Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar CC FRS

Barbara Sherwood Lollar CC, FRS. She is a University Professor in Earth Sciences, University of Toronto, and Dr. Norman Keevil Chair. She holds cross appointments with the Departments of Chemistry (2017-2027) and Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (2016-2026), and an adjunct professorship with the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) Université Paris Cité (2022-25) She is an International Fellow United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (2022) and United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE) (2021); a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society of Canada (2019); Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2004); Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2015), the Geochemical Society (2019) and European Association of Geochemistry (2019). She is CIFAR Fellow and Co-Director of Earth 4D – Subsurface Science and Exploration.

Sherwood Lollar's pioneering work establishing the principles for using isotopic tracers to identify, and most importantly quantify, microbial and chemical transformation of groundwater contaminants has had a global impact in the field of drinking water remediation. Deeper in the Earth's crust, her work coupling investigations of the deep subsurface carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur cycles with noble gas isotopic tracers elucidates water-rock reactions producing hydrogen and methane rich environments in the terrestrial subsurface, contributing to the sustainability of subsurface microbial communities and to a transformed understanding of habitability of the Earth and other planets and moons in the solar system.

Recent awards include 2021 Royal Canadian Geographic Society Massey Medal, 2020 Royal Society of Canada Willet G. Miller Medal in Earth Sciences, 2020 Canada Council Killam Prize for Natural Sciences, 2019 NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal, 2019 C.C. Patterson Award, 2018 Logan Medal, 2016 NSERC John Polanyi Award, 2016 Bancroft Award, 2014 International Helmholtz Fellowship, and 2012 Eni Award for Protection of the Environment.

Sherwood Lollar is a member of the National Killam Program Advisory Board for Killam Trust and National Research Council of Canada, and the Royal Society (London) Sectional Committee in Earth and Environmental Sciences. She has served on the United States National Academy of Sciences Space Studies Board (2016-2022), the Honors and Recognition Committee for the American Geophysical Union (2018-2022), and was Chair of the 2018 United States National Academy of Sciences 'Strategy for Astrobiology and the Search for Life in the Universe' and was a member of the Steering Committee for the NASEM Planetary Sciences and Astrobiology Decadal Survey (2023-2032).

Professional position

  • Director, Stable Isotope Laboratory, University of Toronto

Subject groups

  • Engineering

    Engineering, chemical

  • Earth and environmental sciences

    Geochemistry, Hydrology, Planetary science

  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology

    General microbiology (incl bacteriology and virology)

Professor Barbara Sherwood Lollar CC FRS
Elected 2019