Roland Hall

Roland Hall
Location: B2 255A
Phone: 519-888-4567 x32450


Professor Hall’s research centers on improving our understanding of the roles of natural processes and human activities on hydroecological conditions of northern water-rich landscapes. He achieves this by integrating contemporary hydroecological studies with long-term records of past environmental change obtained from lake sediment cores. Sampling is typically conducted at a landscape scale. Research has targeted ecologically and culturally important deltaic (Peace-Athabasca Delta [PAD, AB] and Slave Delta [SD, NWT]), and thermokarst landscapes (Old Crow Flats [OCF, YT]; Hudson Bay Lowlands [HBL, MB]) landscapes, where insufficient understanding of influential processes has fostered controversy or impeded development of effective stewardship. The deltaic landscapes are situated downstream of major energy projects (hydroelectric dams, Alberta oil sands operations) and natural sources of contaminant dispersal, and they respond sensitively to climate-driven variations in river flow. At the thermokarst landscapes, local communities, First Nations organizations and Parks Canada Agency are concerned about effects of climate warming on the freshwater resources.

Research Interests

  • Applied aquatic ecology
  • Paleolimnology
  • Multiple stressors
  • Contaminants
  • Hydroecology
  • Bioinformatics, Systematics and Evolution
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Physiology, Cell and Developmental Biology


  • 1993 Ph.D. Biology, Queen's University, Canada
  • 1986 B.Sc. Biology, Queen's University, Canada


  • 2017, 2012 and 2007 Outstanding Performance Award, Faculty of Science
  • 2012 Northwest Territories Government’s Premier’s Award for Collaboration – Team Category
  • 2003-2007 Recipient of the Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award (PREA) to support training of graduate students on the project: Ecological changes in the Mackenzie Basin Deltas: Assessing the roles of climate, hydrology and human activities on sensitive lakes and wetlands over the past thousand years
  • 2006 International Visiting Scientist Award, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
  • 1996-1997 Postdoctoral fellowships, University of Regina
  • 1994-1995 NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowships, Ontario Ministry of Environment's Dorset Environmental Research Centre
  • 1987-1991 NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships


  • 2007-2012 Associate Dean of Science, Graduate Studies
  • 2002-2007 Graduate Officer, Biology Department
  • 2008-2009 Adjunct Professor, University of Arkansas

Professional Associations

  • American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
  • Society of Canadian Limnologists
  • International Association of Theoretical and Applied Limnology
  • International Society for Diatom Research
  • Canadian Association of Geographers
  • Canadian Quaternary Association
  • Canadian Association of Palynologists
  • International Federation of Palynological Societies

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Water Institute, Member


  • BIOL 350 - Ecosystem Ecology
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2021, 2023
  • BIOL 361 - Biostatistics and Experimental Design
    • Taught in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • MacDonald*, L.A., Wiklund*, J.A., Elmes*, M.C., Wolfe, B.B., R.I. Hall. 2016. Paleolimnological assessment of riverine and atmospheric pathways and sources of metal deposition in a floodplain lake (Slave River Delta, Northwest Territories, Canada). Science of the Total Environment 544: 811-823.
  • Thomas*, K.E., R.I. Hall, G.J. Scrimgeour. 2015. Relations between water physico-chemistry and benthic algal communities in a northern Canadian watershed: defining reference conditions using multiple descriptors of community structure. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187: 1-16.
  • Balasubramaniam*, A.M., R.I. Hall, B.B. Wolfe, J.N. Sweetman, X.A. Wang. 2015. Source-water inputs and catchment characteristics regulate limnological conditions of shallow Arctic lakes (Old Crow Flats,Yukon, Canada). Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 72(7): 1058-1072. doi:10.1139/cjfas-2014-0340.
  • Wiklund*, J.A., R.I. Hall, B.B. Wolfe, T.W.D. Edwards, A.J. Farwell, D. George Dixon. 2014. Use of pre-industrial floodplain lake sediments to establish baseline river metal concentrations downstream of Alberta oil sands: A new approach for detecting pollution of rivers. Environmental Research Letters 9:124019-12028. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/12/124019
  • Hall, R.I., B.B. Wolfe, J.A. Wiklund*, T.W.D. Edwards, A.J. Farwell, D.G. Dixon. 2012. Has Alberta oil sands development altered delivery of polycyclic aromatic compounds to the Peace-Athabasca Delta? PLOS ONE 7(9): e46089. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046089
  • Wiklund*, J.A., R.I. Hall, B.B. Wolfe, T.W.D. Edwards, A.J. Farwell, D.G. Dixon. 2012. Has Alberta oil sands development increased far-field delivery of airborne contaminants to the Peace-Athabasca Delta? Science of the Total Environment 433: 379-382. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.06.074
  • Wolfe, B.B., R.I. Hall, T.W.D. Edwards, J.W. Johnston. 2012. Developing temporal hydroecological perspectives to inform stewardship of a northern floodplain landscape subject to multiple stressors: Paleolimnological investigations of the Peace-Athabasca Delta. Environmental Reviews 20: 191–210. doi:10.1139/A2012-008
  • Please see Professor Hall's Google Scholar profile for a current list of his peer-reviewed articles:

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