Alex Forrest

Ph.D. Student, Deepworker Pilot, Gavia Pilot

Alex Forrest

Expertise: Chemical Process Modeling, Aquatic Chemistry
Affiliation: University of British Columbia
Ph.D. (current) Environmental Fluid Mechanics, UBC
M.A.Sc. Environmental Engineering (2004), UBC
B.Eng. Chemical Engineering and Society (2002), McMaster University
B.Sc. Geoscience (2002), McMaster University


Alex is a PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Bernard Laval. His research interests include combining field and numerical modeling techniques to describe the geochemistry and the fluid mechanics of benthic environments. The main focus of his field work includes the application of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to fluid mechanics problems in a range field deployments. Recent expeditions include the Canadian High Arctic, northern Scotland and the Caribbean.

His research is focused on describing circulation patterns of environments where evidence of microbialites exists. Specifically, he is interested in charting water movement under ice and how that relates to nutrient and chemical distribution in the water column. The focus of his initial investigations was the geochemical modeling of these systems using geochemistry software packages in order to try and explain mineral accretion. In addition, ongoing investigations into microbial growth are being made in order to quantify the role that benthic microbial communities play in microbialite growth.

Specific to the PLRP, Alex will be using a variety of conventional field techniques and UBC-Gavia, an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), to describe the physical environment of Pavilion Lake and other lakes in the surrounding area (e.g. Kelly Lake ). It is hoped that results of this work can be combined with data of the lake geochemistry to develop the overall patterns of the lake properties. This will hopefully provide some clues as to the origins and morphologies of these unique and varied microbialites. This is the second winter and third summer field season in Pavilion.

Major Science Goals at Pavilion Lake

Coordination of manned and robotic underwater platform to further exploration..