Environment minister drops into York’s cottage country laboratory

Leona Dombrowsky, Ontario’s minister of the environment, paid a whirlwind visit to the lab of Norman Yan, biology professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, in Dorset, Ontario, recently. The minister dropped in to York’s Field Laboratory for the Assessment of Multiple Ecological Stressors (FLAMES) at the ministry’s Dorset Environmental Science Centre in the Muskoka Region for an inspection and update.

Right: From left, Leona Dombrowsky and Norman Yan chat about research at York’s FLAMES laboratory.

“We had only one day to tidy the place up,” Yan said of the informal 90-minute visit to meet staff and tour the lab run by Yan and a team of York students. He spent some time with the minister explaining the ongoing work at FLAMES to identify causes of long-term changes in the biota of Ontario’s more than 250,000 lakes.

Yan said Dombrowsky appeared quite fascinated with the Daphnia, or water fleas, in the growth chambers and was pleased with the team’s work exploring the impact that acid rain, ultraviolet radiation, climate change and invading species pose to the natural world. The minister’s visit was a prelude to discussions between the ministry and the University on renewing funding agreements.

For more information on the FLAMES lab and on Yan’s work, see stories in the Nov. 13, 2003 issue of YFile and the Summer 2004 issue of YorkU magazine.