Federal environmental scientist to work with Laurier to enhance northern aquatic ecosystems research
Waterloo A senior research scientist from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) will be coming to Wilfrid Laurier University as part of a multi-year co-location agreement between ECCC and Laurier. This agreement is intended to strengthen the research links between the Government of Canada and Laurier.
Joseph Culp (right), a senior research scientist in ECCC’s Science and Technology Branch who is affiliated with the University of New Brunswick, will begin his appointment at Laurier’s Waterloo campus on October 1, 2017. He will work with Laurier faculty, staff and students to further enhance joint commitments to cold regions water priorities.
“By locating my research activities on campus, I’ll be able to build deeper science interaction with Laurier’s faculty and students as we develop innovative approaches to environmental monitoring of northern freshwater ecosystems,” said Culp. “This arrangement will create unique opportunities for student training and novel research partnerships between Laurier and ECCC scientists.”
Culp will focus on collaborative projects to improve bio-assessment approaches and advance analytical tools and predictive models. These tools assess risks to northern aquatic ecosystems from nutrients, sediments and contaminants whose concentration in freshwaters can be affected by climate change and related permafrost thawing.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Culp’s leadership in supporting Laurier’s significant efforts in cold regions water research,” said Rob Gordon, Laurier’s vice-president of research. “This partnership with ECCC will provide a strong foundation to further support our institutional commitment to dealing with some of our most pressing water and climate change priorities.”
In addition to his ECCC role, Culp is one of the science directors of the Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI). Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy is a founding fellow of the CRI and a number of Laurier faculty members are affiliated with the organization.
At Laurier, Culp will work closely with researchers from Laurier’s Cold Regions Research Centre (CRRC) and the Laurier Institute for Water Science (LIWS) in support of ECCC’s northern research aquatic programs. He will be affiliated with the Department of Biology through the Faculty of Science.
“This strategic partnership has excellent potential to provide a national and international focal point for research on biomonitoring approaches that assess and diagnose the ecological effects of multiple stressors on northern freshwaters,” said Culp.
Culp says he plans to engage both graduate and undergraduate students as part of his research program.
“Throughout my career I’ve found that students are often the catalyst for research discoveries and I plan to continue such training at Laurier.”