Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science
Office: (613) 562-5800 ext. 6736
Work E-mail: [email protected]
Through his background, research, teaching and professional experiences, Dr. Bataille has a clear understanding of the requirements and needs to train the next generation of environmental science professionals. Over the last 10 years, Dr. Bataille has developed broad expertise in isotope geochemistry and environmental sciences. During his MSc, he worked on investigating the role of agricultural practices in transferring solutes from soil to surface runoff. During his PhD, he pioneered the development of the Sr isotope geolocation tool and is internationally recognized as a leading expert in the field of stable isotope geolocation. After his PhD, Dr. Bataille worked in the R&D team at Chevron Corporation for two years, where he developed and applied isotope geochemistry tools to assess hydrocarbon charge in sedimentary basins. Prior to starting his position in the Earth and Environmental Sciences department (EES) at uOttawa in September 2017, Dr. Bataille was a postdoctoral fellow at the U. of North Carolina where he worked with Dr. Liu on applying Li isotopes as a paleoweathering proxy. He has published 8 first-author papers and 7 co-author papers on in high impacts journals (e.g., GSA Bulletin, Science Advances) prior to his appointment to a tenure-track position at uOttawa.
He has been invited to contribute to books and reviews in the field of stable isotope forensics and ecology. His publications are focused primarily on isotope geochemistry methods, applications or modeling applied to environmental sciences. His international recognition in isotope geochemistry is evidenced by his annual contribution as an invited instructor to the SPATIAL summer course: a two-week international graduate-level summer camp aimed at teaching analytical and numerical methods in stable isotope ecology and forensics. At uOttawa, he is currently teaching the introduction to hydrogeology course for the geology (GEO) and Environmental Sciences (EVS) programs.
Dr. Bataille is currently mentoring several undergraduate students from the Faculty of Sciences from the Biology, EVS and GEO program demonstrating the multidisciplinary of his research program. Dr. Bataille is planning to regularly advise undergraduate and graduate students in environmental science projects including forensics, ecology, hydrology and paleoclimatology. Dr. Bataille personality, research & teaching philosophy and career goals are well-suited to strengthen the multidisciplinary core of the Institute for the Environment, lead the development of new research directions and courses, favor synergies between fields and scientists, and educate the next generation of environmental science professionals for Canada.
Organic and inorganic materials (e.g., water, rocks, soil, bones, hair, man-made artifacts) preserve distinct geochemical signatures that can be linked to the material’s geographic source and to biogeochemical processes occurring on the Earth’s surface. Dr. Bataille uses isotope geochemistry and numerical modeling in two complementary research aims:
i) Isotope geolocation tool: Non-traditional isotope systems such as strontium (Sr) or lead (Pb) are increasingly used to determine the provenance of animals and materials. These isotope systems display unique high-resolution spatial patterns which can complement other traditional isotope geolocation tools. The method consists of measuring the isotope ratio in a given material of interest and to compare the observation to a predicted value to assess the geographic provenance. However, to date, methods and models to apply Sr and Pb geolocation tools are not accurate enough for ecology and forensics studies. Dr. Bataille’s objective is to integrate Sr and Pb isotopes into the routine “toolbox” for geolocation studies. This effort will be performed through a series of applied and modeling studies involving the generation of Sr and/or Pb isotope datasets from: 1) Canadian human hair and drinking waters to develop an isotope geolocation tool for Canadians, 2) milkweed plants and butterfly wings to trace monarch butterfly migration across North America, and 3) river water and fish otoliths from the Peel River to reconstruct movements of Whitefish populations.
ii) Isotope tracers of solute sources for urban and fluvial hydrology: Determining the origin of solute in waters is essential to manage water quality for ecosystems and humans. Non-traditional stable isotope systems such as lithium (Li) and Sr isotope ratios are powerful proxies to quantify water-rock interactions, the primary natural control of surface water composition. Sr isotopes vary with the type of rock weathering on the catchment whereas Li isotopes vary with weathering regimes. Collaboration with the AEL-AMS laboratory brings radium isotopes, (226Ra and 228Ra) new, non-traditional tracers to complement Li and Sr, which has never before been possible due to traditional analytical constraints. Together, these isotope systems will provide a new integrated approach to assess the origin and fluxes of solutes to surface waters. Knowledge from non-traditional stable isotopes can also be combined with traditional isotope systems (e.g., hydrogen and oxygen isotopes) and radionuclides to assess the human contribution to river and tap water composition. Dr. Bataille aims to integrate Li and Sr isotopes with traditional isotope systems and novel radionuclide tracers in order to better understand sources of solutes in river and tap waters at different spatiotemporal scales. His group will apply and develop these tracers in: 1) river waters of the Peel River (YT) and Ottawa River (ON), and 2) tap waters of the Ottawa area.