Dr. Brent Wootton has a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from Trent University. He led the CAWT from 2005 to 2016 as Director and Senior Scientist. Under his leadership, the CAWT grew to become an internationally recognized research institute committed to excellence in water and wastewater research and development. Brent now serves as the Vice-President of Applied Research and Innovation at Fleming; with institutional responsibility for all college-wide applied research, including oversight of the CAWT. He has been a member of several government boards and commissions, and has worked extensively with government, industry, and community groups on environmental projects around the world.
Manager (on leave)
Jennifer Paul’s background is in environmental science research, having received a M.Sc. in the Environmental and Life Sciences graduate program from Trent University. She has experience in all aspects of the research and development process, and her portfolio includes several publications in refereed journals as well as presentations at national conferences. As the Manager of the CAWT, Jenn is responsible for overseeing all projects, their execution, scheduling, budgets, and communication of results. Jenn works with CAWT partners and clients to secure funding (if applicable) and ensure that their project’s needs are met.
BARBARA SIEMBIDA-LÖSCH, PH.D, P.ENG.
Manager & Senior Scientist
Dr. Barbara Siembida-Lösch brings 15 years of broad (inter)national experience from both the private and academic sector, having worked in the field of water/wastewater engineering. Barbara holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Environmental Engineering; she completed her Ph.D. at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany in wastewater treatment. In her Postdoc role with the University of Waterloo, Barbara undertook detailed optimization of full-scale drinking water treatment facilities. Her scientific expertise translates to helping clients looking to innovate, overcome barriers, and develop a deeper understanding of how their technology works.
GORDON BALCH PH.D.
Research Scientist / Faculty
For over 25 years Dr. Gordon Balch had focused his efforts on the protection of water through the identification and analysis of excessive nutrients, legacy compounds and emerging chemicals of concern and the assessment of their impacts to receiving environments. He has worked in both the private and public sectors and has for the past decade been applying his broad base of knowledge and experience to supporting and enhancing the advancement of innovative wastewater technologies and the training of the next generation of water professionals. The breadth of his knowledge is evident in his several peer reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, and reports. Amongst many duties, Gord is responsible for study designs, scientist support to projects, data interpretation and providing independent third party validation.
Ryan has been working at Fleming College in an applied research capacity with an aquaculture industry focus for several years. Ryan has a Hons. BSc. in Biology and a M.Sc. in Environmental and Life Science from Trent University. He has strong mechanical and system design skills that complement the applied research projects undertaken at the CAWT. His skills extend beyond the desktop and laboratory and include many years of aquatic field-based research with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Aquatic Research and Monitoring Section. Ryan has diverse experience in working closely with industry partners in all aspects of applied research.
JAMES HIGGINS, PH.D., P.ENG.
Dr. James Higgins is a professional engineer with background and expertise in areas such as conventional and natural wastewater treatment, constructed wetlands, engineered bioreactors, site remediation, phytoremediation, risk assessment and the clean up of soils and waters contaminated with metals, metalloids and hydrocarbons. He is the developer of the Eco-Engineered Bioreactor (EEB) ecotechnology and initiates, organizes, and participates in EEB pilot-and demonstration-scale test projects and R&D at test facilities such as those at the CAWT.
AL MATTES, PH.D.
Dr. Al Mattes is an ETDC associate and a Principal of Nature Works Remediation, Corp. (Nature Works), and a part-time Research Scientist at the CAWT. He completed a Ph.D. degree in Geomicrobiology at the University of Guelph, with special emphasis on the chemistry and biochemistry of arsenic. Al’s research activities have been focused on the management of metals in contaminated soils and water. Al’s research activities have been focused on the management of metals in contaminated soils and water; with significant research on remediation technologies, especially in relation to mine wastes, tailings, and wastewater.
HONG ZHANG, PH.D.
Dr. Hong Zhang has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering (Drinking Water) from the University of Toronto, as well as degrees in Environmental Engineering (Wastewater) and Environmental Science from Nankai University in China. Before joining the CAWT, Hong was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Toronto. Her expertise includes corrosion control, disinfection byproducts, advanced analytical instrumentation, and experimental design. Hong is responsible for developing and validating laboratory methods and operating procedures and maintaining all quality accreditations.
