Dept of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Centre for Environmental and Information Technology (EIT)
200 University Ave. W
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1
Phone: (519) 888-4567
Chris Parsons studies how naturally occurring chemical and biological processes in sediments and surface water change the chemical form, availability and toxicity of nutrients and contaminants.
His interdisciplinary work draws upon the fields of geochemistry, hydrology, microbiology, spectroscopy and thermodynamic modeling for a broad and applicable understanding of nutrients and inorganic contaminants cycling in freshwater environments.
Since 2012, Professor Parsons has been a member of the Ecohydrology Research Group under Canada Excellence Research Chair Philippe Van Cappellen.
Biogeochemical cycling of trace elements
Redox sensitive inorganic contaminants
Low temperature geochemistry
Spatial and geostatistical environmental analysis
Professor Parsons' research focuses on the coupled biogeochemical cycling of major redox sensitive elements (C, N, Fe, Mn, S) and the influence of these cycles on the speciation and mobility of trace oxyanion forming inorganic nutrients and contaminants including P, N, Si, As, Se, Sb, Cr and U.
He studies the biogeochemical processes and interactions between microbes, minerals and organic matter at the micro and meso scale in order to describe the fate of contaminants and nutrients in the environment.
Recent work has focused on phosphorus mobilization from headwater streams draining to the Laurentian Great Lakes, the eutrophication of freshwater coastal wetland environments and the transformation of aqueous and particulate nutrients within rivers, reservoirs and floodplains.
Recent publications include
C. Parsons, F. Rezanezhad, D. O’Connell, P. Van Cappellen. Sediment phosphorus speciation and mobility under dynamic redox conditions. 2017. Biogeosciences, 14: 1-18.
C. Parsons, E. Margui, E. Pili, G. Floor, G. Roman-Ross and L. Charlet. Quantification of trace arsenic in soils by field-portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry: Considerations for sample preparation and measurement conditions. 2013. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 262: 1213-1222.
C. Parsons, R-M. Couture, E. Omoregie, F. Bardelli, J-M. Greneche, G. Roman-Ross and L. Charlet. The impact of redox cycling: Arsenic attenuation in contaminated floodplain soils. 2013. Environmental Pollution, 178: 254-263.
Please see Chris Parsons' Google Scholar profile for a current list of his peer-reviewed articles.
Awards and Distinctions
2016-2017 Waterloo Water Institute Seed Grant
2007-2011 AquaTRAIN Research Training Network, Marie Curie FP6, Earlier Stage Researcher award
University of Waterloo Affiliations
The Water Institute
2011 PhD Environmental Geochemistry, Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Université Joseph Fourier (Grenoble I)
2007 Master of Earth Science, University of Manchester, U.K.