News Story

Dr. Nawaf Nasser-2020 Carleton University Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement

The Department of Earth Sciences is pleased to announce that Dr. Nawaf Nasser, supervised by Dr. Jennifer Galloway (GSC, Calgary) and Professor Tim Patterson (Earth Sciences, CU), has been awarded a prestigious Carleton University “Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement – Graduate Level” for his Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Lacustrine Arcellinida (Testate Lobose Amoebae) as bioindicators of arsenic contamination: a new tool for environmental risk assessment”.

Nawaf’s research focused on development of novel microfossil tools for tracking environmental contamination and ecological recovery. Through experiments and field-based research, Nawaf developed these bioindicators (testate lobose amoebae) to track past arsenic contamination in lake sediments. His research area was the Giant Mine (Yellowknife, N.W.T.), a former gold mine that has left a legacy of arsenic contamination that now represents Canada’s largest, most costly (~1 billion CAD$), and arguably complex remediation project. Since arsenic is mobile in lake sediments, non-mobile proxies of arsenic must be used to reconstruct past contamination and the response of this toxic element to climate and landscape change. To develop the tools, Nawaf conducted innovative and self-directed research on arsenic geochemistry, organic matter, micropaleontology, statistics, sedimentology, and field geology. His contributions were critical to the success of federal Government of Canada and territorial (Northwest Territories) funded-projects.

The innovative research developed by Nawaf in his Ph.D. is timely and highly relevant to academic, government (federal, territorial, and Indigenous), and private sectors. Nawaf has to-date published 23 peer-reviewed research papers, an outstanding accomplishment for a person at this stage of their career. Nawaf is presently employed as a post-doctoral researcher in the Patterson Lab as he seeks a tenure-track academic position.

For the full list of Medal & Award recipients of June 2020 please visit the Convocation page.


Dr. Nawaf Nasser
(Photo credit: Tim Patterson)

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