BEARWATCH Project Announced, Queen's Biology and School of Environmental Studies professors are awarded $9.5 million.
Queen's University Biology researchers Stephen C. Lougheed, Peter Van Coeverden de Groot and Environmental Studies researcher Graham Whitelaw, are awarded $9.5 million to monitor the impact of environmental change on polar bears.
Project details from Gemone Canada News and Events
BEARWATCH: Monitoring Impacts of Arctic Climate Change using Polar Bears, Genomics and Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Project Leaders: Stephen C. Lougheed, Peter van Coeverden de Groot and Graham Whitelaw (Queen’s University), Markus Dyck (Government of Nunavut)
Lead Genome Centre: Ontario Genomics
Total funding: $9.5 million
Polar bears are the canary in the Arctic coalmine. Polar bear conservation both ensures polar bears’ persistence and provides insight into the state of Arctic ecosystems. BEARWATCH, led by Dr. Stephen C. Lougheed in collaboration with Drs. Peter van Coeverden de Groot and Graham Whitelaw, all from Queen’s University, and Markus Dyck, with the Government of Nunavut, will combine cutting-edge genomics with Inuit traditional knowledge to develop a non-invasive, fecal-based biomarker toolkit and a community-based monitoring program. Together they will permit assessment of bear health and track changes to polar bear populations.