to design and deliver judicial education programs.
        antiquated statutes that allow many intrusions with very little
        support. “The law facilitates intervention into disabled people’s          All five professors agreed that an encouraging step forward
        lives to the extent that it enables society to take away their             would be the creation of a Nova Scotia Persons with Disabilities
        rights and even have them temporarily or permanently placed                Act. And, without a doubt, they would all be more than willing
        in institutions,” he says. “It does this in an environment where           to assist in its development.
        there are inadequate social supports.”

        Dianne Pothier, who has been visually impaired since birth, has           “ The 15 per cent of Canadian citizens who are
        teamed up with Devlin to advance the concept of Critical Disability
                                                                                   disabled are denied the right to participate equally
        Theory, espousing the idea of dis-citizenship or the state of
        citizenship minus many of the rights that typically come with it.          and as whole persons.”

        Wildeman’s work turns a critical lens on substitute decision-making
        and individual capacity laws. “The capacities and values of
        persons with mental health problems deserve better recognition
        in law and medical practice,” says Wildeman.




6   OUTFRONT
ASKING CHALLENGING
                                                                       “ By stirring the gene pool you could create new kinds
                     QUESTIONS                                          of beings. It is now possible to imagine a future in
                                                                        which deliberate human selection significantly
As a philosopher and ethicist, Dr. Françoise Baylis is committed
to actively encouraging public discussion around the use of emerging    alters the genetic makeup of our species.”
technologies, particularly as they pertain to health practices.

More specifically, Baylis applies her ethics expertise to assisted
human reproduction, embryo research, stem cell science and
neuroscience. Scientific and technical advances in each of these
areas are poised to radically transform health care and introduce
new possibilities for human enhancement. “By stirring the gene
pool you could create new kinds of beings. It is now possible to
imagine a future in which deliberate human selection significantly      a federal agency chaired by Nova Scotia’s former premier, Dr.
alters the genetic makeup of our species,” says Baylis.                 John Hamm. She has also advised various levels of government
                                                                        during the development of public policy and is a devoted
With the prospect of such change, Baylis, Dalhousie’s Canada            advocate of governance that protects and promotes the interests
Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy, believes that there         of vulnerable people.
is a pressing need to look into the future and examine how this
might impact generations four or five times removed. “Too               “Developing good public policy is difficult,” says Baylis. “Our
frequently debates on the ethics of genetics are focused on the         policies stand as public statements of who we are and what we
present. It’s rare that the focus extends beyond obligations to         value. If our policies disproportionately harm disadvantaged
one’s parents, one’s children or, at most, one’s grandchildren,”        groups then they are flawed and should be changed.”
says Baylis. “It is important that we pause and consider the
long-range consequences of the choices we make today and try
to understand the tremendous impact this could have on future
generations.”

Baylis is not only concerned about issues of intergenerational
justice, but also immediate issues of social justice. A current
worry is the sale of human eggs for stem cell research. While
some believe that women should be paid a fair wage for their
reproductive labour in producing eggs for research, Baylis believes
that payment will increase injustice. “The women selling their
eggs for research are not the rich but rather poor and otherwise
disadvantaged women who risk their health for financial
compensation.”

Most recently, Baylis expanded her research to consider the ethical
implications of altering ourselves through brain manipulations,
such as the use of “smart drugs” to help with concentration and
performance at school and in the workplace. Much of this research
focuses on questions of identity and free will.

Baylis’ novel perspectives on these types of issues are valued
by some of the country’s top policy-makers. She was recently
named to the Board of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada,



                                             Dr. Françoise Baylis




                                                                                                                                    OUTFRONT   7
                                                        Dr. Norbert Zeh




        MEMORY          OVERLOAD
        Computers have become an integral part of our life, primarily
        because they help us do things more efficiently. As their efficiency
        increases through new technological advances, so too do our
        expectations. In recent years, a deluge of scientific and business
        data have become available. Analyzing these data can lead to
        new scientific insights or help the government and businesses
        to make informed decisions.

