New Chair in Aquatic Health Appointed

The University of Lethbridge has added to its internationally recognized expertise in water research with the addition of a new Chair in Aquatic Health, Dr. Greg Pyle.

Pyle is the first of four new research Chairs being added to the University this year as part of the Government of Alberta's Campus Alberta Innovation Program (CAIP) Chairs plan. The government is contributing $1-million for four Chairs, over the course of seven years, for a total investment of $7 million.

"It's exciting to be able to bring in an outstanding research talent such as Dr. Pyle," says Dr. Dan Weeks, the University's vice-president (research). "His established expertise in the effects of environmental contaminants on the chemical communication systems in aquatic animals will greatly add to the already comprehensive research portfolio that has been established by our researchers in the Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE)."

Pyle comes to the University after spending the previous five years as head of the Aquatic Biotechnology and Ecotoxicology Laboratory at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont. His research program is considered unique because he is able to study several aquatic species, including both vertebrate and invertebrate animals, representing different positions within a typical freshwater food web and thereby better understanding the subtle effects of environmental contamination.

"The University of Lethbridge has been building a strong reputation in research over the past several years, especially in the aquatic sciences," says Pyle. "I am thrilled to be part of that growing research culture, and excited by the prospects afforded by the university and surrounding region."

Prior to taking up a Canada Research Chair in Environmental Biotechnology and Ecotoxicology at Lakehead, Pyle helped establish and build the Department of Biology at Nipissing University. He earned both his bachelor and master's degrees from Laurentian University and received his PhD from the University of Saskatchewan.

The CAIP Chairs plan is part of the Government of Alberta's Campus Alberta collaborative initiative and will provide research Chairs to Alberta's four Comprehensive Academic and Research Intensive (CARI) institutions: the University of Lethbridge, Athabasca University, the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary.

The U of L will also welcome CAIP Chairs in the areas of brain health and dementia, synthetic biology, and terrestrial ecosystems and remote sensing later this year. Pyle's appointment at the U of L is funded for seven years.

"The program is designed to recruit new research leaders to Alberta in specific areas of study," says Weeks. "Not only do these areas align with the Government of Alberta's strategic priorities, but they also reflect the core strengths of our institution."