Institute of Environmental Change & Society

IECS provides world-class infrastructure and research expertise in environmental sciences for faculty, students and staff enabling individuals and multidisciplinary groups to conduct cutting-edge scientific research to advance the provincial, national and international research agendas. IECS is composed of three separate research units (Cellular Impacts Facility, Integrated Numeric Analysis Facility, Stressor Quantification Facility), and two analytical preparation units (Advanced Sample-Holding Facility, Stressor Isolation Facility). IECS is also dedicated to foster provincial, national and international research initiatives and improve collaborations among universities, government and industry.

Recent research

Environment

Environmental research at IECS focuses on broadly-defined issues related to the sustainable use of aquatic resources, in particular the investigation of the effects of pollution with nitrogen compounds and other biomolecules in inland waters. Ongoing studies include whole-ecosystem experiments, decade-scale environmental monitoring, diverse laboratory and field experiments, paleolimnological analyses and related analytical studies at molecular, cellular, organismal and system levels. These studies have been conducted on five continents and dozens of countries, making the University of Regina one of the national leaders in water quality analysis and protection.

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Molecular

Organisms interact tightly with their environment and have to adapt to challenges in order to avoid cellular damage. These adaptations include altered production of proteins and other biomolecules as a response to potentially harmful stressors. The IECS explores this interplay between environment and molecular responses to develop a mechanism-based understanding of the consequences of stress exposure. To this end, high-throughput technologies are employed including system-wide surveys using genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic approaches. The necessary instrumentation including next-generation DNA sequencer, mass spectrometer, cell sorters and microscopic units are integrated into IECS facilities and are also available to collaborating researchers.

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Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution

The IECS hosts the Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution (CIEE; Institut canadien d'écologie et d'évolution, IEEC). CIEE / ICEE is a consortium of Canadian universities with the mission of expanding and accelerating scientific discovery on the natural environment and its contributions to our national well being.

The CIEE/ICEE extracts significant added value from Canada's research investment through projects that mine new insights from the wealth of existing data. Its training programs aim to prepare the generation of scientists who will be called upon to address our most vexing environmental problems.

CIEE/ICEE programs bring together top scientists working on diverse systems to pool data and do the higher level analyses that can resolve uncertainties, reveal novel insights, and identify promising new areas of inquiry.

The next generation of scientists will be called upon to addresses critical environmental issues. The CIEE/ICEE works to develop this pool of talent through specialized training programs that bring together students from across the country to learn from world-leading experts.

In short, the CIEE/ICEE accelerates scientific progress through programs that synthesize current knowledge and develop our future leaders.

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Synthesis Centre at IECS Credit: Don Hall