        Advances in processor technology promise to provide the
        necessary computational power. But, according to algorithm expert,
        Dr. Norbert Zeh, the lack of comparable advances in memory and
        hard disk technologies makes it more difficult to feed modern
        processors with data at the rate they can process it, meaning
        the computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is left starving for
        data. “A CPU could process almost one million operations in the
        time it takes to retrieve one piece of data from the hard disk,”
        says Zeh. “While this isn’t likely to be a noticeable problem for
        home or general office applications, it poses major challenges for
        large-scale data analysis in scientific and business applications.”

        The ones with the most dire need for methods to alleviate this
        “memory bottleneck” are massive computing centers at NASA
        or the sophisticated web caching and analysis tools working
        the magic behind Google’s hugely successful search engine.
        However, even Canadian companies are becoming aware that               and data structures and the careful engineering of algorithm
        out-of-the-box database systems are often inadequate for their         implementations. “The problem is a fundamental one. While in
        needs and feel the need for more sophisticated custom-made             the past, computation was slow and the key to efficiency was
        methods.                                                               minimizing the number of computation steps needed to solve
                                                                               a given problem, the key now is to minimize disk accesses and
        Zeh, an assistant professor at Dalhousie, aspires to provide such      memory accesses. This requires fundamentally different techniques
        methods through a combination of new algorithmic techniques            from the ones developed since the 1960s, which are still at the
                                                                               heart of most software in use today.”


      “ …Canadian companies are becoming aware                                 Zeh says that the incorporation of insights gained through his
                                                                               research into fundamental techniques for designing new input/
        that out-of-the-box database systems are often                         output-efficient algorithms into everyday software development
                                                                               practice can be achieved only through the training of students
        inadequate for their needs and feel the need
                                                                               – that is, future employees who are aware of the challenges and
        for more sophisticated custom-made methods.”                           know the right algorithmic techniques to deal with them.

                                                                               Zeh’s work will obviously have the greatest impact on organizations
                                                                               that want to fully harness the computational power of modern
                                                                               microprocessors in large-scale applications. But he does have
                                                                               some immediate advice for people looking to upgrade their home
                                                                               computers for ones on the market touted as ‘better and faster.’
                                                                               “Don’t buy the fastest processor if you don’t have the money to
                                                                               also buy a lot of memory. This will leave the processor constantly
                                                                               waiting for data that needs to be retrieved from disk. A half as
                                                                               fast processor with twice as much memory often results in a more
                                                                               efficient and more useable system.”



8   OUTFRONT
LEGAL INTERVENTION                                                    “ The ‘old’ often provides the safety valve for the
                                                                        uncertainties of the new. This is proving true for
As a lawyer specializing in intellectual property and corporate law     environmental management, agricultural biotechnology
in Nigeria, Dr. Chidi Oguamanam helped multinational corporations
lay claim to ideas through intellectual property laws. Now, as a        and genetic modification of living organisms.”
law professor and director of the Law and Technology Institute
at Dalhousie, Oguamanam argues that “intellectually property
law should not be a bully that perpetuates inequities. It must
instead protect the weak and accommodate the strong.” By the
“weak,” he means the indigenous and local communities.

He cites an example in India, where the herb turmeric was
traditionally used by local medicine men to cure diverse ailments,    says Oguamanam. “When you look at a medicinal plant only for
including skin infections. “In spite of it having been used for       its active ingredient you are reducing it down to its bare bones.
years, the remedy was patented by a western pharmaceutical            Even in western civilization, great credence is given to the
company without any recognition of India’s rich “ayurvedic,”          therapeutic powers of a holistic approach to medicine.”
“sidha” and “unanmi” heritages in which the medical use of
turmeric was implicated,” says Oguamanam. This “biopracy” or          Oguamanam feels strongly that there is a need for international
transfer of knowledge from the local communities to the scientific    law to recognize and protect the knowledge of indigenous and
model without due recognition to the original claimants is the        local communities in the intellectual property-driven global
norm rather than the exception in the new knowledge protection        knowledge economy.
dynamic.
                                                                      “As members of western civilization, we pride ourselves on
Oguamanam finds this trend unacceptable and it’s one of               thinking progressively. We assume that new methods make
the reasons that he shifted from representing corporations to         things better. We consider it progress, advancement,” says
researching arguments for the protection of indigenous peoples        Oguamanam. “Not everyone buys into this belief. The “old”
and their knowledge, and the customary norms inherent in non-         often provides the safety valve for the uncertainties of the new.
western societies. “There is a lot of indigenous knowledge that is    This is proving true for environmental management, agricultural
being patented by western multinational corporations, especially      biotechnology and genetic modification of living organisms.”
American companies, giving them monopolies and shortchanging
the local people in the use and other benefits of the same            Oguamanam is passionate about his research and the positive
knowledge,” he says.                                                  benefit it could have. “I’m an African first and a lawyer second. I
                                                                      feel deeply that a cross-cultural approach to knowledge protection
“Also compromised is the tradition of knowledge sharing,              would offer a more balanced perspective and better protection
something that is passed down through generations. So too are         to indigenous and local communities that operate outside the
the rituals, the drama and the art of practicing the medicine,”       contested paradigms of western science and market economy.”




