SES Seminar Series Guest Jim Roy

Date and Time


Graham Hall Room 2310


Dr Jim Roy Research Scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada A search for phosphorus in groundwater discharging to Georgian Bay at Wasaga Beach  The nutrient phosphorus is a key contributor to eutrophication issues such as harmful algal blooms and low dissolved oxygen levels, which affect many Canadian freshwaters, including Georgian Bay. Groundwater inputs of phosphorus to freshwater lakes and streams have generally been assumed negligible, given its tendency to sorb to soils, or have been derived solely from the numbers of active cottage septic systems. In this work, we collected groundwater samples along a 6-km stretch of Wasaga Beach, where groundwater flows towards and discharges to Georgian Bay. Here, all of the septic systems of the many hundreds of cottages have been decommissioned (i.e. switched over to sewer lines, but not dug up) between more than 30 (east end) to about 7 (west end) years ago. The aim of this on-going study is to determine whether groundwater from this area has significant levels of phosphorus, and if so, to investigate the potential phosphorus sources (e.g., old septic beds, leaky sewers, natural sediments, etc.). To help distinguish these sources, we employed measurements of artificial sweeteners, because these can act as tracers of wastewater. Come find out if our search for groundwater phosphorus at Wasaga Beach was successful (probably a good guess) or not.

Dr. James Roy

Dr. Roy received a M.Sc. in Soil Physics from the University of Guelph, followed by a Ph.D. in Contaminant Hydrogeology from the University of Waterloo (2004). He has been a Research Scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for nearly 9 years, stationed at the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, ON. The focus of his research with ECCC has been groundwater contamination from human activities and its impacts on streams, lakes and their ecosystems. Much of this research involves field work, with various field sites across Alberta, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. He has recently held adjunct professorship appointments at McMaster University (Hamilton) and University of Calgary, where he has supervised several graduate students.

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