James Gale

Effects of the changing storm & wave climate and sea-level rise on saltwater intrusion and coastal groundwater levels.

Climatic and anthropogenic changes in urbanization, agriculture and industry are increasingly disturbing the hydrological balance between fresh groundwater sources and coastal waters. Some of these drivers include increased groundwater pumping, sea-level rise, increasing frequency and severity of medium to large storms/waves, and changing precipitation patterns. Many coastal communities around the world rely on groundwater for drinking water, but water security issues are arising with the increased salinization and contamination of coastal aquifers. There is a need for more sustainable management of these coastal water resources which will be informed by a better understanding of groundwater/coastal water interactions. This research will involve numerically modelling the variable density groundwater-coastal water system and adding storms, sea-level rise, etc. to the models to better understand the dynamics of the system. The desired outcome of this research is to further improve knowledge and tools that can protect the coastal groundwater supply for the increasing populations of coastal cities as well as those inhabiting islands.

Personal Background

James graduated from Western University in 2019 with a B.E.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with the International Development option. He decided to join the RESTORE group starting in September 2019 and pursue an M.E.Sc. in Civil and Environmental Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Clare Robinson.


  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship – 2019
  • Dr. James A. Vance Gold Medal in Civil Engineering - 2019
  • Westeinde Family Continuing Award in Environmental Engineering - 2016
  • Ivey Foundation Continuing Awards in Environmental Engineering - 2016
  • Craig O'Hagan Memorial Award – 2016
  • Dean’s Honour List – 2015-2017, 2019