Elodie Passeport

Elodie PasseportAssociate Professor (CivMin, ChemE)
M.Sc. (National Institute of Applied Sciences, Toulouse), M.Sc., (AgroParisTech), PhD (AgroParisTech)

Canada Research Chair in Environmental Engineering and Stable Isotopes
Principal Investigator
Passeport Lab
Jointly appointed with the Dept. of Civil & Mineral Engineering

Room GB319F | Tel: 416-978-5747 | Email:  elodie.passeport@utoronto.ca

Honours & Awards

Ontario Early Researcher Award (2021)
Early Career Teaching Award (2020)
Bill Burgess Teacher of the Year Award for Large Classes, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, University of Toronto (2018)
Canada Research Chair Tier II in Environmental Engineering and Stable Isotopes (2015, 2020)
PHYTOPHARMA award, 2012, delivered by the French Group on Pesticides.


American Chemical Society
Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors

Research interests

Emerging Contaminants in the Natural Environment

In Canada, 89% of drinking water is produced from surface water. Pesticides, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and nano- and microplastics are typical contaminants that find their way to the environment where they can affect the health of humans and ecosystems. Some contaminants can be easily eliminated under the action of naturally occurring microorganisms while others undergo photodegradation, adsorption – desorption, or plant uptake. However, a portion of these contaminants resists these processes and might be transferred to the food web. My research group studies the transport, transfer, and transformation processes that govern their fate in the natural environment, including surface water, groundwater, and sediments, to help authorities adopt the most suitable control and remediation strategies.

Environmental Remediation

Reducing contaminant fluxes as close as possible to their sources with cost-effective water treatment solutions protects aquatic ecosystems and avoids large-scale downstream treatment. We work on developing environmental remediation strategies such as natural attenuation, constructed wetlands, and bioretention cells to eliminate these contaminants. Because mixtures or “cocktails” of multiple contaminants are often present, each presenting a range of physical and chemical properties, environmental remediation strategies must be systematically designed to enhance their intrinsic water treatment capabilities. We study contaminants such as pesticides, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and microplastics.

Stable Isotope Analysis

Our lab develops new analytical methods to determine stable carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen isotopes of these priority organic contaminants, particularly using Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA). CSIA can help distinguish between permanent or “destructive” removal and temporary processes that simply redistribute contaminants in the environment. Information about contaminant isotope ratios can also help identify their sources or the reaction mechanisms affecting their persistence or removal in contaminated environments. We use CSIA to evaluate the role of natural attenuation processes in the field, and to evaluate the efficiency of environmental remediation strategies.

Selected Publications

Wu L., Suchana S., Flick R., Kümmel S., Richnow H., Passeport E.* Carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen stable isotope fractionation allow characterizing the reaction mechanisms of 1H-benzotriazole aqueous phototransformation. (2021) Water Research. 203:117519

Smyth K., Drake J., Li Y., Rochman C., Van Seters T., Passeport E.* Bioretention cells remove microplastics from urban stormwater. (2021). Water Research. 191:116785.

Lam K.-Y., Nélieu S., Benoit P., Passeport E.* Optimizing constructed wetlands for safe removal of triclosan. (2020). Environmental Science & Technology. 54(1):225-234

Spraakman S., Van Seters T., Drake J.A, Passeport E.* How has it changed? A comparative field evaluation of bioretention infiltration and treatment performance post-construction and at maturity. (2020). Ecological Engineering. 158:106036

Ding B., Rezanezhad F., Gharedaghloo B., Van Cappellen P., Passeport E.* Bioretention cells under cold climate conditions: Effects of freezing and thawing on water infiltration, soil structure, and nutrient removal. (2019). Science of the Total Environment. 649:749-759