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PhD and MSc Positions - University of Waterloo

University of Waterloo
Waterloo (Region), Ontario (CA)
Closing date
Feb 22, 2024

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Biogeosciences, Geochemistry, Hydrology
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type

Job Details

Collaborative PhD and MSc Positions in

Adaptive Management of Green Stormwater Infrastructure

to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Urban Watersheds

We invite applications for five PhD and two MSc positions to participate in a collaborative research project to assemble and propose solution options for urban green stormwater management (SWM) infrastructure that optimize the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs; CO2, CH4, and N2O). The project aims to quantify the landscape-scale drivers and processes within stormwater ponds (SWPs) and  bioretention systems (BRSs) that control GHG exchanges.  The resulting knowledge will be integrated into robust representations of SWPs and BRSs in coupled hydrology-biogeochemistry models to analyze the responses of urban GHG emissions and nutrients export to the implementation and management of green SWM infrastructure.


The main supervisor for each position is listed in parentheses; however, each position will have an interdisciplinary supervisory team consisting of multiple project team members.


Instructions for applying can be found below.


PhD-1 will quantify GHG emissions from green SWM infrastructure using existing GHG emission data plus field monitoring of GHG fluxes at SWP and BRS sites with fixed and floating chambers. (Fereidoun Rezanezhad, University of Waterloo)


PhD-2 will focus on processes controlling the organic and inorganic carbon cycles in SWM systems to identify external and internal sources and sequestration pathways for GHG emission reduction. (Scott Smith, Wilfrid Laurier University)


PhD-3 will generate mass balances of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in SWM infrastructure to assess trade-offs between GHG reduction and water quality protection. (Philippe Van Cappellen, University of Waterloo)


PhD-4 will simulate and analyze management scenarios with variable SWM configurations and hydroclimatic conditions in urban watersheds to optimize the reduction of GHG emissions at the watershed scale. (Andrea Brookfield, University of Waterloo)


PhD-5 will test the full-scale feasibility of geochemical interventions in SWPs and BRSs that increase carbon sequestration in green SWM infrastructure. (Bahram Gharabaghi, University of Guelph)


MSc-1 will determine the rates of carbon sequestration in green SWM systems with the focus on CO2 saturation and carbonate mineral sequestration potential. (Fereidoun Rezanezhad, University of Waterloo)


MSc-2 will simulate and analyze the vulnerability of GHG emissions from SWM infrastructure to changes in urban watershed hydrology including more extreme flooding and drought events. (Andrea Brookfield, University of Waterloo)


The students will work closely together within a highly interdisciplinary team of researchers from University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Toronto and University of Guelph. The research team will regularly interact with scientists, practitioners, decision-makers, and public participants from stakeholder organizations, including Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), City of Kitchener, Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA), Muslim Families, and Crozier & Associates Consulting Engineers.


Applicants must have (or expect to soon complete) a degree relevant to the position applied for. Preference will be given to candidates with strong quantitative skills and demonstrated experience in one or more of the following or closely related areas: biogeochemistry, aquatic chemistry, hydrology, soil science, and environmental modeling and risk assessment. There will be flexibility in locations of the positions. Exceptional candidates who prefer to undertake a Master’s degree in one of the PhD topics above will be considered.


Please submit your application package electronically as a single pdf file to Anita Ghosh ( In your email, include “Missions_yourname” in the subject line. Your applications should contain:


-    Which PhD-# or MSc-# position(s) you wish to be considered for


-    A letter explaining your motivation to apply


-    Curriculum vitae


-    Copy of transcripts (unofficial transcripts will be accepted at the application stage)


Closing date: Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Preference will be given to applications submitted before July 1, 2023.


We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those individuals selected for an interview will be contacted.


The partnering universities in this project are committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We regard equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) as an integral part of academic excellence. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities.


If you have any questions regarding the application process, eligibility, or a request for accommodation during the selection process, please contact



The research program in ecohydrology is motivated by the need for science-based approaches to evaluate and predict the ecological impacts of the use of water resources by humans (see our Mission Statement.) Our research team therefore provides a natural rallying point for the wide range of expertise and strengths in the areas of water science, technology and policy present at the University of Waterloo (see The Water Institute). The collaborative research program in ecohydrology specifically aims to determine the pathways and rates of biogeochemical processes that control the fluxes of nutrients, greenhouse gases and contaminants across the interfaces separating groundwater from surface water bodies, model the coupling of hydrological, geochemical, ecological and biological processes at these interfaces, and assess the implications of interactions between groundwater and surface water for ecosystem health, water quality and environmental management along the aquatic continuum, from headwaters to the coastal zone.
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