Centres & Infrastructure

U of T Scarborough is home to a number of research centres and infrastructure to support cutting-edge projects.

Infrastructure Support

The Science Research Building was commissioned in 2009 and houses six plant biology faculty and their laboratories in an open concept building design. The building features a microscopy suite, tissue culture facility, a darkroom, radioisotopes labs, a plant growth facility, cold rooms, an NMR facility and conference and seminar rooms. The open-concept design facilitates interactions amongst students and faculty, fostering collaborative relationships and technology transfer.

TRACES is a state-of-the-art analytical facility for use on the University of Toronto Scarborough. It contains all the modern analytical instruments required for a leading edge chemical, biological and physical science department.TRACES provides both instrumentation and training for a very large and diverse field of users. The laboratories welcome all U of T Scarborough students providing the necessary training and hands-on access to the technologies of the future allowing them to develop essential skills to further their research careers or to secure jobs in fields of chemistry, biochemistry and environmental science. The goal of TRACES is keep U of T Scarborough on the cusp of scientific innovations and development in physical and environmental science.

For more information about the Traces Lab please visit TRACES Lab

Located on the Oak Ridges Moraine in King Township north of Toronto, the Koffler Scientific Reserve (KSR) at Jokers Hill is an internationally recognized site for cutting-edge research and education in biodiversity, ecology and conservation biology. Courses offered by the University of Toronto bring students to Koffler Scientific Reserve for the type of hands on experience in natural environments that no campus can offer. The reserve offers instructive and entertaining learning experiences through special events, including informal guided Nature Walks and more intensive Natural History Workshops. A system of public walking trails offers an opportunity to experience an important piece of Ontario’s natural heritage.

For more information please visit Koffler Scientific Reserve 

 

The astronomical observatory at the University of Toronto Scarborough features multiple telescopes ranging in size and quality, including a new 8-inch f/8 Ritchey-Chretien telescope used for astrophotography. All UTSC students, faculty and staff are welcome to join for an observing session or learn to operate the telescope. The Observatory has a mailing list by which it communicates regarding upcoming observing sessions.

For more information please visit UTSC Observatory

Research Centres

The Centre for Ethnography was established in 2007 to foster and promote ethnographic research and writing at the University of Toronto Scarborough. The Centre hosts an annual speakers series, international workshops, undergraduate methods and research courses, and an annual competition for a fellowship in ethnographic writing. People carrying out ethnographic fieldwork in the Toronto region may affiliate with the Centre for Ethnography while in Toronto, and are welcome to attend the speakers series and other events.

For more information please visit the Centre for Ethnography

The Centre for Global Disability Studies (CGDS) is a new research centre established in 2020 and housed at University of Toronto Scarborough. CGDS serves a catalyst to bring together faculty members, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and others conducting anti-ableist, intersectional, and interdisciplinary social science and humanities disability studies research from across all three University of Toronto (UofT) campuses and broader community. CGDS supports transdisciplinary research in disability studies and promotes a transnational, anticolonial approach to advancing the field of disability studies, with a strong commitment to interdependence, accessibility, and disability justice. Seeking to improve the campus climate for researchers and audiences with disabilities across UofT, CGDS aspires to foster critical conversations that advance other ways of thinking about disability.

For more information please visit Centre for Global Disability Studies

The Centre for the Neurobiology of Stress is a state-of-the-art facility founded to provide the sophisticated instrumentation needed to advance a deep understanding of the functioning of the brain and the nervous system. It was founded in 2000 with an initial major award from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation that was matched by funds from the Ontario Research Fund as well as significant funding from the University of Toronto Scarborough. The Centre brings together researchers from the departments of Biological Sciences, Physical and Environmental Sciences, and Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough as well as local, national and international collaborators. The infrastructure is comprised of several facilities including an advanced electrophysiology and microscopy facility, animal behavioral testing and surgical facilities, cellular and molecular biology suites, and an arctic field research station.

