Dr. Andrea Bradford received her PhD from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Her dissertation addressed the hydroecological relationships and water balance of Minesing Swamp, a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. She gained five years experience in environmental consulting and two years experience at Ontario’s Ministry of Environment, Water Policy Branch, before joining University of Guelph, in 2002. She has provided expert testimony related to protection of aquatic ecosystems and the livelihoods and well-being of the people who depend upon them.
Bradford’s research explores the water needs within aquatic ecosystems—particularly wetlands and streams. She studies and applies green infrastructure design for urban stormwater management. Key areas of focus include:
Low Impact Development (LID). Bradford applies planning and engineering measures to manage rainwater in urban areas. These measures help mitigate changes to the natural hydrologic regime upon which streams and wetlands depend and provide recharge necessary to sustain groundwater dependent ecosystems. Bradford’s LID research has advanced design of permeable pavement and bioretention systems. Research also includes advancing modeling to better link the effects of urban water resources management and ecosystem needs, and co-benefits and life cycle assessment of green infrastructure.
Environmental flow assessment. Bradford’s research in environmental flows involves developing processes and techniques to quantify the water (timing, duration and frequency of various water conditions) needed by streams and wetlands to sustain (or restore) ecological functions. Her research has examined tools to quantify flows to sustain critical geomorphic processes, connectivity and thermal regimes and refugia.
Wetland protection and restoration. Bradford’s research has sought to better understand the ecohydrological requirements of wetlands in Southern Ontario, including groundwater dependent systems, to improve the effectiveness of water management and engineering designs. More recent research with Niisachewan Anishinaabe Nation focuses on restoration of manomin (wild rice) on the Upper Winnipeg River.
Pedagogical research and Engineering for Social Justice (E4SJ). Bradford has also engaged in pedagogical research. The work has recently moved into preparing students for experiential learning opportunities with vulnerable communities and developing mindsets and competencies to apply engineering for social justice.
Major funding, Awards, National or International Recognition, Prestigious affiliations, Memberships on editorial boards or societies
Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Guelph Faculty Association, 2020
YMCA Woman of Distinction Award, 2019
Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, 2018
Change the World Campaign, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers, 2017
George Weston Ltd. Seeding Food Innovation Grant, 2019