Dr. Edward Berkelaar

Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science

Associate Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Phone: (905) 648-2139   Ext:4401

Email: eberkel@redeemer.ca

Office: 221E

Programs: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies


Ph.D. (2000), Ecotoxicology, University of Guelph
Dissertation: Accumulation of cadmium by durum wheat (Triticum turgidum): Influence of solution chemistry and root morphology.

M.Sc. (1995), Plant Physiology, University of Guelph
Thesis: The effect of visible and ultraviolet-A radiation on the response of Arabidopsis thaliana to ultraviolet-B radiation.

B.Sc. (1993), Biology and Chemistry, Acadia University


  • Principles of Chemistry II (CHE-122)
  • Environmental Studies I: Population, Resource Use, and Cities (ENV-121)
  • Environmental Studies II: Pollution and Climate Change (ENV-222)
  • Internship (ENV-480)
  • Internship (BIO-480)
  • Independent Research Project (CHE-490)
  • Independent Research Project (ENV-490)
  • Honours Research Project (BIO-490)
  • Honours Independent Study (BIO-485)
  • Independent Study (ENV-485)
  • Fundamentals of Biology II (BIO-122)
  • Senior Seminar I (CHE-381)
  • Senior Seminar II (CHE-382)
  • Senior Seminar III (CHE-383)
  • Senior Seminar IV (CHE-384)
  • Senior Seminar I (ENV-381 (BIO/CHEM-381))
  • Senior Seminar II (ENV-382 (BIO/CHE-381))
  • Senior Seminar III (ENV-383 (BIO/CHE-383))
  • Senior Seminar IV (ENV-384 (BIO/CHE-384))


Edward Berkelaar grew up on a farm in Nova Scotia, Canada. After completing an undergraduate degree, he moved to Ontario to study plant science and environmental toxicology at the University of Guelph. He worked at ECHO in North Fort Myers, Florida for three years before accepting a faculty position in environmental science and chemistry at Redeemer University in 2003 where he teaches and does research on trace element update by plants and monitors urban water quality. He, along with his wife Dawn and children enjoy gardening and taking hikes along Hamilton’s many beautiful trails.

Research Interests

  • Bioavailability of trace elements (cadmium, thallium, and selenium) to plants
  • Monitoring urban watershed quality

Research Funding

Environment and Climate Change Canada (Great Lakes Protection Initiative – Areas of Concern), 2022-2024.

Environment Canada (Great Lakes Protection Initiative): co-awarded with Darren Brouwer, 2020-2022.

Environment Canada (from the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund): co-awarded with Darren Brouwer, 2017-2020.

Zylstra Grant: co-awarded with Darren Brouwer, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, & 2017-2018.

OMAFRA Food Safety Research Grant: co-awarded with Beverley Hale,  2008-2009

NSERC Network Grant, 2005-2010.

Recent Publications

Brouwer, D. and Berkelaar, E. 2017. Water Quality Monitoring of the Chedoke Creek Watershed. Hamilton Harbour Watershed (including Cootes Paradise) Research and Monitoring Workshop, Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, Ontario, February 22, 2017.

Berkelaar, E., VanderHout, J., and Brouwer, D. 2016. Water Quality of the Chedoke Creek Subwatershed. Hamilton Harbour Watershed (including Cootes Paradise) Research and Monitoring Workshop, Hamilton Conservation Authority, Hamilton, Ontario, February 25, 2016.

Berkelaar, E., and Yoder, Laura. 2015. Food and Faith, Lausanne Conference on Creation Care, Gordon College, Wenham, MA, July 27-31, 2015.

Berkelaar, E. 2015. Nitrogen Regained: Fertilizer, Explosives and Waterfalls.  Inaugural address, Redeemer University, Hamilton, ON, November 12, 2015.

Renkema, H., Koopmans, A, Hale, B., and Berkelaar, E. 2015. Uptake kinetics of thallium and potassium differ between wheat and canola. Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res. 22: 2166-2174.

Berkelaar, E. 2015. Selenium and Human Health. ECHO Development Notes 126: 3-4.

Kikkert, J. and E. Berkelaar. 2013. Plant uptake and translocation of inorganic and organic forms of selenium. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 65: 458-465.

Kikkert, J., B. Hale, and E. Berkelaar. 2013. Selenium accumulation in durum wheat and spring canola as a function of amending soils with selenite, selenate and or sulphate.Plant Soil 372: 629-641.

Berkelaar, E. 2013. Trace elements and human health. ECHO Development Notes 119: 6-7.

Professional Designation & Experience

Tropical Agriculture Extension
Environmental Consulting