For more information please visit Centre for Neurobiology of Stress

The Centre for Planetary Sciences is hosted within the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at U of T Scarborough. The main role of the Centre is to provide the best academic forum possible for cross-disciplinary exchanges between faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and students working on planets near and far at the University. To achieve this goal, the Centre administers an extensive visitor program and a competitive postdoctoral fellows program. The Centre also enhances educational activities by providing an orientation platform for all interested students and by helping attract some of the best undergraduate and graduate talent in planetary science to the University. Finally, the Centre supports outreach activities aimed at engaging the general public with Solar system and exoplanet science, with an emphasis on local community efforts.

For more information please visit Centre for Planetary Sciences

The Centre for Research in Earth System Science showcases cutting edge research activity investigating the natural evolution of the Earth and solar system. The fields of interest featured in the Centre’s activity include Cryospheric Dynamics, Sedimentology, Petrology, Structural Geology, Geodynamics, Geochemistry, Atmospheric Physics and Planetary Physics. For more information, please visit The Centre for Research Group.

The Culinaria Research Centre is a multidisciplinary initiative that blends research excellence with community engagement and student research experience. Culinaria’s projects provide new insights into some of the major questions of the field of food studies: the place of food in cultural identity and expression; the relationship between food, diaspora, and inter-ethnic/inter-cultural contact in Canada and beyond; commodity production and labour, from slavery to the age of empire to the present-day; and the links between food systems, health, gender and family.

The local community is Culinaria’s audience and its laboratory. Surrounding streets, shops and strip malls offer unique opportunities to develop new understandings of food and its significance for diasporic identities, immigrant entrepreneurship and cultural contact. Culinaria combines different methodologies – field work, archival work, oral history, GIS mapping, digital humanities – to trace the foodways of the vibrant multi-ethnic neighborhoods of the eastern GTA.

For more information please visit Culinaria Research Centre

The Environmental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Centre is an innovative, cutting-edge research facility solely dedicated to environmental research. The facility, which opened in 2004, houses three NMR spectrometers capable of analyzing solids, solutions and semi-solids as well as supporting hyphenated applications. The Environmental NMR Centre is a globally unique facility with the mandate to support research that will improve the fundamental understanding of environmental processes at the molecular level. The Centre is also a specialized training platform that provides the next generation of environmental scientists with hands-on access with NMR spectroscopy. Researchers who use the Centre develop and apply novel NMR approaches to study the composition and reactivity of various types of environmental samples. The Centre is also used to study how environmental perturbations may alter organism health (environmental metabolomics).

For more information please visit The Environmental Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Centre

The Integrative Behaviour & Neuroscience (IBN) Group was founded in 2001 to focus on research in functional and evolutionary aspects of animal behavior. The goal of the group is to provide intellectual and physical support for integrative approaches to research that may span levels of expertise not usually within the purview of a single lab group. In so doing, the IBN creates the seed for a research focus that is unique on the tri-campus landscape and is found in only a few other institutions in North America. This is a timely addition to the University of Toronto Scarborough research landscape. It is widely recognized that the genome sequencing efforts of the past decade or so have not produced the types of insights into phenotypic variation that were expected. Research of the type undertaken in the IBN group seeks to bridge the gap between gene and phenotype, using behavior as a model. By explicitly including effects of natural variation in the environment on complex phenotypes, IBN research takes us one step closer to practical application of genomic data to our understanding of variation among individuals and species.

For more information please visit Integrative Behaviour & Neuroscience Group

The Plant Cellular & Molecular Processes (PCMP) Group includes faculty that are physically clustered in a large open-concept laboratory space. The group has found this to be particularly beneficial to promoting interaction and technology-transfer between lab members, particularly graduate students. The group also maintains significant plant growth facilities (reach-in and walk-in chambers with the capacity for fine control of irradiance, temperature, humidity and CO2) and maintains a regular PCMB seminar series that provides graduate students the opportunity to present their on-going research to a local audience. Collectively, the PCMP group has significant expertise in biochemistry, molecular genetics, molecular biology, physiology and advanced microscopy. The group uses a combination of these techniques to address fundamental questions about plant growth and development, metabolism, reproduction and response to environmental cues and stressors.

For more information please visit Plant Cellular & Molecular Processes

Labs & Research Groups - Social Sciences & Humanities

The central goal of the Advanced Learning Technologies Lab is to support the creation of effective and research-supported educational technologies that enhance learning. For more information, please visit the Advanced Learning Technologies Lab.

