Research Assistant Professor

Chris ParsonsResearch interests

My 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. I study the biogeochemical processes and interactions between microbes, minerals and organic matter at the micro and mesoscale in order to describe the fate of contaminants and nutrients in the environment at the field scale.

Research areas:

Biogeochemical cycling of trace elements, redox sensitive inorganic contaminants, low temperature geochemistry, eutrophication, anaerobic geomicrobiology, floodplain dynamics, spatial and geostatistical environmental analysis.

  1. The speciation of aqueous and particulate P mobilised from agriculturally influenced headwater streams in watersheds draining to the Laurentian Great Lakes during storm and snow melt events. 
  2. Transformations of aqueous and particulate nutrients within rivers, reservoirs and floodplains. 
  3. Eutrophication of freshwater coastal wetland environments: the influence of temporal redox cycling, pH changes and competitive sorption at the sediment water interface on internal nutrient (P, N, Si) loading, and carbon mineralisation.
  4. Algal bioavailability of aqueous and particulate P species: Unification with sequential extraction schemes. 
  5. Assessment of the speciation and mobility of toxic redox sensitive inorganic contaminants (As, Cr, Sb, Se, U) in geological media due to potential future leaks from nuclear waste storage sites.   
  6. Inorganic contaminant leaching from materials used in the construction of an artificial wetland as part of an Athabasca oil sands remediation plan in Alberta.


Curriculum Vitae


Office: EIT 1003

Phone: 519-888-4567 ext. 32820


University of Waterloo

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