Claire Oswald is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Ryerson University. She graduated with a Honours BSc and a MSc from McMaster University, and a PhD from University of Toronto.
Dr. Oswald’s research focuses on advancing the understanding of watershed hydrological and biogeochemical functioning across a variety of landscapes and spatial scales. In particular, her research group is interested in understanding the cumulative impacts of climate and land use change on the hydrology and biogeochemistry of human-dominated watersheds facing the stress of urban development. She uses a combination of field-, laboratory-, and geospatial-based approaches to link landscape patterns, hydrological processes and in-stream biogeochemical dynamics in small- and meso-scale watersheds.
During her PhD and post-doctoral fellowship, Dr. Oswald’s research has focused on advancing our process-based understanding of the hydrology-controlled transport of materials such as mercury and organic carbon through undisturbed and disturbed catchments. This was done using traditional catchment hydrology tools (e.g., hydrograph analysis, geochemical and water isotopes tracers, and geospatial analysis) and novel biogeochemical approaches (e.g., mercury tracking using stable isotopes and optical analyses of dissolved organic matter to fingerprint critical source areas). Exploration of catchment functional traits, such as threshold hydrologic behaviour and water-material connectivity, has been fundamental to her research. Since joining Ryerson University in 2014, she has continued to apply the same tools and conceptual approaches to small- and meso-scale urban and urbanizing watersheds, where we urgently need to advance our understanding of the impacts of changing land use and extreme weather events on water resources