Brock hosting milestone PALS conference

When the Ontario-Quebec Paleolimnological Symposium (PALS) marks its 10th anniversary in May, it will do so on Brock’s campus.

The conference, focused on the fields of limnology and paleolimnology, is being hosted by the University May 24 to 26. 

Organized by a group of Brock WEL (Water and Environmental Lab) graduate students, the event provides undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, the opportunity to present their research related to lakes and other bodies of inland water.

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the symposium, an event that was literally born out of notes on the back of a napkin,” said WEL Co-Director Michael Pisaric.

“The PALS symposium continues to grow and flourish each year, as does the relevance of the science that will be explored and discussed at PALS 2017. From acid rain to the impacts of the oil sands, paleolimnology provides a powerful tool to monitor and disentangle many of the most complex environmental issues affecting the world today.”

PALS is annually attended by students and researchers from across Ontario and Quebec. This year, Brock has also invited researchers from neighbouring institutions in New York state.

The conference will feature three keynote speakers: Elizabeth Thomas (University of Buffalo), Fredric Bouchard (Université Laval) and Francine McCarthy (Brock University).

“As graduate students, we are excited to have the opportunity to welcome fellow academics to Brock and to showcase current research in the paleolimnology field,” said Zachary Harmer, WEL graduate student and PALS organizer.

In addition to networking with researchers and connecting with potential mentors, students participating in the conference will have the chance to present their research through oral or poster presentations.

WEL Co-Director Kevin Turner called it an honour for Brock to be hosting the milestone event that encourages further research and discussion in a critical field.

“Paleolimnological analyses of lake sediment provides vast insight of past lake and landscape environmental conditions in areas where no direct measurements have been made,” he said.

“It is important for researchers to continue exploring this issue.”

For more information on the symposium or to register online, visit

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