Lisa Lahens

Lisa Lahens, MSc student, LakePulse HQP committee

Department of Chemistry, Université de Sherbrooke


I am interested in the impact of human activities on the environment, and particularly on water, which is our most precious resource. I specialize in the quality and functioning of aquatic systems to help increase the knowledge on anthropogenic impacts on water quality and contribute to its improvement.

Research project

Study of the occurence and fate of contaminants of emerging concern in Canadian lakes

Contaminants of emerging concern (pesticides, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, industrial additives, etc.) are an important issue in the aquatic environment. They are designed to resist degradation and are thus persistent in the environment. I will develop an analytical method using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry for the detection and quantification of these emerging contaminants. The sources of contamination will be identified according to the type of contaminants (agriculture, residential, industrial). I will also address the behaviour and fate of emerging contaminants in the water and sediments.

Specific aims of the project:

  • Develop an LC-MS/MS analytical method for the detection and quantification of emerging contaminants.
  • Determine the behaviour of these contaminants in the water column and sediments.
  • Identify the potential sources of contamination.

Project start to finish dates: May 2017 to April 2021 (approximately)

Supervisors: Dr. Perdro A. Segura and Dr. Hubert Cabana

LakePulse survey sampling 680 lakes across Canada

Summer 2018: Sampling lakes in July and August with a field team!

Summer 2017: Yellow team (8 weeks). I was in charge of water and net sampling as well as sample filtrations. I enjoyed discovering the Maritimes in a way I wouldn’t have without this project.