The Group

Dr. Barret Kurylyk, P.Eng. is an Associate 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 II) in Coastal Water Resources. Barret's research interests are in physical hydrogeology, coastal hydrology, climate change, & environmental heat transfer. Barret recently received a MEOPAR Early Career Award, the Dalhousie University President’s Research Excellence Award for Emerging Investigator, the Geological Society of America Kohout Early-Career Award, the IAH-CNC Early Career Hydrogeologist Award, and the Discovery Award for Emerging Professional of Distinction. Barret serves as President of the Canadian Geophysical Union Hydrology Section and as Associate Editor for Geophysical Research Letters.


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 Barret 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).

Research Associates


Nicole LeRoux

Nicole graduated from Dalhousie University in 2020 with a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and in 2023 with a master's degree. Nicole's MASc research was part of the larger NSERC ResNet network. Nicole was focusing on saltwater intrusion in agricultural dykelands along the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia and the resultant impacts to ecosystem services. Nicole used several field techniques and developed a 2D numerical model to better understand ocean-aquifer interactions in this mega-tidal setting. Nicole was funded through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, and 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. As a research associate, Nicole will be assisting with lab oversight, field campaigns, and numerical modeling across several ongoing projects.



PhD Students/Candidates


Aida Zeighami

Aida received a Master's Degree in Coastal Environmental Engineering from the University of Tehran in 2016. Aida's MSc thesis addressed the characteristics and environmental effects of coastal upwelling in the Gulf of Oman through numerical modeling. Aida's 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. This work includes a combination of field work and numerical modeling. Aida holds a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship.


Julia Cantelon

Julia completed an environmental science degree at Western University. Julia's PhD research focuses on the the hydrogeology and hydrology of Sable Island and the influence of a changing marine environment. The field component of this project includes time-domain EM geophysics, wave and tide monitoring, piezometer and well installation and monitoring, and using temperature to trace groundwater fluxes. Julia's project also involves state-of-the-art modeling of ocean-aquifer exchanges. Julia is funded through the MEOPAR NCE as well as through Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships (MASc and PhD), NSERC Scholarships (CGSM and PGSD), and Killlam Scholarships (MASc and PhD). In 2019, Julia received a MEOPAR Training Award, and in 2020, Julia received the Canadian Water Resources Association Dillon Scholarship and a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America.


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. Kathryn transferred from a MASc to a PhD in 2021, with PhD research focusing on investigating estuarine warming and cold-water habitat loss due to climate change in coastal rivers within Nova Scotia and PEI. Kathryn is mapping estuarine water temperature patterns using drone surveys, temperature loggers, and fibre-optic distributed temperature sensing and analysing these datasets through numerical modelling. Kathryn is funded through the Dalhousie ASPIRE program, a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral), and the Ocean Frontier Institute Opportunities Fund. In 2020, Kathryn received the Geological Society of America Schlemon Scholarship in Environmental and Engineering Geology and an On To the Future Award. In 2021, Kathryn received the Nova Scotia Salmon Association Scholarship and a Geological Society of America Graduate Student Grant.


Hayden Tackley

Hayden graduated from Dalhousie University with a MASc in Civil Engineering (2019) and a BSc in Earth Science (Geology, 2017). Hayden's masters research focused on the remediation of contaminated sediment and water at the Boat Harbour treatment facility in Pictou, Nova Scotia. Hayden's PhD research is focused on the geotechnical and hydrogeologic characterization of coastal sediments impacted by surface and subsurface saltwater intrusion resulting from the ongoing dyke realignment in Truro, Nova Scotia. Hayden is using geophysical techniques, groundwater chemical analysis, geomorphological assessments, and sediment characterization to identify saltwater intrusion dynamics that may be transferable to other potential realignment sites. Hayden’s research is funded through the NSERC-CREATE (ASPIRE) program, and a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship (Doctoral). In 2021 Hayden was awarded the G.G. Meyerhof Graduate Fellowship. Hayden also currently holds a part time teaching appointment in the Department of Civil and Resource Engineering at Dalhousie. 


