This is a prestigious lectureship instituted in memory of Cam Stevenson, the long-time Editor of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (CJFAS), published by NRC Press and is conferred upon a young, energetic and creative researcher at the cutting edge of an aquatic discipline. Each year a Lecturer is selected by the Journal's Editorial Board. In the Spring of each year a call for nominations is sent to the Chairs of Zoology and Biology departments across Canada, as well as to the research directors of the federal Departments of Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada and the National Research Council. The list of nominees is then sent to the CJFAS Editorial Board, who provide recommendations and justification for their selections. The Lecturer delivers a stimulating presentation of their work as the keynote address in the opening session of the Annual CCFFR meeting. A written version of the presentation is normally published as the lead article in the January issue of CJFAS or sometime soon thereafter.

The 2004 Stevenson Lecturer is:

Dr. Jules M. Blais
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
University of Ottawa

Title: Biogeochemistry of persistent pollutants: Processes affecting the transport of contaminants to remote areas.


Many environmental contaminants, including mercury, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are known to concentrate in cold environments as a result of progressive evaporation from warm regions, and condensation in colder regions. Some assimilate rapidly in biological tissues, and as a result, they may be biomagnified in food chains. In some cases, they reach concentrations in organisms from remote northern climates that are higher than those found in more industrialized parts of the world. Environmental processes responsible for this pattern of concentration in cold environments include distillation, biomagnification, and even biological transport by migratory species to remote environments. A multi-year program to study transport and fate of persistent organic pollutants in remote alpine and northern environments has revealed a systematic contamination of these areas by several environmental contaminants of concern. These patterns reveal a potential of risk to these environments, and they also show how many synthetic chemicals behave under a range of ambient conditions. This presentation will discuss some of the major factors that affect transport, preservation and bioaccumulation of persistent contaminants, and discuss potential risks.