Prof. Couture

I am a geochemist studying the coupled cycles and the fate of elements such as carbon, iron, sulfur and trace elements in freshwater and terrestrial environments. My research focuses on lakes, soils, and sediments in boreal and northern settings, and I use a combination of field, experimental, and modeling approaches.

I am a full professor in the Department of Chemistry at Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada, where I hold a Sentinelle Nord research chair and lead the Aquatic Geochemistry Group. I teach courses on inorganic chemistry, environmental chemistry, and aquatic biogeochemical cycles at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Before joining Université Laval, I spent five years at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research in Oslo, Norway, where I was first a researcher and then the leader of the Section for Catchment Processes. I also spent two years as a researcher at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

My PhD research focused on the geochemistry of arsenic in lake sediments, under the supervision of Professors Charles Gobeil and André Tessier at the University of Quebec-INRS-ETE. After completing my PhD, I held a Marie-Curie Scholarship at the Center for Environmental Geosciences in France, where I worked under the supervision of Dr. Jérôme Rose. I also held a FRQNT postdoctoral fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA, where I worked with Professor Philippe Van Cappellen.

My current research projects focus on three main areas: 1) the environmental and aquatic geochemistry of major elements and nutrients, 2) the modeling of water quality using reactive transport, diagenetic, and lake modeling approaches, and 3) the fate and speciation of trace elements like rare earth elements, arsenic, selenium, and vanadium in northern aquatic environments.

In the field, I am particularly interested in studying the succession of redox processes that take place across reactive interfaces, such as the sediment-water interface and the oxic-anoxic interface in lakes and aquifers. I specialize in collecting field data on the distribution of elements in the water column, sediment, and pore water, and using numerical models to interpret these data and understand the underlying processes.

Overall, my research aims to improve our understanding of the biogeochemical processes that control water quality and the impacts of environmental changes on aquatic ecosystems. This work is motivated by its potential to help solve urgent water quality issues, such as contamination by trace elements, anoxia, increasing loads of organic matter, and eutrophication, in the context of ongoing environmental change. By providing insights into the key processes that control water quality and the impacts of environmental changes on aquatic ecosystems, we can help inform the development of effective management strategies and policies for protecting and restoring these important natural resources.


Full professor
Department of chemistry
Laval University, Québec. Canada

Associate professor (with tenure)
Department of chemistry
Laval University, Québec. Canada

Section leader
Section for Catchment Processes
NIVA, Oslo, Norway.

Section for Catchment Processes
NIVA, Oslo, Norway

Research assistant professor
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada.

Synergistic activities
Associate Editor
Limnology and Oceanography (L&O)

Visiting Researcher
Instituto Superior Técnico
University of Lisbon, Portugal

Deputy director
Takuvik Joint International Laboratory

Graduate faculty
University of Maine

Research Associate Professor
University of Waterloo, Canada

Visiting researcher
INRS Eau, Terre & Environnement


CHM-1005 Chimie inorganique
CHM-2150 Chimie de l'environnement
CHM-7059 Modélisation des équilibres chimiques en solution aqueuse
CHM-7008 Cycles biogéochimiques: Processus et modélisation

FRQNT Postdoctoral fellow
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA
Supervisor: Philippe Van Cappellen

Marie-Curie Early Stage Researcher
CNRS, Centre des géosciences environnementales (CEREGE), France
Supervisor: Jérôme Rose

PhD Water Sciences
INRS-Eau, Terre & Environnement
Supervisors: Charles Gobeil & André Tessier

BSc Chemistry
Université Laval

Scientific societies
Geochemical Society
Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography

Invited talks

  1. Sorbonne Université, Paris, France, Juin 2023.
  2. University of Lisbon, Instituto Superior Technico, Lisbon, Portugal, Novembre 2022.
  3. CNRS, Institut national des sciences de l'Univers, Paris, France, December 2021.
  4. Université du Québec à Montréal, Limnonology seminar series, Montréal, Canada, September 2021.
  5. American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Diego, USA, August 2019.
  6. Institut nordique du Québec, Musée de la Civilisation, Québec, Canada, Mai 2019.
  7. Université de Montréal, Départment de Biologie, Montréal, Canada, November 2018.
  8. Université Laval, Département de Chimie, Québec, Canada, June 2017.
  9. Université du Québec, INRS-Eau, Terre et Environnement, Québec, Canada, June 2017.
  10. Vannforsk, Vannforskning i Norge, Oslo, Norway, November 2016.
  11. Stockholm University, Environmental Science, Stockholm, Sweden, May 2016.
  12. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, England, June 2015.
  13. University of Toronto, Physical and Environmental Sciences, Toronto, Canada, April 2015.
  14. University of Tübingen, Integrated Hydrosystem Modelling, Tübingen, Germany, December 2014.
  15. University of Waterloo, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Waterloo, Canada, November 2014.
  16. Norwegian Institute for Water Research, Oslo, Norway, November 2012.
  17. University of Waterloo, Groundwater research symposium, Waterloo, Canada, October 2012.
  18. Western University. Civil and Environmental Engineering, London, Canada, September 2012.
  19. Laurier University, Water Institute, Waterloo, Canada, August 2012.
  20. University of Waterloo, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Canada, March 2011.
  21. Trent University, Worsfold Water Quality Centre, Peterborough, Canada, October 2010.
  22. CEREGE, CNRS and Université Aix-Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, France, March 2010.
  23. Institut de physique du globe-IPGP, Paris, France, January 2010.
  24. Lancaster University, Environmental Sciences, Lancaster, United Kingdom, October 2008.
  25. IFREMER Centre de Nantes, French Mussel Watch Program, Nantes, France, November 2007.