Research News

Research during COVID-19

COVID-19 2019 Novel Coronavirus - Updates, FAQs, Resources

A Shot in the Dark: Theatre group creates pandemic-themed radio play

The radio play promotional poster

Radio play promotional poster by Sydney Perkins

By Caitlin Ford

Students in the University of Guelph’s theatre studies program collaborated virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic to bring a pandemic-themed comedy, A Shot in the Dark, to life as a radio play.

The fourth-year ensemble students – who were led by Dr. Peter Kuling, an assistant professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies – were in rehearsals for their final performance when Ontario first entered lockdown in March 2020.

“The students were preparing for their end-of-semester production of George F. Walker’s ...

Read more: A Shot in the Dark: Theatre group creates pandemic-themed radio play

Enhancing molecular pharming to accelerate drug production

Tobacco plants used to produce pharmaceutical drugs

Photo Credit: Nicholas Prudhomme

By Mya Kidson

Harnessing plants to make useful drugs, such as therapies for the COVID-19-causing virus, is a University of Guelph research goal. 

Dr. Jennifer Geddes-McAlister, a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), and her research team are looking for ways to improve molecular pharming practices to make therapeutic products, including vaccines and medications.

Molecular pharming involves the process of deliberately modifying DNA in a bacterium, which is then used to infect a plant by transferring its DNA. This...

Read more: Enhancing molecular pharming to accelerate drug production

U of G researchers help horse community manage the pandemic

Information about Equine Information Source

Photo Credit: Equine Information Source

By Shagun Yadev and Cate Willis

To help struggling horse owners and facility managers navigate the pandemic, University of Guelph researchers have created resources to manage COVID-19 protocols and restrictions. 

Dr. Katrina Merkies, a professor in the Department of Animal Biosciences, along with undergraduate students Elizabeth Crouchman, Caleigh Copelin and Amanda St-Onge wanted to learn how riding facilities were managing the lockdown restrictions and what protocols they were implementing. 

“We were looking at the impacts on equestrian...

Read more: U of G researchers help horse community manage the pandemic

OVC Researchers Focus On Optimal Care for Calves

By Mya Kidson

Early calf care is crucial for optimal calf development and reducing disease risk – but providing quality care remains a challenge. In this article, Mya Kidson highlights a new research study conducted by Dr. Devon Wilson, a veterinarian and PhD candidate, and Dr. David Renaud, a professor in the Department of Population Medicine, that explores current calf care practices to provide recommendations to promote overall calf wellbeing...

Read more: OVC Researchers Focus On Optimal Care for Calves

Researchers Aim to Improve COVID-19 Screening With Thermal Camera-Based Imaging Tool

Image captured by the thermal camera-based imaging tool

By Otaiba Ahsan  

University of Guelph researchers have developed a hand-held thermal camera-based imaging tool that may improve COVID-19 screening protocols. Used at screening locations, the device could quickly detect higher heart rate, body temperature or breathing rate – all potential indicators of COVID-19 infection. Users can flag individuals for further testing, preventing them from unknowingly spreading the virus, and improve triage and monitoring in hospitals. In this article, Otaiba Ahsan examines how this device can potentially...

Read more: Researchers Aim to Improve COVID-19 Screening With Thermal Camera-Based Imaging Tool

Two University of Guelph technologies receive Innovation of the Year Award 2020

The University of Guelph sign

Photo Credit: Creative Commons Zero

Combatting COVID-19 and ensuring environmental protection are the goals of two University of Guelph technologies that received the University’s Innovation of the Year Award for 2020.  

Dr. Keith Warriner, a professor in the Department of Food Science, and post-doctoral researcher Mahdiyeh Hasani received the award for repurposing their food disinfection technology to clean personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic. 

Dr. John Lindsay, a professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics, won the award for his open-source...

Read more: Two University of Guelph technologies receive Innovation of the Year Award 2020

Federal fund supports U of G research activities affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Johnson Green building at the University of Guelph.

Wikimedia Commons

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous U of G research projects continued during the past 18 months thanks to federal funding support and a cross-campus team of University of Guelph experts. 

Almost 1,000 researchers and 425 research projects have received support from the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF), created to mitigate COVID-19 impacts on research initiatives and to protect research investments during the pandemic.

U of G received almost $6.5 million to pay wages and incremental costs for essential research-related activities...

Read more: Federal fund supports U of G research activities affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers Aim to Improve Rural Representation in COVID-19 Policies

Two men standing together.

(Jack Sharp/ Unsplash)

By Otaiba Ahsan 

A new University of Guelph study led by Dr. Leith Deacon found that people living in rural Ontario experienced significant declines in mental health, employment satisfaction and personal safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, former SPARK writer Otaiba Ahsan looks at how adequate representation in provincial and federal pandemic countermeasures can have potentially detrimental effects on rural communities...

Read more: Researchers Aim to Improve Rural Representation in COVID-19 Policies

Evaluating animal health surveillance practices during the pandemic

Several pigs gathered together.

(Unsplash)

By Caitlin Ford

Despite COVID-19 lockdown measures, livestock health and animal health surveillance have remained robust during the pandemic, according to a University of Guelph study.

During Ontario’s first lockdown in the spring of 2020, Dr. Zvonimir Poljak, a professor in the Department of Population Medicine, and his research team studied changes in health surveillance and analyzed poultry and swine screening trends from previous years.

Test samples from livestock are routinely submitted to the University of Guelph’s Animal Health...

Read more: Evaluating animal health surveillance practices during the pandemic