Internationally renowned aquatic scientist Dr. Marguerite (Maggie) Xenopoulos has been appointed a Tier I Canada research chair (CRC) in Global Change of Freshwater Ecosystems at Trent University.
“The Canada research chair appointment recognizes and solidifies Professor Xenopoulos’ reputation as a global leader in the field of freshwater ecosystems,” says Dr. Cathy Bruce, vice president of Research and Innovation at Trent. “Her research program is vital to better understanding how aquatic ecosystems are responding to global change. As the first female Tier 1 CRC at Trent, Prof. Xenopoulos serves as a role model for young researchers, particularly women and other under-represented researchers, who dream of following in her footsteps.”
As a CRC, Prof. Xenopoulos, a Biology professor at Trent, will continue her research on the effects of human activities on the biogeochemistry and function of aquatic ecosystems. Her research will explore the pressures of climate change, floods, land use effects, nutrient pollution and other stressors on lakes and rivers with a particular focus on carbon. This research builds on a 2009 discovery by Prof. Xenopoulos and Dr. Henry Wilson, a Ph.D. candidate working with Prof. Xenopoulos at the time, where they found that the chemistry of carbon in the water is modified by land use change and climate change, which has implications for the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. This discovery has changed the way aquatic ecologists and water managers view the important role of dissolved organic carbon in freshwater ecosystems.
“The CRC is a great opportunity for me to expand my program and to continue mentoring the next generation to follow in my footsteps,” says Prof. Xenopoulos. “We still have so much work to do to protect waterbodies and their watersheds.”
Through new collaborative research projects, many involving students at both the undergraduate and graduate level, Prof. Xenopoulos aims to explore how carbon composition affects the health of aquatic ecosystems, including the amount of CO2 that is outgassed from the water.
Mentoring the next generation of researchers will be central to Prof. Xenopoulos’ CRC. In her 17 years as a Biology professor at Trent, she has trained dozens of undergraduate and graduate students and numerous post-doctoral fellows, most of whom are now active professionals in aquatic sciences – from consultants, to government scientists and academics.
“My students and post-doctoral fellows are the most important component of my academic research program. They bring energy, enthusiasm and ideas,” says Prof. Xenopoulos. “During my CRC I will continue to mentor the next generation to be critical thinkers and science communicators while providing them with opportunities to engage in multi-disciplinary and collaborative research.”
She also plans to continue working with other academics, external practitioners, such as local and provincial government scientists, as well as the broader community to share information and together create a deeper understanding of our water, our lakes and healthy watersheds.
“To have another Tier I Canada research chair right here in Peterborough at Trent University is a sign of confidence by the Government of Canada, of course with investments, but also by world leading scientists who say at Trent University, there are good things happening there. There are smart people like Dr. Xenopoulos, doing important work. Let's invest because it'll pay off for all of us,”
“I am pleased to celebrate Dr. Xenopoulos and this important milestone for Trent,” says the Honourable Maryam Monsef, member of parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha and the minister of Women & Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development. “She and so many others will continue to inspire the next generation of researchers and leaders in academia, and that's a good thing for Canada, and good for the global community. We are counting on these outstanding Canadians to come up with ideas to solutions the global community is looking for.”
Prof. Xenopoulos joined Trent in 2004, and has since contributed to the University’s reputation as one of the world’s leading facilities for research on environment and water. Her impactful research has resulted in numerous provincial and federal grants over the years, totaling more than $30 million and resulted in more than 95 peer-reviewed publications.
Among her many achievements, a career highlight was serving as the lead author in the Scenarios Working Group of the United Nations Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Prof. Xenopoulos also continues to play a leading role a number of large-scale national and international programs, such as NSERC FloodNet, the Real-time Aquatic Ecosystem Observation Network, and she serves on the Science Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission. As further testament to her scholarly achievements and international renown, Prof. Xenopoulos served as the deputy editor-in-chief of the journal, Limnology and Oceanography, and in January was appointed as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.
Canada Research Chairs at Trent
Trent’s Canada research chairs advance research, teaching and learning through leading-edge explorations in diverse disciplines, and include the following:
- Dr. Aaron Slepkov, CRC, Physics of Biomaterials
- Dr. Anne Pasek, CRC, Media, Culture and the Environment
- Dr. Dennis Murray, CRC, Integrative Wildlife Conservation
- Dr. Ian Power, CRC, Environmental Geoscience
- Dr. Maggie Xenopoulos, Global Change of Freshwater Ecosystems
- Dr. Mark Skinner, CRC, Rural Aging, Health and Social Care
- Dr. May Chazan, CRC, Feminist and Gender Studies
- Dr. Naomi Nichols, CRC, Community-Partnered Social Justice
- Dr. Paul Szpak, CRC, Environmental Archaeology
- Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer, CRC, Study of the Canadian North
The Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. It invests approximately $295 million per year to attract and retain a diverse cadre of world-class researchers, to reinforce academic research and training excellence in Canadian postsecondary institutions. The CRC program has positioned Canada as an international leader and destination of choice in research and development.
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.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org