Prof. Monica B. Emelko
Canada Research Chair in Water Science, Technology, and Policy
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Monica Emelko is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Water Science, Technology & Policy at the University of Waterloo, where she also serves as the Director of the Water Science, Technology & Policy Group. Monica’s research is focused on drinking water supply and treatment, and associated health risk assessment.
Her work has involved over a dozen utilities and conservation authorities across North America. Monica has acted as a technical advisor to the U.S. National Academies and federal and provincial/state agencies in Canada, the United States, and Australia regarding water treatment, source protection, and public health risk assessment regulations and guidance.
Five of her graduate supervisees have been awarded the prestigious American Water Works Association’s Academic Achievement Award for best drinking water-related Master’s thesis in North America. Monica co-leads the Southern Rockies Watershed Project (SRWP), evaluating the effects of forested watershed land disturbances on hydrology and water quality, ecology, and treatability. This team was the first globally to describe wildfire effects on drinking water treatability, and among the first cited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for identifying quality-associated threats from climate change to water security. They were awarded the 2014 Council of the Federation Award for Water Stewardship and an Alberta Emerald Award. In 2016, Monica and her SRWP Co-Principal Investigator Uldis Silins were recognized by the Premier for service to the province of Alberta as a first responder during the Horse River wildfire in Fort McMurray.
She now co-leads “forWater” a Canada-wide and internationally-partnered research network of academics, water utilities, government agencies, industrial forestry companies, and NGOs focused on forest management-based approaches for drinking water source protection.
Prof. William B. Anderson
Dr. William B. Anderson is a Research Associate Professor and the Associate Director of the Water Science, Technology & Policy Group at the University of Waterloo. He has been active in drinking water quality and treatment research for over 40 years, recently focusing on perfluorinated compounds, cyanobacterial toxins, pathogen removal/inactivation, and biological filtration. He has served on the Boards of Directors of the Ontario Water Works Association and the Walkerton Clean Water Centre, and was involved with the revision and update of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment ‘Design Guidelines for Drinking-Water Systems’ and the ‘Optimization Guidance Manual for Drinking Water Systems’.
Prof. Kirsten Müller
B2-245A, NH 2218
Dr. Kirsten Müller is a Professor of Biology at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on the evolution, ecology and taxonomy of prokaryotic and eukaryotic algae, which are a diverse group of photosynthetic organisms. This includes invasive species such as Bangia atropurpurea (red algal invader into the Laurentian Great Lakes), nuisance algae (e.g. Cladophora and Chara) and also Cyanobacteria (e.g Microcystis, Dolichospermum)that are known to release toxins and cause taste and odour issues in drinking water. Dr. Müller uses a variety of techniques in her research laboratory to evaluate these organisms, including traditional microscopy and also molecular tools including amplification of selected genes, genome sequencing and community profiling from environmental samples. As of January 2019, Dr. Müller will be the President of the Phycological Society of America. She is also an Associate Editor for the Journal of Phycology and a Board Member for the International Phycological Society. In addition, she is the Assistant Vice-President, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs at the University of Waterloo.
Prof. Anh Pham
Anh Pham is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He obtained a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Hanoi University of Technology (Vietnam), and M.S. and PhD degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley (USA). Prior to joining the University of Waterloo, Anh was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University, and a Postdoctoral Associate at Duke University. His research group applies aquatic chemistry and geochemistry principles, and employs analytical chemistry tools to investigate aquatic contaminants. The Pham group currently studies the fate and transport of contaminants of emerging concern such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), sulfolane, and chlorendic acid. The group is also developing novel technologies for the remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, and the treatment of various industrial waste streams including oil sands produced water.
Prof. Mike Stone
Dr. Mike Stone is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. His research program is directed towards the study of land use change and its impact on surface water quality in natural and built environments. Over the past 25 years, he has conducted research at both laboratory and watershed scales to quantify and model the source, transport and fate of sediment and associated contaminants in aquatic environments that include regions such as the Great Lakes Basin, the Northwest Territories, and China. Dr. Stone is the Downstream Propagation Node Leader of the award winning Southern Rockies Watershed Project evaluating the effects of forested watershed land disturbances on hydrology and water quality, ecology and treatability. He is Past President of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences’ Commission on Continental Erosion and has convened seven International Conferences on a range of topics including: Impacts of Wildfire on Water Quality, Sediment-associated Contaminant Transport, and Assessment of Best Practices for Road Salt Management. The outcomes of his research are being used to develop winter road management policies across Canada and his research program has also been recognized by the American Water Works Association for it contributions to demonstrating river bed biostabilization after land disturbance and downstream propagation of water quality effects and associated risks for drinking water utilities. He is the Propagation Theme Leader of “forWater” a Canada-wide and internationally-partnered research network of academics, water utilities, government agencies, industrial forestry companies, and NGOs focused on forest management-based approaches for drinking water source protection.
