School of Environmental Studies


Environmental Studies


Environmental Studies

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Gary W. vanLoon

Emeritus Professor

Gary vanLoon

Contact Information

Office: Chernoff 405
Phone: 613.533.2633
Fax: 613.533.6669
Mailing Address:
School of Environmental Studies
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada,
K7L 3N6

Chemistry and Environmental Studies


Students in Environmental Studies

Academic Training

BSc (Geology and Chemistry) McMaster U., PhD (Chemistry) U of Toronto  

Current Research & Academic Interests

The focus of my work is on sustainability in its broadest sense, and I am particularly interested in how one can assess (measure) it. Along with several colleagues I have proposed and developed methodology that can be used for this purpose and we have applied it in a number of situations, particularly agricultural situations. Like all methods, it has limitations and there is room to do much more work to make it applicable in various different cases. Lately, we have tried to bring health issues more closely into the assessment procedures. Much of our testing has been done in low-income countries, particularly India and now Bangladesh.


Publications in th​e previous 10 years

Books co-authored

  1. Mohammad Rais, Nehal A. Farooquee and Gary W. vanLoon,  Agro-biodiversity Conservation in Indian Central Himalaya: On Farm (In-situ) Practices.LAMBERT Academic Publishing GmbH & Co. KG,  Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8,  66121, Saarbrücken, Germany (2012)

  2. G.W. vanLoon and S.J. Duffy, Kimia Al Bi’a, [Arabic Translation of Environmental Chemistry] King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), 911 pp, (2011)

  3. G.W. vanLoon and S.J. Duffy, Environmental Chemistry – in a Global Perspective, 3nd edition,Oxford University Press, 545 pp, (2010).

  4. G.W. vanLoon and S. J. Duffy, Chemia Srodowiska, [Polish translation of Environmental Chemistry], Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN SA, Warszawa 613 pp, (2007)

  5. G.W. vanLoon and S.J. Duffy,Environmental Chemistry – a Global Perspective. Solutions Manual: Oxford University Press, Sept 2010 – published electronically

  6. G. W. vanLoon, S.G. Patil and L. B. Hugar, Agricultural sustainability: Strategies for assessment Sage Publications, 281 pp, (2005). 

Papers in refereed journals

  1. Atanu Sarkar, Kristan Aronson, Shantagouda Patil, Lingappa Hugar; Gary vanLoon, Emerging Health Risks Associated with Modern Agriculture Practices: a Comprehensive Study in India. Environmental Research 115, 37-50 (2012)
  2. P. Ralevic, S.G. Patil and G.W. vanLoon (2012). Achieving Household Food Security:How Much Land is Required?, Food Production - Approaches, Challenges and Tasks, Anna Aladjadjiyan (ed.), ISBN: 978-953-307-887-8, InTech,  Available from:
  3. Atanu Sarkar, Shantagouda Patil, Lingappa Hugar and Gary vanLoon, Sustainability of Current Agriculture Practices, Community Perception and Implications for Ecosystem Health: an Indian Study. EcoHealth, 8 (4),14pp,  2011
  4. P. Ralevic, S.G. Patil SG and G.W. vanLoon, Integrated Agriculture Production Systems for Meeting Household Food, Fodder and Fuel Security  . Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 34, 878-906, (2010)
  5. Sun Koo, Dildar Ali, Kiyull Yang, Yong Park, Abdelhamid Esbata, Gary vanLoon and Erwin Buncel, Theoretical and Experimental P-31 NMR and ESI-MS Study of Hg2+ Binding to Fenitrothion.Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society 30, 1257-1261 (2009)
  6.  Sun Koo, Dildar Ali, Kiyull Yang, Yong Park, Abdelhamid Esbata, Gary vanLoon and Erwin Buncel, 31P NMR and ESI-MS studies of metal ion phosphorus pesticide residue complexes.Journal of Chemistry, 87, 433-437 (2009)
  7. Mohammad Rais, Bohumir Pazderka and Gary vanLoon, Agriculture in Uttarakhand, India - Biodiversity, nutrition and livelihoods.Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 33, 319-335 (2009)
  8. D. Churchill, J. C.F. Cheung, Y.S. Park, V.H. Smith, G. vanLoon and E. Buncel.  Complexation of diazinon, an organophosphorus pesticide, with a-, β-, and у-cyclodextrin – NMR and computational studies.  Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 84, 702-708 (2006).
  9. X-M.  Han, V. K. Balakrishnan, G. W. vanLoon, E. Buncel, Degradation of the pesticide Fenitrothion as mediated by Cationic Surfactants and   -Nucleophilic Reagents.  Langmuir; 22(21), 9009-9017 (2006) 
  10. M.K.Mandal, N. Khandekar, M.K. Mandape, P. Khandekar and G.W. vanLoon, An index to measure sustainability of Rural Poultry Farming.Environment and Ecology. 24(1),110-115 (2006) . 
  11. J. A. Ramsay, K. Robertson, G.W. vanLoon, N. Acay, and B.A. Ramsay, Enhancement of PAH biomineralization rates under Fe(III)-reducing conditions. Chemosphere 61, 733-740 (2005). 
  12. V.K. Balakrishnan, E. Buncel and G.W. vanLoon, Micellar catalyzed degradation of Fenitrothion, an organophosphorus pesticide, in solution and soils. Environ. Sci. Technol. 39(15), 5824-5830, (2005) 
  13. Salma Shirin and Gary vanLoon. Dechlorination of cyclodextrin-complexed trichloroethylene by zero-valent iron: a proposed mechanism,Canadian Journal of Chemistry 82 (12), 1674 to 1685 (2004) 
  14. Vimal K. Balakrishnan, Xiumei Han, Gary W. vanLoon, Julian M. Dust, JeanToullec and Erwin Buncel. Acceleration of nucleophilic attack on an organophosphorothioate neurotoxin, fenitrothion by reactive counterion cationic micelles. Langmuir, 20, 6586 to 6593 (2004). 
  15. Salma Shirin, Erwin Buncel and Gary W. vanLoon, The use of β-cyclodextrins to enhance the aqueous solubility of trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene and their removal from soil organic matter: Effect of substituents. Canadian Journal of Chemistry, 81(1), 45-52, (2003). 
  16. David I. Kreller, Graham Gibson, William Novak, Gary W. vanLoon and J. Hugh Horton, Competitive adsorption of phosphate and carboxylate with natural organic matter on hydrous iron oxides as investigated by chemical force microscopy. Colloids and Surfaces A, 212 (2-3), 249-264 (2003).
  17. Kirsten N. Exall and Gary W. vanLoon, The speciation of aluminum in prehydrolyzed coagulants and its importance in organic matter removal.  Water Research, 37, 3341 - 3350 (2003) 
  18. D.I. Kreller, G. Gibson, G.W. vanLoon and J.H. Horton, Chemical force microscopy investigation of phosphate adsorption on the surfaces of hydrous ferric oxide particles.Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 254, 205-213 (2002) 
  19. I.S. Eneji, E. Buncel, G.W. vanLoon, Degradation and uptake of pirimiphos-methyl in two Nigerian soils. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 50(20), 5634 - 5639 (2002).

Current Environmental Studies Teachings at Queen's & Courses Taught at Queen's 

Besides teaching many chemistry courses over a long career at Queen's, I have also taught in the School of Environmental Studies - most recently ENSC 390 (Sustainability) and (currently) ENSC 315 (Food Security) 

Areas of Potential Thesis/Project Supervision

General areas of sustainability – particularly related to agriculture and with a focus on holistic methods of assessment of sustainability. The focus is substantially but not exclusively on issues in low-income countries.