Dr. Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Companion of the Order of Canada, FRS, NAE, NAS, FRSC, FRCGS is a University Professor in Earth Sciences and Normal Keevil Chair in Ore Genesis at the University of Toronto. She is Co-Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Studies (CIFAR) program Earth 4D – Subsurface Science and Exploration. In 2015 she was also named a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and in 2019, a Fellow of the Geochemical Society and European Association of Geochemistry.
She is the recipient of many academic awards including the 2012 Eni Award for Protection of the Environment, 2012 Geological Society of America Geomicrobiology and Geobiology Prize, 2014 International Helmholtz Fellowship, the 2019 Herzberg Gold Medal for Canada, the 2019 C.C. Patterson Award in environmental geochemistry and 2020 Killam Prize for Natural Sciences, among others. Sherwood Lollar has served on many advisory boards including as Chair of the 2018 NASEM “Strategy for Astrobiology and the Search for Life in the Universe”. She is a long-standing member of the NASEM Space Studies Board (2016-2022) and is currently a member of the Earth Sciences Selection Committee for the Royal Society, London, and Earth and Environmental Resources Section of the National Academy of Engineering.

Research Interests

Sherwood Lollar's pioneering work establishing the principles for using isotopic tracers to identify, and most importantly quantify, microbial and chemical transformation of groundwater contaminants has had a global impact in the field of drinking water remediation. Deeper in the Earth's crust, her work coupling investigations of the deep subsurface carbon, hydrogen, and sulfur cycles with noble gas isotopic tracers elucidates water-rock reactions producing hydrogen and methane rich environments in the terrestrial subsurface, contributing to a transformed understanding of global habitability, and the sustainability of subsurface microbial communities. Her work on deep subsurface geochemistry and hydrogeology of deep groundwaters informs the understanding of subsurface microbiology and the implications for astrobiological investigations of Mars and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 15: Geology