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Département de Biologie /
Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon
1045, av. de la Médecine, local 2064
Université Laval
Québec (Québec) G1V 0A6
Phone : +1 418 656 2131 ext. 404880


Raoul-Marie Couture

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Professor (ULaval)
Sentinel North Research Chair in Aquatic Geochemistry

Phone : 418-656-3282

Research Interests

I am a geochemist studying coupled geochemical cycles in lakes, soils and sediments, with a focus on boreal and arctic environments. My research projects touch on the environmental and aquatic geochemistry of major elements and nutrients, on the modelling of water quality (reactive transport, diagenetic and lake modelling) and on the fate and speciation of metals and metalloids. I am particularly interested in the cascade of redox processes taking place across reactive interfaces, such as the sediment-water interface and the oxic-anoxic interface in lakes and aquifers. I specialize in acquiring field datasets on the distribution of elements in the water column, sediment and pore water, and on their interpretation using numerical models. My research is often motivated by its application to solve urgent water quality issues affecting surface waters - such as contamination by trace elements, anoxia, browning and eutrophication - in the context of global change.


FRQNT Postdoctoral fellowship
Earth and Environmental Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Marie-Curie Early Stage Researcher
CNRS, Centre des géosciences environnementales (CEREGE), France

2004 - 2010
Ph.D. Water Sciences
Université du Québec,INRS-Eau, Terre et Environnement, Canada

2001 - 2004
B.Sc. Chemistry
Université Laval, Canada

Research Experience

Takuvik deputy director (2018-present)
International Research Laboratory Takuvik (CNRS / ULaval) (IRL 3376)
Université Laval, Canada

Associate Professor (2018-present)
Department of chemistry
Université Laval, Canada

Research Chair (2018-present)
Sentinel North Research Chair in Aquatic Geochemistry
Université Laval, Canada

Senior researcher (2015-2017)
Section for Catchment Processes
Norwegian Institute for Water Research-NIVA, Norway

Research Assistant Professor (2011-2013)
Ecohydrology Group, Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Waterloo, Canada

Scientific Leadership

Section leader (2017)
Section for Catchment Processes
Norwegian Institute for Water Research-NIVA, Norway

Leader (2015-2018)
An open access ePlatform for model-building at the river basin scale
Nordforsk, Nordic eScience Globalisation Initiative (NeGI)
International consortium

Leader (2015-2018)
Lakes in Transition project - Modelling lake response to environmental changes
Norwegian Research Council

Task leader (2013-2017)
EU FP7 - Managing Aquatic Ecosystems under Multiple Stress - MARS - Nordic River Basin
International Research consortium

Member, management committee (2013-2016)
NETLAKE: Networking Lake Observatories in Europe
European COST Action program



Messina, N. J., Couture, R.-M., Norton, S. A., Birkel, S. D., & Amirbahman, A. (2020). Modeling response of water quality parameters to land-use and climate change in a temperate, mesotrophic lake. Science of the Total Environment.

Tong, Y., Wang, M., Peñuelas, J., Liu, X., Paerl, H. W., Elser, J. J., Sardans, J., Couture, R.-M., Larssen, T., Hu, H., Dong, X., He, W., Zhang, W., Wang, X., Zhang, Y., Liu, Y., Zeng, S., Kong, X., Janssen, A. B. G., & Lin, Y. (2020). Improvement in municipal wastewater treatment alters lake nitrogen to phosphorus ratios in populated regions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201920759.


Lin, Y., Couture, R.-M., Klein, H., Ytre-Eide, M. A., Dyve, J. E., Lind, O. C., Bartnicki, J., Nizzetto, L., Butterfield, D., Larssen, T., & Salbu, B. (2019). Modelling Environmental Impacts of Cesium-137 Under a Hypothetical Release of Radioactive Waste. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Mack, L., Andersen, H. E., Beklioğlu, M., Bucak, T., Couture, R.-M., Cremona, F., Ferreira, M. T., Hutchins, M. G., Mischke, U., Molina-Navarro, E., Rankinen, K., Venohr, M., & Birk, S. (2019). The future depends on what we do today – Projecting Europe’s surface water quality into three different future scenarios. Science of the Total Environment.

