Monica Emelko

Professor, Associate Director
Monica Emelko

Contact information

Phone: 519-888-4567 x32208
Location: DWE 2448


Monica Emelko

Biography summary

Monica B. Emelko is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Water Science, Technology & Policy. She is also the Director of the Water Science, Technology & Policy Group. She is also cross-appointed in Biology, Geography & Environmental Management, Systems Design Engineering, and the School of Planning.

Professor Emelko's research interests focus on drinking water supply and treatment, source water protection, microbial risk assessment, public health policy, and stormwater and advanced wastewater treatment. She focuses on sustainable technology development and deployment, integrated resource management, climate change adaptation, and the protection of public health. Professor Emelko’s research is currently funded by many organizations including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Water Research Foundation, and Alberta Innovates as well as several industry and government partners.

She co-leads the Southern Rockies Watershed Project team, which evaluates the initial effects of natural disturbance by wildfire on hydrology, water quality, and aquatic ecology; and monitors the recovery of these values in front range headwater streams of the high water yielding eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Professor Emelko's team was among the first cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for identifying climate change-associated threats from wildfire to drinking water security through water quality and treatability. Her ongoing work involves active participation from over 3 dozen utilities and conservation authorities across Canada and the United States. Professor Emelko has served as a technical advisor to the U.S. National Academies of Engineering, Science, and Medicine as well as several federal and provincial/state agencies in Canada, the United States, and Australia regarding regulatory development related to drinking water treatment, source water protection, public health policy, and integrated resource management.

Research interests

  • Water treatment
  • Wildfire
  • Water quality
  • Pathogens
  • Climate change
  • Filtration
  • Land disturbance
  • Environmental & Water Resources
  • Water and Land Management
  • Nanoparticle Removal during Drinking Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Quanititative Microbial Risk Assessment
  • Water Protection
  • Smart Infrastructure


  • 2001, Doctorate, Civil Engineering, University of Waterloo
  • 1995, Master's, Civil Engineering, UCLA
  • 1994, Bachelor's, Environmental Engineering Science, MIT
  • 1993, Bachelor's, Chemical Engineering, MIT


  • CIVE 670 - Physico-Chemical Processes of Water and Wastewater Treatment
    • Taught in 2021, 2022, 2023
  • ENVE 224 - Probability and Statistics
    • Taught in 2019, 2020
  • GEOE 224 - Probability and Statistics
    • Taught in 2020

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

Selected/recent publications

  • Adrian L. Collins, Martin Blackwell, Pascal Boeckx, Charlotte-Anne Chivers, Monica Emelko, Olivier Evrard, Ian Foster, Allen Gellis, Hamid Gholami, Steve Granger, Paul Harris, Arthur J. Horowitz, J. Patrick Laceby, Nuria Martinez-Carreras, Jean Minella, Lisa Mol, Kazem Nosrati, Simon Pulley, Uldis Silins, Yuri Jacques da Silva, Micheal Stone, Tales Tiecher, Hari Ram Upadhayay & Yusheng Zhang, Sediment source fingerprinting: benchmarking recent outputs, remaining challenges and emerging themes, Journal of Soils and Sediments, 20, 2020, 4160 - 4193
  • Emmerton CA, Cooke CA, Hustins S, Silins U, Emelko MB, Lewis T, Kruk MK, Taube N, Zhu D, Jackson B, Stone M, Kerr JG, Orwin JF, Severe western Canadian wildfire affects water quality even at large basin scales, Water Research, 183(116071), 2020
  • Chik AHS, Emelko MB, Blaschke AP, Schijven JF, Illuminating Subsurface Microbial Water Quality Patterns Using Adenosine Triphosphate and Dynamic Time Warping Approaches, Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation, 40(3), 2020, 55 - 66
  • Chik, A.H.S., M.B. Emelko, W.B. Anderson, K.E. O’Sullivan, D. Savio, A.H. Farnleitner, A.P. Blaschke, and J.F. Schijven, Evaluation of Groundwater Bacterial Community Composition to Inform Waterborne Pathogen Vulnerability Assessments, Science of the Total Environment, 743
  • Schmidt, P.J., W.B. Anderson, and M.B. Emelko, 2020. Describing Water Treatment Process Performance: Why Average Log-Reduction can be a Misleading Statistic. Water Research, Volume 176, 1 June 2020, 115702
  • Schmidt PJ, Emelko MB, Thompson ME, Recognizing Structural Nonidentifiability: When Experiments Do Not Provide Information About Important Parameters and Misleading Models Can Still Have Great Fit, Risk Analysis, 40(2), 352 - 369

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Graduate studies