Click here for the course syllabus


John P. Smol, OC, PhD, LLD (Hon), DSc (Hon), PhD (Hon), FRSC

Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change
Editor In Chief: Environmental Reviews
Editor In Chief: Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research
Phone: (613) 533-6147   E-mail   Research Interests    Biography

Lab Website

Welcome to the Biology 335 (Limnology) website. The main goal of this site is to give you links to PDF files of the lecture slides and other course documents. Please use the user ID and password given to you in class to access the documents. The marking scheme and details concerning the labs can be found in the lab manual which can be downloaded from the link below. Course material will be presented by three approaches ‑ in formal lectures, laboratories, and a compulsory (one day; either Saturday or Sunday) field trip to QUBS at Lake Opinicon. There is overlap between these approaches, but they are not redundant and contain different information requiring your own integration.

If you have any questions or concerns about the course, please feel free to contact me or your DSC representative (see below). It is best to try to talk to me immediately following the lectures. However, if this is not possible, my e-mail is, and my office (Rm. 4307A) and laboratory (PEARL) are located on the fourth floor at the north end of the Biosciences Complex (phone: 613-533-6147).

Important: All students are advised to check the class list of student numbers to confirm that they are registered in the course. For students who are not on this list, the final exam will not be graded, and hence, a final mark will not be available for the course.

Lectures: Tuesday (11:30), Wednesday (1:30), Friday (12:30) – Jeffrey 234

Marking Scheme: A) Assignment 1:  Lake Models -- 10%; B) Midterm exam -- 20%; C) Assignment 2:  Paleoecology -- 15%; D) Lab Exam -- 15%; E) Final exam -- 40%.

Labs: Tuesday 2:30-5:30, Wednesday 8:30-11:30 and Wednesday 2:30-5:30.  All labs are held in Rm. 3320 of the Biosciences Complex.

There are three Teaching Assistants involved in this course:


Brigitte Simmatis   Branaavan Sivarajah (Head TA) Matt Duda

 Download the Lab Manual and Course Outline  Click Here (large file) (Need userid and password from instructor).

    Click here to download an important document for the first lab, Vallentyne 1957 (PDF).

Please see your lab manual for details and read the appropriate sections before attending the labs.

Textbook: Wetzel, R. G. 2001.  Limnology: Lake and River Ecosystems (3rd edition), Academic Press. Available at the Campus Bookstore and is available on 3 hour reserve in Stauffer Library.

Fieldtrip: You are responsible for the material learned on the fieldtrip for both lab and lecture exams.

Midterm Exam: The mid-term exam is held in class on October 24. See Exam Information.

Final Exam: The final exam will be held during the normal exam period. The focus of the final exam will be on material covered in the latter part of the course. Examination questions may also include material covered in labs and the field day.

Lecture Schedule of Topics 

The following is a list of topics that will be covered in the lectures (approximately 30 lectures in total). The first third of the course deals with physical and chemical aspects of lakes that are required to understand the following lectures on biological and integrative limnology

·       Introduction to Limnology and Aquatic Ecology

·       Physical Limnology (~4 lectures: Lake morphometry; Light in lakes; Heat in lakes; Water movements)

·       Chemical Limnology (~ 6 lectures: Oxygen; Salinity; Carbon; Nitrogen; Phosphorus; Sulfur and Silica)

·       Origin of Lakes (1 lecture: Geographic aspects of limnology)

·       Biological Limnology (~6 lectures: Phytoplankton and primary production; Zooplankton; Fish and trophic interactions)

·       Integrative Limnology and Applications (~10 lectures: Paleolimnology; Acidification; Shallow lakes and alternate equilibria; Lake remediation; Saline lakes; Arctic and Antarctic lakes; Tropical lakes; Surprises in limnology; Lakes on Mars?)

Links to Lecture PDF Files ****** Ask the instructor for User ID and Password for the list below ******

PLEASE NOTE: The course notes provided on this website represent most of the visuals shown in the lectures. They do not represent all of the information you will require, as much more is discussed in the lectures than appears on these visuals. PLEASE take notes in class, it is an important skill you have to develop in university.

 The list of lectures below is tentative. Links to the PDFs will be posted as the course proceeds. Feel free to print these off before lectures.

Handout Downloads


 Final Exam Information: December 11, 2PM, Grant Hall

Note:  Final exam is scheduled for December 11, 2PM, Grant Hall.  Bring your Queens photo id. Students MUST present their student card to gain entrance to an exam room.  STUDENTS MUST BRING A QUEEN’S STUDENT PHOTO ID TO ALL EXAMS. Students writing without a Queen's Student Photo ID will be assessed a fine of $50 per exam. Queen's takes Academic Integrity very seriously. Please see Queen's policy on Academic Integrity. 

Special Announcements:

The Disability Services Office is looking for a volunteer to take notes for this class. You will be responsible for submitting notes weekly to the Program Coordinator at the Disability Services Office.  At the end of the year, you will be given recognition for your services and a letter of reference. 

If you are interested in sharing notes please register or contact for more information.

 Media stories and interviews on current research of interest to BIOL 335 students.

PEARL Media Release on Oil Sands legacy.
Los Angeles Times
on Oil Sands boom.


                     © Landscape images copyright Daniel Selbie

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