Dr. Edward Berkelaar

Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies

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)
  • Senior Seminar III (ENV-383)
  • Senior Seminar IV (ENV-384)
  • Population, Food and Sustainability (ENV-368)
  • Analytical Chemistry (CHE-231)
  • 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)
  • Internship (CHE-480)
  • Independent Study (ENV-485)


Edward 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 College 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

Monitoring Nutrient (N and P) and Bacterial Contamination in the Chedoke and Red Hill Creek Watersheds, Environment Canada (Great Lakes Protection Initiative): E. Berkelaar and D. Brouwer, 2020-2022.

Environment Canada (from the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund): E. Berkelaar and D. Brouwer, 2017-2020.

Zylstra Grant, “Monitoring water quality of the Spencer Creek and Chedoke Creek watersheds” (co-awarded with Darren Brouwer), 2015-2016, 2016-2017, & 2017-2018.

OMAFRA Food Safety Research Grant: Beverley Hale and Edward Berkelaar,  2008-2009

NSERC Network Grant, ”The role of speciation in the uptake of Tl, As, and Se,” 2005-2010.

Recent Publications

Brouwer, Darren and Berkelaar, Edward. 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, Edward, VanderHout, Janelle, and Brouwer, Darren. 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, Edward, 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, November 12, 2015, Redeemer University College. (advance to 6:55 to skip introductions)

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

Related Experience

Dr. Berkelaar’s CV