My name is Marcel Babin. I hold the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Canada's New Arctic Frontier. The goal of my research is to gain a better understanding of how the Arctic Ocean's ecosystems work and how the organisms that live in them will respond to climate change and to the impacts of new industrial activities in the Arctic.
One of my proudest achievements is the development of the research project Malina, which Canada, France and the United States are currently conducting jointly in the Arctic. The project is investigating what impact the melting of the polar ice sheet is having on the penetration of sunlight into the Arctic Ocean, on that ocean's marine ecosystems, and on the growth of the microscopic algae that make up the bottom of its food chain.
Université Laval is the best environment to carry out this research—the best in Canada and one of the best in the world—for three main reasons. First, because Laval is the lead university for several provincial and national networks of scientists doing Arctic research, not only in the natural sciences, but also in the health and social sciences.
Second, Laval offers significant research infrastructure—in particular, the Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen and a network of observing stations covering all of northern Quebec and operated by the Centre for Northern Studies.
Third, because Laval is home to a large number of world-class researchers investigating the Arctic, it is an environment brimming with important ideas and discussions on this subject. Every one of the major research projects being conducted by this Canada Excellence Research Chair will provide a better understanding of how the Arctic Ocean functions as a whole.
The Arctic Ocean is a vast environment that is very hard to access. To carry out our research projects successfully, we will be using a wide variety of new observation methods. In particular, we will be making intensive use of various kinds of satellite observations. By feeding these observations into our mathematical models, we will be able to assess current and future conditions in the marine ecosystems of the Arctic Ocean.