Water students receive Faculty of Science awards

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Three Collaborative Water Program students from the Faculty of Science are being honoured as recipients of the W.B. Pearson Medal and the Dean of Science Award. PhD students Maricor Jane Arlos and Taylor Maavara are receiving the W.B. Pearson Medal in recognition of their creative research, and master's student Jennifer Mead is receiving the Dean of Science Award for outstanding performance.

Part of the first Collaborative Water Program cohort, and supervised by Water Institute member Mark Servos, Arlos’ research covered advanced treatment of micropollutants using nanotechnology.

"Endocrine disruptive effects in fish have been observed in many watersheds worldwide,” said Arlos. “For my thesis, I used modelling to predict the concentrations of estrogenic compounds and estimate the exposure-response relationship in fish."

Maavara, supervised by Water Institute member Philippe Van Cappellen, is currently working at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, studying the effects of climate change on mountain nutrient cycling. She was also part of the first cohort of students in the Collaborative Water Program, where she studied perturbations to nutrient and carbon cycles by river damming.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Collaborative Water Program,” said Maavara. “I made some wonderful friends, got to explore the Grand River watershed, and most importantly, learned how to put my research in the context of the larger picture in terms of watershed management."

Supervised by Water Institute member Sherry Schiff, Mead is investigating the sources and fate of iron and dissolved organic carbon in boreal lakes. In July she will be heading to the Experimental Lakes Area near Kenora, Ontario for a month of fieldwork. Mead attributes her knowledge of aquatic systems to the interdisciplinary aspect of the Collaborative Water Program.

"It's often difficult to work with some of the greatest minds because we all seem to be very competitive, passionate, and often stubborn,” said Mead. “However, the large amount of collaborative work in the Collaborative Water Program provided an excellent opportunity to learn how to work well in interdisciplinary groups of scientists, engineers, and water managers."

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