Markelov, I., Couture, R.-M., Fischer, R., Haande, S., & Van Cappellen, P. (2019). Coupling Water Column and Sediment Biogeochemical Dynamics: Modeling Internal Phosphorus Loading, Climate Change Responses, and Mitigation Measures in Lake Vansjø, Norway. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 124(12), 3847–3866.

Moe, S. J., Couture, R.-M., Haande, S., Solheim, A. L., & Jackson-Blake, L. (2019). Predicting lake quality for the next generation: Impacts of catchment management and climatic factors in a probabilistic model framework. Water (Switzerland).

Oulehle, F., Wright, R. F., Svoboda, M., Bače, R., Matějka, K., Kaňa, J., Hruška, J., Couture, R.-M., & Kopáček, J. (2019). Effects of Bark Beetle Disturbance on Soil Nutrient Retention and Lake Chemistry in Glacial Catchment. Ecosystems.

Phan, V. T. H., Bardelli, F., Le Pape, P., Couture, R.-M., Fernandez-Martinez, A., Tisserand, D., Bernier-Latmani, R., & Charlet, L. (2019). Interplay of S and As in Mekong Delta sediments during redox oscillations. Geoscience Frontiers.

Phan, V. T. H., Bernier-Latmani, R., Tisserand, D., Bardelli, F., Le Pape, P., Frutschi, M., Gehin, A., Couture, R.-M., & Charlet, L. (2019). As release under the microbial sulfate reduction during redox oscillations in the upper Mekong delta aquifers, Vietnam: A mechanistic study. Science of the Total Environment.

Salk, K., Venkiteswaran, J., Couture, R.-M., Higgins, S., Paterson, M., & Schiff, S. (2019). Long-term influence of climate and experimental eutrophication regimes on phytoplankton blooms. BioRxiv.


Bussi, G., Whitehead, P. G., Gutiérrez-Cánovas, C., Ledesma, J. L. J., Ormerod, S. J., & Couture, R.-M. (2018). Modelling the effects of climate and land-use change on the hydrochemistry and ecology of the River Wye (Wales). Science of the Total Environment.

Couture, R.-M., Hindar, A., & Rognerud, S. (2018). Emerging investigator series: Geochemistry of trace elements associated with Fe and Mn nodules in the sediment of limed boreal lakes. Environmental Science: Processes and Impacts.

Couture, R.-M., Moe, S. J., Lin, Y., Kaste, Ø., Haande, S., & Lyche Solheim, A. (2018). Simulating water quality and ecological status of Lake Vansjø, Norway, under land-use and climate change by linking process-oriented models with a Bayesian network. Science of the Total Environment.

de Wit, H. A., Couture, R.-M., Futter, M. N., Vogt, R. D., Krzeminski, P., Martínez Francés, E., Ong, S., Jackson-Blake, L., Austnes, K., Guerrero, J.-L., & Valinia, S. (2018). Climate-driven changes in removal of DOC in a small boreal lake: a 30-year time series. 20th EGU General Assembly, EGU2018, Proceedings from the Conference Held 4-13 April, 2018 in Vienna, Austria, p.17707.

de Wit, H. A., Couture, R.-M., Jackson-Blake, L., Futter, M. N., Valinia, S., Austnes, K., Guerrero, J.-L., & Lin, Y. (2018). Pipes or chimneys? For carbon cycling in small boreal lakes, precipitation matters most. Limnology and Oceanography Letters.

Markelova, E., Couture, R.-M., Parsons, C. T., Markelov, I., Madé, B., Van Cappellen, P., & Charlet, L. (2018). Speciation dynamics of oxyanion contaminants (As, Sb, Cr) in argillaceous suspensions during oxic-anoxic cycles. Applied Geochemistry

Pakhomova, S., Yakushev, E., Protsenko, E., Rigaud, S., Cossa, D., Knoery, J., Couture, R.-M., Radakovitch, O., Yakubov, S., Krzeminska, D., & Newton, A. (2018). Modeling the influence of eutrophication and redox conditions on Mercury cycling at the sediment-water interface in the Berre lagoon. Frontiers in Marine Science.


Cremona, F., Vilbaste, S., Couture, R.-M., Nõges, P., & Nõges, T. (2017). Is the future of large shallow lakes blue-green? Comparing the response of a catchment-lake model chain to climate predictions. Climatic Change.

