Trevor Charles awarded $250,000 through The New Frontiers in Research Fund Exploration competition

Friday, June 4, 2021

Innovative and interdisciplinary research is at the forefront of the Faculty of Science. The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) has awarded four Waterloo Science researchers a total of $750,000 to advance groundbreaking research. 

Trevor Charles

Trevor Charles, Professor in the Department of Biology, in collaboration with Boxin Zhao, Professor in the Chemical Engineering were awarded $250,000 for their project titled Synergistic Photocatalytic and Biocatalytic Degradation for Controlling Microplastic Pollution.

This research looks to address the growing amount of synthetic plastic pollution, with a focus on microplastics which readily escape from the wastewater treatment systems and pose a direct threat to aquatic microorganisms and environments. This project will investigate and develop innovative ways to resolve the problem of microplastics pollution, to help enable a sustainable and circular economy through combination of membrane, photo- and bio-catalytic treatments to accelerating the degradation of microplastic particles that can be recovered from wastewater or natural environments.

This project is one of the three in the Faculty of Science selected at the University of Waterloo for funding. A total of 117 projects across Canada were funded by the New Frontiers in Research Fund announced this week, totaling $14.5 million awarded to researchers. The fund’s Exploration stream specifically targets interdisciplinary, high-risk, high-reward research that defies current models, bridges disciplines in novel ways, or tackles fundamental problems from new perspectives.

“Research that takes great risks advances the way we think about the issues that impact Canadians,” says The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The Government of Canada is supporting researchers who are exploring bold new directions that could change lives and position Canada at the forefront of global research and innovation."