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avatar for Frederick John Wrona, Ph.D.

Frederick John Wrona, Ph.D.

Alberta Environment and Parks
Chief Scientist

Chief Scientist of Alberta Environment and Parks, Dr. Fred Wrona, is a champion of science, research, and the role of evidence in decision-making. As Chief Scientist, he provides scientific advice to address complex environmental challenges and opportunities facing Alberta and promotes scientific excellence through partnerships with universities and credible research based institutions. 

Dr. Wrona has contributed more than 30 years of experience leading or contributing to numerous environmental programs addressing regional, national and international environmental issues related to ecotoxicology, cold region hydro-ecology, climate impacts on freshwater ecosystems, integrated and adaptive environmental monitoring program design, and cumulative effects assessments. Dr. Wrona has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles, reports and proceedings in these areas and has been the recipient of numerous national and international distinctions and awards. This includes serving on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization that jointly won the Nobel Prize with Mr. Al Gore in 2007. 

Well acquainted with the province of Alberta, Dr. Wrona served as the Scientific Director of the Northern River Basins Study (1992-96), and as a member of the International Science Advisory Committee of the Alberta Water Research Institute, which is now part of Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions. Dr. Wrona also recently completed his tenure as the Invited Chair of the External Scientific Advisory Committee for the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. 

Prior to joining Alberta Environment and Parks as the Chief Scientist, Dr. Wrona was a Senior Science Strategist and Advisor with Environment Canada. While with Environment Canada, Dr. Wrona was based out of the University of Victoria, where he was a Professor in the Department of Geography and the Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre (W-CIRC). 

In addition to his position as Chief Scientist of Alberta Environment and Parks, Dr. Wrona currently serves as the science advisor to the Arctic Council’s Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, and is Canada’s Head Delegate for the UNESCO-International Hydrology Program (IHP). Dr. Wrona also continues to be the co-chair on the joint federal-provincial Oil Sands Monitoring Program in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada. 

Dr. Wrona also actively pursues new academic research through the strong academic relationships he has bolstered. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary, where he earned his Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology (1982), and a B.Sc. in Environmental Sciences (1977), and where he was a member of the faculty from 1982 to 2004. In 2018, Dr. Wrona was awarded an NSERC Discovery Grant for his project titled “Implications of varying ice and nutrient regimes on the hydro ecology of cold region lakes”.