                                                                                                             Dr. Chidi Oguamanam




                                                                                                                                    OUTFRONT   9
     DIGGING        DEEP
         While many people today are heading mid-profession to Fort            “traps” and allows the oil to accumulate; and, 5) the “seal”
         McMurray, Alberta, it’s where Dr. Grant Wach began his geology        that encloses the whole system and prevents oil and gas from
         career almost 30 years ago. He stayed seven years, moving on          leaking up into the atmosphere.
         to work worldwide for such oil and gas giants as Texaco and Exxon.
         He still works with the energy industry, but today, in his capacity   “My research goal is to understand petroleum systems, particularly
         as professor of petroleum geosciences and director of energy at       the reservoir component. We leave more than 50 per cent of the
         Dalhousie, he now serves as a mentor, helping students become         oil and gas in ground,” says Wach. “There is also a potential in
         successful geologists and engineers.                                  the future to store CO2 in the reservoirs, serving two purposes –
                                                                               reducing greenhouse gas emissions and recovering more oil by
         Oil and gas are found locked within a framework of rock, called       using the CO2 to push-out the remaining gas trapped in the rocks.”
         a reservoir.
                                                                               Understanding the internal complexity of the reservoir isn’t
         There are five elements to a petroleum system: 1) the “source         easy. It’s even more difficult when the lucrative areas are hidden
         rock” (shale and organic matter) that generates oil and gas if        thousands of metres below the surface so, for his research, Wach
         cooked by heat and pressure to the right temperature; 2) a            travels to areas on land where the exposed rocks are similar in
         “pathway” for the oil to move upwards; 3) a “reservoir” formed        scale to what is buried in Nova Scotia’s offshore.
         of sandstone or limestone; 4) a bend in the rock layers that
                                                                               “My students and I recently went to the Guadalupe Mountains
                                                                               in Texas, where we examined an ancient fossil reef similar to
       “ My research goal is to understand petroleum
                                                                               one offshore Nova Scotia that will produce gas through the Deep
         systems, particularly the reservoir component.                        Panuke project,” says Wach. In Barbados and Trinidad, Wach
                                                                               and his research students are completing detailed analyses of
         We leave more than 50 per cent of the oil and
                                                                               rocks that are similar to the Sable gas fields. The analogue data
         gas in ground.”                                                       are combined with seismic data, computational analysis and
                                                                               modelling, to help define the different layers of rock.

                                                                               Fieldwork not only makes better geologists or engineers, it
                                                                               appeals to students worldwide. “Our undergraduates spend
                                                                               more than 70 days of their studies in the field looking at the
                                                                               rocks,” says Wach. “We attract graduate students from across
                                                                               Canada, the United States, Trinidad, Norway, Libya, Iraq and
                                                                               Pakistan to our research group.”

            Dr. Grant Wach




10   OUTFRONT
                                                                         Dr. Michael Pegg




                                                                      “ In a runaway chemical reaction, the resulting heat
                                                                       causes another reaction raising the temperature
                                                                       again, inciting yet another reaction…”




                                                                       Specifically, it is critical that that the resulting pressure is
                                                                       relieved through preventative measures such as appropriate
                                                                       venting systems, cooling mechanisms or emergency shutdowns.

                                                                       “If the runaway reaction isn’t controlled, it can result in an
                                                                       explosion that causes a major fire, severe chemical burns and/or

CHEMICALS ON THE RUN                                                   skin and throat irritations,” says Pegg. “The safety of the workers
                                                                       and even the surrounding community is in jeopardy and, often,
                                                                       the chemical accident causes fatalities.”
If you google the phrase “chemical accidents” on the Internet,
the resulting hits are profuse. Delve a little further and you will    In his research, Pegg focuses on liquid chemicals as opposed to
find that that this type of tragedy has affected many countries        solids, where the existing research is more comprehensive. He
such as the United States, Canada, Japan, Italy, Germany and           and his students study how different chemicals react together. In
Brazil. India is the unenviable record holder of what has been         particular, they are looking at complex, parallel series chemical
called the world’s worst disaster by some media outlets. In            reactions.
1984, a chemical cloud filled the air in the streets of Bhopal,
quickly killing about 3,000 people and residually causing the          “We have identified some reactions about which little is known,”
deaths of 15,000 more.                                                 says Pegg. “This means that we can learn more about the
                                                                       potential temperature and pressure reactions and in what conditions
These accidents are triggered by a “runaway chemical reaction,”        they occur. Only then can we begin to make recommendations
something that Dr. Michael Pegg says is caused by chemical             about safety and preventative practices based on the predictive
reactions that produce heat much more rapidly than it can be           behaviour.”
controlled and removed from the system.
                                                                       Recommendations could range from the size of the pressure-
“Many useful industrial reactions produce heat,” explains Pegg,        release vents to when a chemical should be diverted. “Our
chair of Dalhousie’s chemical engineering program. “Most often         research has the potential to minimize negative environmental
chemical reaction is contained in a pipe or encapsulated in            and economical outcomes cause by a chemical accident,
another enclosed system. In a runaway chemical reaction, the           something which is important to the overall well-being of a
resulting heat causes another reaction raising the temperature         community,” says Pegg. “But, for me and many of the students
again, inciting yet another reaction and so on. The pressure           that I work with, it’s the implications that our research could
builds, meaning that remedial action is necessary to prevent           have on the safety of the workers and prevention of human
an accident.”                                                          injury or death that means the most.”


                                                                                                                                      OUTFRONT   11
                                                                                          Dr. Katja Fennel




                                                                                  “ There is a real sense of urgency over the last 10
                                                                                   years to try to understand the implication of global
                                                                                   change on the oceans.”




                                                                                   One of Dalhousie’s newest scientists, Dr. Katja Fennel, studies
                                                                                   and makes predictions about the locale of phytoplankton through
                                                                                   detailed ocean modelling. She uses her knowledge as an
                                                                                   oceanographer to develop accurate models, but it’s her first love
                                                                                   – mathematics – that makes her work so useful and meaningful.

                                                                                   “Math is so important to addressing problems in oceanography,”
                                                                                   explains Fennel. “I create realistic computer models by using a
                                                                                   mathematical equation written in numerical code. By solving the
                                                                                   equation, it allows me to observe the oceans in many different
                                                                                   ways.” When applying her models to practical problems, predic-
                                                                                   tions can be made about the future of phytoplankton in response
                                                                                   to such things as greenhouse gases, ocean warming, changing
                                                                                   circulation patterns as the Arctic continues to melt and changes
                                                                                   in salinity levels.


         PREDICTING THE                                                            “It’s impossible to physically manipulate the ocean,” says Fennel,
                                                                                   “but we can simulate changes through computer modelling,

                   FUTURE                                                          meaning that we can answer a lot of ‘what if’ questions.” And the
                                                                                   answers to these “what if” questions could help direct public
                                                                                   policy in such areas as fisheries management, environment and
         Phytoplankton is minute, too small to be seen by the naked eye.           ecosystem management and marine protection.
         Even so, it is a vastly important ocean plant – the primary food
         source, directly or indirectly, of all sea organisms. Being at the        As a Canada Research Chair in Marine Prediction, Fennel’s primary
         bottom of the ocean’s food chain makes it integral to supporting          area of focus is along the Scotian shelf. She studies the waters
         the ocean’s delicate ecosystem. And, like land vegetation, phyto-         from the Labrador Sea to the Gulf of Maine, an area where there
         plankton takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen. It also             is now an abundance of phytoplankton yet great potential for an
         converts minerals to a form that animals can use.                         oceanic shift due to changing coastal currents and an increased
                                                                                   mixing of cold and fresh water.
         Too small or too weak to swim effectively against a current, these
         microscopic floating plants drift effortlessly with the ocean current.    “There is a real sense of urgency over the last 10 years to try
         If ocean currents shift, so too does the location and the availability    to understand the implication of global change on the oceans,”
         of the phytoplankton. If once-plentiful phytoplankton becomes             says Fennel. “The oceans are one of our greatest resources for
         scarce in an area, it could have a disastrous effect on marine            food, transportation and recreation. It only makes sense that we
         life and the ocean’s ecological system.                                   should be concerned about protecting them.”




