Nandita Basu named Canada Research Chair

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Portrait of Nandita Basu in her office.

Four Waterloo researchers are among a group of Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) announced by the Government of Canada. Dr. Nandita Basu, jointly appointed to the Faculties of Engineering and Science, was named the Canada Research Chair in Global Water Sustainability and Ecohydrology. 

Yesterday, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, highlighted this commitment by announcing an investment of more than $139 million to support 176 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs across 46 institutions in Canada.

Established in 2000, the Canada Research Chair program helps bolster academic research by attracting and retaining world’s brightest scholars and scientists. Chairholders work across a diversity of fields to advance knowledge and discovery, improve quality of life, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness, and train the next generation of highly skilled talent.

“Canadian research helps improve our society, economy and healthcare, time and time again," said Champagne. "That’s why our government remains committed to supporting the country’s world-class research community. We know the vital role research and science play in growing our economy, and today’s investments will help Canada cement its position as a world leader in research and innovation.”

Basu is internationally renowned in the fields of water sustainability and ecohydrology, where her team has laid critical groundwork to address both fundamental science and applied management questions on nutrient pollution in anthropogenic landscapes.

She is an environmental engineer, who uses data science, process modelling and remote sensing to explore how climate, land use, and management impacts surface and groundwater quality across agricultural, urban and forested landscapes, and from watershed to the regional and global scales. Her research leverages these insights to develop watershed management strategies that maximizes environmental benefits without significant economic costs.

She is an Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hydrology, Director of the Collaborative Water Program at the University of Waterloo, elected Member of the Royal Society College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists, and an Earth Leadership Fellow.

As Canada Research Chair in Global Water Sustainability and Ecohydrology, her goal is to improve water resource management practices in Canada and globally. She and her research team are figuring out why water quality degrades and developing the first scalable water-quality models that consider both current land use and accumulated nutrient legacies. Her lab is also developing real-world water-quality management-and improvement-tools for watershed managers. Their findings will inform water and ecosystem protection policies and make Canada a leader in protecting the world’s most valuable resources.

“I am thrilled to see Professor Basu recognized for her exceptional work," said Shirley Tang, Associate Dean, Research. "This CRC position will greatly expand her capacity to carry on impactful work on water sustainability and ecohydrology. Hopefully, this award will draw more attention to these important environmental research fields."