Bay Berry

Bay graduated from Dalhousie University in 2020 with a BSc in Earth Sciences. Bay's masters research at the Université du Québec à Rimouski investigates wintertime coastal erosion on the North Shore of the St Lawrence Estuary and the impacts of warm, icefoot-free winters. Bay's PhD research focuses on numerical modeling of permafrost coastal dynamics, combining terrestrial and oceanographic processes to simulate permafrost coastal erosion under current and future climate conditions.


Bailey Strong

Bailey Strong earned an engineering diploma from Cape Breton University in 2016, followed by a Bachelor of Civil Engineering in 2019 and a Master of Applied Science in 2022, both from Dalhousie University. Bailey's doctoral research focuses on evaluating the potential use of subsurface wastewater treatment systems for remote cold regions, aiming to contribute to wastewater treatment guidelines for these communities. Employing numerical modeling and high-performance computing, Bailey is investigating the impact of freeze-thaw processes on the behavior and safety of these systems, taking into account both current and future climate conditions. Bailey's research is co-supervised by Dr. Barret Kurylyk and Dr. Rob Jamieson.


MASc Students


Connor Acton

Connor graduated from Dalhousie University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Engineering Cooperative Program. Connor's MASc work involves investigating the hydrogeological performance of passive wastewater treatment systems in the Northwest Territories. This work uses numerical modelling to couple cold-regions groundwater models with contaminant fate and transport processes to characterize present and future environmental and human health risks related to the contamination of northern water resources from subsurface disposal of wastewater effluent.  Connor is funded through the Dalhousie ASPIRE program, a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, and a Weston Family Award in Northern Research. Connor is now a partime lab member given his full-time position with BGC Engineering.


Allie Oliver

Allie graduated from Acadia University with a Certificate of Applied Science in 2019, and from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering. Allie was formerly an undergraduate research assistant in our lab (2021). Allie is from Nova Scotia and is passionate about water resources engineering and climate change. Allie's MASc research is supported through the Atlantic Ecosystems Initiative (Environment and Climate Change Canada) and is focused on coastal nutrient transport in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Watershed. Allie received an On to the Future Award from the Geological Society of America, a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, and a Gillespie Scholarship.


Undergraduate Students


Ryan Malley

Ryan is studying Environmental Engineering at Dalhousie University. Ryan was an NSERC USRA recipient in the summer of 2022 where he investigated groundwater discharge into highland rivers in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Over the summer 2023 field season as a second-time NSERC USRA receipient, Ryan is assisting with conducting field work to investigate warming rivers and associated impacts on salmon habitat. Ryan’s work and studies are motivated by his curiosity of natural sciences and his enthusiasm for being active outdoors.


Sarah Hall

Sarah is studying Civil Engineering at Dalhousie University and completed her Diploma of Engineering in Spring 2021. Sarah is an NSERC USRA recipient for summer 2023 and will be assisting with conducting field work and data processing for several coastal hydrogeology field campaigns around the Maritimes. From Prince Edward Island, Sarah loves exploring outside and is interested in coastal issues impacting the Atlantic Canada region.


Lab Alumni

Former Research Associates

Ross completed his masters in coastal engineering at the University of Ottawa. Ross has a variety of experience in work with coastal systems, having done research at Saint Mary's University and worked in consulting. Ross's research focussed on the modelling of saltmarsh plant behaviour, applying computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to in-situ coastal vegetation as a part of a larger project developing Canadian design guideline document for nature-based solutions (NBS). As a research assistant, Ross was performing numerical modelling work, writing reports, and assisting with fieldwork. Ross now works for Shoreplan Engineering in Toronto.



Former Postdoctoral Fellows


Dr. Julia Guimond

Julia was a National Science Foundation Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow. Julia's postdoctoral research uses field and modeling techniques to investigate how global climate change-driven permafrost thaw impacts the exchange between coastal aquifers and the ocean. Julia completed a PhD at the University of Delaware in 2020 with a focus on interactions between coastal wetland hydrology and biogeochemistry to better predict ecosystem response to sea-level rise, and a BS from Brown University in 2013 with a focus on leaf wax isotopes as a paleoclimate proxy. Julia is now an Assistant Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Dr. Susanne Benz

Susi was a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow studying climate change in the subsurface and future scenarios for geothermal potential, groundwater quality, permafrost thaw and groundwater-dependent ecosystems.

Having worked at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, the Research Institute of Humanity and Nature in Kyoto, Japan and at the University of California San Diego, Susi's trans-disciplinary research combines physics, geospatial data science and hydrogeology. Combining analytical and statistical models with satellite derived data. A common thread in this work is also the use of large geospatial datasets and the development of tools for decision making that incorporate the built and natural environment proposing engineering solutions to heat disparities. Susi has launched a Freigeist Fellowship in a new position at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in fall 2022.


Dr. Aaron Mohammed

Aaron was an Ocean Frontier Institute International Postdoctoral Fellow with a research focus on combining 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. Aaron completed his PhD at the University of Calgary with a focus on snowmelt infiltration and groundwater recharge in the Canadian Prairies, and an MSc at Western University looking at permafrost thaw in sub-arctic peatlands. Aaron is now a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University and begins a tenure-track position in the USA in winter 2023.


Dr. Joe Tamborski

Joe was 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 and studying the hydrogeochemistry of salt marshes in the North Atlantic. Joe is now a faculty member at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.


Dr. Igor Pavlovski

Igor was an OFI PDF, working between Dalhousie University and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany. Igor's project uses a combination of field observations, remote sensing and numerical modelling to quantify long-term effects of tropical cyclones on groundwater nutrient export to the north-western Atlantic Ocean.

Igor completed his PhD in University of Calgary in 2018 on integrating terrain analysis, on-site monitoring of hydrological processes, and geochemical data for characterisation of groundwater recharge in the prairies. Igor's other degrees include MSc in Applied Environmental Geoscience from University of Tübingen and Degree with Honours in Geoecology from Lomonosov Moscow State University. Igor now works at WSP Golder on a variety of applied tasks, including development of geological and numerical groundwater flow models across multiple scales.


Dr. Yashar Monfared

Yashar was an Ocean Frontier Institute International Postdoctoral Fellow, working between the Centre for Water Resources Studies (and Chemistry Department) at Dalhousie and the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. Yashar’s PDF research utilized an interdisciplinary combination of theory, numerical simulations and experimental techniques to design, develop, and deploy novel plasmonic fiber-optic sensors for monitoring physical and chemical properties of coastal zones. Previously, Yashar worked on plasmonic nanostructures and their applications in spectroscopy, photothermal therapy, and water desalination, as well as novel light sources and optical pulse propagation in nonlinear fibers. Yashar is now a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie.



Former MASc and MEng Students


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's MASc thesis explored the temperature patterns found within anthropologically perturbed estuarine environments over tidal and dial cycles. Jason received an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship in 2020 and the Campbell Scientific Award for Best Student Poster in Hydrology from the Canadian Geophysical Union in 2020. Jason now works as an environmental engineer (in training) with GEMTEC Consulting Engineers and Scientists.


Ray Craddock

Ray is a BSc Earth Sciences and MASc Civil Engineering graduate from Dalhousie University. Ray's MASc research focused on utilizing multiple hydrogeological tracers to assess groundwater-borne harbour contamination in Mabou, Nova Scotia. Field methods included the use of piezometers, radon, seepage meters, and temperature-depth profiles. As a MASc student, Ray was supported in part through an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship and was the President of the IAH-CNC Early-Career Hydrogeologists' Network. Ray now works with BGC Engineering with a focus on mine hydrogeology.


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. Kiera's MASc research addressed coastal erosion on islands off the north coast of PEI. This work asssessed the hydrodynamics and morphodynamics of these systems using an RTK drone, GNSS equipment, wave buoys, wave loggers, and ADCPs. Kiera was funded through a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, an NSERC scholarship (CGSM), and MEOPAR. In 2020, Kiera received the  Meyerhof Graduate Scholarship and a MEOPAR Training Award. Kiera is now a medial student at Dalhousie University.