12   OUTFRONT
THE    INFLUENCE OF SALMON INTERBREEDING
Poached, planked, barbequed or baked, Atlantic salmon is enjoyed    “ …we are beginning to look at characteristics
by many people worldwide. Much of the salmon consumed today
has been grown on aquaculture farms because wild Atlantic            vitally important to existence, such as growth rate,
salmon has suffered a population decline of up to 99 per cent        age at maturity and egg development patterns, to
in some waterways.
                                                                     see how they differ. Preliminarily, we are seeing
Compared to the fishing industry, aquaculture is the ‘new kid on     an impact.”
the block’ and only now are issues around environmental impacts
and species interbreeding becoming a major area of interest.
Just what happens when escaped farmed salmon mate with wild
salmon? What impact, if any, will this have on the already scarce
wild salmon population?

Longtime scientist of endangered species, Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings
is conducting research to find out just that. Working with the
Atlantic Salmon Federation and the Department of Fisheries and       salmon. “We took wild salmon from two areas of the province
Oceans, Hutchings, NSERC post-doctoral fellow Dylan Fraser and       and interbred them with salmon from an aquaculture facility,”
graduate student Aimee Houde are determining the implications        explains Hutchings, Dalhousie’s Canada Research Chair in Marine
of intermingling on the wild salmon’s future.                        Conservation and Biodiversity. “After the required two generations
                                                                     of breeding, we are beginning to look at characteristics vitally
Now in its sixth year, the research is beginning to show that        important to existence, such as growth rate, age at maturity and
interbreeding may indeed influence the survival rate of the wild     egg development patterns, to see how they differ. Preliminarily,
                                                                     we are seeing an impact.”

                                                                     The physical research is being undertaken at the Aquatron
                                                                     Laboratory, Dalhousie’s aquatic research facility. Hutchings has
                                                                     teamed up with Dr. Louis Bernatchez, a researcher from Laval
                                                                     University, to conduct gene expression studies and theoretical
                                                                     modeling that will assess the risk that the resulting genetic
                                                                     makeup of future fish could have on the existing wild salmon
                                                                     population.

                                                                     Hutchings says his team’s work is extremely important to the
                                                                     survival of the wild Atlantic salmon, and vital to developing a
                                                                     recovery strategy and conversation plan for the species. “Information
                                                                     is the key to good management. Without it, you’re unable to
                                                                     implement effective plans.”

                                                                     Hutching brings that same conviction to his role as chair of
                                                                     the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada,
                                                                     a national science advisory body that assesses which wild species
                                                                     are in some danger of disappearing from Canada. “We use the
                                                                     best available information, usually a combination of science,
                                                                     aboriginal and community knowledge, when making our
                                                                     recommendations to the federal government.”




                                                                        Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings




                                                                                                                                     OUTFRONT   13
         FINAL      WORD
         (We invite researchers to share their thoughts in Final Word,
         OutFront’s regular guest column. This edition’s guest is
         Dr. David Suzuki, who writes a tribute in honour of the late
         Dr. Ransom Myers.)



         LOSS OF A FRIEND IS ALSO A LOSS FOR SCIENCE
         On March 30th, Science, one of the world’s most respected
         scientific journals, published a paper about how the overfishing
         of big sharks in our oceans has led to an increase in ray and
         skate populations which, in turn, is having cascading effects
         down the ocean food chain.                                                                                              Dr. David Suzuki

         It’s a fascinating piece of work – one of those big-picture studies
         that helps connect the dots and shed light on the complex
         interconnections between various species in an ecosystem. But          The paper was controversial because it warned that many more
         what makes this particular piece of science so important to me         fisheries would face collapse if we don’t seriously cut back on
         personally is the lead author – Ransom Myers of Dalhousie              what we are taking out of the oceans. But RAM was never one
         University in Halifax.                                                 to back down from controversy. In fact, controversy probably
                                                                                helped the story earn media attention around the world – shedding
         Dr. R.A. Myers, RAM to his friends, died earlier that same week.       light on a problem that for many is out-of sight, out-of-mind.

