The David Schindler Endowed Professorship in Aquatic Science

The first privately funded endowed academic Professorship at Trent University was named in honour of Dr. David Schindler, a world-renowned limnologist and former Trent professor. The individual appointed to endowed professorship will be a national or international leader in the field of aquatic sciences. The Schindler Professor will explore aquatic science from multiple perspectives through their leadership in teaching, research and community engagement. Established through a transformative anonymous $1 million gift, the endowed Professorship is an example of the impact donors, supporters and philanthropy have on the future of our students, the University, and our world.


Paul Frost standing with his arms crossed

Professor Frost joined Trent University as the David Schindler Professor of Aquatic Science in 2010. Before Trent, he completed his B.Sc. at the University of Rochester in 1995 and his M.Sc. at The Ohio State University in 1997. He completed his doctoral research on the nutrition of benthic foodwebs and graduated from Arizona State University with his Ph.D. in 2001. He is currently a professor at Trent University where he conducts research and teaches on the ecology of lakes and streams.

dR. David W Schindler

Headshot of Dr. Schindler

Dr. David W. Schindler began his career as a university professor at Trent University in 1966. Today, he is one of the world’s leading limnologists, specializing in the study of freshwater ponds and lakes. An internationally-recognized and distinguished scholar, Dr. Schindler also holds the prestigious Killam Memorial Chair in Ecology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Dr. Schindler is best known for his work on the Experimental Lakes Project of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which he founded and directed from 1968 to 1989.  This program is now recognized as one of the most successful long-term studies of freshwater systems and Dr. Schindler’s work on acid rain and eutrophication (the response of lakes to excessive nutrient inputs, usually from sewage or agriculture) has been widely used in formulating ecological management policy in Canada, the USA and in Europe. More recently, Dr. Schindler has studied the effects of climate warming, alien fish stocks, airborne contaminants and other human impacts on freshwaters of Western Canada.

Dr. Schindler received his doctorate from Oxford University, England, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. During his career, he has headed the International Joint Commission’s Expert Committee on Ecology and Geochemistry, and the US Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Atmosphere and the Biosphere. He has served as President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography and as a Canadian National Representative to the International Limnological Society. He is the author of over 275 scientific publications.

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Schindler has received numerous national and international research awards. He is the only Canadian to have won the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, an international award presented by the Stockholm Water Foundation in honour of outstanding achievements in science, engineering, technology, education or public policy related to protection of the world’s water resources, and the Volvo International Environment Prize. Valued at over $200,000 (USD), this prestigious award was in given to Dr. Schindler in recognition of his outstanding contributions to understanding and protecting the environment through scientific, socio-economic or technological innovation and his related discoveries, which are of global importance.

Dr. Schindler is also the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Institute of Fisheries Biologists and the first Miroslaw Romanowski Medal of the Royal Society of Canada. As the inaugural recipient of the Romanowski Medal in 1994, Dr. Schindler was recognized for his work with the Experimental Lakes Project and for his position as one of the world’s preeminent freshwater scientists. In 2001, Dr. Schindler was awarded Canada’s highest scientific honour, the NSERC Gerhard Herzberg Gold Medal for Science and Engineering – named in honour of Canada's 1971 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry. In 2002 he was presented with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and in 2003 he received the Killam Prize, awarded for outstanding career achievements.

Dr. Schindler is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (UK), a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and a founding member of the International Water Academy, a forum where business, politics and research meet in order to address international challenges in water resources management.  In 2004 he was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2006, he received the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Ruth Patrick Award. Dr. Schindler holds ten honorary doctorates from universities within Canada and the United States, including Trent University. In 2008, he was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence.