Alexander Lemieux

MSc student
University of Ottawa

I completed my B.Sc. with honors at the University of Ottawa in Environmental Sciences, with a specialization in Ecotoxicology and Geochemistry. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I was fascinated by the amplitude with which various natural geologic processes and anthropogenic activities affected the quality and quantity of groundwater aquifers. Through the co-operative education program at uOttawa, I obtained jobs working both in industry (for the environmental and hydrogeologic consulting company Geofirma Engineering) and as part of government-funded research projects. I consider myself lucky to have worked on the Ontario Geological Survey’s Ambient Groundwater Geochemistry Program during the summers of 2015 and 2016, which ultimately led me to pursue a master’s degree in the field of Environmental Geoscience at uOttawa.

Under the supervision of Drs. Ian Clark and Stewart Hamilton, my master’s thesis will investigate the provenance of, and possible relationship between, abnormally high concentrations of methane and halogens in a bedrock aquifer in Southeastern Ontario. Among other geochemical data, groundwater and gas samples will be analysed for 129I and 14C isotopes using the new Accelerated Mass Spectrometer in the A.E. Lalonde AMS labs at the University of Ottawa. This is an amazing opportunity to use cutting-edge technology in a relatively new field of research. These radionuclides will be used to trace the source of iodine and methane gas in the study area. This study area has a unique geological setting, where contiguous thick marine sediments (also known as LEDA, or “quick” clays) deposited after the most recent glacial retreat 10 000 years ago overlie a complex Paleozoic topography and geology, with interbedded shale and limestone units. I am particularly interested in contaminant source tracing, stable and radioactive isotope geochemistry, hydrogeologic resource assessment, nuclear waste disposal and contaminated site rehabilitation.