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Date: July 26, 2000

UVic Researchers Awarded $1.5 Million Boost

Four research initiatives at UVic, ranging from the study of rainforest ecosystems to the development of new telescopes, have today been awarded infrastructure support totalling $1.5 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

"Our success in this latest CFI competition will allow us to make vital new investments in key areas of research strength at UVic so that we can continue to grow as a major research university and contribute all the more to benefit B.C. and Canada," said Dr. Martin Taylor, vice-president research.

The Canadian Facility for Marine Acoustic Remote Sensing at the UVic school of earth and ocean sciences will receive $239,516 from CFI to combine faculty expertise with technology from Sidney-based Quester Tangent Corp. They'll use "acoustic sediment classification" technology for environmental and fisheries studies, hydrography, forestry and naval activities. Echosounders and sidescan sonars provide images of the bottom topography of oceans, lakes, rivers and reservoirs. Project leader is Dr. Ross Chapman, senior chair in ocean acoustics.

The Experimental Laboratory for Instrument Development in Astrophysics has been awarded $711,080 to fund a new lab to test instruments for future generations of ground-based and space optical telescopes as well as radio telescopes. An interdisciplinary approach will bring together the strengths of the UVic mechanical engineering and physics and astronomy departments along with the federal Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics in Victoria. Project leader is Dr. Inna Sharf, associate professor of mechanical engineering.

Researchers will use $265,897 to establish a Field Laboratory to Study Carbon and Hydrological Cycles and other Ecosystem Processes in Temperate Rainforests of Coastal B.C. The lab will be built at an existing research site near Campbell River and will provide space for storage, sample processing, and equipment maintenance. Researchers are using the site to assess the productivity of coastal Douglas-fir forests and their sensitivity to climate change and management practices such as harvesting. Project leader is Dr. Nigel Livingston, director of UVic's centre for forest biology.

UVic's protein chemistry centre has been awarded $357,418 to equip a new Proteomics Facility that will enable researchers from UVic and other universities to acquire information from the developing human genome and other gene databases by studying related proteins in contexts such as disease, aging, drug exposure, environmental stress and embryonic development. This will be Canada's first, full-service proteomics facility. Project leader is Dr. Robert Olafson, professor of biochemistry and microbiology.
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Media contacts:
Dr. Martin Taylor
Vice-President Research
(250) 721-7973

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