Back to top

Two Postdoctoral Positions on Watershed Biogeochemical Data Synthesis and Modelling

Expiration Date: 

The Basu Lab at the University of Waterloo is seeking two postdoctoral associates to quantify the impacts of past and current land use and land management activities on stream and lake water quality ( The PDFs will be supervised by Professor Nandita Basu, and work as a part of a large collaborative team of researchers.
Postdoctoral Fellow 1: Quantifying Past Legacies and its Impact on Current Water Quality This position is funded by a Canada-Europe Collaborative Project titled “Legacies of Agricultural Pollutants (LEAP): Integrated Assessment of Biophysical and Socioeconomic Controls on Water Quality in Agroecosystems” funded by the Water Joint Programming Initiative. The goal of the LEAP project is to develop a unified framework that incorporates agricultural legacies and time lags into adaptive management strategies to protect water resources under changing climate and land use. This project involves collaborators in the social and natural sciences across Canada and Europe (Sweden, Denmark and Portugal) and builds on our work on Nutrient Legacies. Some recent successes in this project include our paper in Science ( that was covered extensively in New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe. The primary responsibility of PDF 1 will be to further develop the ELEMeNT (Exploration of Long-Term Nutrient Trajectories) model that was a critical component of the Science paper. ELEMeNT is a unique model, created by the Waterloo team, that has the ability to predict time lags in watershed response to various best management practices as a function of the accumulated legacies in the landscape. The two primary responsibilities of the PDF will be: (a) Develop and implement the ELEMeNT Model for Phosphorus in Watersheds in the Great Lakes Basin (b) Create an agroecosystem typology that links the biophysical and socioeconomic drivers of non-point source pollution to water quality impacts.
Postdoctoral Fellow 2: Integrated Watershed-Lake Modelling This position is funded by Global Water Futures funded project “Lake Futures: Enhancing Adaptive Capacity and Resilience of Lakes and their Watersheds”. The Lake Futures project is a collaboration between natural and social scientists, and aims to deliver adaptive watershed and lake management solutions that minimize trade-offs between lake ecosystems, water uses, and economic growth. The primary responsibility of PDF2 will be to create and apply basin-scale, coupled lake-watershed models to predict nutrient dynamics from headwaters to offshore waters. Specifically, PDF 2 will (a) develop basin scale water quality models for watersheds draining into lakes Erie and Ontario using the HYPE modeling framework, (b) integrate the impacts of watershed and reservoir management on downstream water quality, (c) collaborate with PDF 1 to integrate the effect of past land use, (d) collaborate with lake modeler Dr. Bocaniov at UW to develop coupled watershed-lake models that can be used to predict the effect of current and future land use and climate on lake water quality.
Both these positions will allow autonomy in aligning the project's broad goals with the interests of the successful applicant. Minimum qualifications are a PhD in hydrology, engineering, earth science, biogeochemistry, agriculture, or geography; and experience with GIS. Preferred qualifications include
proficiency in handling large datasets (eg NETCDF files), computer modelling, and biogeochemistry. Initial appointment is for one year; second year is contingent upon funding and performance.  
For further information regarding these positions or to submit an application, please contact Maggie Norris ( In your application, please include: ▪ Your motivation for the position (note which of the positions you are applying for) and research interests ▪ Curriculum vitae ▪ Copy of transcript(s) ▪ Contact information for 3 references
Closing date: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. The positions will remain open until filled. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted. The University of Waterloo encourages applications from all qualified individuals, members of visible minorities, native peoples, and people with disabilities.