Dr. Bill Donahue

Bill Donahue

Boards and Committees

Member, Research Management Committee, Canadian Mountain Network (2018)

Member, Steering Committee, North Saskatchewan River Water Quality Initiative (2016 – present)

Member, Board of Directors, NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network (2016 – present)


Dr. Bill Donahue is the Executive Director of Science in Alberta Environment and Parks’ Environmental Monitoring and Science Division. After earning his Ph.D. in aquatic science from the University of Alberta in 2000, Bill studied contaminant dynamics in Alberta as an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow with Alberta Environment, and subsequently completed a law degree and became a member of the Alberta Bar in 2009.  Prior to 2015, as a private consultant and as Director of Science and Policy with an Alberta-based environmental NGO, Bill focused on developing practical environmental science and policy advice and solutions to large-scale environmental problems associated with cumulative industrial effects, climate change, drought, and impairment of freshwater ecosystems. He also has provided advice to Alberta on improving monitoring methods and data interpretation, and developed modeling, calculation and interpretation methods that were adopted as Canada’s and Alberta’s draft protocols for calculation of tradable carbon credits generated by improved management in the western Boreal Forest. Previously, Bill was commissioned and served as an Artillery Officer and a Medical Associate Officer in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Bill’s research interests include the interactions between climate change, human disturbance, ecosystem function (with particular emphasis on water supply), and carbon and contaminant dynamics, and the use of market-based instruments in policy to incent sustainable environmental decisions and management actions.

Selected Publications

Cooke, C. A., C. Schwindt, M. Davies, W. F. Donahue and E. Azim. 2016. “Initial environmental impacts of the Obed Mountain coal mine process water spill into the Athabasca River (Alberta, Canada).” Science of the Total Environment 557-558, pp. 502-509.

Turetsky, M. R., W. F. Donahue and B. W. Benscoter. 2011. “Experimental drying intensifies burning and carbon losses in a northern peatland.” Nature Communications 2, pp.514.

Schindler, D. W. and W. F. Donahue. 2006. “An impending water crisis in Canada’s western prairie provinces.” Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 103, pp. 7210-7216.