In 2002, the Canadian Rivers Institute initiated its annual lecture series by conferring of an Honorary Doctoral Degree to Dr. H.B.N. Hynes.
Dr. H.B. Noel Hynes is the world’s most renowned freshwater biologist and a Distinguished Emeritus Professor at the University of Waterloo. Referred to as "the father of running water ecology", he has published extensively, including his definitive textbook on river ecology, The Ecology of Running Waters.
The Water Institute and Canadian Rivers Institute are co-hosting the 2018 Hynes Lecturer, Dr. Margaret A. Palmer, who will be presenting, "Restoration, watershed context, and biogeochemical processes: from streams to wetlands."
Despite the essential role that water plays in life, humans have degraded ecosystems to such an extent that the quantity or quality of water in streams, rivers and wetlands is at risk worldwide. In response, efforts to restore degraded aquatic systems have grown dramatically. While many restoration projects have focused primarily on ecological structure, restoration in practice has its scientific roots firmly in ecology and related fields that emphasize the role of ecological processes and landscape context in determining the self-sustainability of ecosystems. Without recovery of basic ecosystem processes including interactions at watershed scales, restoration is unlikely to lead to self-sustainability. I will provide a brief overview of restoration approaches and outcomes in the context of hydrologic and biogeochemical processes followed by several case studies as examples concluding with research needed to move restoration science forward.
Margaret A. Palmer is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Director of the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center. Her research has focused on coastal and freshwater ecosystems with an emphasis on restoration of rivers, streams, and wetlands. She is an international leader in restoration ecology, has 175 peer-reviewed articles and led the 2nd Edition of the Foundations of Restoration Ecology, a widely used text. Palmer is also known for her work at the interface of science and policy, having served as a technical advisor and innovator that helps build solution-focused teams to solve problems that have social, legal, policy, and scientific aspects. As Director of SESYNC she leads efforts to champion new approaches for fostering research collaborations between social and natural scientists on problems at the interface of people and the environment. Palmer’s work has been supported primarily by the National Science Foundation with additional funding from other federal agencies and foundations. She serves on numerous scientific advisory and editorial boards including the Water Sciences & Technology Board of the National Academies of Science and the journals Restoration Ecology and Science. Her awards include AAAS Fellow, Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, Ecological Society of America (ESA) Fellow, Lilly Fellow, the Society of Freshwater Science (SFS) Award of Excellence, the ESA Sustainability Science Award, SFS Fellow, and the Ruth Patrick Award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography. She has been an invited speaker in numerous and diverse settings including regional and international forums, science-diplomacy venues (e.g., in North Korea), and popular outlets such as the Steven Colbert show.