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Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Email: jesse.vermaire@carleton.ca
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I am interested in how environmental change, particularly land-use and climate change are impacting freshwater ecosystems.
 

Staff

Ramón Lara

Lab Manager

Supervisor:

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

I completed my undergraduate honours degree in Environmental Sciences at Carleton University. As the laboratory manager I upkeep the laboratory website and schedules, as well as contributing in the ongoing research of the AEEC Lab members. My current research focuses on the effects of heavy metal rich tailings on the Lake Yojoa (Honduras) and its diatom communities via a sediment core record. I am experienced in applied environmental knowledge in the private, industrial and public sectors, engineering work settings related to thermodynamics, system simulation, process engineering and numerical methods.
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Postdoctoral Fellows

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Branaavan Sivarajah

PDF

Supervisors:

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

I completed my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where I used paleolimnological techniques to investigate the long-term biological consequences of anthropogenic activities and climate mediated changes on aquatic ecosystems in Arctic and temperate regions of Canada. My postdoctoral research aims to understand the source of microplastics to agro-ecosystems and examine the impacts of this emerging pollutant on soil fauna.
 

PhD Candidates

Lisa Hahn

PhD candidate

Co-supervisors:

Paul B. Hamilton

Canadian Museum of Nature

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title:
Working title: Biodiversity of algae in constructed wetlands of Eastern Ontario
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Madelaine Bourdages

PhD candidate

Co-supervisors:

Jennifer Provencher

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title
Sources, transport, and fate of microplastic pollution along the Mackenzie River from Great Slave Lake to the southern Beaufort Sea, Northwest Territories
My research is focused on assessing the sources, transport, and fate of microplastics in aquatic environments.
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Mubashshera Rahman

PhD candidate

Supervisor:

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title:
Canadian Shield Lakes of Eastern Ontario: A paleolimnological study to reveal water quality changing trend over the past ~150 years under the synergistic impact of climate & land-use change
Eastern Ontario is a lake-rich region, whose economy largely depends on lake-based tourism and recreational activities and therefore on lakes’ water quality. Total Phosphorus (TP) loading, associated with land-uses, and climate warming are known to negatively affect water quality by promoting algal blooms. The lakes are mainly located in the Canadian Shield region, mostly covered forest, distinct wetlands. Hence, the lakes are typically clear, fairly nutrient-poor (TP < 20 µgm L-1) and non-acidic (pH >7) in nature. Yet there is a growing concern about increasing harmful and nuisance algal blooms. The impact of nutrient enrichment along with climate change may be promoting algal blooms in this region, but this combined impact is not well understood. I am interested to fill up the knowledge gaps about the combined impact of land-use and climate change. Moreover, few lakes of this region are highly eutrophic, and the reference states of the lakes are still unknown because of the scarcity of long-term water monitoring data. I am using the paleolimnological technique using the fossil diatom stored in lake sediments to infer baseline TP concentration and water quality trend over the past ~150 years of the Canadian Shield lakes.
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Nicolas Pelletier

PhD candidate

Co-supervisors:

John Chételat

National Wildlife Research Center (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

I am interested in the sources and transport processes for anthropogenic metal contaminants in subarctic environments. I use paleoenvironmental reconstructions from peat bogs and lake sediments to understand how the environmental loading of lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) has changed in response to human activities and natural disturbances (climate change, wildfires). My research is also oriented toward evaluating the processes that could deliver legacy terrestrial metals contaminants to aquatic environments in the future. My study sites are located in the central Northwest Territories and the Whitehorse region in Yukon.
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Shaun Forrest

PhD candidate

Supervisor:

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title:
Spatial variation of microplastics in the Ottawa River watershed: A total watershed approach with citizen science as a complementary methodology for sampling large watersheds.
PhD candidate working on microplastics in freshwater ecosystems.
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Graduate Students

Brittany Astles

MSc Student

Supervisor:

Dr. John Chételat from the National Wildlife Research Centre (Environment Canada)

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title
Will warmer water temperatures associated with climate change affect the mobility of arsenic from mining-contaminated sediments in the Yellowknife area, Northwest Territories?
 
MSc in Geography with a specialization in data science. Lakes in the Yellowknife area (Northwest Territories) were exposed to atmospheric deposition of arsenic emissions from ore roasting at local gold mines.  Yellowknife Bay of Great Slave Lake also received contaminants discharged directly into the lake from operations at Giant Mine. Legacy arsenic contamination remains an environmental concern due to its post-depositional mobility. Warmer water and sediment temperatures associated with climate change may impact arsenic diffusion rates from lake sediments either by the direct effect on diffusion rate or indirect effects such as on microbial metabolism and sediment redox conditions influenced by warmer temperatures. My research is to assess the influence of warmer temperatures on arsenic diffusion from contaminated sediment with different composition using an experimental incubation approach. My study compared arsenic diffusion rates from sediment at two sites with different geochemical characteristics, Yellowknife Bay of Great Slave Lake and Lower Martin Lake.
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Alex Jardine

