Source: University of Victoria
$2.25M From Province Taps Into Underwater Research
October 18, 2006
– The appointment of a top scientist to the B.C. Leadership Chair in Marine
Ecosystems and Global Change at the University of Victoria will take
environmental research to new levels, Advanced Education Minister Murray
Coell announced today.
"With a researcher like Kim Juniper, a body of work will be developed in
British Columbia that will not only increase our knowledge of our marine
environment but our skills in managing it," said Coell. "We can justifiably
be proud of how the government, through the Leading Edge Endowment Fund, is
supporting leading edge research in the province."
The $4.5-million chair, funded by a $2.25-million investment from the
Province’s Leading Edge Endowment Fund, will use NEPTUNE and VENUS, two
undersea ocean-monitoring observatories, led by the University of Victoria,
designed to track the impact of climate and environmental changes. The
Province is contributing $38.5 million to NEPTUNE, the North-East Pacific
Time-series Undersea Networked Experiments, and $4 million to VENUS, the
Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea.
Juniper is an internationally recognized marine ecologist whose work brings
together biology, geology and marine chemistry. He has already helped
establish major research programs, including NEPTUNE Canada, and developed
cutting-edge laboratory methods.
"I’m very excited to be appointed as the B.C. Leadership Chair for Marine
Ecosystems and Global Change and have the technology of VENUS and, very
soon, NEPTUNE to help me conduct oceanographic research in a way that’s
never been done before," said Juniper. "We will be able to better determine
how climate is affecting our oceans, what aspects are human-induced, and
what we can do to mitigate the harmful effects."
The funding for the B.C. leadership chairs was established with an initial
provincial commitment of $45 million for the Leading Edge Endowment Fund –
$2.25 million for each of the 20 chairs. Matching funds are secured by
post-secondary institutions from external partners to establish some of the
best-funded research chairs in Canada.
"Dr. Juniper’s appointment builds on UVic’s profound strengths in oceans and
climate change research, addressing some of the fundamental questions about
the extent of humankind’s impact on our climate," said University of
Victoria president David Turpin. "Thanks to the Leading Edge Endowment Fund,
the generosity of private donors and the support of the Fisheries and Oceans
Canada, Dr. Juniper will have the resources to conduct his important
"I know that Dr. Juniper will be a great asset as a new B.C. leadership
chair," said Martha Salcudean, chair of the Leading Edge Endowment Fund
board. "These internationally peer-reviewed chairs provide a unique
opportunity to further strengthen our world-class research to benefit all
This is the province’s sixth B.C. leadership chair:
• The Chair for Spinal Cord Research was awarded to the Rick Hansen
Institute at the University of B.C. Dr. John Steeves, a recognized leader in
spinal cord research, was appointed in 2002.
• The Chair for Prostate Cancer Research at the Prostate Centre at Vancouver
General Hospital was awarded to Dr. Martin Gleave of UBC in July 2005.
• The Chair for Depression Research at UBC was awarded to Dr. Allan Young in
• The Chair for Salmon Conservation and Management at Simon Fraser
University was awarded to John Reynolds in November 2005.
• The Chair for Aboriginal Environmental Health at the University of
Northern B.C. was awarded to Laurie Chan in February 2006.
The remaining 14 B.C. leadership chairs will be awarded by the end of 2007.
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Ministry of Advanced Education
250 888-0023 (cell)