The Group

Dr. Barret Kurylyk, P.Eng. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Resource Engineering and the Centre for Water Resources Studies at Dalhousie and holds the Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Coastal Water Resources. He completed his PhD at UNB (2014) and was an NSERC & Killam Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Calgary (2014-2016) as well as a Research Associate at McMaster University (2016-2017). His research interests are in physical hydrogeology, coastal hydrology, climate change, water temperature, and numerical modeling. He recently received a MEOPAR Early Career Award, the Dalhousie University President’s Research Excellence Award for Emerging Investigators, the Geological Society of America Kohout Early-Career Award, and the Discovery Award for Emerging Professional of Distinction.


Lab Openings

We are always recruiting and have openings for talented people who are passionate about research themes aligned with the lab's. If you are interested in MSc, PhD, or PDF positions, please see the Research page to understand the broader research program and some specific projects we are engaged in. Send me a detailed email ( specifically describing what themes you are interested in, why you want to work in our lab, and why you would be a good fit. Open positions are often posted to my Twitter account (@DalHydro).


Lab Assistant/Technician

Gavin McNamara

Gavin is an Earth Science graduate from Dalhousie University. Gavin was a member of the Juneau Icefield Research Program in 2017, focusing on mass balance modelling of the Juneau Icefield in Alaska. He then worked as a research assistant with the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic) mapping Lake Huron as part of the Canada 3D project. Having recently completed a field mapping season working with the Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Gavin is transitioning into a Master’s degree in hydrogeology. Until his MSc. Project is finalized, he is working as a lab assistant for the winter/spring semester. He will assist with the groundwater lab’s field work and data management. His interests include rock and ice climbing, surfing, and reading.


Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr. Aaron Mohammed

Aaron is an Ocean Frontier Institute International Postdoctoral Fellow, working between the Centre for Water Resources Studies at Dalhousie University and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany. Aaron’s post-doc research utilizes a combination of field work and numerical modeling to investigate ocean-aquifer interactions in mega-tidal coastal settings, as well as the effects of contaminated submarine groundwater discharge on coastal water quality. He completed his PhD at the University of Calgary where he studied snowmelt infiltration and groundwater recharge in the Canadian Prairies, and his MSc at Western University looking at permafrost thaw in sub-arctic peatlands.


Dr. Joe Tamborski

Joe is an Ocean Frontier Institute International Postdoctoral Fellow, working between the Centre for Water Resources Studies at Dalhousie University and the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Joseph is currently studying the hydrogeochemistry of salt marshes in the North Atlantic (Bay of Fundy and Cape Cod) using heat and radium isotopes as seawater circulation tracers. He completed his PhD thesis on submarine groundwater discharge to Long Island Sound and spent his past postdoc studying submarine groundwater inputs to the French Mediterranean Sea. 


Graduate Students

Aida Zeighami

Aida received her Master's Degree in Coastal Environmental Engineering from the University of Tehran in 2016. Her MSc thesis addressed the characteristics and environmental effects of coastal upwelling in the Gulf of Oman through numerical modeling. Her PhD research focuses on the numerical modeling of estuarine hydrodynamics and thermal regimes under present and future climate conditions in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Her work includes a combination of field work and numerical modeling. Aida holds a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship.


Jason KarisAllen

Jason KarisAllen graduated from Dalhousie University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering and from Saint Mary's University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science. Jason MASc thesis will explore the temperature patterns found within anthropologically perturbed estuarine environments over tidal and dial cycles. This work will involve a combination of field data acquisition (drones, loggers, fibre-optic Distributed Temperature Sensing) and numerical heat modelling. Findings will be used to assess the vulnerability of these ecosystems within the context of a warming climate. Jason received an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2020.


Ray Craddock

Ray is an Earth Sciences graduate from Dalhousie University. His MASc research focuses on utilizing multiple hydrogeological tracers to assess groundwater-borne harbour contamination in Mabou, Nova Scotia. Mabou has persistent bacterial contamination, and an economy strongly reliant on the health of its harbour and adjacent beaches. Field methods include the use of piezometers, thermal imagery, temperature-depth profiles, and artificial sweeteners. Field data will be studied through the application of numerical models. Ray is supported in part through an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship.


Julia Cantelon

Julia completed her environmental science degree at Western University. Her MASc research focuses on the the hydrogeology and hydrology of Sable Island and the influence of a changing marine environment. The field component of her project includes time-domain EM geophysics, wave and tide monitoring, piezometer and well installation and monitoring, and using temperature to trace groundwater fluxes. Her project also involves state-of-the-art modeling of ocean-aquifer exchanges. She is funded through the MEOPAR NCE as well as a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, an NSERC (CGSM) Scholarship, and a Killlam Pre-Doctoral Scholarship. In 2020, Julia received the Canadian Water Resources Association Dillon Scholarship.


