Meet the Prof

In conversation with Dr. Erin Leonard

Have you met the professor? Unless you are in ENV-315 and BIO-333 then you probably have not! Dr. Leonard has just joined the faculty at Redeemer this year as a sessional assistant professor of biology. 


1.Where are you originally from?


Toronto, Ontario.

2.What did you do your dissertation on?


The Current Canadian Water Quality Parameters were developed in the mid 1980s, using studies based on more resilient taxa such as fish, and exclusive consideration of water hardness (calcium and magnesium levels within a body of water). For my PhD, I developed Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life that could be based on the toxic concentration or internal concentration of metal in an organism, rather than the water concentration. I assessed whether these guidelines, as well as the current methods protect more sensitive invertebrate species from nickel. 

3.What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?


Some of my favourite pastimes include hiking with my dog (her name is Molly), reading, and spending weekends at my family cottage with my two children, Catherine and Elizabeth.

  1. What is one of your favourite memories at your cottage? 

Over Thanksgiving weekend, as all the leaves changed into vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, I looked at my two children, squealing in delight as they played in the fresh air next to a beautiful Canadian backdrop with their aunts, uncles and grandparents. I couldn’t feel more lucky to raise them with a love of the outdoors and appreciation for the world around us. 

5.What is your favourite thing about Redeemer?


There are many things I love about Redeemer, but my two favourite aspects are the environment and the students. As soon as you drive onto campus, you can feel the presence of God. I also love the enthusiasm, maturity and energy of the students.

6. Of all the field studies you have done, which has been your favourite?


The field study I enjoyed most was assessing the population level impact of urbanization and waste water treatment plants on sentinel freshwater mussels along the Grand River, ON. I also loved spending 4 months living in Brazil, collecting isopods, shrimp, and clams to assess nickel toxicity. 


  1. What is your favourite movie?


My favorite movie is when Harry Met Sally because Billy Crystal is hilarious and I love Romantic Comedies. They don’t make chick flicks like they used to.