About contaminants research funding


Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) supports external research on the biological effects of contaminants on aquatic organisms. Priority research areas include:

  • Microplastics
  • Oil and gas-related contaminants
  • Pesticides
  • Contaminants and issues of emerging concern

The nine projects announced today total $2,891,371 in funding over four years. Information about these projects including recipients, objectives, and funding amounts can be found in the table below.

Learn more about contaminants and research projects funded through DFO Science.

Contaminants research projects
Recipient Title Objective Funding Contribution
Huntsman Marine Science Centre Single and mixed polycyclic aromatic compound toxicity data generation for the improvement of oil spill models The project will study several factors that affect how contaminants related to oil spills impact Atlantic marine species including lobster, sea urchins and cod. $600,000
2 years
Ocean Wise Investigating contaminant-related health effects in killer whales using omics A project to measure the levels of contaminants in southern resident killer whales and evaluate related health effects. $284,326
3 years
L'Université du Québec à Rimouski  Étude des effets chroniques d’une exposition aux microplastiques sur le pétoncle géant, une espèce marine d’intérêt socio-économique. A study that examines the biological effects of microplastics on sea scallops. The research will provide data on the impact of microplastics on this species, which may be applicable for marine fisheries and shellfish aquaculture. $230,468
4 years
IISD-Experimental Lakes Area Fate, bioaccumulation, and ecological effects of mixtures of the psychoactive drug venlafaxine in freshwater ecosystems A project to characterize the effects of exposure to an antipsychotic pharmaceutical on several aquatic species and communities by undertaking a series of experiments that use ecosystem-based enclosures. $220,736
3 years
University of Waterloo Assessing the potential effects on wild fish, of representative chiral pharmaceuticals present in upgraded municipal wastewater effluents (meeting the Wastewater Systems Effluent Regulations) A study to integrate a fate and effects model, lab studies and field assessments to examine how anti-depressants (including metabolites and various chemical forms) move in the environment, bioaccumulate in fish and cause changes in key biological processes. $219,420
3 years
University of Toronto Ecosystem-based experiments to determine the ecological impacts of microplastics on freshwater fish and their food web This project seeks to test the ecological impacts of microplastics on fish and their associated food web in a series of experiments using ecosystem-based enclosures. $217,870
3 years
Ocean Wise Environmental Relevance of Microplastics in the Coastal Ocean: Strait of Georgia as a Case Study A project to study microplastics in the Salish Sea and examine the thresholds for negative impacts of microplastic textile fibres in the food web. $274,822
3 years
McGill University Micro- and nanoplastics in aquatic environments: sources, properties and methods to understand uptake and translocation  A study to assess how small micro- and nanoplastics end up in Canadian aquatic environments and how their properties affect travel into and within the body of aquatic organisms potentially resulting in health effects. $217,733
3 years
Simon Fraser University The effects of individual polyaromatic compounds and petroleum hydrocarbon mixtures on Pacific marine organisms A project to study several factors that affect how contaminants related to oil spills impact Pacific marine species including oysters sea urchins and herring. $625,996
2 years
TOTAL $2,891,371
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