Joseph R. Desloges, Professor


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

Personal Website:

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:

on research leave

Call For Students:

Student interested research on fluvial landforms and processes in an urbanizing environment

Current Students:

Ms. Anna Soleski, PhD candidate – Floodplains of meandering rivers

Ms. Pamela Tetford, PhD candidate – Hydraulic geometry changes following regime shifts

Selected Publications:

Some 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.

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