         The Science paper is typical of RAM’s work. He was a brilliant         It was this sort of big-picture thinking that helped make RAM
         scientist who became a tireless advocate for conservation after        such a giant in his field. In 2005, Fortune magazine named
         finding disturbing trends in our oceans. It was those trends that      him one of the world’s Top 10 people to watch. He was indeed a
         led him to raise alarm bells over mismanagement of the Atlantic        distinguished scientist, an engaging public speaker and leading
         cod when he was with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and          advocate for change. Sadly, we will now never know what else
         Oceans. For his efforts, he was first ignored, and then reprimanded.   he may have accomplished. His death from a brain tumor, at just
         The fact that he was later proven right I’m sure offered him little    54, came at the height of his scientific career and at a time when
         consolation as he watched the fisheries collapse. More than 15         the world needs him most.
         years later, it has yet to recover.
                                                                                In February, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit RAM in the
         In 2003, RAM published a paper in the journal Nature that              hospital. By then, he could only say yes or no, but he understood
         earned him worldwide recognition. The report was a culmination         everything that was going on and what was being said. I hope I
         of years of work with his colleague, Dr. Boris Worm. Together,         was able to adequately convey just how much he had accomplished
         they had carefully dissected decades worth of fishing data and         and how much he had done for science and for conserving nature
         found that major large predatory fish – the ones we most like to       for future generations.
         eat – such as tuna, cod and swordfish, had seen their populations
         plummet by some 90 per cent in just 50 years.                          RAM’s Science paper on the demise of sharks seems to be getting
                                                                                good publicity, as it should. Rather than merely being mindless
                                                                                man eaters, sharks are an integral part of the ocean’s web of life.
                                                                                As the report shows, killing them off for shark fin soup has allowed
       “ Dr. Ransom Myers was at the leading edge of                            other species, like rays to thrive. But booming ray populations
                                                                                are now decimating their favourite food source – scallops. And
        conservation biology. He consistently strove to dig
                                                                                since scallops help filter water, their loss has actually resulted
        deeper and go further in the search for answers to                      in poorer water quality in some areas.

        pressing ecological issues.”
                                                                                Dr. Ransom Myers was at the leading edge of conservation biology.
                                                                                He consistently strove to dig deeper and go further in the search
                                                                                for answers to pressing ecological issues. His efforts raised the
                                                                                public’s understanding of the plight of our oceans, and he inspired
                                                                                a generation of marine biologists. His work will be sorely missed,
                                                                                and so will he.

14   OUTFRONT
RANSOM ALDRICH MYERS (RAM) (1952-2007)
Edited excerpts from the eulogy for Ransom Myers,                       I am not sure whether RAM was prepared for Newfoundland,
delivered at a memorial service on April 1, 2007, in                    but I think it is fair to say that Newfoundland was not entirely
Halifax by friend and colleague, Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings.                 prepared for RAM. At 31 years, he possessed a massive head
                                                                        of dark-brown hair and a long, flowing beard. When standing on
The last time I saw RAM, the two of us spent just under an hour         a rock, overlooking the ocean, in a Newfoundland ‘breeze’, the
together. It dawned on me that we hadn’t spent that much time           beard did lend RAM a certain physical presence not unlike that
together – alone – since 1994. We used to spend hours together,         of the Norwegian god of thunder, Thor, a portentous depiction
working on all sorts of things, haggling over data, gossiping,          of the man who would eventually slay many a sacred cow with
sharing stories about our friends and families.                         a question-laden, data-rich hammer.


