Joseph R. Desloges, Professor


Administrative Position:
Principal, Woodsworth College

Home Campus:
U of T St. George

University of British Columbia (1987)

Other Degrees:
MSc University of Wisconsin-Madison (1982)
BES University of Waterloo, Ontario (1980)

Cross Appointments:
Department of Earth Sciences

Honours & Awards:
Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Contact Information:

Location: Department of Earth Sciences: Earth Sciences Centre
Office: ES 2124
Lab; ES3095
22 Russell Street
Phone:  (416) 978-3709

Research Interests:

  • Holocene fluvial and glacial landscape reconstruction using sedimentary archives
  • Reconstruction of extreme events
  • Urbanization impacts on stream erosion
  • River geoarchaeology

The influence of rivers, glaciers and humans on landform development in the northern hemisphere, mainly in the mountain areas of Canada, Greenland and Iceland with emphasis on B.C., the southern Yukon and southern Ontario.

My special interests are the influence of climate change and human disturbance on geomorphic processes and landform change with an emphasis on river floodplains and sediment yield in glacierized landscapes. Contemporary and Holocene glacier fluctuations have been reconstructed using terrestrial and high-resolution glaciolacustrine and glaciomarine sedimentary archives. I have conducted research mainly in large glacier-fed lakes of the western Canadian Cordillera and, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Copenhagen, deep fiords of western Greenland. More recent work has focussed on late Quaternary and Holocene fluvial environments of southern Ontario with particular emphasis on decoupling the influence of humans disturbance on erosion from that associated with climate-induced changes. Geophysical, geochronology and geoarchaeology methods have been used extensively to develop and interpret the sedimentary record.

Teaching This Academic Year:

GGR301H1S – Fluvial Geomorphology
GGR390H1F – Field Methods
GGR1202H1S – Fluvial and Sedimentation Geomorphology

Current Students:

Alex Cebulski

Selected Publications:

