Hemmera Celebrates Two Award Wins for Environmental Innovation

Burnaby, BC – October 25, 2017 – Hemmera Envirochem Inc. (Hemmera) is thrilled to share our excitement as the recipient of two high-profile awards: the Business Council of British Columbia’s (BCIC’s) Ignite Award and the Environmental Services Association of Alberta’s (ESAA’s) Environmental Innovation Award. Both awards highlighted innovative use of environmental DNA (eDNA), an environmental sampling method that relies on the detection of genetic materials in aquatic ecosystems through laboratory analysis of water samples.

  • BCIC Ignite Award: Hemmera, along with Maxxam Analytics, has been supporting University of Victoria’s Dr. Caren Helbing on redefining traditional environmental monitoring methods using eDNA. Our collaborative team was awarded $185,000 for this research project, which was celebrated at the annual BC Ignite Award ceremony. View a short video profile here.
  • ESAA Environmental Innovation Award: At the Remediation Technologies Symposium (RemTech), Hemmera was announced as the recipient of this year’s Environmental Innovation Award. Our work on eDNA, coupled with innovative developments for field and lab methods, has changed the way we understand the presence, absence, and distribution of species in aquatic habitats. View a short video profile here.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our innovation,” says Paul Hemsley, Hemmera’s President and founder. “As a national environmental consulting firm, we have always taken our role as environmental stewards very seriously. It is an honour to be recognized as thought leaders in environmental monitoring, and I am thankful to our employees across Canada for continuing to push the boundaries of environmental science and technology.”

eDNA is genetic material that is passively left behind by an organism as its feces, urine, mucus, or skin cells and are deposited in a moving or stillwater ecosystem when the species uses a waterbody. With eDNA the species under study does not need to be present at the time of sampling; a water sample collected within two to three weeks of species presence is enough to confirm the presence of a species’ DNA in in the waterbody. This low-cost, non-invasive data collection and analysis method is providing new and highly valuable information on the distribution of vulnerable species in wetland habitats throughout western Canada.

“This new technology is already beginning to change the way scientists and researchers inventory aquatic species,” explains Jared Hobbs, Technical Expert and Senior Ecologist at Hemmera. “We have been using eDNA sampling techniques since 2014, and the results so far have challenged prevailing knowledge and assumptions about species distribution, especially threatened or hard-to-detect species.” Hobbs has played an instrumental role in advancing the science behind eDNA, which contributed to both the BC Ignite and ESAA Environmental Innovation Award wins.

About Hemmera

Hemmera is a team of highly respected, multi-disciplinary professionals with recognized expertise in environmental sciences, social sciences, and engineering. With a reputation for integrity and technical excellence, Hemmera offers progressive environmental services in Site Assessment and Remediation, Environmental Planning and Ecology, and Community Engagement and Social Sciences. With primary office locations in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Whitehorse, and Toronto, Hemmera has established a strong project presence across Canada. Visit www.hemmera.com to learn more.

BC Innovation Council

BC Innovation Council (BCIC) encourages the development and application of advanced or innovative technologies to meet the needs of industry in BC. BCIC Ignite provides awards of up to $300,000 to consortia that are conducting research projects that address a significant demonstrated problem faced by industry and will commercialize a proposed innovation within a 3-year timeframe. The 2017 program awarded a total of $735,000 to the top four BC research projects in natural resources and applied sciences.


The Environmental Services Association of Alberta is a not-for profit, event-funded, and membership driven association dedicated to supporting a strong environmental services industry. The ESAA Environmental Innovation Award recognizes an individual or companies’ innovative efforts designed and executed to support and contribute to the environmental industry.


For more information contact:
Rhoni Whyard
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
T: 604.408.4019
C: 604.865.1612