The Institute

The Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI) was founded in 2001 as a collaboration of researchers at the University of New Brunswick at both the Fredericton and Saint John campuses. The mandate of the CRI is to develop the aquatic science needed to understand, protect, and sustain water resources for the region, nation, and the planet. The research network comprised of Science Directors (8 of which are Canada Research Chairs), Associates and students working in a number of institutions across Canada and abroad are supported by more than 20 technical and management staff.

Our Objective

The objective of the CRI is to build a network of researchers with common interests in aquatic science across universities, government, and industry.  The CRI uses a multidisciplinary and cross-sector approach to focus its research on societal demands for water resources while addressing the challenges of sustaining, healthy aquatic ecosystems.  This innovative model merges academic ideas-based and applied needs-based science and promotes the rapid transfer of new knowledge to regulatory agencies to create effective public policy for improving society and the quality of life in Canada and abroad.


A Cooperative Approach

The CRI is based at UNB at both Saint John and Fredericton campuses, with people also located at the University of Prince Edward Island, Université du Québec, Wilfred Laurier University, University of Milan, Brock, UOIT and Waterloo.

At UNBSJ, the CRI focuses on the environmental impacts of industrial and agricultural operations with an Ecosystem Health Assessment Laboratory, a Fish Reproductive Physiology and Ecotoxicology Laboratory, and the Chemical Contamination of Food Webs Research Laboratory.

At UNB Fredericton, the emphasis is primarily on aquatic ecology and engineering through the New Brunswick Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Benthic Macroinvertebrate Laboratory, Stable Isotopes in Nature and Groundwater Studies Group.

Federal partners have co-located the Environment Canada’s National Water Research Institute’s Centre for Multistressor Effects on Aquatic Biodiversity (Drs. Joseph Culp & Donald Baird) and the Gulf of St. Lawrence Estuaries Research Group of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Region (Dr. Simon Courtenay) on the UNB Fredericton campus.


CRI Locations

In addition to collaborations on specific research projects, the CRI has many partners across many sectors.  Cooperative research agreements exist with Environment Canada’s National Water Research Institute and the Atlantic Region, as well as with New Brunswick’s Departments of Natural Resources and Environment. There are collaborative industrial projects in forestry, pulp and paper, hydro-electricity generation, and oil refining.

Several of CRI collaborations involve non-government agencies such as the Atlantic Coastal Action Plan, EMAN (Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network), Trout Unlimited Canada, and local conservation groups across Atlantic Canada. Research collaborations with numerous  international institutes exist in the USA, Mexico, France, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and Chile.