Bernhard Lehner

Associate Professor

As a faculty member of the Department of Geography and the 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

Günther Grillguenther

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.

Graduate Students

photo_website2Camille O.Dallaire

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).

Florence Tan


My honours thesis consisted of developing and validating a global model predicting annual sediment loads in freshwater ecosystems. I also worked on presenting a scientific documentation and communication of the HydroATLAS database, which will provide a concise understanding of the project.

Heloisa MacedoHeloisa Ehalt Macedo

PhD Student

Heloisa Ehalt Macedo is an Environmental Engineer with interest in large-scale Hydrology, GIS and Remote Sensing. Her research involves the river routing model HydroROUT for applications in water quality modeling.

Mira AnandMira Anand

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 BeamesPenny Beames

PhD Student

Penny quantifies the completeness of global dam datasets to asses the implications of data gaps for the results of studies that make use of these datasets. She is also the PhD lead coordinator of Global Dam Watch.

Ranish Shakya

MSc Student

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.



Hana Moidu

B.A. & Sc. Geography & Biology, 2016-2017

I mapped critical watersheds to analyze the sustainability of clean drinking water provision in North America using the HydroSHEDS database.

Joseph AriwiJoseph Ariwi

MSc, 2014-2016

photo_laboMathis Messager

Bsc Honours Environment, 2014-2016

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.

Marina Smailes

B.A. & Sc. Sustainability, Science and Society, 2015-2016

I analyzed river lengths to determine the accuracy of DEM-based river network models versus satellite imagery of river channels.

irenaIrena Nedeva

GIS Research Assistant, 2015

I produced a global lake layer that extends all the way to the poles. To do this, I relied on existing databases which are pieced together and cross-referenced to avoid iteration of known errors.

Rachel_Dryden_Park UniversityRachel Dryden

MSc 2012-2015

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 investigated to what extent global floodplains are shifting due to climate change and identify at-risk populations and ecosystems in a spatial context. The study incorporated 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.

Bano MehdiBM

PhD, 2008-2014

In the broad context, I am interested in freshwater systems and anthropogenic impacts on these. At McGill, I concentrated 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.

EFluetEtienne Fluet-Chouinard

MSc, 2009-2012

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.

Gregory BunkerGregory Bunker

MSc, 2007-2010

Undergraduate Honours Students and Research Assistants

Craig BrinkerhoffCraig Brinkerhoff

BSc., Research Assistant

I am interested in statistical hydrology at various scales. I am currently creating a global dataset of drainage densities which are often used in statistical analysis and modelling to address the lack of satisfactorily accurate datasets at the global scale.”

Sally MaxwellSally Maxwell

BSc. Honours Environment & Geography, Research Assistant

I am working on a systematic literature review of food system and food security considerations in virtual water research.

Cameron Power

BSc. Environment, Research Assistant

I am investigating water quality data available within global databases and other large scale repositories to be referenced to the existing high-resolution river network of the HydroSHEDS database.