Evolution and Ecology
Expert on ecology of ancient lakes, and river and lake pollution
John Smol was born in Montreal and went to Rosemere high school. His research focuses on the ecology of lakes and rivers: how acid rain, and other pollutants lead to their demise. He uses paleolimnological techniques--that is he examines the ancient history of lakes by looking at biological indicators such as diatoms, chrysophyte scales and cysts, and invertebrate fossils. Smol and his research team are also tracking long-term trends in global climatic and environmental change, again using paleolimnological approaches. This is a global program, but has recently been focused primarily on high arctic, sub-arctic, and semi-arid regions. The same methods are being used to track long-term changes in Pacific sockeye salmon populations, among other research projects. Smol is the 2004 winner of Canada's biggest scientific research prize, the Herzberg Award, worth $1,000,000 over five years. Smol has published extensively, including the textbook, Pollution of Lakes and Rivers: A Paleoenvironmental Perspective.