Niladri Basu

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Associate Professor; Canada Research Chair Tier II in Environmental Health Sciences

(cross-appointed in Department of Natural Resource Sciences)
Associate Member, Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Associate Member, Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Occupational Health
Associate Member, McGill School of the Environment 

T: 514-398-8642  |  niladri.basu [at] (Email) |  CINE Building, Room 204  |  Website


BSc 1999 (Queen’s)
MSc 2002 (British Columbia)
PhD 2005 (McGill)

Short Bio

Dr. Nil Basu holds a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Environmental Health Sciences at McGill University where he is jointly appointed in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and the School of Human Nutrition. Dr. Basu also holds appointments in McGill’s School of the Environment and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, as well as an adjunct professorship at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. The goal of Dr. Basu's research is to take an ecosystem approach to community, occupational, and environmental health whereby evidence is collected, scrutinized, and compared from both humans and ecological organisms. Dr. Basu’s research is both inter-disciplinary (bridges environmental quality and human health) and inter-sectoral (most projects driven by stakeholder needs, notably government and communities), and increasingly he has assumed national and international leadership positions to bring together diverse teams to tackle grand challenges in the field (e.g., toxicity testing in the 21st century, mercury pollution, gold mining). Research activities are situated at the interface of science and policy with notable involvements with the UN Minamata Convention, Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan, and the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. The work has been supported by more than $35M in research funding, resulted in >150 peer-reviewed papers and afforded training opportunities to over 100 students.

Awards and Recognitions

2013-2023 – Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Environmental Health Sciences
2013 – Excellence in Teaching, UM School of Public Health
2009 – Environmental Health Sciences Communication Fellow
2008 – Telluride Faculty Scholar
2008 – UM Undergraduate Research Opportunities Mentorship Award

Active Affiliations

Editor, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Member, Science Committee, Government of Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan (CMP)
Commissioner, Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health
Member, UN Global Mercury Partnership
Member, Science Council, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
Member, McGill Center for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE)
Science Advisory Council Member, Biodiversity Research Institute

Research Interests

The objective of Dr. Basu's program is to research, develop and apply ecosystem-based approaches to address key problems in the environmental health sciences. The focus is on applying environmental toxicology and exposure assessment to increase understanding of risks associated with contaminants arising from the extraction of natural resources. Key to this approach is the ability to scrutinize and integrate data across species in a comparative manner (i.e. humans along with fish, birds, marine and terrestrial mammals) and to scale responses across multiple tiers of biological organization in an integrative fashion (e.g. cell --> individual --> ecosystem). In doing so, our program has developed multi-disciplinary research and communication skills that enable us to engage with and link together ecological scientists, biomedical researchers, and human health practitioners.

Two major projects that we help lead include the EcoToxChip Project (funded by Genome Canada) and GEOHealth-West Africa (funded by US NIH-Fogarty and Canada's IDRC).

The ultimate goal of our program is to conduct excellent research in the broader fields of ecosystem health (environmental toxicology) and human health (exposure science and epidemiology) such that outputs may be effectively disseminated to diverse stakeholders (e.g., students, policy makers, scientists, community partners) and lead to public health actions and policies that contribute to improve environmental quality and human health in Canada and internationally. 

Current Research

A) MERCURY TOXICOLOGY, with research from the molecular level to global policy;
B) ECOTOXICITY TESTING IN THE 21st CENTURY with a focus on developing tools that reduce costs, time, and dependency upon animals;
C) EXTRACTIVE SECTOR AND GLOBAL HEALTH: with a focus on electronic waste (e-waste) recycling and artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM);
D) DRIED BLOODSPOTS & EXPOSURE SCIENCE with a focus on the development, validation, and application of methods to measure essential and toxic elements

For more information:


NUTR 450 Research Meth: Human Nutrition 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

NRSC 333 Pollution and Bioremediation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

NRSC 670 Princ of Envrnmntl Hlth Sci 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

NRSC 671 Princ of Envrnmntl Hlth Sci 2 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

PARA 515 Water, Health and Sanitation 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer


View a list of current publications

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