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Dalhousie researcher receives $1.8m for world‑leading research of the ocean acoustic environment

Posted by Media Centre on September 15, 2016 in News

Dr. Stan Matwin’s MERIDIAN initiative establishes Canada’s global leadership in the field

Thursday, September 15, 2016 (Halifax, NS) Dalhousie researcher Dr. Stan Matwin has been awarded $1.8 million in research infrastructure funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Cyberinfrastructure Initiative competition.

The Cyberinfrastructure Initiative aims to enhance the capacity of Canadian institutions and researchers to conduct leading-edge research by supporting the infrastructure needs of computationally- and data-intensive research.

Noise in the ocean from shipping and other offshore industrial activity is becoming a significant issue due to its impact on protected marine species, especially great whales and other marine mammals who use sound to communicate. Future developments in the ocean must be done sustainably, which means lowering noise impacts. With the Cyberinfrastructure Initiative funding, Dr. Matwin’s MERIDIAN initiative (Marine Environment Research Infrastructure for Data Integration and Application Network) will develop research data infrastructure that will allow researchers to effectively manage and utilize marine acoustic data in a larger ocean context.

“The CFI funding will create a globally unique opportunity for data scientists and ocean scientists to work together on focused, data-rich projects at the cutting edge of data management and data analytics technologies,” says Dr. Matwin. “At the same time, we will be able to address ocean science questions of major importance for Canada and the world.

By focusing MERIDIAN on acoustic data, Canada will establish global leadership in the field. Over the course of three years, three research data infrastructure projects will take place, creating a cloud-based platform of research tools based on data science methods, techniques and tools, including data integration and interoperability; engaging and interactive data visualization; and data discovery and data analyses designed for streaming data, to enable Canada's leading oceans researchers to fully exploit Canada’s ocean data. No other country has established a national data resource for noise in the ocean.

“I am thrilled to see Dr. Matwin recognized for his innovative research,” says Dr. Martha Crago, vice-president research, Dalhousie University. “His work with the MERIDIAN initiative is beneficial not only to the province of Nova Scotia, but to Canada and beyond.”

Dr. Matwin is a Canada Research Chair in Visual Text Analytics, and is the Director of the Institute for Big Data Analytics at Dalhousie. He is also one of the 10 researchers profiled in the successful Canada First Research Excellence Fund grant application by Dalhousie, Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Prince Edward Island. The $94 million in funding was announced at Dalhousie’s Steele Ocean Sciences Building on September 6.

Today’s announcement was made by the Honourable Marc Miller, Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie — Le Sud-ouest — Île-des-soeurs, at McGill University. Seven projects at six universities across the country were awarded more than $13 million in funding.



Janet Bryson
Senior Communications Manager
Dalhousie University

Michele Charlton
Communications Advisor
Dalhousie Research Services, Dalhousie University


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