 

The Clinical Neurosciences Laboratory conducts research at the intersections of clinical psychology, neuropsychology and cognitive-affective neuroscience. The research focuses primarily on cognition—the thinking abilities that support human behaviour—and psychopathology, including symptoms and maladaptive traits. For more information, please visit the Clinical Neurosciences Laboratory.

 

The Cognitive Neuroscience & Sensorimotor Integration Lab focuses on the cognitive and neural bases of perception and action. Specifically, the lab studies how the brain makes predictions about the world to optimize the ways in which it interacts with the world. For more information, please visit the Cognitive Neuroscience & Sensorimotor Integration Lab.

 

The Computation and Psycholinguistics lab hosts facilities to conduct linguistic, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic experiments. In many cases, the aim of this research is to unravel the cognitive and perceptual mechanisms that underlie our ability to perceive and produce spoken and written language using an array of methodological approaches. For more information, please visit the Computation and Psycholinguistics Lab.

 

Feeding the City is a project that brings together academic researchers and a range of community partners. We are tracking how food growers and buyers, community food providers, and civil society organizations in the Greater Toronto Area are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the ways they are responding to maintain food access and alleviate food insecurity. We are collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data from farmers and urban growers, food workers, vulnerable sections of food consumers, agri-food networks, and social enterprises. For more information, please visit Feeding the City: Pandemic & Beyond.

 

The Global Health and Innovation Lab’s focus is to study how to implement scientific theories and frameworks that can be utilized to address global health gaps in low and middle income countries. The projects focus on assessing implementation processes, facilitators and obstacles associated with the movement of interventions into routine global health practice. The primary goal of the lab is to understand how evidence-based interventions can be scaled-up to improve global health outcomes. For more information, please visit Global Health & Innovation Lab.

 

The ITOLiMBiC Lab is based at the Department of Psychology, University of Toronto at the Scarborough campus. We use a multidisciplinary approach to identifying the network of brain structures that work together to ensure the efficient encoding and recall of affective information, and to establish the neural and neurochemical basis of the way in which such information can come to exert powerful control over motivated behaviour and decision making. For more information, please visit the ITOLiMBiC Lab.

 

Using various clinical tools and research methods, such as neuropsychological and psychological testing, fMRI, virtual reality, meta-analysis, or various experimental designs, the Konstantine Zakzanis Lab is interested in  clinical disorders such as traumatic brain injury,  depressive disorders, schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, substance related and addictive disorders along with inherent issues related to these disorders such as malingering, diagnostic typology, early diagnosis, and treatment. For more information, please visit the Konstantine Zakzanis Lab.

 

The Lee MLT Lab’s goal is to understand the functions of a group of brain structures in the brain called the medial temporal lobe (MTL), by focusing on memory, perception, and conflict processing. The lab uses a variety of techniques including functional neuroimaging, patient neuropsychology and eye-tracking. For more information, please visit, the Lee MLT Lab

 

The Mindful Awareness Lab is a research hub dedicated to studying the clinical applications of mindfulness meditation. Current research projects are funded by NIMH and CIHR  and include studies of 1) neural markers of depressive relapse and prophylaxis following MBCT and CBT, 2) changes in hedonic capacity associated with differing trajectories of personal mindfulness practice, 3) effectiveness of web-based delivery of  MBCT and 4) training models to increase MBCT therapist capacity. For more information, please visit The Mindful Awareness Lab.

 

The Music Cognition Lab’s research focuses mainly around musical structure and performance. For more information, please visit the Music Cognition Lab.

 

The STEPP lab’s research focuses primary on the study of borderline personality disorder, emotion dysregulation, and associated traits, behaviors, and environmental factors. Current research broadly prioritizes psychotherapy mechanisms, outcomes, program improvement and evaluation, as well as barriers to treatment implementation, in a variety of hospital, community, and residential treatment settings. For more information, please visit the STEPP Lab.

 

The Toronto Decision Neuroscience Lab tries to understand what the architecture of the brain can tell us about human thought, feeling, and behavior. What computational mechanisms give rise to emotions and decisions? What is it about these mechanisms that make cheesecake so hard to resist, or lead us to be too selfish? Most importantly, how do we make better choices for ourselves and others? For more information, please visit the Toronto Decision Neuroscience Lab.

