Joshua Kurek

Associate Professor
AVDX 305
Office hours
If door is open, please come in


I'm an Associate Professor at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. I lead the Environmental Change and Aquatic Biomonitoring (ECAB) Labratory in the state-of-the-art Gairdner Building. My research program is interdisciplinary and includes aspects of aquatic science, geoscience, and direct monitoring of freshwater ecosystems. I am interested in understanding how lakes, rivers, and wetlands respond to stressors and how the structure and function of freshwaters has changed across time. One of my favorite job perks is mentoring undergraduate and graduate students and helping to develop their abilities, knowledge, and interest related to environmental science and freshwaters. 


Dysart AJ, Labaj AL, Kurek J. In review. A metric to assess cladoceran body size in response to environmental change. Submitted to Journal of Paleolimnology.

Labaj AL, LeBlanc AD, Doucet CV, Tardif C, Kurek J. In review. Microlitter in the water, sediments, and mussels of the Saint John River (Wolastoq) watershed, Atlantic Canada. Submitted to Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

Campbell JM, Libera N, Smol JP, Kurek J. In review. Historical impacts of mink fur farming on chironomid assemblages of shallow lakes in Nova Scotia, Canada. Submitted to Lake and Reservoir Management.

Provencher J, Au S, Horn D, Mallory ML, Walker TR, Kurek J, Weiss J, Erdle L, Lusher A. In review. Animals and microplastics – ingestion, transport, breakdown, and trophic transfer. In Polluting Textiles: The Problem with Microfibres. Taylor & Francis Group.

Clark AJ, Labaj AL, Smol JP, Campbell LM, Kurek J. In press. Arsenic and mercury contamination and complex aquatic bioindicator responses to historical gold mining and modern watershed stressors in urban Nova Scotia, Canada. Science of the Total Environment 787: 147374. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.147374.

Patoine A, Karmakar M, Kurek J. In review. Differential impacts of climate and land-use on 20th century phytoplankton composition among and within two temperate coastal estuaries of Atlantic Canada. Submitted to Estuaries and Coasts (Manuscript # S-20-00471).

Labaj AL, Jeziorski A, Kurek J, Bennet JR, Cumming BF, DeSellas AM, Korosi JB, Paterson AM, Sweetman JN, Thienpont JR, Smol JP. In Press. Environmental drivers of cladoceran assemblages at a continental scale: a synthesis of Alaskan and Canadian datasets. Freshwater Biology 66: 949-967. DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13689.

Doucet CV, Labaj AL, Kurek J. 2021. Microfiber content in freshwater mussels from rural tributaries of the Saint John River, Canada. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 232: 32. DOI: 10.1007/s11270-020-04958-4.

Dunnington DW, Libera N, Kurek J, Spooner IS, Gagnon GA. Accepted. tidypaleo: Visualizing paleoenvironmental archives using ggplot2. Journal of Statistical Software.

Dunnington DW, Roberts S, Norton SA, Spooner IS, Kurek J, Kirk JL, Muir DCG, White CE, Gagnon GA. 2020. The distribution and transport of lead over two centuries as recorded by lake sediments from northeastern North America. Science of the Total Environment 737: 140212. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140212.

Libera N, Summers JC, Rühland KM, Kurek J, Smol JP. 2020. Diatom assemblage changes in shallow lakes of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region are not tracking aerially deposited contaminants. Journal of Paleolimnology 64: 257-272. DOI: 10.1007/s10933-020-00136-y.

Kurek J, MacKeigan PW, Veinot S, Mercer A, Kidd KA. 2019. Ecological legacy of DDT archived in lake sediments from eastern North America. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b01396.

Loder AL, Spooner IS, McLellan NR, Kurek J, Mallory ML. 2019. Water chemistry of managed freshwater wetlands on marine-derived soils in coastal Bay of Fundy, Canada. Wetlands. DOI: 10.1007/s13157-018-1101-y.

Wooller M, Saulnier-Talbot E, Potter B, Belmecheri S, Bigelow N, Choy K, Cwynar L, Davies K, Graham, R, Kurek J, Langdon P, Medeiros A, Rawcliffe R, Wang Y, Williams J. 2018. A new record of Bering Land Bridge paleoecology since the Last Glacial Maximum with biogeographic implications. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180145.

Dunnington DW, Spooner IS, Krkošek WH, Gagnon GA, Cornett RJ, Kurek J, White CE, Misiuk B, Tymstra D. 2018. Anthropogenic activity in the Halifax region, Nova Scotia, Canada, as recorded by bulk geochemistry of lake sediments. Lake and Reservoir Management. DOI: 10.1080/10402381.2018.1461715.

Summers JC, Rühland KM, Kurek J, Smol JP. 2018. A diatom-based paleolimnological survey of environmental changes since ~1850 in 18 shallow lakes of the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Canada. Journal of Paleolimnology.

Daly M, Kurek J, Gregory-Eaves I, Patoine A. 2018. Reorganization of aquatic communities from low-nutrient lakes in northwestern New Brunswick, Canada. Journal of Paleolimnology. DOI: 10.1007/s10933-018-0052-x  [PDF]

Armstrong Z, Kurek J. 2018. Sensitivity and response of low-nutrient lakes to post twentieth century environmental change in New Brunswick, Canada. Journal of Paleolimnology. DOI: 10.1007/s10933-018-0046-8  [PDF]


  • BSc Biology - State University of New York at Geneseo
  • MSc Biology - University of New Brunswick
  • PhD Biology - University of New Brunswick
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Queen's University 


  • GENS 1401 - Physical Environment
  • GENS 2421 - Weather & Climate
  • GENS/BIOL 3471 - Limnology
  • GENS 4401 - Biomonitoring Methods
  • GENS/GENV 4421 - Seminar in Environment


Please visit to learn about my research program and our exciting projects across the Maritime provinces of Canada and beyond. 

Grants, awards & honours

2021-2022 Mitacs/Students on Ice-Invertebrate responses to legacy pollution from historical gold mining using paleolimnology
2021-2022 NRCAN-Aquatic food webs of lakes in New Brunswick watersheds with historical DDT applications

New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund-Trends of dissolved oxygen in lakes prone to algal blooms

2020-2021 New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund-Contaminants in Brook Trout from New Brunswick lakes

ECCC Atlantic Ecosystems Initiatives-Emerging concerns of microplastic pollution in the Saint John River watershed

2018 Cape Breton Regional Municipality-Evaluating long-term reservoir water quality trends
2017-2020 NSERC Strategic Partnership Grant-New assessment tools combining forensic paleolimnology, biotransport, and predictive modelling to determine potential impacts of mink farming in rural Nova Scotia
2017 NSERC RTI-Germanium gamma-ray spectrometer for high resolution dating of lake sediment records