In February, just as I was leaving one of our visits in the hospital,   Every morning, I would pick RAM up at his Bonaventure Avenue
RAM grabbed my arm, pulled me towards him, and kissed my                house and we would drive the five kilometres or so to our work.
cheek. I kissed his forehead in return. It was a symbolic, waxed        I learnt very quickly that RAM was a creature of habit. Every
seal that acknowledged a long-standing friendship. RAM was my           morning, he would scramble down the steps with a backpack full
colleague, my confidante, and my friend.                                of books & papers in one hand and a steaming mug of coffee in
                                                                        the other. Now, lacking a lid, or any other form of containment,
My memories of RAM begin almost 25 years ago, in 1983, in               only a portion of the coffee ever made it down RAM’s throat while
Newfoundland.                                                           we drove to work. As RAM might have put it, the probability of
                                                                        coffee finding its way to the floor, seat, or dash of the car was
                                                                        non-trivial.

                                                                        On other occasions, RAM decided that a full breakfast was in
                                                                        order. With his backpack over a shoulder and the coffee in one
                                                                        hand, he would gingerly make his way to the car balancing a
                                                                        bowl of cereal, coupled with milk and spoon, in the other. Then
                                                                        we’d drive off, RAM simultaneously gesticulating, eating, and
                                                                        talking, while I minded the coffee.

                                                                        Strangely, when RAM died, the first thing I thought about were
                                                                        his breakfasts in my car. I never did say anything to RAM about the
                                                                        mugs, bowls, and spoons that would be left under the passenger
                                                                        seat, often for several days.

                                                                        The fact that he felt comfortable enough with me to use the car
                                                                        as a café was, in an odd sort of way, touching. His behaviour in
                                                                        general was not what I was used to, but I was drawn to him
                                                                        nonetheless.

                                                                        Once you met RAM, you realized that you had never encountered
                                                                        anyone quite like him before, and that upon leaving him, or him
                                                                        leaving us, that you were unlikely to encounter anyone quite like
                                                                        him again.

                                                                        RAM’s legacy lies in that part of each of us that RAM touched,
                                                                        in whatever way, for whatever reason. It is the legacy of hope and
                                                                        optimism that history need not always repeat itself and that we
                                                                        can learn from our mistakes; it is the legacy of learning and
                                                                        inquiry that teachers leave their students; and it is the legacy
                                                                        of love and generosity that fathers leave their families and that
                                                                        friends leave other friends.

        The late Ransom Myers




                                                                                                                                      OUTFRONT   15
         ODDS AND SODS
         Congratulations to JONATHAN BORWEIN (Computer Science) on his         TONG-JUN LIN (Pediatrics, Microbiology & Immunology) won the
         two-year appointment as Member at Large of The Academy of             “New Investigator Award” of the Canadian Society for Immunology
         Science of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy III). The             (CSI), in recognition of his research programs on responses to
         Academy elects Canadians who are recognized nationally and            bacterial infection relevant to cystic fibrosis and pneumonia and
         internationally for their exceptional contributions to research       mechanisms of mast cell activation in allergic disease.
         and leadership in their areas of expertise.

                                                                               DAVID MAHONY (Microbiology & Immunology) received the
         CHRISTINE CHAMBERS (Pediatrics & Psychology) was named the            “Distinguished Microbiologist Award” of the Canadian College
         inaugural winner of the Health Psychology Section of the Canadian     of Microbiologists in recognition of his academic work and
         Psychological Association’s annual Young Investigator Award.          many contributions to the work of the College.



         IAN MEINERTZHAGEN (Psychology) has been awarded a Killam Research     Congratulations to AXEL BECKE (Chemistry) who has been elected
         Fellowship by the Canada Council for the Arts. These awards           a Fellow of the Royal Society. The Royal Society is one of the
         support scholars engaged in research projects of outstanding          world’s oldest scientific academies.
         merit in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, health
         sciences, engineering and interdisciplinary studies.
                                                                               Congratulations to SOPHIA STONE (Biology) for winning a “Career
                                                                               Development Award” from the Human Frontier Science Program.
         ANDREW ROGER (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) was awarded           She studies plant development at the molecular level and is
         one of the six Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council      concerned with the regulatory role played by a small protein
         of Canada 2007 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships. He is             called ubiquitin that is present and active in the cells of all
         the only researcher east of Ontario to receive the award this year.   animals and plants.



