Algoma University is pleased to announce that Biology faculty member, Associate Professor Dr. Pedro Antunes, has been named a Canada Research Chair (CRC).
“Dr. Antunes is an outstanding researcher by anyone’s standards,” said Algoma University President, Dr. Richard Myers. “It comes as no surprise to me that he has been awarded one of these elite research chairs by a national body. We’re very pleased that this CRC appointment will provide him with the time and resources to continue his outstanding work in the area of invasive species.”
Since 2000, the Canada Research Chair program has aimed to position Canada as one of the top research and development countries in the world. Each year $265 million is used to attract and retain the world’s most accomplished researchers to Canada. Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, and health sciences. Research Chairs improve the depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled researchers.
From Lisbon, Portugal, Antunes has been a member of the Algoma U faculty complement since January 2010. Antunes studies soils and their interactions with living organisms, including microbial interactions and how they affect plants above ground. The practical application is to understand plant invasions so that people have a better handle on their impact on the planet. With his new appointment as Research Chair, Antunes will be studying the long-term consequences of plant invasions for biodiversity. His biggest accomplishments to date in his Plant and Soil Ecology Lab at Algoma U, include finding important links between fungal and bacterial symbioses and plant productivity. Other advances made in his lab include an increased understanding of the relationships between beneficial soil microbes and pathogens in the context of plant invasions.
“This Chairship is a great honour,” said Dr. Antunes. “I’m very thankful for this award and for the opportunities that Algoma University has given me. The appointment is a recognition by my peers, nationally and internationally, of the work being done right here on the campus of Algoma University.”