OFI invests $25M in North Atlantic ocean research

- April 12, 2018

The research priorities of the Ocean Frontier Institute.
The research priorities of the Ocean Frontier Institute.

Fifteen ocean research projects based in Atlantic Canada have received more than $25 million in funding, an investment that’s expected to advance understanding of atmospheric and ecosystem change while also identifying ways to grow resource development in a sustainable way.

The investment in ocean research, made possible through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund and distributed by the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), enables teams at Dalhousie University, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Prince Edward Island to study ocean-related issues in the North Atlantic and Canadian Arctic Gateway.

The projects include work on improving prediction and mitigation of major storms, understanding ocean change, and improving the potential for fisheries and aquaculture to meet global seafood demand.  

“The global ocean economy is projected to double in size over the next 15 years, says Wendy Watson-Wright, CEO of OFI (left).

“Through the work of our researchers, OFI will help generate multiple benefits from ocean innovation and sustainable management practices. This research intersects our economy, environment, and the needs of society. Our work reflects the needs of our diverse stakeholders and will provide the information policy makers require to make sound, evidence-based, and lasting, decisions.

“The ocean is our new frontier and there’s an ocean of opportunity for us to unlock through research.”

World-leading research

OFI is a transnational  hub for ocean research that brings together experts from both sides of the North Atlantic to explore the vast potential of the world’s ocean. It represents an historic investment in Canadian ocean research — more than $227 million in total.

OFI research projects underway at Dal include:

  • Auditing the Northwest Atlantic Carbon Sink is a research project that will create a scientific balance sheet for understanding the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon dioxide. (Team lead: Doug Wallace, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology.)
  • Safe Navigation & Environmental Protection will influence the policy development required to enhance safety at sea. (Co-led by Aldo Chircop, Canada Research Chair in Maritime Law & Policy; Ronald Pelot, Associate Scientific Director of MEOPAR; Randall Martin, Arthur B. McDonald Chair of Research Excellence; Claudio Aporta, Director of the Marine Affairs Program.)
  • Cooperative Biogeochemical & Physical Model Framework will develop a multi-scale computer model framework to help improve prediction of marine conditions.  (Co-led by Jinyu Sheng,  Professor of Oceanography, and Katja Fennel, Canada Research Chair in Marine Prediction.)

The funding announcement reflects only a portion of OFI’s work. A second phase of large research projects is expected to begin in 2019. In addition, OFI is funding the construction of new research facilities and supporting various programs to advance education and training in ocean-related fields. 

Learn more at the OFI website.


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