Meeting the Minds—Dr. Chris Glover

Dr. Chris Glover is the Athabasca River Basin Research Institute Chair of Hydroecology and Environmental Health.  He as previously at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.  He earned a doctorate in Environmental Science from King’s College, London.  He looked at physiology and its role in the metal uptake and toxicity in fish.  Here we get to know another member of our fabulous AU community.  This time in research. 

As ARBRI’s CAIP Chair for Hydroecology and Environmental Health, what tasks and responsibilities come with the position?

My job is to conduct research that focuses on environmental issues within the Athabasca River Basin, and the province as a whole.

What famous person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? What would the meal be?

I think lunch with Robin Williams would have been a very interesting experience.  We would have to have Jello.  It is an inherently amusing food.

Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?

I’m not sure that I really have that much of a desire to learn.  I just ended up here through general laziness, and a lack of any useful skills.  For that, I take full responsibility.

What is your particular area of research focus? Why is this an important area of research within hydroecology and environmental health?

The core of my research looks at how aquatic animals deal with stress in their environment, including to anthropogenic toxicants.  Understanding the interaction between organism and environment is critical for the protection of aquatic life and the sustainability of our water resources.

What is the most valuable thing in life to you?


What have you given up to go to AU that you regret the most? Was it worth it?

I moved to AU from a faculty position in New Zealand.  I gave up earthquakes and Cadbury’s black forest chocolate.  There’s something quite exhilarating abut being reminded of your insignificance on a daily basis, and then overindulging on chocolate to make yourself feel better about the whole thing.  However, my cortisol levels and body fat index say that yes, it was worth it.

What is the most important lesson in life?

Don’t accept life advice from academics.

What’s something people don’t know about you?

I don’t really know what hydroecology is.

If students want to become involved in research at AU, how can they become involved in the research programmes and groups, and teams, at AU?

Simply reach out to researchers who work on subjects that interest you, and see what opportunities exist.  Even as an undergraduate student there is significant value in testing the research waters, and there is actually a surprising amount of funding that may be available to facilitate this.

How does AU as an online institution have a solid foundation for the 21st century of online education? What difficulties also arise from the new nature of the institutional style and type, even though more institutions continue to move to the online platforms?

I think the difficulties AU faces are largely because more institutions are moving to online platforms.  New, innovative approaches, supported by significant infrastructure and online resources, means the online education sector is more competitive than ever.  There is some advantage to being a pioneer as AU has been, but that advantage will quickly be eroded if other institutions can offer a better experience.

Where has life taken you so far? (travels for pleasure, work, etc.)

I am pretty lucky in that my career has provided me the opportunity to live and/or study in a lot of places, from New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, and now I’m in my second stint in Canada.  Experiencing a place by living there provides a very different perspective from just visiting.  I would recommend it to anyone.  Particularly my neighbours…

What (non-AU) book are you reading now?

I got about half way through “Fox in Socks” in the bookstore the other day.  Nobody spoil the ending for me.