Patrick Levasseur

The Ontario Mining Association, along with the Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association, the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, and Vale are pleased to announce that Patrick Levasseur is the winner of the 2021 Tom Peters Memorial Mine Reclamation Bursary.

Patrick is currently a PhD candidate at Trent University under the supervision of Dr. Shaun Watmough and expects to complete his PhD requirements by May 2022.  He indicates his career objective is to become a university professor and to conduct research on the biogeochemistry of reclaimed mine sites.

Patrick believes that the reclamation of mining degraded landscapes has immense potential to support global carbon mitigation measures and protect biodiversity.  His current research investigates carbon and other nutrient dynamics in reclaimed coniferous forests on a mining degraded landscape in the City of Greater Sudbury, Ontario. He has measured a suite of biogeochemical parameters at 20 field sites that ranged from 15 to 40 years post reclamation in order to understand how forest nutrient pools and fluxes have changed over time since reclamation began. Further, he has extrapolated site-level measurements using remote sensing techniques across the entire Sudbury re-greening area to quantify the establishment of aboveground biomass pools arising from re-greening. This will then enable him to forecast future changes in forest growth within the reclaimed forests, using the Canadian Forest Service’s Carbon Budget Model.  So far, his work has shown that reclamation is having a large positive effect on tree growth.  However, it is also leading to a loss of soil carbon. Gaining a better understanding of these processes will be integral to determining the long-term viability of carbon sequestration and healthy forest growth on reclaimed mine sites.  Dr. Watmough emphasized that Patrick demonstrates all the skills necessary for a successful researcher - he is disciplined, methodical, hard-working, quizzical, and most of all is passionate about the work.  Congratulations to Patrick…yet another fine example of the high quality researchers being trained in Ontario.

Tom Peters was a founding member of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association and made tremendous advances in mine reclamation practices throughout his career.  The bursary was established to encourage the pursuit of excellence in mine reclamation and to foster the training of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) in mining and the environment.  The $5,000 bursary is generously provided by Vale and is eligible to Graduate Student enrolled in a Canadian university and conducting Ontario based reclamation research related to any aspect of the mining cycle.  

We thank all applicants, the judging committee and sponsors.