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Metagenomics to assess impacts of the Mount Polley Mine tailings dam breach on associated ecosystems

Emerging issues
Genome Centre(s):
Genome British Columbia
Project Leader(s):
Lauchlan Fraser (Thompson Rivers University), Sue Baldwin (University of British Columbia)
Fiscal Year Project Launched: 
Project Description: 

This research project, funded by Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) and Genome Canada, aims to improve the strategies for monitoring the impact of Mount Polley Mine tailings breach on the ecosystem and to provide recommendations for environmental remediation. 

The project is being led by Dr. Lauchlan Fraser from Thompson Rivers University (TRU), Dr. Heath Garris, a post-doctoral fellow in Natural Resource Sciences at TRU, and Dr. Sue Baldwin, a Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia.

The main objectives of the products are to:

  • Determine the likelihood of long-term metal leaching into the watershed;
  • Improve tools for monitoring passive bioremediation in soil and water;
  • Develop molecular markers of metals removal and soil rehabilitation, and
  • Conduct controlled bioaugmentation/biostimulation trials.

Other funders include Mount Polley Mine (Imperial Metals), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Mitacs.