Researcher Profile

Dr. Efraim Halfon

Job Title: President
Employer: Interactive Ecological Modelling, Ranking and Scientific Visualization
Place of Birth: Tripoli, Lybia
Public School attended: Hebrew Public School Alessandro da Fano, Milan, Italy
High School attended: Hebrew High School Alessandro da Fano, Milan, Italy
Further Education: University of Milano, Italy (B.Sc. - Limnology), University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA (Ph.D. - Ecology).
Geographic focus of research: Ontario, Italy, Germany, USA, Japan

Brief synopsis of current research:
My research focuses on five main areas:
1) Mathematical modeling of the fate of toxic contaminants in aquatic environments, mostly in the Great Lakes.
2) Ranking and environmental assessment of toxic contaminants in the environment.
3) Scientific Visualization of the dynamics of water quality parameters in two and three dimensions.
4) Theoretical development of mathematical models, forecasting ability and model uncertainty.
5) Development of multimedia CD-ROMs to inform the public about scientific activities.

Mailing address:
Interactive, 4481 Concord Place, Burlington, Ontario L7L 1J5


Recent Publications:

Halfon, E. and Allan, R.J. 1995. Modelling the fate of PCBs and Mirex in aquatic ecosystems using the TOXFATE model. Environment International, 21: 557-569.

Halfon E., N. Schito and R. E. Ulanowicz. 1996. Energy flow through the Lake Ontario food web: Conceptual model and an attempt to mass balance, Ecological Modelling, 86:1-36.

Halfon, E. 1996. Volume visualization of temperature concentrations in Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario. J. Great Lakes Res., 22:15-25.

Halfon, E. 1996. Data Animator, software that visualizes data as computer generated animations on personal computers: an application to Hamilton Harbour. Water Poll. Res. J. Canada, 31: 609-622.

Halfon, E., Galassi, S., Brüggemann, R., and Provini, A. 1996. Selection of priority properties to assess environmental hazard of pesticides. Chemosphere 33:1543-1562

I started my scientific career as an oceanographer at the University of Georgia. However, after two years of graduate studies I became interested in the theoretical aspects of ecological research. Thus, I became a systems ecologist: an ecologist that studies ecosystems using mathematical models. In 1975 Dr. T.J. Simons invited me to spend a year at Environment Canada as a post-doc. Eventually a research scientist position came open and I decided to stay. My research in mathematical modelling eventually led me to methods of visualizing scientific data and therefore I hired many co-op students to develop two and three dimensional animations of the behaviour of water quality dynamics, for example water temperature and oxygen concentrations. In 1995, Dr. John Lawrence decided to cut the modeling program at Environment Canada and together with several other scientists we were forced to accept early retirement. Immediately I was offered a position in Germany but I decided not to join the brain drain and opened my own consulting company in Burlington. Thus, even if I was very fortunate to be able to pursue my academic interests for over 20 years eventually Liberal government politics interfered with them. ]