 

Research in Visual Recognition Lab focuses on neural and computational aspects of visual recognition. A major goal of this research is to clarify the relationship between objective image properties and the structure of neural representations in high-level visual cortex. To this end, the lab’s work involves neuroimaging (fMRI, EEG) and neuropsychological investigations along with behavioral psychophysics and computational modeling of visual face and object processing. A related line of research concerns the development of novel methods for the analysis and interpretation of neuroimaging data. For more information, please visit the Visual Recognition Lab.

 

The Work and Play Lab uses methods borrowed from social psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience to understand the nature of the mental effort we use to reach our goals and the nature of leisure activities we do for fun.  The lab’s research includes projects on self-control, motivation, and empathy (work) as well as projects on digital device use, social media, and recreational cannabis use (play). The lab is committed to open and transparent science, which includes publicly posting data and materials, often preregistering studies, and regularly running replication studies. For more information, please visit the Work and Play Lab.

 

The Yoel Inbar Lab studies how intuitions and emotions—particularly disgust—affect our social, political, and moral beliefs. For more information, please visit the Yoel Inbar Lab.

 

Labs & Research Groups - Sciences

Research lab focusing on Environmental geochemistry of aquatic systems; biogeochemistry; geomicrobiology; modelling of early diagenesis. For more information, please visit Biogeochemistry Lab.

 

The Clean Energy Lab works on developing new materials for Li-ion batteries, hydrogen storage, CO2 capture, and photovoltaics, to help mitigate climate change and meet the Paris Agreement goals. The lab utilizes atomistic simulations, machine learning, automated high-throughput materials synthesis and characterization to demonstrate proof-of-principle devices that will speed-up the transition to renewables. For more information, please visit the Clean Energy Lab.

 

Research lab focusing on Climate Change in the Eastern Arctic, Numerical ocean and climate modeling, Air Quality in southwestern Ontario, Climate of Toronto, Hurricanes and Climate Change, Climate Change Impact Assessment, Day-to-day temperature variability. For more information, please visit the Climate Lab.

 

The Environmental Fluid Dynamics Lab aims to quantify the mixing in environmental flows, particularly those in large lakes and the coastal ocean where stratification and the Earth’s rotation play a dominant role in the dynamics. The lab studies such mixing and dispersion in both the field studies and through laboratory studies. For more information, please visit the Environmental Fluid Dynamics Lab.

 

The Environmental NMR Centre is an innovative, cutting-edge research facility solely dedicated to environmental research. The facility houses three 500 MHz NMR spectrometers capable of analyzing solids, solutions, and semi-solids as well as supporting hyphenated applications. This includes a novel capability termed Comprehensive Multi-phase (CMP) NMR that permits analysis of all components (solutions, gels and solids) samples in their natural state without pre-treatment. The Environmental NMR Centre is a globally unique facility with the mandate to support research that will improve the fundamental understanding of environmental processes at the molecular-level. For more information, please visit The Environmental NMR Centre.

 

The Environmental Science in Society Lab investigates problems and pursues solutions to environmental challenges. Their work ranges from highly applied to purely theoretical, and from local to international scales of governance. For more information, please visit the Environmental Science in Society Lab.

 

Through engaged scholarship, the From Bench to Communities Lab develops transdisciplinary community-based research projects to assess the impacts of anthropogenic pressures on health and well-being by combining information from multiple levels of biological organization. For more information, please visit From Bench to Communities Lab.

 

The Global Environmental Change Lab focuses on the causes and consequences of variability in plant traits, and its linkages with key ecosystem processes including carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and plant responses to climate change. They also explore how plant diversity has changed over the past decades, and what this means for the ecology of agricultural systems. For more information, please visit the Global Environmental Change Lab.

 

The Global Health and Innovation Lab’s focus is to study how to implement scientific theories and frameworks that can be utilized to address global health gaps in low and middle income countries. The projects focus on assessing implementation processes, facilitators and obstacles associated with the movement of interventions into routine global health practice. The primary goal of the lab is to understand how evidence-based interventions can be scaled-up to improve global health outcomes. For more information, please visit Global Health & Innovation Lab.