Markelova, E., Parsons, C. T., Couture, R.-M., Smeaton, C. M., Madé, B., Charlet, L., & Van Cappellen, P. (2017). Deconstructing the redox cascade: What role do microbial exudates (flavins) play? Environmental Chemistry.

Tong, Y., Zhang, W., Wang, X., Couture, R.-M., Larssen, T., Zhao, Y., Li, J., Liang, H., Liu, X., Bu, X., He, W., Zhang, Q., & Lin, Y. (2017). Decline in Chinese lake phosphorus concentration accompanied by shift in sources since 2006. Nature Geoscience.

Wright, R. F., Couture, R.-M., Christiansen, A. B., Guerrero, J. L., Kaste, Ø., & Barlaup, B. T. (2017). Effects of multiple stresses hydropower, acid deposition and climate change on water chemistry and salmon populations in the River Otra, Norway. Science of the Total Environment.

Yakushev, E. V., Protsenko, E. A., Bruggeman, J., Wallhead, P., Pakhomova, S. V., Yakubov, S. K., Bellerby, R. G. J., & Couture, R.-M. (2017). Bottom RedOx Model (BROM v.1.1): A coupled benthic-pelagic model for simulation of water and sediment biogeochemistry. Geoscientific Model Development.


Couture, R.-M., Fischer, R., Van Cappellen, P., & Gobeil, C. (2016). Non-steady state diagenesis of organic and inorganic sulfur in lake sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

Haande, S., Moe, S. J., & Couture, R.-M. (2016). Phytoplankton and other monitoring data from Lake Vansjø. Freshwater Metadata Journal.

Kumar, N., Couture, R.-M., Millot, R., Battaglia-Brunet, F., & Rose, J. (2016). Microbial sulfate reduction enhances arsenic mobility downstream of zerovalent-iron-based permeable reactive barrier. Environmental Science and Technology.

Jackson-Blake, L. A., Wade, A. J., Futter, M. N., Butterfield, D., Couture, R.-M., Cox, B. A., Crossman, J., Ekholm, P., Halliday, S. J., Jin, L., Lawrence, D. S. L., Lepistö, A., Lin, Y., Rankinen, K., & Whitehead, P. G. (2016). The INtegrated CAtchment model of phosphorus dynamics (INCA-P): Description and demonstration of new model structure and equations. Environmental Modelling & Software, 83, 356–386.

Moe, S. J., Haande, S., & Couture, R.-M. (2016). Climate change, cyanobacteria blooms and ecological status of lakes: A Bayesian network approach. Ecological Modelling.

Schreck, E., Sarret, G., Oliva, P., Calas, A., Sobanska, S., Guédron, S., Barraza, F., Point, D., Huayta, C., Couture, R.-M., Prunier, J., Henry, M., Tisserand, D., Goix, S., Chincheros, J., & Uzu, G. (2016). Is Tillandsia capillaris an efficient bioindicator of atmospheric metal and metalloid deposition? Insights from five months of monitoring in an urban mining area. Ecological Indicators.


Couture, R.-M., Charlet, L., Markelova, E., Madé, B., & Parsons, C. T. (2015). On-off mobilization of contaminants in soils during redox oscillations. Environmental Science and Technology.

Couture, R.-M., De Wit, H. A., Tominaga, K., Kiuru, P., & Markelov, I. (2015). Oxygen dynamics in a boreal lake responds to long-term changes in climate, ice phenology, and DOC inputs. Journal of Geophysical Research G: Biogeosciences.

Janssen, A. B. G., Arhonditsis, G. B., Beusen, A., Bolding, K., Bruce, L., Bruggeman, J., Couture, R.-M., Downing, A. S., Alex Elliott, J., Frassl, M. A., Gal, G., Gerla, D. J., Hipsey, M. R., Hu, F., Ives, S. C., Janse, J. H., Jeppesen, E., Jöhnk, K. D., Kneis, D., … Mooij, W. M. (2015). Exploring, exploiting and evolving diversity of aquatic ecosystem models: a community perspective. Aquatic Ecology.

Liu, K., Wu, L., Couture, R.-M., Li, W., & Van Cappellen, P. (2015). Iron isotope fractionation in sediments of an oligotrophic freshwater lake. Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Torres, E., Couture, R.-M., Shafei, B., Nardi, A., Ayora, C., & Van Cappellen, P. (2015). Reactive transport modeling of early diagenesis in a reservoir lake affected by acid mine drainage: Trace metals, lake overturn, benthic fluxes and remediation. Chemical Geology, 419, 75–91.


