As a faculty member of the Department of Geography and the new Earth System Science program, my main research theme is large-scale hydrology. I study the terrestrial water cycle of large river basins, continents, or the entire globe and investigate the effects of climate and global change on regional water resources and hydrologic regimes, including floods and droughts. Hydrological models, global data sets, and GIS and remote sensing tools are typical components of my research projects.
Post-Doctoral Research Fellows
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
I am interested in Freshwater Ecology, Environmental Modeling, and Geographic Information Systems from a large-scale perspective. I specialize in river and lake networks, their ecosystem services, and human impacts that threaten freshwater integrity. My goal is to provide analysis, information and tools to researchers, resource managers, and policy makers to improve the status of freshwater ecosystems worldwide.
PhD Student / Former MSc Student
Camille O.Dallaire is a geographer interested in freshwater ecosystems. She uses GIS to answer questions related to biodiversity patterns through river classifications, and human alterations in rivers at large-scales (Greater Mekong Region, Canada, Globe).
Heloisa Macedo is an environmental engineer from Brazil. Her research involves the river routing model HydroROUT and sediment transport.
MSc Student / Former BA&BSc Honours Environment
My research focusses on the evolution of wetlands and floodplains with climate change. Encompassing a variety of transitional regions, wetlands are hotspots of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and play an important role in human civilization. I seek to apply climate change scenarios to wetland extent at a global scale to identify regions susceptible to change. Additionally, I hope to use these results to identify regions of high vulnerability and understand what resources, environments, and populations are at risk due to changing wetlands.
Penny works with global datasets to explore trends and impacts of dams.
I am currently working on the fate modeling of contaminants in the river network and building a global database of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The global WWTP database will help to answer questions such as how many people are connected to WWTP, how much wastewater is being treated, and what level of treatment is being implemented across the globe. This database and contaminant fate modeling will help to predict the concentration of contaminants in the river network downstream, eventually identifying river reaches with hot-spots of contaminants. The final goal of this analysis is to help in the decision making process such as updating the WWTP or updating the water treatment facility if the particular is a drinking water source.
My research interests span the broad realm of human-environment interactions, specifically in the midst of natural disasters and anthropogenic climate change. My master’s thesis will investigate to what extent global floodplains are shifting due to climate change and identify at-risk populations and ecosystems in a spatial context. The study will incorporate global inundation maps, population density maps, climate change models, and crop data to inform floodplain agriculture and attempt to quantify changing flood extents on a global scale.
During my time in the HydroLAB I worked on developing a method of spatial downscaling for coarse resolution inundation data. The result from applying this methodology is the new global map of inundation (GLIN). I am now pursuing my PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I use global hydrological data to study wetland degradation, freshwater ecosystem stressors and conservation at the global scale.
In the broad context, I am interested in freshwater systems and anthropogenic impacts on these. At McGill, I concentrate on modelling surface water quality, determining the drivers of agricultural change at the farm level, developing scenarios of land use change for watersheds, and examining field level adaptations with regards to climate change. My goal is to provide decision makers and policy makers with scientific information based on available tools, new methods and rigorous analysis that account for uncertainties, to better manage the anthropogenic influences on our ecosystems.
Undergraduate Honours Students and Research Assistants
B.A. & Sc. Geography & Biology
I am currently working on mapping critical watersheds to analyze the sustainability of clean drinking water provision in North America using the HydroSHEDS database.
B.A. & Sc. Sustainability, Science and Society
I am currently working on an analysis of river lengths to determine the accuracy of DEM-based river network models versus satellite imagery of river channels.
BSc Honours Environment
My honours thesis consists of developing and validating a global model predicting annual sediment loads in freshwater ecosystems. I am also working on presenting a scientific documentation and communication of the HydroATLAS database, which will provide a concise understanding of the project.
GIS Research Assistant
I am currently working on producing a global lake layer that extends all the way to the poles. To do this, I rely on existing databases which are pieced together and cross-referenced to avoid iteration of known errors.
Bsc Honours Environment
My research presently consists of the development of a geospatial model to predict lake volumes on the global scale, based on their surrounding topography. The product of the application of this model, an estimate of unprecedented accuracy and scale, will be integrated into the HydroSHEDS framework for an enhanced understanding of water resources.