About the Ecohydrology Research Group

Ecohydrology at Waterloo

The research program in ecohydrology is motivated by the need for science-based approaches to evaluate and predict the ecological impacts of the use of water resources by humans (see our Mission Statement.) Our research team therefore provides a natural rallying point for the wide range of expertise and strengths in the areas of water science, technology and policy present at the University of Waterloo (see The Water Institute).

The collaborative research program in ecohydrology specifically aims to

  • identify and quantitatively describe the biogeochemical processes that control the chemical forms, reactivity and bioavailability of nutrient elements and contaminants in aquatic environments;

  • incorporate these processes in coupled hydrology-biogeochemistry models that simulate the fate and transport of nutrients and contaminants along the hydrological cycle;

  • model the effects of anthropogenic pressures on water quality and ecological functions, from the scale of local ecosystems to that of entire drainage basins and their receiving water bodies;

  • evaluate the vulnerability of water quality and ecosystem services to changes in land use, water consumption, conservation practices and regional climate; and

  • inform risk-based management strategies for water resources and aquatic ecosystems.

The Canada Excellence Research Chair program in ecohydrology officially started on June 2011. The team leader, Dr. Philippe Van Cappellen, brings a longstanding interdisciplinary and international experience to the program. The team is fully committed to building new bridges between the traditional scientific fields of hydrology, geology and ecology.

Please see video below for more information on the Canada Excellence Research Chair program. French version available