ACWA Researchers

Meet the academic experts working to solve critical global water challenges

ACWA is proud to host researchers from the University of Calgary, as well as faculty members from institutions across the country. If you would like to be part of the ACWA research family, contact us for information on facility access. 

Research overview

Review our research program and learn what our facilities have to offer.

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Leland Jackson

Leland Jackson

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary
Scientific Director, ACWA

Dr. Leland Jackson’s research interests center on processes that affect the stability of aquatic communities and ecosystems, and relationships between sustainable growth and water quality and quantity.


Research Chairs

Tao Dong

Tao Dong

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary
Tier II Canada Research Chair in Molecular Ecology of Waterborne Microbes

Dr. Tao Dong’s research is focused on the molecular adaptation mechanisms by which bacteria are able to survive in stress environments and how they interact with other competing species.

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Kelly Munkittrick

Kelly Munkittrick

Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary
CAIP Research Chair in Ecosystem Health Assessment

Dr. Mukitterick's research is primarily field-based and focused on measuring the responses of wild fishes to natural and anthropogenic stressors including pulp mills, oil refineries, oil sands operations, agriculture), and municipalities, on examining the suitability of laboratory studies for predicting field effects, and on the use of alternate approaches for detecting impacts.

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Tao Dong

Matt Vijayan

Professor, Department of Biological Science, University of Calgary
Tier I Canada Research Chair in Environmental Physiology and Toxicology

The research conducted by the Vijayan group is focused on understanding the long-term impact of contaminants found in air, water, and land on animal physiology.

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Fred Wrona

Fred Wrona

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary
Svare Research Chair in Integrated Watershed Processes

Dr. Wrona's current research activities include: assessing effects of climate change/variability on the hydro-ecology of aquatic ecosystems; assessing the impacts of climate change/variability on the food web dynamics of Arctic freshwater ecosystems; and predicting effects of Multiple Environmental Stressors on Canadian Aquatic Ecosystems.

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Current ACWA Researchers

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Gopal Achari

Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary

Dr. Achari’s research interests include advanced oxidative processes for treatment of priority pollutants, uncertainty analysis in environmental engineering and landfill engineering.

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Sylvia Checkley

Associate Professor, Department of Ecosystem and Public Health, University of Calgary

Dr. Checkley works on projects at the interface between humans, animals and their environment, using One Health Approaches.

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Graham Gagnon

Professor, Department of Civil and Resource Engingeering, Dalhousie University

Dr. Gagnon’s teaching responsibilities include courses related to water and wastewater treatment, solid waste management, and environmental systems analysis. His general research interests are biological treatment processes, optimization of water treatment processes, and biofilm kinetics. Dr. Gagnon has been involved with research projects involving bacterial regrowth in drinking water distribution systems, optimization coagulation for improved ozone disinfection, nitrification in drinking water, and controlling the formation of disinfectant by-products.

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Hamid Habibi

Professor, Department of Biological Science, University of Calgary

Dr. Hamid Habibi’s research is focused on the endocrine control of reproduction and growth as well as environmental toxicology. Emphasis is placed on the role of brain, pituitary and gonadal hormones in the control of pituitary function and study of the mechanisms of adverse health impact of environmental contaminants with hormone-like activity. 

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Wendy Huang

Wendy Huang

Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary

Dr. Huang's research areas include industrial and domestic wastewater treatment, microbial electrochemistry, sustainable wastewater treatment, energy recovery from wastewater treatment processes and energy and environmental engineering.

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Susana Kimura-Hara

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary

Dr. Kimura’s research interests are in the areas of drinking water treatment, analytical chemistry and toxicology. She is interested in the identification and formation mechanisms of unregulated disinfection by-products using advanced mass spectrometry instrumentation and techniques. She has a particular interest on the formation and toxicity of emerging disinfection by-products and contaminants of concern derived from oxidation and membrane-based technologies developed to remove contaminants from municipal wastewater effluents. 

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Yang Liu

Yang Liu

Professor, Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering Dept, University of Alberta

Dr. Liu is a Canada Research Chair in Future Water Services, and an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Urban Water Development. Her research is centered in biological treatment technology development for resource recovery based municipal wastewater treatment for both centralized and decentralized treatment applications.  Her research activities contribute to decarbonizing communities and promote their resilience to climate and demographic changes within the circular economy. 

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Bernhard Mayer

Professor, Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary

Bernhard Mayer’s Applied Geochemistry research group employs chemical and isotopic techniques to trace water, carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur compounds in surface and subsurface environments.

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Norman Neumann

Professor, School of Public Health, University of Alberta

Dr. Neumann's research program focuses on development of novel approaches and tools for detecting, tracking and assessing human health risks associated with biological hazards in the environment (viruses, bacteria, protozoans, prions). Through his cross-appointment with the Provincial Laboratory for Public Health, these research outcomes are integrated into provincial public health laboratory service programs and policy development.

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Previous ACWA Researchers

Andrew Tay

Joo Hwa (Andrew) Tay

Dr. Joo Hwa (Andrew) Tay, PhD, was a world-class civil engineering researcher in the field of wastewater treatment and one of the inventors of aerobic granulation technology.

As both a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Wastewater Engineering and the NSERC/City of Calgary Senior Industrial Research Chair in Advanced Technologies for Wastewater Treatment, his life’s work was to protect the environment and drinking water by treating concerning substances before they entered the water system.

More on Dr. Tay's NSERC IRC projects