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Upcoming Lecture at Trent University Explores the Urban Future of Earth


Dr. Peter M. Groffman to deliver 2017 David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science Lecture

Friday, May 5, 2017

The similarities of urban neighbourhoods across the continent and the environmental impacts of this sameness is the focus of the 2017 David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science Lecture at Trent University, featuring Dr. Peter M. Groffman, senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and being held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. in the Great Hall, Champlain College.

In his talk, “The Urban Future of Earth: The More We Change, the More It’s All the Same”, Professor Groffman will examine the ecological impacts of the expanding urban environment across North America. An apparent result of urban land use change is the homogenization across cities, where neighborhoods, regardless of geographical location, have similar patterns of roads, residential lots, and commercial areas. This homogenization also alters ecological dynamics with implications for water cycles, biodiversity, and nutrient cycling, from the backyard right up to the whole continent. This talk will consider how homogenization due to the “human element” in urban ecology affects nutrient cycles and ecosystem health in these increasingly widespread and highly recognizable environments.

“The current state of urban development and the influx of new subdivisions happening right now in Peterborough and across the country is a fitting backdrop for Prof. Groffman’s lecture, as he dives into the impacts of such development on ecosystems, small and large,” said Dr. Paul Frost, the David Schindler Professor in Aquatic Science at Trent University. “Understanding how the sameness of our built-up landscape alters all aspects of the natural environment is an important lesson.”

Prof. Groffman is an expert in urban ecology and aquatic sciences. His past research has examined the role of microbial processes in nutrient cycling, water and air quality and soil carbon storage. Extending this research into urban environments to understand how human modification of landscapes change ecological processes has required a large number of study sites and strong collaborations with other scientists.

About the David Schindler Professorship in Aquatic Science

Established in 2008, the David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science is the first-ever endowed professorship at Trent University. The endowment was given to the University to honour the work of Dr. David Schindler, a former Trent professor and one of the world’s leading environmental scientists.

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham – Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.


Kate Weersink, media relations & strategic communications officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or

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