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River Management Lab

river lab

The River Management lab is led by Dr. Pascale Biron. The lab is equipped with high-powered computers to run hydrodynamic and morphodynamic models and conduct GIS analyses using high-resolution elevation data (LiDAR). It is also equipped with several field measurement devices to collect data on rivers (Acoustic Doppler Velocimeters, DGPS, pressure transducers).

Research in the River Management lab focuses on the science of hydrogeomorphology, i.e. understanding of natural rivers dynamics, and how it relates to resilience of fluvial systems. A central theme of research is called “freedom space for rivers”, which defines the minimum space around rivers required for fluvial processes to operate, and which includes riparian wetlands. Specific projects focus on stream restoration for fish habitat, sustainable management of agricultural streams, climate change impacts on rivers, three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics, development of GIS tools to define freedom space for rivers, flood management and mapping and confluence dynamics.

pascale biron

Dr. Pascale Biron

Pascale Biron received a PhD in physical geography from Université de Montréal in 1995 and joined Concordia’s Department of Geography, Planning and Environment in 1998. Dr. Biron’s expertise is in hydrogeomorphology and her research interests include river restoration for fish habitat, numerical modelling of river processes, impacts of human interventions and climate change on rivers, the development of hydrogeomorphological approaches in river management and geographical information systems (GIS). She has published over fifty refereed papers and chapters in the above research areas in top-tier journals in the fields of fluvial geomorphology, river engineering and fish biology.  Dr. Biron is funded by  NSERC and is also involved with several provincial and federal ministries (Public Safety, Environment, Transportation) in improving river management approaches in Quebec. She works in collaboration with several professors in Quebec universities and abroad in the fields of geography, biology and environmental engineering. She is a member of the GRIL FRQNT Research Group.

Professional affiliations

Canadian Geomorphology Research Group
Canadian Association of Geographers
American Geophysical Union
Member of CIRSA (Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur le Saumon Atlantique)
Member of GRIL (Groupe de Recherche Interuniversitare en Limnologie et en environnement aquatique)

Current Research Projects

1. Potential of riparian wetland restoration in agricultural streams
2. Semi-automated methods for mapping freedom space of rivers 
3. Large-scale Flood mapping methodological tools
4. Use of hydrogeomorphological concepts for salmonid habitat restoration
5. Flow dynamics at river confluences
6. Sustainable agricultural stream management using hydrogeomorphological concepts
7. Hydrogeomorphological assessment of road infrastructure risk
8. Development of GIS hydrogeomorphological tools for agricultural stream management

Current Members
Name Degree Research Area Co-supervisor Unit
Tania Couture MSc Fish habitat in agricultural streams   GPE, Concordia
Etienne Gariepy-Girouard MSc Assessment of river restoration projects Thomas Buffin-Bélanger (UQAR) Geography, UQAR
Olivier Boudreault MSc Hydraulic geometry and regional curves in Quebec Maxime Boivin (UQAC) Geography, UQAC
Holly Marginson MSc Environmental changes and nutrients, sediments and metals Marc Amyot (UdeM) Biology, U. Montréal
Kyleisha Foote PhD Hydrogeomorphology  and fish habitat restoration Jim Grant (Biology) GPE, Concordia
Jean-Philippe Marchand PhD Restoration of riparian wetlands in agricultural streams Thomas Buffin-Bélanger (UQAR) GPE, Concordia
Nicolas Stämpfli PhD Hydrogeomorphology  and agricultural stream management   GPE, Concordia
Simon Massé PhD Implementing freedom space river management Thomas Buffin-Bélanger (UQAR), Julie Ruiz (UQTR) Geography, UQAR
Morgan Botrel PhD Impacts of macrophytes in Lake St. Pierre on nitrogen and phosphorous retention Roxane Maranger, (U. Montréal), Christianne Hudon (Environ. Canada) Biology, U. Montréal
Jason Duguay Post-doc Flow dynamics at river confluences using 3D LES modelling Thomas Buffin-Bélanger (UQAR) GPE, Concordia
Mohamed Shawky Post-doc Large-scale flood modelling in urban areas Thomas Buffin-Bélanger (UQAR) GPE, Concordia
Guénolé Choné Research professional Flood mapping and hydrogeomorphological GIS tools   GPE, Concordia
William Massey Research professional Freedom space for rivers and wetland restoration   GPE, Concordia
Iulia Mazgareanu Research professional Large-scale flood modelling   GPE, Concordia
Former students
Iulia Mazgareanu MSc Confluence dynamics and freedom space Thomas Buffin-Bélanger (UQAR) GPE, Concordia
Maxim Bulat MSc 3D modelling of macrophytes in Lake St. Pierre Jay Lacey (U. Sherbroke) GPE, Concordia
Nancy Martel MSc Confluence dynamics with an ice cover Thomas Buffin-Bélanger (UQAR) Geography, UQAR
Esther Volmar MSc River management of agricultural streams Susan Gaskin (McGill) Civil Engineering, McGill
Andre-Marcel Baril MSc Stream restoration for yellow sturgeon Jim Grant Biology, Concordia
William Massey MSc Impacts of bank stabilization on fish habitat   GPE, Concordia
Alexandre Paradis MSc Alternative approaches to agricultural stream management   GPE, Concordia
Michael Needelman MSc Riparian wetland connectivity in freedom space Marie Larocque (UQAM) Earth and Atmospheric Science, UQAM
Guénolé Choné MSc Mobility space of rivers   GPE, Concordia
Eric Lovi MSc Sedimentary dynamics of the Sunday River   GPE, Concordia
Paul Grosman MSc Agent-base modelling for moose-vehicle collision mitigation measures Jochen Jaeger GPE, Concordia
Yannick Rousseau PhD Numerical modelling of river bank erosion Marco Van de Wiel (Coventry U., Uk) GPE, Concordia
Patrick Verhaar PhD Numerical modelling of the impact of climate change on St. Lawrence tributaries   Geography, Montréal
David Carré PhD Flow dynamics and sediment transport around flow deflectors Susan Gaskin, McGill Civil Engineering, McGill
Sangsoo Han PhD Impact of vanes on sharp bends flow dynamics A.S. Ramamurthy Civil, Building and Environmental Engineering, Concordia
Fabien Hugue Post-doc Semi-automated tools to map freedom space for rivers   GPE, Concordia
river lab

Various research projects related to hydrogeomorphology, GIS tools for freedom space mapping, bioengineering techniques in river management, confluence dynamics, agricultural alternative stream management , 2D and 3D hydrodynamic and morphodynamic numerical modelling, hydrogeomorphological approach for flood mapping.

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