ArcticNet - About us

Derek Muir
Adjunct professor
University of Guelph

Derek Muir is a Research Scientist and Chief, Atmospheric Contaminants Impacts Project with Environment Canada?s Water Science and Technology Directorate ( He directs an environmental chemistry group at NWRI that studies sources, fate and bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and heavy metals in the marine, freshwater, and terrestrial Arctic and Subarctic regions of Canada as well as in the Great Lakes. Derek has worked on contaminant related issues in the Canadian Arctic since 1984. While working at Canada Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans in Winnipeg from 1977 to 1997 he published the first studies of bioaccumulation of POPs in the Arctic marine food chain and the first spatial trend studies across the Canadian Arctic, of POPs in fish, ringed seals and beluga. Derek has co-led the assessments of spatial and temporal trends of contaminants in the Canadian arctic for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Northern Contaminants Program (NCP) published in 1997 and 2003 ( and in the circumpolar Arctic for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (; 1998 and 2004). With funding from the NCP, Environment Canada?s Northern Ecosystem Initiative, and ArcticNet, Derek is leading studies on trends of mercury, other heavy metals and POPs in landlocked Arctic char and in ringed seals. These studies are carried out in cooperation with Hunter and Trapper organizations and community councils in the north. He is also examining historical deposition of POPs and heavy metals in lake sediments and current use pesticides in Arctic surface waters and glacial icecaps. His recent work has focussed on the bioaccumulation of newly emerging persistent chemicals such as fluorinated surfactants, brominated flame retardants and chlorinated paraffins. Much of this work is done by graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, located at NWRI Burlington, in collaboration with university and government colleagues. Derek is an adjunct professor in Environmental Biology at University of Guelph and Dept of Chemistry at University of Toronto. He was awarded the Royal Society of Canada?s Miroslaw Romanowski Medal in 2004, for work on persistent organic pollutants and mercury in Canada's North, received the Society of Canadian Limnologists, Rigler Lecture Award in 2003, and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry?s Founder?s Award in 2000. Derek is author or co-author of about 300 peer reviewed papers and book chapters. He is listed among the top scientists cited in the field of Ecology and Environment (


Project Member

Water Security and Quality in a Changing Arctic

Coupled Terrestrial-Aquatic Climate Impacts on High Arctic Watersheds: Using the Lake Hazen Watershed as a Sentinel for Change

Primary Address