Suzanne Nilson, Ph.D.

Office: Building 370, Room 219
Phone: 250-740-6362
Fax: 250-740-6482
Email: Suzanne.Nilson@viu.ca

  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Environmental Biology
  • Microbiology

Education

  • B.Sc. Southern Connecticut State University
  • M.Sc., Biology, Southern Connecticut State University (1979)
    Title: Environmental Impact Study of Heavy Metal Contamination in Benthic Invertebrates of Norwalk Harbor
  • Ph.D., Biology, University of Regina (1994)
    Title: Detection and Management of Black Layer in Golf Greens

Interests and philosophy

My primary research focus has worked to use bacterial fatty acid profiles as monitoring tools for environmental issues of concern. This application initially developed when working on soil and irrigation water of golf greens. For this work, bacterial profiles were used to determine management practices that promoted a soil condition called Black Layer, known to destroy turfgrass.
This work was then applied to: 1) soils contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons resulting from activities associated with the oil industry, 2) water contamination issues working in partnership with First Nations Communities. Working with First Nations Communities in partnership provides benefits to University researchers, the participating Communities and students from both the Universities and the Communities.

Courses taught

  • BIOL 156 - Nursing: Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BIOL 157 - Nursing: Anatomy and Physiology II
  • DENH 158 - Microbiology
  • Human Biology (First Nations University)
  • Biological Principles (First Nations University)
  • General Biology (First Nations University)
  • Invertebrate Zoology (University of Reginia)
  • Environmental Science (Acadia University)
  • Microbes in the Environment (Acadia University)

Supervised VIU undergraduate student

  • Denise Williamson. 2008. Preliminary investigation of Flavobacterium columnare populations in two different water tank systems at the Malaspina University-College hatchery.

Publications (most recent)

  • Nilson, S., F. Gendron, J. Bellegarde, B. McKenna, D. Louie, G. Manson, H. Alphonse. 2014. Preliminary Scientific Investigation of the Effectiveness of the Medicinal Plants Plantago Major and Achillea Millefolium Against the Bacteria Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Staphylococcus Aureus in Partnership with Indigenous Elders. Global J. Res. Med. Plants and Indigen. Med., 3(11): pp. 402-415.

  • Nilson, S.M., L. Bharadwaj and V. Hill. 2008. Science in a Circle: Forming ‘Community Links’ to Conduct Scientific Research in Partnership with Communities. (Accepted ) by Journal: Pimatisiwin: A Journal of Indigenous and Aboriginal Community Health. 6 (1).

  • Bharadwaj, L, S. Nilson, I. Judd-Henrey, G. Oullette, L. Paranteau, C. Tournier, D. Watson, D. Bear, G. Ledoux, A. Bear. 2005. Waste Disposal in First nations Communities: The Issues and Steps Toward the Future. Journal of Environmental Health. 68(7): 35 – 39.

  • Nilson, S.M., W. Chapco, K. Denford, and D. Pratt. 2003. Methodologies Used for the Development of a Bacterial/Genetic Analytical Detection System for Soils Contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Proceedings of the Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Society. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

  • Nilson, S.M. and K. Denford. 2002. Bacterial Communities in Golf Green Soils and Irrigation Water. Green Master. October. pp. 21-23.

  • Nilson, S.M. and K. Denford. 2001. Prevention through detection: bacteria send ‘signals’. Nutrient-rich irrigation water and elevated algal biomass levels can be simply and simultaneously detected. Golf Course Management. 69:1 pp. 61-64.

  • Nilson, S., F. Gendron, J. Bellegarde, B. McKenna, D. Louie, G. Manson, H. Alphonse.  2014.  Preliminary Scientific Investigation of the Effectiveness of the Medicinal Plants Plantago major and Achillea millefolium against the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in Partnership with Indigenous Elders.  Global Journal of Research on Medicinal Plants & Indigenous Medicines.  (3): 11  pp. 402-415.

Technical reports (most recent)

  • Bharadwaj, L.,Nilson, S.M Nilson and I. Judd-Henrey (Co-Principal Investigators) (2005). Impact of Landfill Sites on Water Quality in Selected First Nations Communities.
  • Nilson, S.M., W. Chapco and K. Denford. 2003. Final Report: Development
    of a Bacterial/Genetic analytical Detection System for Soils Contaminated with
    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.
  • Nilson, S.M., W. Chapco and K. Denford. 2002. Interim Report: Development
    of a Bacterial/Genetic analytical Detection System for Soils Contaminated with
    Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

Conferences / workshops (most recent)

  • 2005 CAST conference, Cape Breton, N.S.
  • 2004 Mines / Energy Ministers Conference. Iqaluit.
  • 2003 Mines / Energy Ministers Conference. Halifax.
  • 2002 Mines / Energy Ministers Conference. Winnipeg.

Presentations (most recent)

  • 2005 CASTS (Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology) conference. “Waste Disposal Practices and Environmental Health in First Nations Communities in Saskatchewan.” September.
  • 2005 Nilson, S.M., L. Bharadwaj and V. Hill. Science in a Circle: Forming
    ‘Community Links’ to Conduct Scientific Research in Partnership with
    Communities. Shawane Dagosiwin conference (Aboriginal Education Research
    Forum / (June presentation date).
  • 2003 Nilson S.M., W. Chapco, K. Denford and D. Pratt. Methodologies Used for the Development of a Bacterial/Genetic Analytical Detection System for Soils Contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Canadian Aboriginal Science and Technology Conference. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
  • 2002 Nilson, S.M., W. Chapco and K. Denford. Development of a Bacterial/Genetic
    Analytical Detection System for Soils Contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic
    Hydrocarbons. Environmental Monitoring and Biological Systems Approaches
    and Practice Conference. Halifax, Nova Scotia.

National organizations

  • 1997 – 2003 Second Vice President
    Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists

Memberships and affiliations

  • First Nations University of Canada
    Status: adjunct / associate professor
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