At a formal ceremony this past November, Dr. Edward Berkelaar was inaugurated as Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies. At the inauguration, the president and provost installed Berkelaar as a professor, and Berkelaar gave an inaugural address highlighting his research and teaching. The celebration was a gathering of family, friends, students, alumni, professionals and academics to celebrate Berkelaar’s work and his new role at Redeemer.
In his address, Berkelaar traced the history of nitrogen and its dramatic impact on the modern world. The modern nitrogen fixation has changed our weapons of war, the amount of food we can produce, the size of our population and the quality of our water. Nitrogen use has changed the way we are impacting our environment.
Berkelaar joined the department of environmental studies and chemistry in 2003. Outside of teaching, he researches trace element uptake by plants, focusing on thallium and selenium. He also writes for agriculture development workers in the ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) technical bulletin. Recently, he has joined research projects monitoring water quality of local, urban creeks that drain into Cootes Paradise, research funded by Redeemer’s Centre for Christian Scholarship. Prior to coming to Redeemer, Berkelaar spent three years working as a research director at ECHO, an NGO that provides technical support to agricultural development workers.