Our goals in action
Research and innovation
Understanding our rivers and lakes
Our state-of-the-art Coastal Engineering Lab is the largest hydraulics laboratory in Canada. It is also one of the premier facilities for fundamental and applied research and education on a broad range of water issues, and especially in the fields of river engineering, lake dynamics, coastal engineering, water supply systems, and landslides.
Maintain local ecosystems and their biodiversity
Located on the shore of scenic Lake Ontario and adjacent to the wetland-rich UNESCO world biosphere reserve of the Frontenac Arch, Queen’s University is ideally situated for research into freshwater ecology. The members of our Freshwater Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Research Group conduct exciting research in wide array of topics including zooplankton ecology, population biology, ecotoxicology, paleolimnology, invasive species, fish physiology, and reproductive biology.
Our Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Laboratory (PEARL) monitors inland aquatic systems using paleolimnology – a multidisciplinary science that uses physical, chemical, and biological information preserved in sediment profiles – to reconstruct past environmental conditions. The lab, which is co-led by Dr. John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change, also holds weekly Limnology Seminar Series to explore topics related to limnology, paleoecology, and aquatic science.
Transforming a lake into a science experiment
Acclaimed researcher and Queen’s Professor Dr. Diane Orihel and her students transformed parts of a research lake into a test tube in 2019. They then deliberately released oil into the secured area, so that they could better understand the consequences of an oil spill in a freshwater lake.
Cross-border collaborative research
A number of Queen's faculty members are part of the Great Lakes Research Consortium. The group, which includes 18 colleges in New York and Ontario, are conducting research to improve the understanding of the Great Lakes ecosystem.
Teaching and student life
The Kennedy Field Station (KFS) is a multi-use, watershed facility located in Eastern Ontario on the Salmon River, an important tributary to the Great Lakes. Managed by the Department of Civil Engineering, it serves as an important research centre for our students and as an outreach tool for the university and its partner organizations.
Understanding how clean water affects human health
Water has a direct impact on the sustainability of communities. Our Graduate Diploma in Water and Human Health, offered through the Beaty Water Research Centre, teaches students to critically evaluate water issues, and identify key aspects of concern to human health. It also explores water regulations and policies around the globe.
Spreading the word about the importance of clean water
The Beaty Water Research Centre (BWRC) Great Lakes Water Festival is an annual awareness event that engages hundreds of grade four students from the community in activities that demonstrate the critical importance of water in their daily lives.
Public sustainable fishing programs
Queen’s organizes various public events to promote the sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. Our annual Elbow Lake Centre Public Outreach Events include Family Fishing Day in July and Family Ice Fishing in the summer, where participants can learn from fish biologists about fishing techniques and the importance of catch and release.
Our Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Lab also offers multimedia resources for the public and for anglers on everything from how to tell the age of a fish to keeping fish in good health.
Exploring local lakes
We encourage visitors to explore and discover the diverse ecology at our Elbow Lake facilities. The Elbow Lake Trail Guide App helps visitors learn about the wetlands’ environmental features and identifies points of interest along the several kilometres of walking trails.
Accelerating water innovations
Queen's is proud member of the Ontario Water Consortium, which is dedicated to researching and advancing the commercialization of innovative water technologies across our province.
Partners in protecting Canada’s oceans
As a member of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Queen's is working with other leading industry and academic institutions across the country to solve our ocean challenges and to sustainably grow Canada’s ocean economy.