SHAN SHAN LI
Laboratory Technologist (on leave)
As a Lab Technologist at the CAWT, Shan-Shan Li works with our industry partners to choose suitable analytical methods necessary for reaching the project’s goals. Shan-Shan has been a key player in obtaining and maintaining the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 certification in multiple commercial labs over the past decade. She also has extensive experience in method development and method validation in both the Mineral and Environmental sectors. Shan-Shan holds a B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering from Tianjin University; she is currently in the process of obtaining an M.Sc. in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University.
Marcus Sheppard has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University and a diploma from the Environmental Technology Program at Fleming College. Marcus has extensive analytical lab skills and field experience gained through leading bench- and full-scale pilot studies for the purposes of R&D in the water and wastewater technology sector. He has spearheaded the NSF 350 (greywater re-use) verification program offered by the CAWT and is currently focused on the testing and verification of advanced treatment systems (residential wastewater).
Joy Zhu is the CAWT’s instrumentation specialist. She has a M.Sc. in Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition from University of Guelph and a BSc.(Agr) in Soil Chemistry from China Agricultural University. Before joining the CAWT in 2011, Joy had over 10 years work experience in both research and commercial agricultural/environmental labs. She has extensive knowledge and skills in lab analysis, method development, instrumentation maintenance and troubleshooting.
Cayla Austin holds an M.Sc in Environmental and Life Sciences from Trent University. She has three years of experience in an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited microbiology laboratory where she conducted analyses on water and wastewater, and was responsible for Quality Control in the lab. At the CAWT she uses her microbiology experience to help with method development and validation.
Kirsten Scott holds an Advanced Diploma in Biotechnology – Forensics from Fleming College. Her project management skills ensure that her projects are completed on time and to the satisfaction of the stakeholders involved. Kirsten currently works in the areas of microbiology, adsorption studies and UV disinfection. Prior to joining the CAWT team, Kirsten worked in applied research in the nuclear field, studying corrosion, adsorption, and water/soil microbiology properties in nuclear active environments.
Etta Chan is a laboratory technician at CAWT, responsible for the routine analysis of water and wastewater parameters. As a graduate of the University of Toronto, Etta specializes in analytical instrumentation. She has had seven years of experience serving in private companies in the mining geochemistry sector, working with analytical instrumentation and developing new methods.
Shawna Corcoran is a laboratory technician, lending her expertise in water quality testing to the CAWT analytical laboratory. Shawna completed her M.Sc. at Trent University in the Environmental and Life Sciences Program, focusing on pharmaceuticals and pesticides in wastewater and the rivers the effluents were discharged into. She also has experience from working as an analytical chemist in a chemical supplier company.
Livia Li has diverse experience in drinking water and wastewater treatment technologies from her work and study. As a laboratory technician at CAWT, Livia is skilled at analyzing a variety of water and wastewater parameters using advanced analytical instruments. She also participates in field work and pilot-scale research projects at CAWT. Livia has an M.Sc degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and a B.Eng degree in Water and Wastewater Engineering from Tongji University, China.
Office of Applied Research & Innovation Staff
MARY LOU MCLEAN
Manager, Office of Applied Research
Mary Lou McLean has over 25 years of experience in the legal, financial and human resources sector. She leads the advancement and coordination of college-wide activities and efforts in applied research. She oversees the submission and administration of all college research grants, is the Research Ethics Board Liaison, and works with Fleming College’s schools to develop research capacity in their area.
Research Expansion Project Facilitator
As the Research Expansion Project Facilitator, Laura Coles assists researchers and research teams in the preparation and submission of funding agency proposals. She works to promote, identify, initiate, and manage new research opportunities within all Schools at Fleming College. Laura is a Fleming alum and holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto as well as a B.Sc. from Trent University.
Research Grants Financial Officer
Angela Cooper is the Research Grants Financial Officer for the Office of Applied Research. She is responsible for the financial administration and reporting of research projects. Angela has a B.Sc. from Trent University and is a CPA, CGA with many years of experience managing grants for the not for profit sector.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Joelle Levesque brings to our team a diverse portfolio of writing and environmental expertise. She supports all marketing and communications initiatives of the Office of Applied Research and assists in the preparation of written materials such as grants, proposals and news features. Joelle holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Trent University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Concordia University.