Derek C. Muir, Ph.D.


Derek C. Muir, Ph.D.
Derek Muir
Research Scientist
National Water Research Institute
867 Lakeshore Road
City, State, ZIP
Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6
[email protected]
Award year


Project Details

Muir used his Pew Fellowship to confirm elevated levels of PCBs in marine biota, seawater and river water in the Russian Arctic. His activities involved collaborative regional research, a series of publications and an international conference which were designed to reduce uncertainties in existing scientific results, provide an accurate circumpolar perspective on the extent of contamination (using marine mammals as indicators) and hasten the development of international solutions.

Scientists and research laboratories from Canada, Denmark, Greenland, Japan, Norway, Russia and the United States became involved in a number of collaborative efforts launched through Muir's project, including sampling and analysis of marine mammals, production of Arctic region datasets on contaminants in ringed seals, and planning for a 2000 workshop on Arctic pollutants.


Derek Muir is well-known for his interdisciplinary work in the transport and uptake of organochlorines in Arctic ecosystems. He has studied this problem from a variety of perspectives, documenting contaminant burdens, examining temporal and spatial trends and using the contaminants themselves as tracers of pollution sources and pathways. Muir heads a group of scientists working on the long-range transport, fate and effects of persistent organic pollutants at the National Water Research Institute of Environment Canada. His work contributes significantly to the increased understanding of impacts of persistent chemicals on the marine environment.


National Water Research Institute Canada



Ph.D., McGill University
1977: Agricultural Chemistry, Canada

Master of Science, McGill University
1973: Agricultural Chemistry, Canada

Bachelor of Science, McGill University
1970: General Science, Canada


NAFTA, Commission for Environmental Cooperation
1996-Present: Expert Advisory Panel on Continental Pollutant Pathways

Canadian Journal of Water Pollution Research
1994-Present: Editorial Board

Journal of Great Lakes Research
1992-Present: Associate Editor

Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
1985-Present: Technical Committee on Contaminants in Northern Ecosystems and Native Diets

Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology,
1993-1996: Editorial Board

Environmental Pollution
1992-1995: Editorial Board

National Research Council of Canada
1992-1995: Committee on Marine Analytical Chemistry

Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
1984-1987: Editorial Board


Marine Fellow
1997: Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation

Francis W. Karasek Award for Achievements in Environmental Chemistry

Canadian Deputy Minister's Commendation


American Chemical Society

Chemical Society of Canada

Sigma Xi

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry


  • Hobbs K.E., D.C.G. Muir, E.W. Born, R. Dietz, T. Haug, T. Metcalfe, C. Metcalfe, N. Oien. 2003. Levels and patterns of persistent organochlorines in minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) stocks from the North Atlantic and European Artic. Environmental Pollution 121(2): 239-252(14)
  • Hobbs, K.E., D.C.G. Muir, R. Michaud, P. Beland, r.J. Letcher, R.J. Norstrom. 2003. PCBs and orgranchlorine pesticides in blubber biopsies from free-ranging St. Lawrence River Estuary beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas), 1994-1998. Environmental Pollution 122(2): 291-302(12)
  • Hoekstra, P.F., L. Dehn, J.C. George, D.C. G. Muir and T.M. O'Hara. 2002. Trophic ecology of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) compared to other artic marine biota as interpreted from C, N and S isotope signatures
  • Hoekstra, P.F., L.A. Dehn, J.C. George, K.R. Solomon, D.C. Muir, T.M. O'Hara. 2002. Trophic ecology of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) compared with that of other artic marine biota as interpreted from carbon-, nitrogen-, and sulfur-isotope signatures. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80(2): 223-231(9)
  • Hoekstra, P.F., T.M. O'hara, C. Teixeira, S. Backus, A.T. Fisk, D.C.G. Muir. 2002 . Spatial trends and bioaccumulation of organochlorine pollutants in marine zooplankton from the Alaskan and western Canadian Artic. ET&C
  • Muir, D.C.G., T.N. Savinova, V.M. Savinov, L.B. Alexeeva and V.A. Potelov. 2001. PCBs and organchlorine pesticides in seals and the marine food web of the White Sea (Russia). Science and Total Environment
  • de Wit, C.A., D.C.G. Muir and J. Svavarsson. 2000. POPs in the ARtic: An update. 15 Appendix to the AMAP Ministerial Report Fall 2000, Artic Monitoring and Assessment Program, Oslo.
  • Muir, D. (Ed.). 2000. Report of the experts meeting on sampling and analysis of Persistent Toxic Substances (PTS). Artic Monitoring and Assessment Program Report 6:31 + appendix. St. Petersburg on May 28 to June 1 2000
  • Muir, D., B. Braune, B. DeMarch, R. Norstrom, R. Wagemann, L. Lockhart, B. Hargrave, D. Bright, R. Addison, J. Payne, K. Reimer. 1999. Spatial and temporal trends and effects of contaminants in the Canadian Artic marine ecosystem: a review. The Science of the Total Environment 230(1): 83-144(62)
  • Muir, D., F. Riget, M. Cleemann, L. Kleivane, J. Skaare, T. Severinsen, H. Nakata, and S. Tanabe. 2000. Circumpolar trends of PCBs and organochlorine pesticides in the Artic marine environment inferred from levels in ringed seals. Environmental Science Technology 34(2431)
  • Muir, D. 1997. Arctic contaminants: Implications for the environment and indigenous peoples in the Arctic. In: Issues in the North (J. Oakes and R. Riewe eds.). Canadian Circumpolar Institute and University of Manitoba. Occasional Publication number 41
  • Currie, R.S., D.C.G. Muir and R.E. Hecky. 1998. Influence of nutrient additions on Cadmium bioaccumulation by aquatic invertebrates in littoral enclosures. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 17(12): 2435
  • Fisk, A.T., C.D. Cymbalisty and D.C.G. Muir. 1998. Dietary accumulation and depuration of individual C10-, C11- and C14-polychlorinated alkanes by juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss ). Aquatic Toxicology 17(12): 2435
  • Kidd, K.A., R.H. Hesslein and D.C.G. Muir. 1998. Bioaccumulation of organochlorines through a remote freshwater food web in the Canadian Arctic. Environmental Pollution 102(1): 91
  • Currie, R. S., W.L. Fairchild and D.C.G. Muir. 1997. Remobilization and export of cadmium from lake sediments by emerging insects. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 16(11): 2333
  • France, R. L., D.C.G. Muir and M.D. Segstro. 1997. Regional patterns in Organochlorine contamination of Saxifrage from Ellesmere Island in the high Arctic (77-81 degrees North). Environmental Science & Technology 31(7): 1879
  • Geyer, H. J., I. Scheunert and D.C.G.Muir. 1997. Half-lives and bioconcentration of lindane (gamma-HCH) in different fish species and relationship with their lipid content. Chemosphere 35(1): 343
  • Halstall, C.T., L.A. Barrie, P. Fellin, D.C.G. Muir, B. Billeck, W.L. Lockhart, F. Rovinski and E. Konovov. 1997. Polyaromatic hydrocarbons in Arctic air. Environ. Sci. Technol. 31:3593-3599
  • Muir, D. 1997. Arctic contaminants: Implications for the environment and indigenous peoples in the Arctic. In: Issues in the North (J. Oakes and R. Riewe eds.). Canadian Circumpolar Institute and University of Manitoba. Occasional Publication number 41
  • Fisk, A.T., C.D. Cymbalisty and D.C.G. Muir. 1996. Dietary accumulation of C12- and C16-Chlorinated Alkanes by juvenile Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 15(10): 1775
  • Muir, D. C. G., C.A. Ford and P. Beland. 1996. Persistant organochlorines in Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) from the St. Lawrence River estuary-1. Concentrations and patterns of specific PCFs, chlorinated pesticides and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans. Environmental Pollution 93(2): 219
  • Brunskill, G.J., D.C.G.Muir and N.P.Grift. 1995. Spatial trends and historical profiles of organochlorine pesticides in Arctic lake sediments. Science of the Total Environment 161:447
  • Muir, D. C. G., S. Lawrence and M. Holoka. 1992. Partitioning of polychlorinated dioxins and furans between water, sediments and biota in lake mesocosms. Chemosphere 25(1): 119

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