Sofija Stanic

Sofija received a Bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Calgary with an Honors Thesis focused on groundwater contributions to the Elbow River in Alberta. Sofija's MASc work addressed the hydrogeology of Lennox Island, PEI; the project considered how the freshwater lens in the aquifer is affected by coastal erosion and other processes. Sofija's field and modeling work involved freshwater lens mapping (geophysical surveying), drone surveys, well monitoring, and numerical monitoring to assess the future state of groundwater for this island due to threats from sea-level rise, erosion, changing recharge, and storm surges. Sofija now works with Dillon Consulting Limited.

Colleen Gosse

Colleen completed a degree in Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Engineering at McGill University and recently completed a Master of Applied Science. Colleen research focused on evaluating a low-cost methane sensor for atmospheric monitoring applications. Colleen now works with Eosense, a local company that develops tools for monitoring greenhouse gases.

Ryan Threndyle

Ryan's MASc (co-supervised with Rob Jamieson) focused on the impact of sea-level rise on contaminant loading from coastal onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS). Field work (groundwater table mapping, water quality monitoring) and GIS and numerical modelling were combined to predict OWTS performance as well as downstream water quality. Ryan was funded through the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship program and the Killam Trust. In 2021, Ryan received a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Geological Society of America. Ryan also served as the President of the IAH-CNC Early Career Hydrogeologists' Network and will soon be starting as a hydrogeologist in a consulting firm.


Hanzhi Zhu

Hanzhi completed a Bachelor's Degree in Groundwater Science and Engineering (Guilin University of Technology, China). Hanzhi's MEng thesis addressed the dynamics of freshwater lenses (freshwater aquifers) underlying small islands and the impacts of island geometry and sea-level rise. Hanzhi used the integrated finite element model, SUTRA, to simulate coupled density-driven flow and transport dynamics and applied several analytical solutions to conduct a sensitivity analysis. Hanzhi now works with Parsons Corporation in Toronto.


Hanzhi Zu

Former Undergraduate Students or Research Assistants


Abi Bonnington

Abi graduated in 2023 from Dalhousie University with an Environmental Engineering degree and an interest in pursuing further studies in coastal water resources. Abi moved from England to Nova Scotia in her youth, growing up on the shores of the Annapolis River Estuary and getting involved with habitat monitoring and restoration projects with a local ENGO. Abi joined our lab in winter 2023 part time to complete a research credit course with a focus on the impacts of Hurricane Fiona on coastal systems in Basin Head, PEI and assisted with other projects as a research assistant.


Maddy Miller

Maddy graduated from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in 2020 and recently completed the 3rd year of Environmental Engineering at Dalhousie University. Maddy is an NSERC USRA recipient for summer 2022. Maddy is working as a research assistant on coastal hydrology projects with a research focus on groundwater in small islands. Maddy is from Nova Scotia and is passionate about climate change adaptation and being outdoors.


Maddie Whitehouse

Maddie worked in our lab as a 3rd year Civil Engineering student at Dalhousie University. Maddie is passionate about ocean and coastal research and the application of engineering research and practice to address the effects of climate change on aquatic systems. Maddie was an NSERC USRA recipient for summer 2021 and engaged on research projects investigating water temperature dynamics in rivers and estuaries.


Gavin McNamara

Gavin is an Earth Science graduate from Dalhousie University. Before joining our lab, Gavin worked with the Juneau Icefield Research Program in Alaska, the Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic), and the Saskatchewan Geological Survey. After leaving our lab, Gavin began a Master’s degree in hydrogeology at McGill University.


Sanjana Moodbagil

Sanjana was a Mitacs Globalink Intern from India and an undergraduate student in the Information Science and Engineering program at the BMS College of Engineering in Bangalore. Sanjana has expertise in computer science, cloud computing, and data analysis, and Sanjana's 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. Sanjana also assisted in controller programming for new sensors under development in the lab. After leaving our lab, Sanjana pursued graduate studies at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles).


Shaswata Sen

Shaswata was a Mitacs Globalink Intern from the Department of Civil Engineering, Jadavpur University, India. Shaswata worked on several related ‘heat as a groundwater tracer’ projects, including code development and field data collection. Shaswata previously held a Science Academies’ Summer Research Fellowship to study saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers. After completing an undergraduate degree, Shaswata became a graduate student at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.


Megan Ramirez

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