Highly Qualified Personnel

  Students | Postdoctoral Fellows | Research Associates | Research Technicians



Zilefac Elvis Asong (PhD - SENS)

Zilefac Elvis was born in Cameroon and joined the Global Institute for Water Security in June 2012 to pursue a Ph.D. through the School of Environment and Sustainability. He obtained a B.Sc. Honours in Physical Geography from the University of Buea, Cameroon in December 2008 which was followed, in 2010, by a Masters in Water Resources Engineering from Lund University, Sweden. Prior to embarking on his PhD studies, he worked as a groundwater consultant at COWI-Demark. His research interests include flood forecasting; statistical hydrology; groundwater modelling; IWRM; climate and water issues; hydraulic design; river restoration; and watershed modelling and simulation. His PhD research project is directed at at developing plausible climate change scenarios for the Canadian Prairie Provinces using state-of-the-art AOGCM simulations from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project and statistical downscaling approaches.

Amanda Burke (MSc - SENS)

Bio Under Development

Jordan Gonda (MSc - Engineering)

Bio Under Development


Jennifer Roste (MSc - Geography)

Jen is from a farming community in eastern Saskatchewan. She completed her BSc in Computer Science and Civil Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan and has since held a variety of engineering jobs in the municipal, consulting and regulatory fields.  Her work took her north as far as Banks Island, NT and south to Mozambique before returning to Saskatoon.  Jen recently returned to University to undertake a Masters project in hydrology researching how we might better improve our understanding of phosphorus and nitrogen export from the cultivated Canadian prairie.


Kathryn Dompierre (PhD - Engineering)

Kathryn completed a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at the University of Manitoba and a M.Sc. in Environmental Policy and Regulation at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her master's thesis focused on the socio-economic and environmental effects of oil sands development on Aboriginal communities. Kathryn is now a Ph.D. candidate in Civil and Geological Engineering, working in conjunction with Syncrude Canada Ltd. on reclamation strategies for oil sands mines. Her research focuses on the development of End Pit Lakes, lakes created in decommissioned mine pits that have been filled with oil sands tailings (a by-product of the oil extraction process). Kathryn is investigating the potential interactions between these tailings and the overlying lake water, to determine controls on water quality in End Pit Lakes and to assist in the establishment of regional water quality monitoring plans.

Hammad Javid

Hammad Javid (Visiting Scholar)

Hammad is a M.Sc. Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis from Lund University, Sweden. He is currently a visitoring scholar with GIWS who is studying the assessment of natural and regulated river flow scenarios in the Peace River Basin and its impact on the inland Delta communities and river habitat using the MESH hydrological model. Last year he completed a master's research thesis at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich. His project was entitled "Snowmelt and Runoff Assessment of Talas River Basin using a Remote Sensing Approach" and focussed on hydrological and cryospheric modelling of a transboundary river (Talas River) which originates from an alpine catchment in Kyrgystan. Hammad will be a visiting scholar at GIWS until February 28, 2015.


Chris Marsh (PhD - Geography)

Chris completed a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Physical Geography with Minors in Math and Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan in 2009, followed by a M.Sc. in Physical Geography in 2012. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate under the co-supervision of Drs. Howard Wheater and John Pomeroy. Chris is currently interested in applying techniques, such as high performance computing, hydrological models, extensive field methods, and remote sensing, to solve interesting scientific problems, specifically those in the hydrological sciences. In his current research, Chris is investigating hydrologically important emergent phenomena in mountainous catchments, via a combination of deductive and inductive approaches. Further, warranted model complexity will be examined as well as the uncertainties associated with mountainous modelling.


Hamideh Hosseini Safa (Master of Environment and Sustainability - SENS)

Hamideh joined the Global Institute for Water Security from Iran. She holds a Masters degree in the field of Water Resources Engineering from Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran. Her main research interests include water resources management, water allocation, hydrological modeling, impact of climate change on water resources, uncertainty analysis in hydrological processes, and the role of glaciers in freshwater resources. Future areas on which she is motivated to conduct research include economic analysis in water resources management and optimization modeling.


Fuad Yassin (PhD - SENS)

Fuad joined GIWS following graduation from ETH Zurich with an advanced master’s degree in Sustainable Water Resources. His thesis focused on Blue and Green water availability and climate change impacts on the Blue Nile Basin. He has also completed a MSc. in Hydrology and Water Resource Management (2009) and a BSc. in Hydraulic Engineering (2007) both from Arba Minch University, Ethiopia. Fuad also worked as research associate in the Technical University of Munich. His current PhD research focuses on large-scale hydrological modeling using different data sets.

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Postdoctoral Fellows


Kwok Pan (Sun) Chun

Kwok Pan (Sun) is a postdoctoral fellow in stochastic hydrology. Before joining the Global Institute for Water Security, he completed his Ph.D. in the United Kingdom at Imperial College London (2011) and his undergraduate degree in Hong Kong in 2001. His research interests are in statistical downscaling for climate change model outputs, hydrological extreme analysis and risk management. Apart from reading the latest development of advanced statistical methods in his leisure time, he enjoys some philosophical discussion thorough the lens of psychological perspectives.


Taufique Mahmood

Taufique joined in the Global Institute of Water Security in June, 2012. He has a Ph.D. in Geological Science (Hydrology) from the Arizona State University (May 2012), M.Sc. in Engineering Science (Geology) from the University of Mississippi (May 2006) and  B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geology from the University of Dhaka (March 2003). Taufique's current postdoctoral research interests are in cold region hydrologic processes and nutrient transports in the Canadian prairies, uncertainties in cold region processes simulations, and finally impacts of land use changes on hydrologic responses. He also had previous research experiences in mountain ecohydrology in the southern Rockies, distributed hydrologic modeling and model development, development of spatial indices as indicators to dominant land surface processes, calibration of satellite imagery, spatial analyses, image processing, and finally geological mapping using both field based and remotely sensed data.