Sofija Stanic

Sofija received her Bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Calgary with an Honors Thesis focused on groundwater contributions to the Elbow River in Alberta. Her MASc  work addresses the hydrogeology of Lennox Island, a First Nation community in PEI. Her project considers how the freshwater lens in the aquifer is affected by coastal erosion. Her field and modeling work will involve freshwater lens mapping (geophysical surveying), drone surveys, well monitoring, and numerical monitoring to assess the future state of groundwater for this island.


Connor Acton

Connor completed his environmental engineering degree at Dalhousie University in 2019. His MASc work involves the characterization of the hydrologic and hydrogeologic regimes of the northern coastal community of Sanikiluaq, Nunavut. Field activities will involve the establishment of a novel field-based water resources laboratory, including the installation of an instrumented groundwater observation well and surface infrastructure. Findings from such work will contribute to understanding the impacts of climate change on northern coastal water resources and communities. Connor is funded through the Dalhousie ASPIRE program and a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship. 


Kathryn Smith

Kathryn graduated from Dalhousie University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and from St. Francis Xavier University in 2016 with a Diploma in Engineering. Her MASc research focuses on investigating estuarine warming and cold-water habitat loss due to climate change in the Morell River and the Chéticamp River in Nova Scotia. Estuary water temperatures will be mapped via field data collection (drone surveys, loggers and fibre-optic distributed temperature sensing) which will be analyzed through numerical modelling. Her work will be used to develop appropriate thermal and ecosystem management strategies. Kathryn is funded through the Dalhousie ASPIRE program. In 2020, Kathryn received the Geological Society of America Schlemon Scholarship in Environmental and Engineering Geology.


Hanzhi Zhu

Hanzhi is an MEng student from China with a Bachelor's Degree in Groundwater Science and Engineering (Guilin University of Technology). Her MEng thesis addresses the dynamics of freshwater lenses (freshwater aquifers) underlying small islands and the impacts of island geometry and sea-level rise. She is using the integrated finite element model, SUTRA, to simulate coupled density-driven flow and transport dynamics.


Hanzhi Zu

Nicole LeRoux

Nicole graduated from Dalhousie University in 2020 with a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. Her MASc research is part of the larger NSERC ResNet network. She is focusing on saltwater intrusion in agricultural dykelands along the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia and the resultant impacts to ecosystem services. Field work will consist of monitoring ocean and coastal aquifer dynamics using piezometers, wave loggers, and geophysical surveys. Numerical modeling will be used to better understand ocean-aquifer interactions in this mega-tidal setting. Nicole is funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, and she recently received the Atlantic Geoscience Society Rob Raeside Award, an On to the Future Award from the Geological Society of America, and the Engineering Top Co-op Student at Dalhousie.


Kiera Dolan

Kiera graduated with a Bachelor's degree in biology in 2017, and a Bachelor's degree in civil engineering in 2020, both from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Her MASc research addresses coastal erosion on a small barrier island off the north coast of PEI. Her work will assess the erosion and sediment transport of the islands under future conditions through a combination of field work (drone surveys and wave loggers) and numerical modeling. Kiera is funded through a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship and MEOPAR.


Lab Alumni

Sanjana Moodbagil

Sanjana was a Mitacs Globalink Intern from India who is currently an undergraduate student in the Information Science and Engineering program at the BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore. She has expertise in computer science, cloud computing, and data analysis, and her summer (2019) project focused on the development and application of a computer program to estimate groundwater recharge rates from groundwater hydrographs using the water table fluctuation method. She also assisted in controller programming for new sensors under development in the lab.


Shaswata Sen

Shaswata was a Mitacs Globalink Intern from the Department of Civil Engineering, Jadavpur University, India. He worked on several related ‘heat as a groundwater tracer’ projects, including code development and field data collection. He previously held a Science Academies’ Summer Research Fellowship to study saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers.


Megan Ramirez

Megan was a Mitacs Globalink Intern from Universidad Internacional near Mexico City. In the summer of 2018, she designed, built, and installed multi-level stream- and pond-bed temperature sensor rods for tracing vertical groundwater fluxes. Her primary field site was Sable Island (see picture) where the groundwater-sourced ponds are rapidly shrinking.