Aerial shot ot turquoise fresh water lake in Ontario Canada bordered by green trees


Human activity—from pollutants to climate change—is threatening the health of our planet's precious freshwater resources.

That's where we come in.

Just as our fresh water flows across borders, our work stretches across nation and sectors. 

IISD can influence how we manage fresh water like no other think tank on earth, because we create scientific understanding of fresh water at our very own freshwater science facility, which then informs the policy recommendations developed by our team of policy analysts. 

In other words, we truly bridge science and policy. 

First the science. 

IISD Experimental Lakes Area is the world’s freshwater laboratory.

A series of 58 lakes and their watersheds in northwestern Ontario, Canada, IISD-ELA is the only place in the world where scientists can experiment on and manipulate real lakes to build a more accurate and complete picture of what human activity is doing to freshwater lakes. The findings from its over 50 years of ground-breaking research have rewritten environmental policy around the world—from mitigating algal blooms to reducing how much mercury gets into our waterways—and aim to keep fresh water clean around the world for generations to come. 

Then comes the policy. 

We then take those scientific findings, and develop policy and programming solutions for governments, civil society, and industry that protect and enhance the natural environment, keep our fresh water clean, while also improving socioeconomic well-being.  

We conduct economic analyses and hydrologic assessments so that governments best understand all the options before making final decisions. And we support the management of watersheds across national boundaries, bringing all the relevant sectors and stakeholders to the table.



Pauline Gerrard

Interim Executive Director, IISD-ELA


Dimple Roy

Director, Water Management

Bio photo of Matthew McCandless

Matthew McCandless

Interim VP Operations and Business Transformation


Vince Palace

Head Research Scientist, IISD-ELA


Michael Paterson

Senior Research Scientist, IISD-ELA


Scott Higgins

Senior Research Scientist, IISD-ELA

Photo of Aidan Guttormson

Aidan Guttormson

Field Technician, IISD-ELA

Image of Ashley Rawluk

Ashley Rawluk

Policy Advisor

Blake Cooney

Blake Cooney

Chemist I, IISD-ELA

Bio photo of Cassidy Mazur

Cassidy Mazur

Senior Education and Outreach Officer, IISD-ELA

Bio photo of Chris Hay

Chris Hay

Scientific Data Officer, IISD-ELA

Bio photo of Desiree Langenfeld

Desiree Langenfeld

Biologist, IISD-ELA

Bio photo of Emily Kroft

Emily Kroft

Water Policy and Youth Engagement Officer, IISD-ELA

Jose Luis Rodriquez Gil

Jose Luis Rodriguez Gil

Research Scientist, IISD-ELA

Josee Methot bio pic

Josée Méthot

Senior Policy Specialist, Water


Ken Sandilands

Biologist - Field Coordinator, IISD-ELA

Kevin Obiero Experimental Lakes Area Africa

Kevin Obiero

IISD-ELA Board Member


Lauren Hayhurst

Fisheries Research Biologist II, IISD-ELA

Lauren Timlick headshot

Lauren Timlick

Biologist II - Ecotoxicology, IISD-ELA


Lee Hrenchuk

Senior Biologist, IISD-ELA

bio photo of Lisa Peters

Lisa Peters

Research Associate, IISD-ELA

Bio photo of Madeline Stanley

Madeline Stanley

Remediation Ecology Scientist


Marina Puzyreva

Senior Policy Advisor

Headshot of Dr. Michael Rennie

Michael Rennie

Research Fellow, IISD-ELA

Headshot of Morgan Anderson

Morgan Anderson

Field Sampling Technician/Senior Education and Relations Officer, IISD-ELA

Bio photo of Patrique Bulloch

Patrique Bulloch

Food Web Biologist, IISD-ELA


Paul Fafard

Field Sampling Technician II, IISD-ELA

Bio photo of Richard Grosshans

Richard Grosshans

Lead II, Bioremediation


Sonya Havens

Research Chemist, IISD-ELA

Ted Lawrence

Ted Lawrence

Executive Director, IISD-ACARE

Thomas Saleh bio pic IISD

Thomas Saleh

Policy Advisor, Data and Technology; IISD-ELA