Prof. Philip J. Schmidt
After graduating with a PhD in Civil Engineering from the Water Science, Technology & Policy Group, Dr. Philip J. Schmidt held an NSERC Visiting Fellowship at the Public Health Agency of Canada, in addition to instructing Probability and Statistics to engineering students at the University of Waterloo, and also working in private sector research and development of decentralized direct potable reuse. His research interests include rigorous analysis of microbial data, quantitative microbial risk assessment, and exploration of mechanistic dose-response models. This has been applied in the contexts of drinking water, evaluation of agricultural beneficial management practices, and water reuse. His applied experience has also included Failure Mode and Effects Analysis and code review for complex automated drinking water treatment systems, and policy discussion with regulators associated with drinking water and water reuse from across Canada and the United States. He is accredited as an Associate Statistician (A.Stat.) by the Statistical Society of Canada and is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Microbial Risk Analysis.
Prof. Uldis Silins
University of Alberta
Prof. Sarah Dickson-Anderson
Dr. Norma Ruecker
City of Calgary
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Dr. Fariba Amiri
Senior Chemist & Adjunct
After receiving her PhD in Water Chemistry from Department of Hydrosciences, Dresden University of Technology, Germany, in 2005, Fariba has been involved in research and teaching in the field of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry. The main areas of her research include: (1) development and evaluation methods for instrumental analysis of trace organic contaminants in water (2) Drinking Water Treatability studies (conventional and advanced treatment processes); and (3) Sub-surface fate and transport of organic contaminants.
Elyse joined the WaterSTP group soon after receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Waterloo in 2018. She is currently involved in wide variety of projects, spanning from considering the influence of nutrient availability on toxic cyanobacterial growth to chemical filtration methods directed at the removal of protozoa from drinking water.
Elyse is excited to be pursuing graduate studies in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo while continuing to expand her knowledge of the water industry.
Steven graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and briefly worked as a quality assurance technician at a chemical distributor before eagerly joining the WaterSTP Group. He is primarily involved in the analysis of water samples from watersheds across Canada for various parameters, especially disinfection by-products (DBPs) from chlorination.
Steven enjoys board gaming and reading in his free time.
Dana received her Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Geography from the University of Waterloo in 1995. Dana joined the WaterSTP group in June 2017 bringing with her over 10 years of experience as a research project manager working with the drinking water industry.
In Dana’s spare time she enjoys gardening, walking, and spending time outdoors.
Knowledge Mobilization Specialist
Elanor has over 15 years of experience working in the environmental and sustainability sectors. Prior to joining the forWater Network, she was the Network Director at Green Economy Canada and the Executive Director of EcoSchools Canada where she supported tripling its impact and growing a network of over 50,000 student environmental leaders across Canada. In these roles, Elanor managed partnerships with all levels of government, the private sector, and environmental not-for-profit organizations enhancing collaboration across these pan-Canadian networks and increasing the strategic outputs for improved results.
With Bachelor degrees in Environmental Science and Outdoor Ecological and Experiential Education, and a Master’s in Environmental Studies, Elanor’s work seeks to build capacity through collaborative projects, multi-stakeholder engagement, and cross-sectoral partnerships. Elanor is an avid bird watcher, hiker, biker, canoeist and cross country skier, spending most of her free time outside with her six year old and partner. She also sit on the Board of Directors of Reep Green Solutions and the City of Kitchener’s Environment Committee.
Mansur Mehdi has been with the University of Waterloo since February 2018. Prior to supporting WaterSTP research group, he supported financial compliance, reporting, budgeting and planning in the Earth and Environmental Sciences and was the Program Manager for the Ontario Pharmacy Evidence Network (OPEN) based at the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy – co-founded by University of Toronto’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. Mansur has 17 years of international experience primarily in Asia and Africa, where he has held various roles including Project Management/Implementation in International Development and Senior Executive Management responsibilities in Financial Institutions. He holds the Fellow Chartered Accountant designation and a Master and Bachelor of Commerce.
Omar Sadab Chowdhury
Water Treatment & Development Research Associate
DWE – 2472
Omar completed his Master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Waterloo, studying microplastics. He has also achieved a Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Environmental Engineering from the Islamic University of Technology, Bangladesh where his research included bacteria removal efficiencies of commonly used household water treatment technologies. He joined University of Waterloo in Winter 2019 in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering under the joint supervision of Drs. Monica Emelko and William B. Anderson.
Outside of school, Omar loves singing and playing the acoustic guitar, as well as table tennis and basketball.