What will astronauts eat when resupply is no longer a possibility? How will isolated communities in Canada’s North face increasing pressures on their food systems due to unreliable growing conditions or supply chains? These challenges require local production of nutrients in an autonomous and sustainable manner. Concordia’s very own AstroYeast team is building a food production system for long term space missions and we want to know how our technology could contribute to food security here on Earth.
Join the conversation with experts in food sovereignty and security, Indigenous food systems, and sustainable agriculture, with the goal of identifying holistic approaches to challenges in Canada’s North.
How can you participate? Join us in person or online by registering for the Zoom Meeting or watching live on YouTube.
Gordon graduated from Sask Polytech in 2013 with a diploma in biotechnology. He worked at DOW AgroSciences for four years, playing a key role in developing a high-throughput near-infrared scanning platform and in developing accurate calibration prediction models to ensure breeders are making informed decisions on the advancement of strains through commercialization. In 2022, Gordon joined the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS), at the Omics Precision Agricultural Lab (OPAL) which performs diverse laboratory and bioinformatic tasks, with a specialization in DNA and RNA extractions of various agricultural samples.
Raised in Sandy Bay, northern Saskatchewan, Gord is a married father of 4 and a grandfather of 6. He is of Cree Indigenous descent, Treaty 6 registered with the James Smith Reservation (Muskoday), and observed traditional Indigenous lifestyle including land stewardship, hunting, fishing, and ceremony. He is a strong proponent of Indigenous land rights, education for non-Indigenous communities, and the reconciliation process. His passions are mentoring and encouraging Indigenous youth to lead healthy lifestyles and career paths in STEM.
OPHELIA SARAKINIS GUSH indoor strawberry farm, farm management and technology.
Ophelia is the founder and CEO of an indoor strawberry farm in Montreal. A graduate in Farm Management and Technology from McGill, she combines sustainable farming with advanced technologies such as LED lighting and hydroponics for year-round strawberry cultivation. Her work is driven by a passion for local food systems, environmental sustainability, and a commitment to community impact.
Having grown up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, Wade has always been passionate about where our food comes from. He worked in education overseas for several years after receiving his Bachelor of Science with Honors from the University of Calgary. When he returned to Canada, he settled in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where he developed a newfound appreciation for Canada's variety of regional food systems, especially the long-standing but endangered Indigenous methods of managing land. He had a major role in significantly increasing the activities and influence of Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre while serving as its president and then as its executive director. He was also deeply involved in a number of other non-profit and community initiatives, including the creation of the Nunavut Association of Non-Profit Organizations.
As an advocate he has made numerous appearances before media and multiple levels of government to push for a more dignified and equitable approach to increasing food security, stronger regional food sovereignty, a dismantling of colonial food systems, and improved health of communities through good food. Newly based in Montreal, Wade is eager to get involved in the urban food movement while working towards change on a national level.
Trevor is a space educator living in Montreal. He does events, workshops, and team-building activities teaching about space, astronomy and what we can see in the urban night sky.
The AstroYeast team would like to acknowledge that Concordia University is located on unceded Indigenous lands. The Kanien’kehá:ka Nation is recognized as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather today. Tiohtià:ke/Montréal is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations. Today, it is home to a diverse population of Indigenous and other peoples. We respect the continued connections with the past, present and future in our ongoing relationships with Indigenous and other peoples within the Montreal community.
Coordinated by Jaime Malone, Lancia Lefebvre, Michaella Atienza, and Steven Li of the AstroYeast team, finalists in the CSA/NASA Deep Space Food Challenge.
Sponsored by CSA/NASA Deep Space Food Challenge, Concordia University, Concordia University Alumni Association, SolidWorks
Supported by CubeSat Initiative for Canadians in STEM (CUBICS), Concordia Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology, SynBioApps NSERC-CREATE program, Lallemand, CubeSat Initiative for Canadians in STEM