MSc position - Effect of damming/reservoirs on nutrient speciation
and retention in the Thames River, Ontario

The Ecohydrology Research Group at the University of Waterloo invites MSc applications to participate in a research project on the impact of reservoirs/impoundments on nutrient speciation, retention and remobilisation in the Thames River (Ontario). The project is supported through a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Damming has fundamentally altered the hydrological dynamics of river systems globally. Reservoirs also retain considerable C, N, P and Si within sediments, altering nutrient ratios in rivers, decreasing fluxes of these elements to receiving water bodies and modifying global biogeochemical cycles. The proposed research will address how and when nutrients, particularly phosphorus, are retained within the sediments of reservoirs on the Thames River and evaluate the mechanisms and timing of nutrient remobilisation (internal loading). The results from this research will inform regional watershed nutrient models and help guide strategies to decrease phosphorus loading from the Thames River to Lake St. Clair and ultimately the eutrophic Western Basin of Lake Erie.

The MSc student will use a combination of field sampling and laboratory experimentation to produce a simple mass balance model of phosphorus species within reservoirs on the Thames River. The main tasks of the successful candidate will be to sample water and sediment, analyse chemical and physical sediment properties, run laboratory experiments to simulate reservoir conditions and model seasonal variations to in-reservoir nutrient dynamics.

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 hydrology, geochemistry, hydrogeology, limnology, environmental sciences or a related field. Previous laboratory and/or field experience and a full driving license are also desirable, as is the desire to work in part of a multidisciplinary research team.

For further information regarding this positions or to submit an application, please contact please contact Dr. Chris Parsons ( In your application e-mail, please include:

  • Your motivation for the position and research interests
  • 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.

The University of Waterloo encourages applications from all qualified individuals including members of visible minorities, native peoples, and people with disabilities. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

posted: 29 June 2017     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.