Refereed Articles

  • Thayer, J., Phillips, R. and Desloges J.R. 2016. Downstream channel adjustment in a low-relief, glacially conditioned watershed. Geomorphology 262, 101–111. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.03.019
  • Peros, M., Gregory, B., Matos, F., Reinhardt, E. and Desloges, J. 2015. Late-Holocene record of lagoon evolution, climate change, and hurricane activity from southeastern Cuba. The Holocene, 25, 1483–1497, doi:10.1177/0959683615585844, 2015.
  • Phillips, R.T.J. and Desloges, J.R. 2015. Glacial legacy effects on river landforms of the southern Laurentian Great Lakes. Journal of Great Lakes Research 41, 951–964.
  • Phillips R. and Desloges J.R. 2014. Alluvial floodplain classification by multivariate discriminant analysis for low‐relief glacially conditioned catchments. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 40, 756–770., DOI: 10.1002/esp.3681.
  • Stewart. A. and Desloges. J.R. 2014. A 9000-year record of vertical and lateral accretion on the floodplain of the Lower Thames River, Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Quaternary International 342, 161-172.
  • Phillips R. and Desloges J.R. 2014. Glacially conditioned specific stream powers in low- relief river catchments of the southern Laurentian Great Lakes. Geomorphology 206, 271-287.
  • Gilbert, R. and Desloges J.R. 2012. Late glacial and Holocene sedimentary environments, at Quesnel Lake, B.C. Geomorphology 179, 169-179.
  • Harvey, J.E., Smith, D.J., Laxton, S., Desloges, J.R. and Allen, S.  2012. Mid-Holocene glacier expansion between 7500 and 4000 cal. yr BP in the British Columbia Coast Mountains, Canada. The Holocene 22 (9), 973 – 983. doi:10.1177/0959683612437868
  • Thornbush, M.J. and Desloges, J.R. 2011.  Site reconstruction at an oxbow lake situated at the lower Nottawasaga River in southern Ontario, Canada. Environmental Archaeology 16, 1-15.
  • Dirszowsky, R.W. and Desloges, J.R. 2010. Testing lake sediment and dendrogeomorphic proxies for Little Ice Age environmental change in the upper Fraser River area, British Columbia, Canada. Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography, 92 (3), pg. 393-410.
  • Chakraborty, K., Finkelstein, S.A., Desloges, J.R. and Chow, N.A. 2010. Holocene paleoenvironmental changes inferred from diatom assemblages in sediments of Kusawa Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada. Quaternary Research. 74, 15-22.
  • Hodder, K., Gilbert, R. and Desloges, J.R. 2007. Assessment of varved glaciolacustrine sedimentary records as hydroclimatic proxy. Journal of Paleolimnology, 38, 365-394.
  • Shugar, D., Kostaschuk R., Ashmore, P., Desloges, J. and Burge, L. 2007. In-situ Jet- Testing of the Erosional Resistance of Cohesive Streambeds, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 34, 1-4.
  • Hodder, K., Desloges, J.R. and Gilbert, R. 2006. Pattern and timing of sediment infill at glacier-fed Mud Lake: Implications for Late-Glacial and Holocene Environments in the Monashee Mountain Region of British Columbia, Canada. The Holocene, 16(5), 1-12.
  • Gilbert, R. and Desloges J.R. 2005 The record of Glacial Lake Champagne in Kusawa Lake, southwestern Yukon Territory. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 42, 2127–2140
  • Gilbert, R., Desloges, J., Lamoureux, Serink A. and Hodder K. 2005. The geomorphic and paleoenvironmental record in sediments of Atlin Lake, northern British Columbia. Geomorphology, 77, 4-16.
  • Dirszowsky, R. and Desloges, J.R. 2004. Evolution of the Moose Lake delta, British Columbia: implications for Holocene environmental change in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Geomorphology, 57, 75-93.
  • Rasch, M., Nielsen, N., Christiansen, C., Balstrøm, T., Gilbert, R. and Desloges, J.R.
  • 2003. Role of landscape parameters in riverine runoff, and sediment and organic matter yield on Disko Island, West Greenland. Geografisk Tidsskrift, Danish Journal of Geography, 103(2), 1-12.
  • Desloges, J.R., Gilbert, R., Nielsen, N., Christiansen, C., Rasch, M., Øhlenschlager, R. 2002. Holocene glacimarine sedimentary environments in fiords of Disko Bugt, West Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews and Research, 21(9), 947-963.
  • Gilbert, R., Nielsen, N., Möller, H., Desloges, J.R. and Rasch, M. 2002. Glacimarine sedimentation in Kangerdluk (Disko Fjord), West Greenland, in response to a surging glacier. Marine Geology, 191, 1-18.
  • Smith, D. and Desloges, J. 2000. Little Ice Age history of Tzeetsaytsul Glacier, Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, British Columbia. Geographic Physique et Quaternaire, 54 (2), 135-141.
  • Desloges, J.R. 1999. Geomorphic and climatic interpretations of abrupt changes in glaciolacustrine deposition at Moose Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Invited paper to the Swedish Geological Journal (GFF), 121, 200-205.
  • Desloges, J.R. and Gilbert, R. 1998. Sedimentation in Chilko Lake: a record of the geomorphic environment of the eastern Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Geomorphology,  25, 75-91.
  • Gilbert, R., Nielsen, N., Desloges, J.R. and Rasch, M. 1998. Contrasting glacimarine sedimentary environments of two fiords on Disko, West Greenland. Marine Geology , 47(1-4), 63-83.
  • Crawford, G., Smith, D., Desloges, J.R. and Davis, A.M. 1998. Floodplains and argicultural origins: a case study in south-central Ontario, Canada. Journal of Field Archaeology, 25, 123-137.
  • Walker, I., Desloges, J.R., Crawford, G. and Smith, D. 1997. Floodplain formation processes and archaeological site integrity, Grand Banks, Southern Ontario, 1997, Journal of Geoarcheology, 12(8) 865-887.
  • Dirszowsky, R. and Desloges, J.R. 1997. Glaciolacustrine sediments and Neoglacial history of Lake Chephren, Banff National Park, Alberta. Geographic Physique et Quaternaire, 51, 41-53.
  • Gilbert, R., Desloges, J.R. and Clague, J. 1997. Glacilacustrine sedimentary environment of Bowser Lake in the northern Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Journal of Paleolimnology, 17, 331-346.
  • Gilbert, R., Desloges, J.R. and Lemmen, D.S. 1997. Paleoenvironmental assessment from the physical properties of lacustrine and marine sediments: a Canadian contribution to IGCP 374. Journal of Paleolimnology, 17, 295-296.
  • Desloges, J.R. and Gilbert, R. 1995. The sedimentary record of Moose Lake: implications for glacier activity in the Mount Robson area, British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 32, 65-78.
  • Desloges, J.R. and Gilbert, R. 1994. Sediment source and hydroclimate inferences from glacial lake sediments: the post-glacial sedimentary record of Lillooet Lake, British Columbia. Journal of Hydrology, 159, 375-393.
  • Desloges, J.R. and Gilbert, R. 1994. The record of extreme hydrological and geomorphological events inferred from glaciolacustrine sediments. in Variablity in Stream Erosion and Sediment Transport,  International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publication 224, 133-142.
  • Campo, S. and Desloges, J.R. 1994. Sediment yield conditioned by glaciation in a rural agricultural basin of southern Ontario, Canada. Physical Geography, 16, 495- 515.
  • Desloges, J.R. 1994. Varve deposition and the sediment yield record at three small lakes of the southern Canadian Cordillera. Arctic and Alpine Research, 26, 130-140.
  • Desloges, J.R. and Church, M. 1992. Geomorphic implications of glacier outburst flooding: Noeick River valley, British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 29, 551-564.
  • Gilbert, R. and Desloges, J.R. 1992. The Late Quaternary sedimentary record of Stave Lake, southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 29, 1997-2006.
  • Desloges, J.R. and Gilbert, R. 1991. Sedimentary record of Harrison Lake: Implications for deglaciation of southwestern British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 28, 800-815.


  • Griffith, D.A. and Amrhein C.G and Desloges. J.R. 1991. Statistical analysis for Geographers, Prentice Hall, New York, 1991, 478 p.
  • Gardner, J.S., Smith, D.J. and Desloges, J. 1983. The Dynamic Geomorphology of the Mt. Rae Area: A High Mountain Region in Southwestern Alberta, University of Waterloo Publication 19, 237 p.



Research Clusters:
Earth-Surface Processes and Hydrology, Paleoclimate and Biogeography