MSc Student

Supervisor:

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title
The transport and fate of microplastics in invertebrates and zooplankton from the Mackenzie River, NWT
My research is focused on quantifying the presence and distribution of microplastics in Arctic environments, particularly within invertebrates, zooplankton, and fish within the Mackenzie River, NWT. MSc Geography – Carleton University
 
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Colin Robertson

MSc Student

Supervisor:

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title
A paleoclimate analysis for the Yellowknife Region of the NWT using a chironomid-based temperature model.
In 2016 I decided to return to Carleton to pursue a M.Sc in Physical Geography. I am currently investigating use of chironomid-based transfer function models to reconstruct July air temperatures in the Yellowknife region. Specific changes in chironomid assemblages will also be identified and analyzed in response to recent environmental changes. I am also a full-time Geography and Environmental Science teacher at a local independent school where I enjoy running a wide range of co-curricular programs including wilderness expeditions through the Duke of Edinburgh program!
 
 

David Lapins

MSc Student

Co-supervisors:

Dr. John Chételat

National Wildlife Research Center (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis Working Title
Recent environmental change in Yellowknife Bay, Northwest Territories, and its impact on legacy arsenic pollution in lake sediments.
My research focuses on the environmental impacts of mining activities in and around Yellowknife on Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories. Specifically, I'm studying how climate change may affect the long-term fate of arsenic contamination in lake sediments and whether or not a changing climate could promote the diffusion of arsenic from lake sediments into the overlying water.
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Eric Guitard

MSc Student

Supervisor:

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title
The impact of macrophyte control on freshwater ecosystem resilience in temperate lakes of Southern Ontario
Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) is a well-documented invasive macrophyte (aquatic plant) that is often problematic in freshwater ecosystems due to its ability to quickly proliferate and completely overtake other native species of macrophytes. Mechanically removing or applying burlap mats to large patches of invasive macrophytes is often recommended to lake users when these aquatic plants are highly prohibiting their recreational activities. While literature related to the effectiveness of various management techniques exists, very little is known about how mechanical macrophyte removal or the application of burlap mats may be impacting aquatic ecosystems.
 
The objective of my research project is to determine the impacts of these two macrophyte control methods on lake ecosystems in Southern Ontario. We'll be specifically focused on large, dense beds of Eurasian watermilfoil, which is a commonly invasive macrophyte to North America. 
 

Lindsay Trottier

MSc Student

Co-supervisors:

Chantal Vis

Parks Canada

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title
Spatial and temporal variability of algae and water quality in the Rideau and Trent-Severn Waterways
My research is on water quality and algae in the Rideau and Trent-Severn Waterways. Specifically, I am studying the temporal change of water chemistry and periphyton biomass in the Rideau River between 1995 and 2019. I am also analysing the seasonal and spatial variation of phytoplankton abundance and community composition along the Rideau and Trent-Severn Waterways.
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Patrick Beaupre

MSc Student

Co-supervisor:

Chantal Vis

Parks Canada

Jesse Vermaire

Associate Professor, Institute for Environmental and Interdisciplinary Sciences and DGES Carleton

Thesis working title
The impact of macrophyte control on freshwater ecosystem resilience in temperate lakes
 
I am looking at the physical, chemical and biological impacts of burlap benthic barriers and mechanical cutting used in the control of the invasive submerged macrophyte Myriophyllum spicatum in several Eastern Ontario Lakes. I am particularly interested in how these impacts differ along a nutrient gradient. As my undergraduate degree was in Wildlife Biology, a lot of my focus is on macroinvertebrates and zooplankton. 
 

Undergraduate Students

Former Students

Dale Sprague, MSc

Graduate (2017)
Lake sediment geochemistry in northeastern Ontario; the geologic controls on natural background variation and investigating lakes contaminated with arsenic-rich mine tailings in Cobalt, ON. [See full document]

Emma Davis, MSc

Graduate (2014)
Thesis: The influence of vegetation and climate on wildfires in Jasper, Alberta, Canada, over the last 3500 years (co-supervised with Dr. Michel Pisaric, Brock University). [See full document]

Madelaine Bourdages, MSc

Graduate (2020)
Thesis: Plastic ingestion, retention, and transport in animals from the eastern Canadian Arctic. [See full document]
Jennifer Vig, BSc
Undergraduate (2016 – 2017)
Thesis: Plastic pollution in the sediment of the Ottawa River.
Diandra Buttazzoni, BSc
Undergraduate (2016 – 2017)
Thesis: Interannual variability in submerged macrophyte biovolume in eastern Ontario Lakes.

Department of Geography and Environmental Studies & Institute of Environmental Science.

Carleton University 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6.

Direct Contact: Jesse Vermaire | Tel: 613-520-2600 ext 3898 | Email: jesse.vermaire@carleton.ca

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