Roland's research integrates among fields of freshwater ecology, hydrology and paleolimnology to better understand how natural processes and human activities alter aquatic ecosystems. His research also aims to improve methods of monitoring capable of detecting and quantifying degradation and recovery phases, and the causes. 

Research areas

  • Aquatic ecology / Limnology
  • Hydro-ecology
  • Paleolimnology
  • Environmental change assessment
  • Biomonitoring of northern lakes and rivers

Current projects

  • Developing a Monitoring Framework to Assess Changes in Hydroecological Conditions, and Sources, Distribution and Toxicity of Contaminants in Lakes of the Peace-Athabasca Delta, northern Alberta.
  • Paleolimnological assessment of pollution of aquatic ecosystems downstream of the Alberta oil sands.
  • Assessment of mine-related pollution and climate warming on lakes within the Marian River Watershed, NWT.
  • Hydrological change and mercury cycling in Kluane Lake, Yukon
  • Responses of thermokarst lakes to climate warming in the Old Crow Flats, Yukon
  • Monitoring methods to detect effects of climate warming and waterfowl population expansion on shallow ponds in Wapusk National Park and northwestern Hudson Bay Lowlands.
  • Development and application of biomonitoring methods using periphytic algae to assess effects of metal mines (South Nahanni River watershed).
  • Hydroecological assessment of human influence at Kossuth Bog, Grand River Watershed, Ontario

Past projects

  • Climatic variability and river regulation on hydro-ecological conditions of the MacKenzie Basin Deltas (Peace-Athabasca Delta, Alberta; Slave River Delta, NWT; MacKenzie River Delta, Yukon).
  • Acid rain and climatic variability (drought) on Ontario lakes.
  • Effects of human land-use and climatic variability on diatom communities in Lake Malawi, Africa, during the past 300 years.
  • Holocene climatic and environmental changes in northern Sweden

Research partners

  • Brent Wolfe, Wilfred Laurier University
  • Kevin Stevens, Wilfred Laurier University
  • Heidi Swanson, University of Waterloo
  • Merrin Macrae, University of Waterloo
  • John Johnston, University of Waterloo
  • Garry Scrimgeour, Parks Canada Agency
  • Wood Buffalo National Park (Stuart Macmillan, Jason Straka, Queenie Gray)
  • Vuntut National Park (Ian MacDonald)
  • Wapusk National Park (Chantal Ouimette)