Two uOttawa labs get funds to study land protection around mining sites and design machines inspired by plants and animals

Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2015

OTTAWA, January 20, 2015 - Plans for two new research labs at the University of Ottawa have received major financial support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).  One of the labs will design better strategies to protect lands in and around mineral extraction sites, while the other will study the mechanical, physiological and behavioral traits of organisms, to inspire design of new materials and mechanical systems.

Professors Danielle Fortin and Emily Standen of the Faculty of Science at the University of Ottawa have received $608,074 from the CFI’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund, which helps institutions  acquire infrastructure to undertake cutting-edge research.   

Laboratory Facility for the In Situ Characterization of Metal-Bacteria Interactions

This facility will increase knowledge of how microbes interact intimately with minerals and use this knowledge to develop biosensor-based monitoring tools. It will support mining industry efforts to comply with environmental regulations and optimize microbial driven extraction processes. 

Professor Danielle Fortin is among the pioneers in geomicrobiology in Canada. This field, at the junction of living organisms and inorganic matter, holds tremendous potential for breakthroughs on questions from the decontamination of mining waste to the search for life in the universe.

Laboratory for Comparative and Evolutionary Biomechanics (LCEB)

The LCEB will measure the musculoskeletal performance of living animals using state-of-the-art-technologies. These measurements will allow researchers to calculate the performance limitations of musculoskeletal systems, addressing hypotheses on the evolution of animal form and function, and providing information and design inspiration to biomedical engineers (for prosthetics and orthotics) and biomaterial engineers (for armour, nano-films and mechanical systems).

Newly recruited professor Emily Standen, a leading expert in evolutionary and comparative biomechanics (the study of how plants and animals have evolved to overcome difficult environmental circumstances) will guide the lab..

The University of Ottawa is home to over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroads of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe.

Media inquiries:

Kina Leclair
Media Relations Officer
University of Ottawa
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 2529
Cell: 613-762-2908

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