Dr. Tom Gleeson

Dr. Tom  Gleeson
Professor, President’s Chair
Civil Engineering
Office: ECS 316

PhD (Queen's), P.L.Eng

Area of expertise

Groundwater footprints and sustainability, mega-scale groundwater systems, groundwater recharge and discharge, fluid flow and geologic structures

Research interests

I am a hydrologist interested in groundwater sustainability, regional- to continental-scale groundwater systems, groundwater-surface water interactions and fluid flow around geologic structures. I address these varied research interests by integrating disciplines that are not often combined: geocomputation, data science, numerical modelling, field hydrogeology, structural geology, and sustainability science. I love new ideas and experiences, food and yoga, and helping people and the world. I grew up in Iroquois territory near the Six Nations of the Grand River and live and work on unceded Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ Territories. I am a settler Canadian with mixed European ancestry (pronouns he/him) who is aware of the many unearned privileges that come with being white, male, cis-gendered, able bodied and well educated.

Groundwater footprints and sustainability

Can groundwater development be sustainable in different hydrologic and political settings? Sustainable development of groundwater resources is a crucial and significant societal challenge. This interdisciplinary research strand integrates recent hydrogeologic research with cutting-edge sustainability concepts such as strong sustainability, backcasting, multi-generational goal setting and adaptive management.

Mega-scale groundwater systems

Are regional- to continental-scale groundwater processes different from local-scale processes? Both groundwater management and science are generally limited to the scale of small watersheds, and yet better understanding and management of large-scale groundwater resources is also critical.

Groundwater recharge and discharge

How does water cross the land surface in diverse hydrologic settings? Recharge and discharge processes are a critical connection between the hydrosphere and geosphere and are vital to groundwater sustainability and surface water ecology.

Fluid flow around geologic structures

How do faults and fractures impact fluid flow? Feedbacks between fluid flow and faults are critical to problems such as earthquakes, carbon sequestration and the safety of shale gas development.