John P. Ssmol

Dr. John P. Smol

CAUT Lee Lorch Award
Department of Biology
Queen’s University


Dr. John P. Smol, OC, PhD, FRSC is professor of biology at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario), where he also holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change. Smol founded and co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), a group of ~40 students and other scientists dedicated to the study of long-term global environmental change, and especially as it relates to lake ecosystems. John has authored over 550 journal publications and chapters since 1980, as well as completed 21 books. Much of his research deals with the impacts of climatic change, acidification, eutrophication, contaminant transport, and other environmental stressors.

He has led research on circumpolar Arctic lakes for over 3 decades. John is a frequent commentator on environmental issues for radio, television, and the print media. Smol was the founding Editor of the international Journal of Paleolimnology (1987-2007) and is the current Editor of the journal Environmental Reviews. Since 1990 John has been awarded about 60 research and teaching awards and fellowships, including the 2004 NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal as Canada’s top scientist or engineer and a recent winner of the International Ecology Institute Prize. Smol holds the distinction of being the first scientist since the establishment of the Royal Society of Canada (founded in 1883) to win three individual medals, having won the Miroslav Romanowski Medal for environmental sciences, the Flavelle Medal for biological sciences, and in 2015 the McNeil Medal for the Public Awareness of Science.

He has won 12 teaching, mentoring and scientific outreach awards, including being named a 3M Teaching Fellow and chosen by Nature magazine, following a nation-wide search, to be Canada’s Top Mid-Career Scientific Mentor. He is currently Chair of the International Paleolimnology Association (IPA). In 2013, John was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.