Professor Mark R. Servos carries out research in the broad areas of Ecotoxicology and Integrated Water Resources Management. Specifically, current research activities are evaluating the environmental exposure and effects of emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment.
Canada Research Chair in Water Quality Protection
- Integrated Water Resources Management
The research group of Professor Mark Servos is exploring a variety issues related to predicting and managing the risk of human activities in aquatic ecosystems. Natural environmental gradients (e.g. geomorphology, hydrology) occur across watersheds that influence water quality, productivity, metabolism, species assemblages and function of ecosystems. Human activities disrupt these natural processes and introduce numerous stressors, including a diversity of contaminants, into the environment. These stressors may act together to cause cumulative effects in watersheds and limit the resiliency and sustainability of ecosystems. The objective of our research program is to build predictive relationships to better model how contaminant exposure leads to effects in fish at various levels of biological organization (from gene expression to populations) and how natural gradients within watersheds modify these responses. We work within a risk assessment framework to define exposure and effects and formulate innovative technologies and solutions to minimize risk to the environment. Research outcomes support the development of more effective risk assessments, monitoring programs and implementation of remedial actions in watersheds.
Current research interests include:
- Predicting the environmental exposure of emerging contaminants in the environment.
- Isolation and identification of chemicals responsible for biological effects.
- Enhanced understanding of the mechanistic linkages (Adverse Outcome Pathways) across levels of biological organization leading to effects on fish at the population and community level.
- Cumulative effects assessment at the watershed scale.
- Development and application of innovative technologies and approaches for risk management and mitigation of stressors (e.g. contaminants, effluents).
Professor Mark R. Servos is currently the Canada Research Chair in Water Quality Protection in the Department of Biology. He joined the University of Waterloo as a Professor of Biology in 2003 and served as Scientific Director of the Canadian Water Network until 2011. In 1988, Dr. Servos started as a Research Scientist with the Lakes Research Branch of Environment Canada and later joined the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences where he researched environmental fate and effects of contaminants in the Great Lakes. He joined the National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, in 1996, as Project Chief, and led a group of scientists studying exposure and effects of priority substances. He has helped to organize numerous international meetings/workshops, participated in several expert panels in this field and plays an active role in several major international societies (e.g. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry). He has published numerous peer reviewed articles on the treatment, exposure, fate and effects of organic contaminants in the environment.
To learn more about the research and training activities in the Servos Group please visit The Servos Group.
Professor Servos teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Course offerings have included
- BIOL 488 Ecotoxicology from a Watershed Perspective
- BIOL 499 Senior Honours Project
- WATER 601 Introduction to Integrated Water Resources Management
- WATER 602 Integrated Water Resources Management Case Study
- BIOL 617 Ecotoxicology
Awards and Distinctions
- Faculty Award for Teaching and Scholarship, University of Waterloo (2011)
- Presidential Citation, SETAC (2002 and 2006)
- 5-NR Award to Leaders in Sustainable Development (2002)
- Citation of Excellence, Environment Canada (1998)
University of Waterloo Affiliations
- Water Institute, Member
Professional Associations and Service
- Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
- International Association of Great Lake Research
The following news stories have featured Professor Servos' research:
Waterloo Region Record, Cleaner water means fewer intersex fish in Grand River
Globe and Mail, Lakes great again, but new threats loom
1988 PhD Environmental Chemistry of Pesticides, University of Manitoba
1983 MSc Aquatic Science, University of Guelph
1981 BSc Fisheries Biology, University of Guelph