Research Institute

There Is Still So Much to Learn

The Research Institute will contribute to the knowledge base of aquatic ecosystems, water cycles and human impact, become a local station for inbound scientists to work from, and support secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities. It will also focus on contributing practical solutions to the issues at hand, as an incubator for innovative solution, expanding our knowledge base, and working with existing water focused non-profit groups and industry to collaborate on future developments for clean and sustainable products and services.

The Institute will be looking to science, business, technology and engineering partnerships for its success and alignments with other Institutes and Universities for research collaboration and remote office location.

How will work at the Institute contribute?

Supporting a base of research in developing solutions for current world issues in freshwater and ocean management; researching and developing breeding and propagation methodologies for species at risk; invasive species research and management; arctic eco-systems conservation and preservation.

Global Impact

Engaging with international organizations for project and solution-based collaboration; arctic waters research; base of outbound research operations.

Industry and Economic

Working across industry sectors to create better solutions for freshwater resource management and impact mitigation to watersheds; to create new paradigms; processes and designs that will keep the Canadian West at the forefront of the energy sector and leaders in resource management; exploration of aquaculture as a practical application in the Prairies for alternative fish protein sources. Become a center of research providing opportunities for academic pursuits within the natural and social sciences.

Innovation Incubator

Supporting and developing innovation for environmental solutions to the numerous challenges that face our water resources, both fresh and salt.


Collaboration with existing non-profits in the conservation and protection of watersheds and fragile aquatic systems to support and promote their work, discoveries and successes.


Working with the Education Centre for post-secondary independent studies and field experience; encouraging cross-discipline collaboration for innovative solutions; an R&D incubator for environmental challenges.


The Aquatic Biosphere is working with Macewan University’s School of Business, to be a live model for Business students to study and to contribute to. The pilot programs begin September 2018.

An area of research that is being developed is the repopulation of coral reefs and how we may play a role in that. An excerpt:

In the foreseeable future the outlook for Coral Reefs worldwide has been painted as a grim picture by the media.  Most coral reef systems may be extinct or in danger by 2050.  This leaves us little time to explore sustainable methods of saving coral organisms and the habitats they provide.  Although there are populations of coral that exist naturally today, living under similar conditions to those predicted in the future, we do not know enough about their biology and how it will interact with the modeled environmental changes such like global warming.  As part of building this research knowledge base Dr. Ross Shaw is investigating the use of fluorescence as an indicator of health in several captive coral species.  Coral fluorescence is produced from either dinoflagellate species (Symbiodinum species) within the tissue or proteins produced by the coral itself.  Dr. Ross Shaw is examining the role of temperature change on coral fluorescence in Anthelia and Nepthea species of coral.  Fluorescence may be an indicator of general health in certain coral species.

Invasive Species Research: Prussian Carp

Invasive species can wreak havoc on an ecosystem. In Alberta we feel the effects of many invasive species and the Prussian Carp (Carassius gibelio) is one of our newest pests. Prussian Carp can survive in extremely poor water quality, can survive out of water for a long time and they don’t need males to reproduce! They are spreading across the province extremely quickly and that is why now is the time to act! We want to help locate these populations and assist the province and municipalities to deal with these invaders.

Join the Aquatic Biosphere Project, MacEwan University and the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute in the fight against the Prussian Carp! Make sure to follow our expedition “Aliens in Alberta: Locating Invasive Species” on National Geographic Open Explorer to stay up to date! Join our group in ABMIs citizen science app “Naturelynx” to upload any sightings to help map the spread of this invader together!

Join the Wave

From citizen science to cooperative international studies and research, there is a lot to do. Want to help? Volunteer, donate, sponsor, and/or watch for projects you can join. It all makes a difference.