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Chairholder Profile

Steven Siciliano

Steven Siciliano

Department of Soil Science
University of Saskatchewan

Chair Title

NSERC/CO-OP Industrial Research Chair in In Situ Remediation and Risk Assessment

Chair Program

Industrial Research Chairs Program


Senior Chairholder since 2015


Canada has more than 30,000 former gas station sites contaminated with hydrocarbons or other pollutants. These brownfield sites pose an enormous social and economic cost to cities, towns, and villages. Cleaning up these brownfields provides large returns to the local economy and improves the daily lives of Canadians. In collaboration with Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), this innovative research program will improve how we clean up and manage these polluted sites–without negatively impacting the environment, transferring contaminated soil to a landfill, or disrupting business activities on site.

Remediation of sites in Western Canada is challenging due to the geology and climate. Sites often consist of glacial till mixed with marine clays interspersed with sand layers, and the sites freeze for up to eight months of the year. Contaminants are exposed to varying soil conditions as the groundwater table fluctuates over the course of the year. Remediation and risk assessment of residual hydrocarbons is thus difficult and expensive. This research will investigate how we can use biological stimulants and nutrients to increase hydrocarbon degradation at sites where traditional approaches have proven to be ineffective. The failure of traditional approaches is thought to be linked to the dynamics of phosphorus in frozen soil ecosystems.

Chairholder Steven Siciliano is a soil toxicologist with 20 years of research and industrial experience in remediation and risk assessment of contaminated soils. He has worked primarily on Arctic and Antarctic contaminated sites. For the past decade, he has led multi-disciplinary research teams investigating how soils poison humans and how humans poison soil, with a focus on how risks associated with contaminated soil sites can be reduced.

FCL aims to provide its customers and members with economically and environmentally sustainable remediation practices. By collaborating on this research, FCL will help develop the technologies needed to remediate complex urban sites in a more cost-effective and environmentally sound way. FCL is confident the research being conducted will lead to significant or dramatic long-term savings in the costs required to successfully manage contaminated sites.


  • Federated Co-operatives Limited

Contact Information

Department of Soil Science
University of Saskatchewan
51 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
S7N 5A8

Tel.: 306-966-4035
Fax: 306-966-6881

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