Marlene Evans

Image Marlene Evans
Research Scientist

Design and conduct research on the distribution, fate and bioaccumulation of persistent organic contaminants in the environment with a focus on mercury and persistent organic contaminants in western and northern Canada.

Report results through presentations, reports and publications.

Serve on relevant committees, work groups, etc. to meet program, national and international objectives.

Current research and/or projects

Conducting research on the distribution, fate and bioaccumulation of persistent organic contaminants in the environment with a focus on mercury and persistent organic contaminants in western and northern Canada

Research and/or project statements

  • Northern Contaminants Program monitoring of mercury trends in sea-run char at Cambridge Bay and mercury and persistent organic contaminants in fish with a Great Slave Lake focus
  • Climate Change and Atmospheric Contaminants program monitoring of mercury in lake food webs around major emitters in western Canada and impacts of emissions of mercury and metal deposition in lake and waters and sediments including responses to reductions in emissions.
  • Investigation of oil sands impacts of the Athabasca River watershed including mercury and poly nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in fish and sediments and trends.
  • Impacts of climate change on mercury in fish and lake productivity
  • Investigations of the impacts of acidifying emissions on lake communities with a focus on the oil sands area but considerations of other sites in eastern Canada.
  • Work with northern partners in the implementation of studies, addressing community concerns and to provide training and educational opportunities.

Professional activities / interests

  • Mercury and persistent organic contaminants in the environment
  • Limnology and fisheries biology
  • Climate and other global change
  • Working with northern communities

Education and awards

B.Sc. Hons, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario

Ph. D., Biological Oceanography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia

Postdoctoral Fellow. Arctic Biological Station, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec

Anderson-Everett Award, International Association for Great Lakes Research

International experience and/or work


Member of the AMAP Expert Working Groups on POCs and on mercury

Scientific expert, Minamata Convention on Mercury Open Ended Science Group

Past Member

Science Advisory Board, International Joint Commission, Windsor

Editor, Journal of Great Lakes Research

Key publications

Rühland, K. M., M. S. Evans, and J. P. Smol. 2023.  Arctic warming drives striking 21st century ecosystem shifts in Great Slave Lake (Subarctic Canada), North America’s deepest lake. Proceedings of the Royal Society b 290:20231252  

Simmatis, B., K. M. Rühland, M. Evans, C. Meyer-Jacob, J. Kirk, D. C. G. Muir and J. P. Smol. 2022. Metal contamination in alkaline Phantom Lake (Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada) generates strong responses in multiple paleolimnological proxies. Science of The Total Environment. 811. 152299

Balmer, J.  E., A. D. Morris, H. Hung, L. Jantunen, K. Vorkamp, F. Rigét, M. Evans, M. Houde, and D. Muir.  2019.  Levels and trends of current-use pesticides (CUPs) in the arctic: An updated review, 2010–2018. Merging Contaminants 5:70-88.

Marvin, C. H., A. Berthiaume, D. A. Burniston, L. Chibwe, A. Dove, M. Evans, L. M. Hewitt, P. V. Hodson, D. C. G. Muir, J. Parrott, P. J. Thomas, and G. T. Tomy. 2021.  Polycyclic aromatic compounds in the Canadian Environment: Aquatic and terrestrial environments. Environmental Pollution 285: 117442

Campana, S. E., J. M. Casselman, C. Jones, G. Black, O. Barker, M. Evans, M. M. Guzzo, R. Kilada, A. M. Muir, and R. Perry. 2020. Arctic freshwater fish productivity and colonization increase with climate warming. Nature Climate Change. pp. 428-433

Evans, M. S., M. McMaster, D. C. G. Muir, J. Parrott, G. R. Tetreault, and J. Keating, 2019.  Forage fish and polycyclic aromatic compounds in the Fort McMurray oil sands area: Body burden comparisons with environmental distributions and consumption guidelines. Environmental Pollution 255, 113135

Anas, M.U.M., B. J. Meegahage, M. S. Evans, D. J. Jeffries, and B. Wissel. 2017.  Scale-dependent effects of natural environmental gradients, industrial emissions and dispersal processes on zooplankton metacommunity structure: Implications for the bioassessment of boreal lakes. Ecological Indicators.  82:484-494.

Evans, M., M. Davies, K. Janzen, D. Muir, R. Hazewinkel, J. Kirk, and D. De Boer.  2016.  PAH distributions in sediments in the oil sands monitoring area and western Lake Athabasca: Concentration, composition, and diagnostic ratios. Environmental Pollution 213:671-687.

Evans, M. S., and D. C. G. Muir.  2016.  Persistent organic contaminants in sediments and biota of Great Slave Lake, Canada: Slave River and long-range atmospheric source influences. Journal Great Lakes Research 42:233-247.

Evans, M. S., D. C. G. Muir, J. Keating, and X. Wang. 2015.  Anadromous char as an alternate food choice to marine animals: A synthesis of Hg concentrations, population features and other influencing factors.  Science of the Total Environment. 509-510. 175-194

Evans, M., D. Muir, B. Brua, J. Keating, and X. Wang.  2013.  Mercury trends in predatory fish in Great Slave Lake: The influence of temperature and other climate drivers. Environmental Science & Technology.  47(22), pp. 12793-1280.

van der Velden, S., B. Dempson, M. Evans, D. Muir, and M. Power. 2013. Basal mercury concentrations and biomagnification rates in freshwater and marine food webs: Effects on Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) from eastern Canada. Science of the Total Environment 444: 531-542

Research facility

11 Innovation Blvd.
Saskatoon, SK S7N 3H5



American Fisheries Society

Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

Ecological Society of America

International Association for Great Lakes Research

Society of Canadian Aquatic Sciences 

Academic Affiliations

Adjunct Professor, Biology Department, the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Affiliate Member, Global Institute for Water Security, the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan