John Smol named an Officer of the Order of Canada
Award-winning professor and scientist John Smol has just added another accolade to his list of honours: Officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Smol is recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on long-term changes to lakes and rivers, and has made profound contributions to identifying environmental change due to human and natural forces. The Officer of the Order of Canada award recognizes a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large.
“I am absolutely thrilled by this honour,” says Dr. Smol, currently on a speaking tour through China. “I am also aware that whatever credit I may get from my work at Queen’s University is, in fact, a collective effort from highly dedicated students, post-doctoral fellows and other researchers that I have the privilege to work with in my lab.”
Dr. Smol is a professor in the Departments of Biology and Environmental studies, and holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. He is the founder and co-director of the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL) at Queen’s, where he leads a group of approximately 30 students and other researchers dedicated to studying the history of lake environments. He is credited with demonstrating how paleolimnology, the study of ancient lake deposits, enables us to trace humanity’s impact on our environment over time. His research has led to increased protection of our inland waters, and has provided evidence of human-made contributions to climate change in the last century.
“It is wonderful to see Dr. Smol recognized for his contributions at the hands of His Excellency the Governor General,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “This award puts him in extremely good company with some of Canada’s most accomplished individuals. Queen’s is very fortunate to have Dr. Smol in our research community.”
Since 1990, Dr. Smol has received over 40 research, teaching, and outreach awards related to his environmental work. He has authored over 450 journal publications and book chapters, 19 books, and 800 conference papers. He is the founding editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology, and the current editor of Environmental Reviews. In 2012, Dr. Smol was elected Chair of the International Paleolimnology Association.