Couture, R.-M., Tominaga, K., Starrfelt, J., Moe, S. J., Kaste, Y., & Wright, R. F. (2014). Modelling phosphorus loading and algal blooms in a Nordic agricultural catchment-lake system under changing land-use and climate. Environmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts.

Lee, J., Robinson, C., & Couture, R.-M. (2014). Effect of groundwater-lake interactions on arsenic enrichment in freshwater beach aquifers. Environmental Science and Technology.

Rezanezhad, F., Couture, R.-M., Kovac, R., O’Connell, D., & Van Cappellen, P. (2014). Water table fluctuations and soil biogeochemistry: An experimental approach using an automated soil column system. Journal of Hydrology, 509, 245–256.


Charlet, L., Markelova, E., Parsons, C., Couture, R.-M., & Madé, B. (2013). Redox Oscillation Impact on Natural and Engineered Biogeochemical Systems: Chemical Resilience and Implications for Contaminant Mobility. Procedia Earth and Planetary Science.

Couture, R.-M., Rose, J., Kumar, N., Mitchell, K., Wallschläger, D., & Van Cappellen, P. (2013). Sorption of Arsenite, Arsenate, and Thioarsenates to Iron Oxides and Iron Sulfides: A Kinetic and Spectroscopic Investigation. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(11), 5652–5659.

Couture, R.-M., Wallschläger, D., Rose, J., & Van Cappellen, P. (2013). Arsenic binding to organic and inorganic sulfur species during microbial sulfate reduction: A sediment flow-through reactor experiment. Environmental Chemistry.

Gobeil, C., Tessier, A., & Couture, R.-M. (2013). Upper mississippi pb as a mid-1800s chronostratigraphic marker in sediments from seasonally anoxic lakes in eastern canada. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Mitchell, K., Couture, R.-M., Johnson, T. M., Mason, P. R. D., & Van Cappellen, P. (2013). Selenium sorption and isotope fractionation: Iron(III) oxides versus iron(II) sulfides. Chemical Geology.

Omoregie, E. O., Couture, R.-M., Van Cappellen, P., Corkhill, C. L., Charnock, J. M., Polya, D. A., Vaughan, D., Vanbroekhoven, K., & Lloyd, J. R. (2013). Arsenic bioremediation by biogenic iron oxides and sulfides. Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Parsons, C. T., Couture, R.-M., Omoregie, E. O., Bardelli, F., Greneche, J. M., Roman-Ross, G., & Charlet, L. (2013). The impact of oscillating redox conditions: Arsenic immobilisation in contaminated calcareous floodplain soils. Environmental Pollution.

Rigaud, S., Radakovitch, O., Couture, R.-M., Deflandre, B., Cossa, D., Garnier, C., & Garnier, J. M. (2013). Mobility and fluxes of trace elements and nutrients at the sediment-water interface of a lagoon under contrasting water column oxygenation conditions. Applied Geochemistry.


Couture, R.-M., Sekowska, A., Fang, G., & Danchin, A. (2012). Linking selenium biogeochemistry to the sulfur-dependent biological detoxification of arsenic. In Environmental Microbiology.


Couture, R.-M., & Van Cappellen, P. (2011). Reassessing the role of sulfur geochemistry on arsenic speciation in reducing environments. Journal of Hazardous Materials.


Couture, R.-M., Chiffoleau, J. F., Auger, D., Claisse, D., Gobeil, C., & Cossa, D. (2010). Seasonal and decadal variations in lead sources to Eastern North Atlantic mussels. Environmental Science and Technology.

Couture, R.-M., Gobeil, C., & Tessier, A. (2010). Arsenic, iron and sulfur co-diagenesis in lake sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.

Couture, R.-M., Shafei, B., Van Cappellen, P., Tessier, A., & Gobeil, C. (2010). Non-steady state modeling of arsenic diagenesis in lake sediments. Environmental Science and Technology.




Couture, R.-M., Gobeil, C., & Tessier, A. (2008). Chronology of atmospheric deposition of arsenic inferred from reconstructed sedimentary records. Environmental Science and Technology.