Jeff Curtis

Associate Professor Emeritus

Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences

Research Summary

Biogeoclimatic control of water quality; inferring hydrologic flowpath from geochemical indicators; optical properties of natural waters; interaction of metals and natural organic ligands; scavenging of nutrients and trace elements in biogenic calcite; fate and transport of endocrine disrupters.


Jeff is a member of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at UBC’s Okanagan campus, and also holds an adjunct professorship in the Department of Geography at the University of Northern British Columbia. Jeff is not that well-traveled but has moved a lot, having lived in five provinces in Canada and eight US states.

Jeff is responsible for a variety of courses pertaining to environmental science and especially for the Freshwater Science (B.Sc.) Degree program. Jeff is a member of the Society of Canadian Limnologists, the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and American Geophysical Union. He was a founding board member of the British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society, and the Southern Interior Forest Extension (now FORREX) and Research Partnership, and NSERC Representative at OUC. Jeff and Rob O’Brien collaboratively operate the Water Resource Science/Trace Analysis Facility.

Away from the office and lab, Jeff, and daughter Kate can often be found on the trails of BC — on skis and snowshoes in winter and on foot, horseback or mountain bike for the rest of the year. He also enjoys fishing, canoeing, and sailing in the recently restored sailboat.

Favourite Websites

Freshwater and Environmental Science



PhD, University of Manitoba
MSc, University of Minnesota
BSc, University of Michigan

Research Interests & Projects

  • Biogeoclimatic control of water quality in streams and rivers in British Columbia
  • Effects of natural disturbance on hydrology and water chemistry ö the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire of 2003
  • Optical properties of natural waters
  • Autotrophy vs. allotrophy in aquatic systems
  • Wetland restoration in the foreshore of Okanagan Basin Lakes

Selected Publications & Presentations

Radomske, E.H., P.J. Curtis, E.L. Petticrew (2006) Phytoplankton and bacterioplankton dependencies on dissolved organic matter (DOM) and inorganic nutrient concentrations in lake enclosures. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 29:###-###

Luider, CD, Curtis, PJ, Scherer, RA, Arkinstall, DA.  (2005) An inexpensive, automatic gravity-fed water sampler for investigating water quality in small streams.  Streamline Watershed Management Bulletin. 8:7 – 9.

L.A. Molot and 15 others (2004) Risk analysis of dissolved organic matter-mediated ultraviolet B exposure in Canadian inland waters. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 61: 2511 – 2521.

Luider, CD, J Crusius, RC Playle, PJ Curtis (2004) Influence of Natural Organic Matter Quality on Copper Speciation as demonstrated by Cu binding on Fish Gills, by Ion Selective Electrode, and By DGT Gel Sampler Environ. Sci. Technol. 38: 2865 – 2872.

Luider, C.D., E. Petticrew, P.J. Curtis (2003) Scavenging of Dissolved Organic Matter (DOM) by amorphous iron hydroxide particles Fe(OH)3 Hydrobiologia 494:37-41

Richards, J.G., P.J. Curtis, B.K. Burnison and R.C. Playle (2001) Effects of organic matter source on reducing toxicity to rainbow trout (Onchorhynchus mykiss) and on metal binding to their gills. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 20:1159-1166.

White, J.S., S.E. Bayley and P.J. Curtis (2000) The role of sediment in phosphorus storage of a northern prairie wetland receiving municipal and agro-industrial wastewater. Ecological Engineering 14:127-138.

Curtis, P.J. (1997) Climatic and hydrologic control of DOM concentration and quality in lakes. In. D.O. Hessen & L. Tranvic Aquatic Humic Substances: Ecology and Biogeochemistry.

Schindler, D.W. and P.J. Curtis (1997) The role of DOC in protecting freshwaters subjected to climatic warming and acidification from UV Exposure. Biogeochemistry 36:1-8.

Schindler, D.W., P.J. Curtis, S.E. Bayley, B. Parker K.G. Beaty and M.P. Stainton (1997) Climate-induced changes in the dissolved organic carbon budgets of boreal lakes. Biogeochemistry 36:9-28.

M. Stephenson, L. Bendell Young, G.A. Bird, G.J. Brunskill, P.J. Curtis, W.L. Fairchild, M. Holoka, R. Hunt, S. Lawrence, M.F. Motycka, W.J. Schwartz, M.A. Turner and P. Wilkinson. (1996) Sedimentation of Experimentally-Added Cadmium and 109-Cd in Lake 382, Experimental Lakes Area, Canada. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 53:1888-1902.

Miskimmin, B.M., P.J. Curtis, D.W. Schindler and N. Lafaut (1996). A new hammer-driven freeze corer. J. Paleolimnol. 15: 265-269.

Schindler, D.W., P.J. Curtis, B.R. Parker, and M.P. Staintion. (1996). Consequences of climatic warming and lake acidification for Uvb penetration in North Americal boreal lakes. Nature 379:705-708.

Curtis, P.J. and H.E. Adams. (1995) Dissolved organic matter quantity and quality from freshwater and saline lakes in eastcentral Alberta (Canada). Biogeochemistry 30:59-76.

Curtis, P.J. and P.Walker (1994) Cadmium mobilization from a streambed in response to experimental acidification and neutralization. Water Res. Res. 30:3449-3454.


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