Derek Muir

Senior Research Scientist and Section Head - Priority contaminants fate and bioaccumulation

Current research and/or projects

Develop knowledge on the distribution, fate and bioaccumulation of priority substances in order to provide policy- and decision-makers with information to make sound decisions on assessment and management of chemicals

  • Develop information on environmental levels, trends, bioaccumulation and sources of priority chemicals (fluorinated organics, chlorinated paraffins, brominated flame retardants, and other similar chemicals) under the Chemicals Management Plan and on mercury under the Clean Air Regulatory Agenda
  • Study current and historical atmospheric deposition of contaminants in the Alberta oil sands region
  • Assess long range transport, spatial, and temporal trends of contaminants in the Canadian Arctic for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and in the circumpolar Arctic for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP)
  • Conduct studies on new contaminants in Great Lakes fish, food webs and waters including areas of concern in support of lake area management plans
  • Examine chemical fate, and exposures of fish and wildlife, in tropical environments as part of global assessments and as a means of supporting training and capacity building in developing countries

Professional activities / interests

Associate Editor, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology journal (since 1999)

President and Vice-president, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (2007-2008)

Co-chair, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, POPs Assessment group (since 1994)

Fellow Royal Society of Canada; Fellow Chemical Institute of Canada

Education and awards

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada 2005 Gold Medal for Outstanding Career Achievement

SETAC Founder’s Award. Highest scientific award of the Society of Environment Toxicology & Chemistry, November 2000

B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., McGill University

Key publications

Benskin, J.P., D.C.G. Muir, B.F. Scott, C. Spencer, A.O. De Silva, H. Kylin, J.W. Martin, A. Morris, R. Lohmann, G. Tomy, B. Rosenberg,  S. Taniyasu, N. Yamashita. Perfluorinated compounds in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.  Environ Sci Technol 46 (11): 5815-5823

Müller, C.E., A.O. De Silva, J. Small, M. Williamson, X. Wang, A. Morris, S. Katz, M. Gamberg, D. C.G. Muir. 2011. Biomagnification of Perfluorinated Compounds in a Remote Terrestrial Food Chain: Lichen-Caribou-Wolf. Environ Sci Technol 45: 8665-8673.

Kirk,  J.L., D. Muir, X. Wang, D. Antoniades, M. Douglas, M. Evans, T. Jackson, H. Kling, S. Lamoureux, D.S.S. Lim, R. Pienitz, J. Smol, K. Stewart, X. Wang,F. Yang. 2011. Climate Change and Mercury Accumulation Rates in Canadian high and sub Arctic Lake Sediments. Environ Sci Technol 45 (3), 964–970.

Butt, C.M., D. C.G. Muir and S.A. Mabury 2010. Elucidating the Pathways of Poly- and Perfluorinated Acid Formation in Rainbow Trout. Environ. Sci. Technol., 44 (13), 4973-4980.

Howard, P.H. and D.C.G.Muir. 2010. Identifying New Persistent and Bioaccumulative Organics Among Chemicals in Commerce. Environ Sci Technol. 44: 2277-2285.

Gantner, N., M. Power, G. Lawson, D. Iqaluk, M. Meili, G. Köck, H. Borg, M. Sundbom, K. R. Solomon and D. C. G. Muir. 2010. Mercury Concentrations in Landlocked Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) in the Canadian High Arctic: Part I - insights from trophic relationships in 18 lakes. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 29(3):621-632.

Muir, D.C.G. and C. de Wit.  2010. Conclusions: Trends of legacy and new POPs in the circumpolar Arctic. Sci. Total Environ. 408: 3044–3051

Muir, D. C. G., X. Wang, F. Yang, N. Nguyen, T.A. Jackson, M.S. Evans, M. Douglas, G. Köck, S. Lamoureux, R. Pienitz, J. Smol, W.F. Vincent and A.P. Dastoor. 2009. Spatial Trends and Historical Deposition of Mercury in Eastern and Northern Canada Inferred from Lake Sediment Cores. Environ. Sci. Technol. 43, 4802–4809

Gouteux, B.,  Alaee, M., Mabury, S.,  Pacepavicius, G., Muir, D. 2008. Brominated flame retardant polymers: a possible source for emerging brominated aromatic compounds in the environment. Environ. Sci. Technol. 42: 9039–9044.

Houde, M., Muir, D.C.G., Kidd, K., Guildford, S., Drouillard, K., Evans, M., Wang, X., Whittle, M., Haffner, D., Kling, H.  2008. Influence of lake characteristics on the biomagnification of persistent organic pollutants in lake trout food webs. Environ Toxicol Chem. 27: 2169–2178.

Research facility

867 Lakeshore Rd.
Burlington, ON L7S 1A1


Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph, School of Environmental Sciences

Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto, Dept of Chemistry (Environmental Chemistry Program) and Dept. of Physical & Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, University of Waterloo, Dept of Biology

Charter member, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry