U of S bird research centre among projects receiving millions in federal money

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale announced the funding for the Facility for Applied Avian Research and other projects at the University of Saskatchewan. Devin Sauer / Global News

More than $10.4 million in federal government funding announced Wednesday is expected to help 57 scientists and students at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

The newly-opened Facility for Applied Avian Research (FAAR) at the U of S Western College of Veterinary Medicine will benefit from nearly $400,000 of the grant money.

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The centre is one of only two facilities in Canada able to conduct advanced research on birds.

FAAR researchers attempt to answer questions about avian responses to things like industrial and agricultural pollution, disease and climate change.

“Things like crop pollination and pest control. Mosquitoes. These are all things that birds control and do for us without paying them a dollar,” said FAAR director Christy Morrissey.

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The funding comes from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

“The University of Saskatchewan has done very well in the competition for the dollars. The competition is brutal,” said federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

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Twenty-two U of S graduate students secured more than $885,000 in NSERC scholarships.

Across Canada, more than $465 million was awarded in the form of over 4,000 grants.

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