Positions Available

Opportunities in the Ecohydrology Research Group

Research positions posted below are offered for specific projects.

The Ecohydrology research group focuses on water-related environmental issues of societal significance. It includes a diverse team of geologists, biogeochemists, soil scientists, hydrologists, environmental engineers and microbiologists from more than 15 countries.

We are often looking for enthusiastic, technically able undergraduates to assist us in the lab and field. Please contact Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad for more information about our undergraduate research assistant opportunities. 

Reactive Transport Modeling

PhD Position: 

We invite PhD applications to participate in a research project on developing a reactive transport model for soil carbon cycling under freeze-thaw dynamics. The proposed research will address one of the major obstacles preventing the reliable representation of freeze-thaw cycles in models coupling soil processes to the global carbon cycle and climate. The main tasks of the PhD student will be to develop a biogeochemical reactive transport model with mathematical representations of hydrological and biogeochemical effects of freeze-thaw cycles that vary over time.

Applicants with degrees in any field of science or engineering are welcome to apply but preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated skills and experience in numerical mathematical modeling in geochemistry, hydrogeology, environmental sciences or a related field. For further information regarding this position please contact Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad (frezanez@uwaterloo.ca) or Dr. Philippe Van Cappellen (pvc@uwaterloo.ca).

Assessing Eutrophication Risks by Urban Stormwater Runoff under Climate Change

We invite applications for two PhD and one MSc positions to participate in a research project to advance the process-based understanding of the mobilization, transport, and speciation of phosphorus (P) in urban environments. The research project will involve data syntheses, field sampling, geochemical analyses and computational approaches, with the ultimate goal of developing a general framework for assessing eutrophication risks associated with urban stormwater P export under climate change.

MSc position: bioretention cell efficiency 

The MSc student will focus on assessing bioretention cells as a stormwater nutrient management technology. The MSc student will collect soil cores from bioretention cells and conduct infiltration experiments to determine P retention efficiencies under variable environmental conditions. The student will collaborate with researchers at University of Toronto currently working on bioretention cell technology to evaluate the key factors affecting P retention performance.

PhD-1 Position: Speciation and loading of P in sediments of stormwater facilities

The PhD-1 student will focus on changes to the eutrophication potential of P loads that occur within storm water infrastructure. The PhD student will evaluate P speciation, bioavailability and legacies in sediment retention basins and constructed wetlands through the analysis of sediment cores and suspended matter. The research will advance the conceptual understanding of the processes controlling the fate, transport and potential downstream impacts of stormwater P, and yield a dynamic P mass balance model along the urban water cycle.

PhD-2 Position: Climate vulnerability assessment framework for urban stormwater

The PhD-2 student will focus on the development of a climate vulnerability assessment framework for urban stormwater P export. The PhD student will analyze historical stormwater flow and water quality data to establish how P loads, retention efficiencies and export fluxes respond to climate forcings. The student will further quantify future eutrophication risks to receiving aquatic ecosystems using downscaled regional climate projections.


The graduate students will work closely together and be supervised by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, and University of Guelph. The university-based research team will regularly interact with scientists at stakeholder organizations, including Conservation Authorities (Grand River, Credit River, and Toronto and Region), the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and the Town of Richmond Hill.


Applicants must have a relevant degree in science or engineering. Preference will be given to candidates with strong quantitative skills and demonstrated experience in one or more of the following areas: aquatic biogeochemistry, soil science, reactive transport modeling, environmental risk assessment, and climate change impact analysis.


Please submit your application package electronically as a single pdf file to the project’s manager, Dr. Mahyar Shafii (mshafiih@uwaterloo.ca); include “Urban_Phosphorus_PhD#(or MSc)_yourname” in the subject line. Your applications should contain:

  • Your motivation for applying to the position
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Copy of transcript(s)
  • Contact information for 3 references

Closing date: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The positions will remain open until filled.

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.

Opportunities in the Global Water Futures Program

Global Water Futures: Solutions to Water Threats in an Era of Global Change is a collaborative initiative between multiple Canadian universities and partner organizations funded, in part, through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The program is led by the University of Saskatchewan. Lead institutional partners include the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and McMaster University.

The Global Water Futures program (GWF) aims to deliver risk management solutions for water resources and services – informed by leading edge water science and supported by innovative decision-making tools – in Canada and throughout the cold regions of the world.  Key research areas include predicting change in Cold Regions, developing Big Water data and support systems, and designing user solutions that focus on real world problems.

Positions available within the GWF Program at UWaterloo: