About us

The Ecohydrology Research Group (ERG) at the University of Waterloo was established in 2011 by Dr. Philippe Van Cappellen with the intent to carry out research in support of the wise use of water resources – that is, one that balances society’s water needs with those of natural ecosystems. Since then, ERG’s research has contributed to deepening our understanding of the connections between the evolving societal and environmental drivers of water quality and the resulting impacts on ecosystem services and environmental health. As such, ERG has grown into a cornerstone of the multidisciplinary Water Institute at the University of Waterloo.  

What sets ERG apart scientifically is the vast range of spatial and temporal scales covered by its research activities, from molecular-level studies on the processes that determine the chemical forms and bioavailability of nutrients and pollutants, to worldwide assessments of anthropogenic perturbations of the water and biogeochemical cycles. By combining laboratory-based studies, field observations and numerical modelling, ERG researchers are closing major gaps in our understanding of how human pressures are changing the natural flows of water, nutrients and contaminants at local to global scales. 

In addition to the widespread spatial and temporal scales, ERG also approaches environmental research from a range of scientific disciplines.  Researchers in ERG have diverse academic backgrounds, including geoscience, chemistry, hydrology, engineering, microbiology, economics and others. Common to all our projects is the need to revisit existing paradigms, practices and policy tools by developing more realistic conceptual and quantitative frameworks, grounded in the latest science.