David Depew

Image David Depew
Research Scientist

Research on nutrient dynamics in aquatic systems

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to Environment and Climate Change Canada's mandate to ensure aquatic ecosystems are conserved and protected

  • Effects of nutrient loading and invasive species on nearshore ecology of large lakes
  • Role of physical, chemical and biological factors in the control of algal biomass in lakes
  • Effect of nutrient management strategies on the recovery of distrubed aquatic systems
  • Application of stable isotopes to trace nutrient cycling pathways in lakes and rivers

Professional activities / interests

-Science and policy advice related to nutrient dynamics within aquatic ecosystems 

-Graduate student and post-doctoral fellow supervision and committees

-Journal and grant reviewer 

Education and awards

PhD Biology, University of Waterloo, 2009

MSc Biology, University of Waterloo, 2003

BSc (Env). University of Guelph, 2001



Best Reviewer Award - Journal of Great Lakes Research (2016)

Citation of Excellence for Teamwork - Environment and Climate Change Canada (2015)

Elsevier Young Scientist Award - Journal of Great Lakes Research (2012)

Dean of Science Award - University of Waterloo (2003)

Key publications

Markovic, S., Liang,A., Watson, S.B., Depew, D., Zastepa, A., Surana, P., Vanden Byllaardt, J., Arhonditsis, G., Dittrich, M. 2019. Reduction of industrial iron pollution promotes phosphorus internal loading in eutrophic Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario, Canada. Environmental Pollution 252:697-705.

Smith, R.B., Bass, B., Sawyer, D., Depew, D., Watson, S.B. 2019. Estimating the economic costs of algal blooms in the Canadian Lake Erie Basin. Harmful Algae. 87:101624.

Valipour, R., Rao, Y.R., Leon,L.F., Depew, D. 2019. Nearshore-offshore exchanges in multi-basin coastal waters: Observations and three - dimensional modeling in Lake Erie. Journal of Great Lakes Research 45:50-60.

Depew, D.C., Koehler, G., Hiriart-Baer, V.P. 2018.Phosphorus dynamics and availability in the nearshore of eastern Lake Erie: Insights from oxygen isotope ratios of phosphate. Frontiers in Marine Science.

Valipour, R., Leon, L.F., Depew, D.C., Dove, A., Rao, Y.R. 2016. High resolution modeling for development of nearshore ecosystem objectives in eastern Lake Erie. Journal of Great Lakes Research.42:1241-1251.

Watson, S.B., Miller, C., Arhonditsis, G., Boyer, G.L., Carmichael, W., Charlton, M.N., Confesor, R., Depew, D.C., Hook T., Ludsin, S.A., Matisoff, G., McElmurry, S.P., Murray, M.W., Richards, R.P., Rao, Y.R., Steffen, M.M., Wilhelm, S.W. 2016. The re-eutrophication of Lake Erie: Harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. Harmful Algae. 56: 44 - 66.

Chetelat, J., Amyot, M., Arp, P., Blais, J.M., Depew, D.C., Emmerton, C.A., Evans, M., Gamber, M., Gantner, N., Girard, C., Graydon, J., Kirk, J., Lean, D., Lehnherr, I., Muir, D., Nasr, M., Poulain, A.J., Power, M., Roach, P., Stern, G., Swanson, H., van der Velden, S. 2015. Mercury in freshwater ecosystems of the Canadian Arctic: Recent advances on its cycling and fate. Science of the Total Environment.

Depew, D.C., Burgess, N.M., Campbell, L.M. 2013. Spatial patterns of methylmercury risk to common loons and piscivorous fish in Canada. Environmental Science and Technology 47: 13093 – 13103.

Depew, D.C., Burgess, N.M., Campbell, L.M. 2013. Modeling mercury concentrations in prey fish: Derivation of a common indicator of dietary exposure to piscivorous fish and wildlife. Environmental Pollution. 176: 234 – 243.

Depew, D.C., Burgess, N.M., Anderson, R.M., Baker, R., Bhavsar, S.P., Bodaly, R.A.,Eckley, C.S., Evans, M.S., Gantner, N., Graydon, J.A., Jacobs, K., LeBlanc, J.E., St.Louis, V.L., Campbell, L.M. 2013. An overview of mercury concentrations in freshwater fish species: A national fish mercury dataset for Canada: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 70: 436 – 451.

North, R.L., R.E.H. Smith, Hecky, R.E., Depew, D.C., León, L.F., Charlton, M.N. and Guildford, S.J. 2012. Distribution of seston and nutrient concentrations in the eastern basin of Lake Erie pre- and post-dreissenid mussel introduction. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 38: 463 – 476.

Depew, D.C., Basu, N., Burgess, N.M., Campbell, L.M., Evers, D.C., Grasman, K.A.,Scheuhammer, A.M. 2012. Derivation of benchmark thresholds for dietary methylmercury in the common loon (Gavia immer): Justification for use in ecological risk assessment. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31: 2399 – 2407.

Depew, D.C., Basu, N., Burgess, N.M., Campbell, L.M., Devlin, E.W., Drevnick, P.E., Hammerschmidt, C.R., Murphy, C.A., Sandheinrich, M.B. and Weiner, J.G. 2012. Toxicity of dietary methylmercury to fish: Derivation of ecologically meaningful thresholds. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31: 1536 – 1547.

Léon, L.F., Smith, R.E.H., Malkin, S.Y., Depew, D.C., Hipsey, M.R., Antenucci, J.P., Higgins, S.N., Hecky, R.E., and Rao, Y.R. 2012. Nested 3D modeling of the spatial dynamics of nutrients and phytoplankton in a Lake Ontario near-shore zone. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 38: 171 – 183.