Luis Morales Marin

Luis studied Civil Engineering in the Colombian School of Engineering and obtained a M.Sc. in Water Resources at the National University of Colombia in Bogota. After receiving a scholarship he pursued his Ph.D. studies in Physical Geography at University College London (UCL), United Kingdom working on sediment transport and hydrodynamics modeling in lakes at the Coastal and Estuaries Research Unit (CERU). Luis has worked for consulting companies in Colombia in the design and construction of hydraulic structures. His research is focused on the study and modelling of complex physical processes associated with hydrology and hydrodynamics in lakes, rivers and estuaries. He is particularly interested in the study of the hydrodynamics and its effects on erosion, transport and deposition of sediments and nutrients in catchments. His research also focuses on the understanding of the processes derived from the interaction between climate forcing and rainfall-runoff events. Luis is currently working on water quality modelling in the South-Saskatchewan River Basin using the SPARROW model under the supervision of Drs. Karl-Erich Lindenschmidt and Howard Wheater.


Rebecca North

Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo, ON in Environmental Science in 2001 and continued on to do a Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo in Limnology.  She defended her Ph.D. thesis in 2008 under the supervision of Stephanie Guildford and Ralph Smith. Rebecca then went on to work on Lake Simcoe, Ontario with Peter Dillon at Trent University as a postdoctoral fellow. In the Canadian prairies, she is working on a variety of systems, including Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan, Canada in collaboration with Drs. Jeff Hudson and Howard Wheater of the Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan.


Vanessa Pedinotti

Vanessa Pedinotti joined GIWS following completion of an engineering degree in physical and mathematical modeling from University of Bordeaux (France) and a PhD in large-scale hydrological modeling from Meteo-France, Toulouse, France. Her research focused on understanding and modeling large-scale hydrological processes in the Niger River Basin, and on investigating the potential use of the SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) satellite data to improve models parameters. Her current research is part of the Changing Cold Regions Network project and aims at improving large-scale hydrological modeling of the Mackenzie River Basin in the context of a changing climate.


Patricia Pernica

Patricia joined GIWS following completion of a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto, a MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Physics from the University of Toronto. Her dissertation focused on characterizing physical processes in the surface layer of lakes and analyzing their effects on mixing and transport of nutrient and aquatic organisms. Current research interests aim to understand the role of lakes in regional climate systems through identifying and modeling key physical processes. Lakes can influence local and regional climate as they have significantly different radiative and thermal properties compared with soil or vegetated surfaces. Incorporating a lake model into a regional climate model is necessary to understand the influence lake systems have on atmospheric processes.


Gonzalo Sapriza Azuri

Gonzalo joined GIWS in February 2014 following completing of his PhD from Technical University of Catalonia Spain. Supervised by Dr. Jesus Carrera and Dr. Jorge Jodar, Gonzalo’s thesis was entitled “A methodology to assess the combined effect of climate change and groundwater overexploitation over the Upper Guadiana basin, Spain. His current research falls within the CERC Theme Climate Change and Water Security and is focused on large-scale hydrological modelling of the Mackenzie River Basin.

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Research Associates


Chris DeBeer

Originally from Saskatoon, Chris completed a B.Sc. (honours) in Physical Geography at the University of Saskatchewan in 2004, an M.Sc. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta in 2006, and a Ph.D. in Hydrology at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012.  He started work at the Global Institute for Water Security in December 2010 as the Institute and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Water Security were just getting established at the U of S.  Since March 2013, Chris has worked as the project manager for the Changing Cold Regions Network, led by Professor Howard Wheater.  Chris’ research interests are on mountain snow and glacier hydrology, modelling, and understanding of their response to climate variation. 


Ali Nazemi

Ali's expertise is in mathematical modelling and applications of water resource research. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. During his Ph.D., he was fully funded by the prestigious Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award from the UK government. His current research is primarily focused on new methods for the vulnerability analysis of water resource systems under climate change, uncertainty modelling and quantification, as well as the inclusion of water resource systems in large-scale hydrology and land models.


Graham Strickert

Graham is from Port Perry, Ontario. His undergraduate degrees include an Honours Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation Parks and Tourism and a Bachelor of Geography from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. His graduate degrees include a Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Science (specialization - Natural Resource Management and Ecological Engineering) and a Ph.D. in Complex Systems (specialization - Human Dimensions of Natural Hazards and Disasters) from Lincoln University, New Zealand. His research program seeks to integrate three topics: 1) socio-hydrology - the human dimensions of water security; 2) engaged research - advancing sequential mixed method social science for developing decision support tools, and 3) adaptation - peoples' preparation, response, and recovery strategies for coping with natural hazards/disasters. 

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Research Technicians

Dell Bayne

Bio Under Development

Bruce Johnson

Bio Under Development


Heather Wilson

Heather is originally from Saskatchewan, but her family moved to Ontario while she was in high school. After completing high school, Heather attended the University of Saskatchewan where she completed her B.Sc. in Biology. She then moved to Calgary for work and returned to school at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) where she completed my Applied Bachelor of Geographical Information Systems (GIS).  In 2005 she accepted a position with Environment Canada’s National Hydrology Research Centre in Saskatoon where she worked as a GIS Analyst on an Artic project with focus on water quantity on the Mackenzie Delta and surrounding tundra. Heather was hired in 2012 by the Global Institute for Water Security as a Research Technician for the St Denis project. St Denis is a National Wildlife Research area where the focus is on water quality and quantity.  Heather supports all aspects of field research from drilling projects to water sampling.

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