Jonathan K. Challis, Ph.D.

Image Jonathan Challis
Research Scientist, Pesticide Chemistry & Ecotoxicology

The Pesticide Chemistry Group at AAFC leverages analytical and environmental chemistry and toxicological tools to advance our understanding of the fate and effects of agrochemicals in the environment. Passive sampling and mass spectrometry tools are used to characterize agrochemicals in air, water, sediment, and soil environments.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects

  • Comparative current-use pesticides dynamics in three priority basins of Canada
  • Tools and strategies for mitigating pesticide impacts on wetlands to improve sustainable crop production
  • Science, adoption and adaptation of pesticide rinsate biobeds to support Canadian agro-ecosystems​ resilience and protect water resources
  • Water quality in the Irrigation Districts of Alberta
  • Development of a multiplex RT-immunoPCR assay and biosensor for the early detection of airborne fungal spores in cereal crops

Key Publications:

  • Challis, J.K., Popick, H., Prajapati, S., Harder, P., Giesy, J.P., McPhedran, K., Brinkmann, M. (2021). Occurrences of tire rubber derived contaminants in cold-climate urban runoff. Environmental Science and Technology Letters; 55, 13122.

  • Challis, J.K., Sura, S., Cantin, J., Curtis, A.W., Shade, K.M., McAllister, T.A., Jones, P.D., Giesy, J.P., Larney, F.J., (2021). Ractopamine and Other Growth-Promoting Compounds in Beef Cattle Operations: Fate and Transport in Feedlot Pens and Adjacent Environments. Environmental Science & Technology; 55, 1739.

  • Wang, P., Challis, J. K., Luong, K. H., Vera, T. C., Wong, C. S. (2021). Calibration of Organic-Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films (o-DGT) Passive Samplers for Perfluorinated Alkyl Acids in Water. Chemosphere; 263, 128325.

  • Challis, J.K., Parajas, A., Anderson, J., Asiedu, E., Martin, J.W., Wong, C.S., Ross, M.S. (2020). Photodegradation of Bitumen-Derived Organics in Oil Sands Process-Affected Water. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts; 22, 1243.

  • Challis, J.K., Almirall, X.O., Helm, P.A., Wong, C.S. (2020). Performance of the Organic Diffusive Gradients in Thin-Films Passive Sampler for Measurement of Target and Suspect Wastewater Contaminants. Environmental Pollution; 261, 114092.

  • Challis, J.K., Stroski, K.M., Luong, K.H., Hanson, M.L., Wong, C.S. (2018). Field evaluation and in-situ stress-testing of the organic-diffusive gradients in thin-films passive sampler. Environmental Science & Technology; 52, 12582.

  • Challis, J.K., Cuscito, L.D., Joudan, S., Luong, K.H., Knapp, C.W., Hanson, M.L., Wong, C.S. (2018) Inputs, source apportionment, and transboundary transport of pesticides and other polar organic contaminants along the lower Red River, Manitoba, Canada. Science of the Total Environment; 635, 803.

  • Stroski, K.M., Challis, J.K., Wong, C.S. (2018) The influence of pH on sampler uptake for an improved configuration of the organic-diffusive gradients in thin films passive sampler. Analytica Chimica Acta; 1018, 45.

  • Challis, J.K., Hanson, M.L., Wong, C.S. (2018) Pharmaceuticals and pesticides archived on polar passive sampling devices can be stable for up to 6 years. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry; 37, 762.

  • Anderson, P., Warrack, S., Langen, V., Challis, J.K., Hanson, M.L., Rennie, M. (2017) Microplastic contamination in Lake Winnipeg, Canada. Environmental Pollution; 225, 223.

  • Challis, J.K., Hanson, M.L., Wong, C.S. (2016) Development and Calibration of an Organic-Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films Aquatic Passive Sampler for a Diverse Suite of Polar Organic Contaminants. Analytical chemistry; 88, 10583.

  • Lu, Z., Challis, J.K., Wong, C.S. (2015) Quantum Yields for Direct Photolysis of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Water: Implications for Exposure to Non-target Aquatic Organisms. Environmental Science & Technology Letters; 2, 188.

  • Challis, J.K., Hanson, M.L., Friesen, K.J., Wong, C.S. (2014) A critical assessment of the photodegradation of pharmaceuticals in aquatic environments: defining our current understanding and identifying knowledge gaps. Environmental Science-Processes & Impacts; 16, 672.

Professional activities / interests

Editorial Board, Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (2020 - 2023)

Vice president, Prairie Northern Chapter of SETAC (2020 - present)

Chair, SETAC Chemistry Interest Group (2021 - 2022)


Education and awards

  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan
  • Ph.D., Vanier Scholar, Environmental Analytical Chemistry, University of Manitoba
  • B.Sc., Honours, Chemistry, The University of Winnipeg