 

GUBIC is a multidisciplinary global analysis of how urbanization shapes and is shaped by the movement of species around the world. We aim to uncover how environment, city structure, biogeography, history, trade, economics and governance all shape the biodiversity of cites and the environmental benefits to people. For more information, please visit GUBIC.

 

The Guzzo Lab is a viral immunology lab focused on host-pathogen interactions and HIV infection. For more information, please visit the Guzzo Lab.

 

The Harrison Lab is a research lab at the University of Toronto Scarborough focusing on studying the cell biology of three different cell types: macrophages, osteoblasts and osteoclasts. For more information, please visit the Harrison Lab.

 

The Integrative Agroecology Lab conducts interdisciplinary research on plant strategies and the nutrient economy of agroecosystems. The lab investigates practices that improve the efficiency of nutrient cycles, optimized plant-soil interactions, and promotes landscape scale services in low-input agriculture and agroforestry systems. For more information, please visit the Integrative Agroecology Lab.

 

The Integrative Behaviour & Neuroscience (IBN) Group was founded in 2001 to focus on research in functional and evolutionary aspects of animal behavior. The goal of the group is to provide intellectual and physical support for integrative approaches to research that may span levels of expertise not usually within the purview of a single lab group. In so doing, the IBN creates the seed for a research focus that is unique on the tri-campus landscape and is found in only a few other institutions in North America. This is a timely addition to the University of Toronto Scarborough research landscape. It is widely recognized that the genome sequencing efforts of the past decade or so have not produced the types of insights into phenotypic variation that were expected. Research of the type undertaken in the IBN group seeks to bridge the gap between gene and phenotype, using behavior as a model. By explicitly including effects of natural variation in the environment on complex phenotypes, IBN research takes us one step closer to practical application of genomic data to our understanding of variation among individuals and species. For more information please visit Integrative Behaviour & Neuroscience Group.

 

The Kraatz group is an interdisciplinary group of chemists, engineers, and environmental scientists. We cover a variety of research interests including the development of biosensors, peptide self-assembly and biomaterials, and the remediation of greenhouse gases. For more information, please visit The Kraatz Research Group.

 

The Mandrak Lab is a research lab at the University of Toronto Scarborough focusing on the ecology and conservation of freshwater fishes. For more information, please visit The Mandrak Lab.

 

Research in the Mechano Microbiology Lab lies at the interface of mechano-microbiology and materials-biosystems interactions. The lab uses a multifaceted and integrative approach to quantify, and elucidate the molecular mechanism behind the mechanical forces that stabilize the initial stages of bacterial biofilm formation on different materials. For more information, please visit the Mechano Microbiology Lab.

 

The Mitchell Research Group studies the ways in which hydrology influences biogeochemical processes and contaminant fate and transport.  The group is particularly interested in mercury cycling, urban ecosystems, watershed and hillslope hydrology, stable isotope applications in hydrology, wetland ecotoxicology, passive sampling, and fluvial transport of contaminants. For more information, please visit the Mitchell Research Group.

 

The Plant Cellular & Molecular Processes (PCMP) Group includes faculty that are physically clustered in a large open-concept laboratory space. The group has found this to be particularly beneficial to promoting interaction and technology-transfer between lab members, particularly graduate students. The group also maintains significant plant growth facilities (reach-in and walk-in chambers with the capacity for fine control of irradiance, temperature, humidity and CO2) and maintains a regular PCMB seminar series that provides graduate students the opportunity to present their on-going research to a local audience. Collectively, the PCMP group has significant expertise in biochemistry, molecular genetics, molecular biology, physiology and advanced microscopy. The group uses a combination of these techniques to address fundamental questions about plant growth and development, metabolism, reproduction and response to environmental cues and stressors. For more information please visit the Plant Cellular & Molecular Processes Group.

 

The Wania Group is an environmental chemistry research group headed by Frank Wania, a professor with cross-appointments in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. The group’s research is concerned with understanding and quantifying the fate and behaviour of organic chemicals in the environment using a combination of field studies, laboratory experiments, and computer simulations. For more information, please visit the Wania Group.