In addition, UVic and the partners are providing a total of $2.1 million over five years as indirect support for equipment, infrastructure and analysis.
The chair will work with, not for, its partners, stresses Mazumder. "We're here to do top quality fundamental and applied research," he says. "It is our intention that industry and government will use the scientific results to develop management practices for protecting the quality of water and watersheds. It's not our role to get involved in debates for one side or another."
Models and techniques developed during the research will be used by water utilities and forest industries to optimize water quality, reduce treatment costs, and minimize disinfection byproducts such as chlorine. Environmental technology-based industries will develop new equipment, applications and services related to drinking water. And the federal and provincial governments could use the results to strengthen guidelines for the protection of watersheds that supply drinking water.
Mazumder's first task is to set up a world-class research facility and research team at UVic.The team will include a junior chair in terrestrial ecosystem ecology, a research associate, lab manager, research manager, a large number of graduate and undergraduate students, and collaborators from industry, university and government.
Mazumder joined the biology department at UVic in July and is an internationally known aquatic ecologist. For his PhD he demonstrated how nutrients and fish communities interact to affect water quality. "The major conclusion was that if you maintain a healthy food chain the ecosystem can absorb more nutrients before it shows poor water quality," he says.
Until recently, Mazumder was an associate professor of biology at the Université de Montral and director of the Laurentian Biology Station in Quebec, a major site for field research
Contact: Dr. Azit Mazumder
University of Victoria