         Both DONALD F. WEAVER (Medicine, Chemistry & Biomedical               JEFF DAHN and HARM ROTERMUND (both from Chemistry, Physics &
         Engineering) and GERHARD STROINK (Physics & Atmospheric               Atmospheric Science) have each been awarded 2007 NSERC
         Science) received kudos at the Discovery Awards, sponsored by         Discovery Accelerator Supplements. Only 50 supplements were
         the Discovery Centre. Weaver won the 2006 Discovery Award             awarded across the country. This represents a new component
         Professional of Distinction and Stroink won the Science               of the Discovery Grants Program and is aimed at accelerating
         Champion Award.                                                       progress and maximizing the impact of the research programs
                                                                               of a limited number of outstanding Discovery Grant holders.
         Dr. Weaver also won one of two $1 million Centennial Awards           The supplement is valued at $120,000.
         awarded to mark the centennial anniversary of the publication
         Alzheimer’s Disease Research. The award seeks to foster innovative,
         multidisciplinary research aimed at slowing or reversing the          Congratulations to GEORGES J. KIPOUROS (Process Engineering &
         progression of, and ultimately preventing, the devastating brain      Applied Science) who is being awarded the 20th Canadian Metal
         disorder.                                                             Chemistry Award for his outstanding scientific contributions in the
                                                                               area of computational and experimental thermochemistry of metals.

         CYNTHIA NEVILLE’S (History) book, “Native Lordship in Medieval
         Scotland: the Earldoms of Strathearn and Lennox, 1140-1365,”          Cancer researchers PATRICK LEE (Microbiology & Immunology),
         has just been awarded the 2005 Dr. Agnes Mure Mackenzie               KIRILL ROSEN (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology) and BRENT JOHNSTON
         Prize for the best book in Scottish historical research.              (Microbiology & Immunology) have received over $1 million from
                                                                               the National Cancer Institute of Canada. Dr. Lee is investigating
                                                                               reoviruses at the molecular level, which infect and kill a variety
         The Women’s Executive Network named MARY BROOKS (Business             of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Dr. Rosen
         Administration) one of the most powerful women in Canada.             is conducting research into a protein that allows cells that line
         Dr. Brooks teaches and conducts research in the areas of              organs to break away and form tumours. Dr. Johnston is examining
         transportation management and policy, export strategy and             how blood cells called “natural killer T-cells” can be triggered to
         international strategic management.                                   recognize and eliminate cancer cells.




16   OUTFRONT
POWERFUL             OCEAN RESEARCH
Dalhousie’s Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) was awarded $45 million in federal government
funding ($35 million from CFI and $10 million from NSERC), which will leverage about $115
million of cash and in-kind contributions from partners around the world. Led by Drs. Ron O’Dor
and Mike Stokesbury, the $160-million network will enable the world’s most comprehensive and
revolutionary examination of marine life and ocean conditions to date. A global monitoring system –
created with Canadian technology – will follow the movement and behavior of a diversity of
marine species, from salmon to turtles to whales. Sea animals will be tagged with tiny electronic
transmitters. As they travel, their signals will be tracked by a network of seabed receivers, in 14
ocean regions covering the entire planet. Scientists around the world will be able to access the
ongoing collection of data, which will include key ocean indicators such as temperature, depth
and chemistry.




At the funding announcement, from left: Dalhousie President Tom Traves; NSERC President
Suzanne Fortier; the Hon. Barry Barnet, provincial minister of health promotion and protection;
federal Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay, CFI President Eliot Phillipson; and Dalhousie’s
Vice-President (Research) Carl Breckenridge.




OutFront                      RESEARCH
                                MATTERS
                              THAT



OutFront is the official              Contact                        Executive Editor                 Design
research magazine of                  OutFront Magazine              Julia Watt, BPR MBA              Michael Gatto
Dalhousie University. It is           218 Hicks Building             e-mail: julia.watt@dal.ca        Photography
published twice per year,             Dalhousie University           Content Review                   Danny Abriel
in the spring and fall.               Halifax, NS B3H 3J5            Marla Cranston                   Nick Pearce
                                      Canada                         Amanda Pelham
Vol. 2 No. 1                                                                                          Publisher
                                      outfront@dal.ca                Dalhousie University             Research Services
Spring/Summer 2007                    www.dal.ca                                                      Dalhousie University



                                                                                                                             OUTFRONT   17
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