Philippe Van Cappellen, University of Waterloo
So my name is Philippe Van Cappallen, and I'm the CERC nominee in ecohydrology, at the University of Waterloo. The goal of my research is to better understand the chemical interactions between groundwater and surface water, and then to use this understanding to predict how increased consumption of water, or land-use changes or climate change affects water quality and the health of aquatic ecosystems.
The achievement I'm probably most proud of is just a large number of graduate students and postdoctoral associates who have passed through my lab over the years, and now have gone out to better things and great careers, and at the last count, my former PhD students, and postdoctoral researchers are now active in over 10 countries world wide.
The University of Waterloo is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence for both fundamental and applied research on water-related issues, and it has one of the largest concentrations of engineers and scientists working in that field. So for me, it's the ideal place to build a new program, at the interface between hydrology, so the signs of water, and ecology, the signs of living systems.
On a more personal basis, moving to Waterloo is also kind of a homecoming for me, since I have very strong family ties in Canada.
My research will better characterize, or delineate how humans are impacting water quality, and the availability of groundwater resources, so that we'll also yield guidelines on how to better manage this limited resource, by balancing the needs for water of society with those of natural ecosystems.
The most beneficial outcome will be that we will have a better characterization of how humans impact water quality and water quantity, and that will then provide guidelines on how to better manage this limited water resource, by balancing the water needs of society with those of natural ecosystems.