Genevieve Ali

Headshot of Genevieve
Associate Professor
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x52740
Bovey Building Room 2225

Genevieve split her time, growing up, between West Africa, Europe and Montreal, Quebec. While she was always fascinated by water and water-related natural disasters, her first undergraduate student research position working on the St Lawrence River and its tributaries really ignited her interest in hydrological sciences. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Genevieve did an accelerated transfer to the Ph.D. and worked on advancing the science of hydrological connectivity for both process understanding and science-driven watershed management. Today, she is an emerging leader in her field and is known for her eco-hydrological research in quasi-pristine as well as human-impacted landscapes.

Academic History

  • BSc Honours (Geography), University of Montreal (Quebec, Canada), 2005
  • Ph.D. (Geography), University of Montreal (Quebec, Canada), 2010
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Northern Rivers Institute, University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK), 2010-2011
  • Junior Chair, Manitoba’s Watershed Systems research Program, University of Manitoba (Manitoba, Canada), 2012-2018
  • Assistant/Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Manitoba (Manitoba, Canada), 2012-2018

Affiliations and Partnerships

  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Manitoba (Canada), 2019-present
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada), 2016-present
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Canadian Foundation for Innovation
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • United States Geological Survey
  • John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 
  • Manitoba Sustainable Development (formerly Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship)
  • Manitoba Infrastructure (formerly Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation)

Awards and Honours

  • Young Scientist Award, Canadian Geophysical Union (2014)
  • Early Career Researcher Award, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada(2013)
  • American Geophysical Union “research spotlight” (2011)


Research Impact

Genevieve’s research is at the cross-roads between different hydrological sciences as it focuses on interactions and feedbacks between the elements of the water cycle, ecosystems and organisms. Her goal is to diagnose and predict how terrestrial (e.g., forested, agricultural, periurban) and aquatic (e.g., stream and wetland) systems interact with climate drivers to produce distinct eco-hydrological behaviour. To that end, Genevieve’s group uses approaches that rely on discrete field samples (e.g., water, soil and plant) analyzed via geochemical or isotopic methods, continuously recording field instruments, experimental manipulations, digital maps, satellite images and numerical models. Research projects encompass spatial scales that range from the small plot to the individual farm, individual hillslope and large watershed in order to produce new process knowledge as well as information that is relevant to policy makers.

Current Research Projects

See personal website for up-to-date information

Graduate Student Information

Genevieve advises graduate students in identifying the answers to three questions: what is the research status quo, what is wrong with it, and what can I do to resolve part of the issue(s). Depending on their specific research topic, students receive tailored training in the calibration, deployment and maintenance of hydrometric instruments and water quality meters; the application of data quality assurance/quality control procedures; the use of geographic information systems for spatial analysis; the use of R-CRAN and MATLAB as data processing and mathematical modelling tools; and the use of multivariate statistical analyses for data interpretation. Genevieve favors inquiries from students with strong backgrounds in Environmental Science, Physical Geography, Geomatics, Soil Science, Engineering or Computer Science. For more information about current student opportunities, refer to Genevieve’s research group website and/or contact her via email.

Featured Publications

  • Ali, G., and *English, C. (2019). ‘Phytoplankton blooms in Lake Winnipeg linked to selective water-gatekeeper connectivity’, Scientific Reports, 9(1): 8395. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44717-y.
  • Ali, G., Oswald, C., Spence, C., and Wellen, C. (2018). ‘The T-TEL method for assessing water, sediment and chemical connectivity’, Water Resources Research, 54: 634-662, doi: 10.1002/2017WR020707.
  • *Bansah, S., and Ali, G. (2017). ‘Evaluating the effects of tracer choice and end-member definitions on hydrograph separation results across nested prairie watersheds’, Water Resources Research, 53: 8851-8871, doi: 10.1002/2016WR020252. 
  • Golden, H., Creed, I., Ali, G., Basu, N., Neff, B., Rains, M., McLaughlin, D., Alexander, L., Ameli, A., Christensen, J., Evenson, G., Jones, C., Lane, C., and Lang, M. (2017). ‘Integrating geographically isolated wetlands into land management decisions’, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 15: 319-327, doi:10.1002/fee.1504.
  • Ali, G., Wilson, H., Elliott, J., *Haque, A., *Ross, C., *Rabie, M. and *Penner, A. (2017). ‘Phosphorus export dynamics and hydrobiogeochemical controls across gradients of scale, topography and human impact’, Hydrological Processes, 31: 3130-3145, doi: 10.1002/hyp.11258.

Area of Research

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences