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NSERC Discovery Grant funds SRES research on contaminated aquatic sites

Posted by Erin Elaine Casey on November 21, 2018 in News

Many aquatic sites across Canada have been contaminated by industrial activity, posing ecological risks to marine or freshwater ecosystems. Tony Walker, assistant professor in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies, is investigating these effects with an NSERC Discovery Grant–funded project titled “Discovery and application of technologies to improve management of contaminated aquatic sites in Canada.”

The objectives of Dr. Walker’s research program are to identify major issues related to contaminated aquatic sites across Canada—and improve management, reduce uncertainty, limit environmental liability costs and improve predictions of ecological risk. Existing environmental assessments of these sites are often superficial and inconsistent. Knowledge gaps and uncertainty about the extent of contamination raise serious concerns for custodians of aquatic sites.

Dr. Walker’s team will conduct both short-term and long-term studies during this multi-year project and ensure that knowledge is shared with agencies responsible for managing contaminated aquatic sites. Partnerships and agreements with industrial partners and federal and provincial agencies are already well established, and researchers at several other Canadian universities and government agencies are involved. This research will help a diverse group of stakeholders across Canada to remediate, restore and manage environmental and economic viability of compromised aquatic systems. The inclusion of graduate students in the program will ensure the development of more highly qualified personnel (HQP).