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Ryerson Urban Water

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

Drs Claire Oswald and Stephanie Melles

Longitudinal Assessment of Water Quality During Low and High Flow Conditions Along Innisfil Creek 

(Environment Canada Lake Simcoe-Southeastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund grant $98,484; co-PIs: Claire Oswald and Stephanie Melles; collaborators: Christopher Wellen - University of Windsor/Ryerson University, Merrin Macrae - University of Waterloo)

Duration: 2016-2017

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Dr Claire Oswald in the Field

Hydrological and Biogeochemical Resilience of Human-dominated Watersheds 

(NSERC Discovery Grant; PI: Claire Oswald)

Duration: 2017-2021

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Chloride Accumulation

The Fate and Transport of Chloride in Urbanizing Catchments of the Lake Simcoe/South-eastern Georgian Bay Watersheds

(Environment Canada Lake Simcoe-Southeastern Georgian Bay Clean-Up Fund grant $212,106; Pl: Claire Oswald)

Duration: 2015-2017

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3D Printed Model

A 3D Elevation Model of Toronto Watersheds Promoting Citizen Science in Urban Hydrology and Water Resources

(Ryerson Recode Grant for Social Innovation $9,762; co-Pls: Claire Oswald and Claus Rinner)

Duration: 2015-2016

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