Genevieve Metson

Associate Professor

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Contact Information

Office: Room 2403, SSC
Tel: 519 661-2111, 85011

Research Areas

Urban ecology, sustainability, biogeochemistry (phosphorus and nitrogen), organic waste management, food systems.
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Research Interests

Dr. Metson’s work focuses on how we can better manage nutrients (phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, and carbon) in diverse socio-ecological contexts.

She uses quantitative (e.g., substance flow analysis, spatial mapping, statistical analyses) and qualitative (e.g., multi-actor workshops, interviews, participant observation) methods when answering research questions about:

  1. how resources flow across landscapes
  2. the effect of cross-scale socio ecological context on resource flows,
  3. how socio-ecological context creates barriers and enablers to sustainable transformations, and
  4. how the management of one resource interacts with other sustainability priorities (like climate change) to help transform urban and agricultural landscapes towards sustainability.


GEO 2210B – Introduction to Statistics for Geographers

GEO 3354/ 9122 – Water and Cities

GEO 9099 – Research Design & Presentation


Refereed Journals

R Harder, G S Metson, B Macura, S Johannesdottir, R Wielemaker, D Seddon, E Lundin, A Aliahmad, Erik Kärrman, J R McConville (Accepted). Egestabase – an online evidence platform to discover and explore options to recover plant nutrients from human excreta and domestic wastewater for reuse in agriculture. Methods X

A J Margenot, S Zhou, L M Condron, M G Rothman, G S Metson, P M Haygarth, J Wade, S Xu, P C Agyeman. (Accepted) The missing phosphorus legacy of the Anthropocene: quantifying residual phosphorus in the biosphere. Global Change Biology

G Small, Shrestha, C A Zeiner, G Barabás, G S Metson (2024). Phosphorus recycling and loss from compost-amended urban gardens: results from a seven-year study. Urban Agriculture & Regional Food Systems 9:1:e20055

Y Ran, C Cederberg, M Jonell, K Bergman, R Einarsson, J O Karlsson, H Karlsson Potter, M Martin, G S Metson, T Nemecek, K A Nicholas, Å Strand, P Tidåker, H MG van der Werf, D Vanham, H HE van Zanten, F Verones, E Röös (2024) Environmental assessment of diets – overview and guidance on indicator choice. The Lancet Planetary Health 8:3 e172-e187

J D Serrano-Gomez, G S Metson, T S Neset, J Santner, M Zessner, L Hermann (2023) EU-compliant wastewater recycled phosphorus: how much national cereal demand can it meet? Journal of Cleaner Production 429: 139482

L Manoukian, G S Metson, M Hernández, C Vaneeckhaute, D Frigon, S Omelon (2023). Forging a cohesive path: Integrating life cycle assessments of primary-origin phosphorus fertilizer production and secondary-origin recovery from municipal wastewater. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 199:107260

J Kingsley, K Donati, J Litt, N Shimpo, C Blythe, J Vávra, S Caputo, P Milbourne, L Diekmann, N Rose, R Fox-Kämper, A van den Berg, G S Metson, A Ossola, X Feng, T Astell-Burt, A Baker, B Lin, M Egerer, P Marsh, P Pettitt, T Scott, K Alaimo, K Neale, T Glover, J Byrne (2023). Pandemic gardening: A narrative review, vignettes and implications for future research. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 87:128062

J Davy, A Todd, G S Metson, A Thatcher (2023). Designing a greywater treatment system in a highly adaptive urban environment: An ergonomics and human factors observational analysis. Urban Water Journal 20:5 624-637

A Sieczko, P CH van de Vlasakker, K Tonderski, G S Metson (2023). Seasonal nitrogen and phosphorus leaching in urban agriculture: Dominance of non-growing season losses in a Southern Swedish case study. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 79:127823

J R McConville, G S Metson, H Persson (2023). Acceptance of human excreta derived fertilizers in Swedish grocery stores. City and Environment Interactions 17:100096

G E Small, N Martensson, B D Janke, G S Metson (2023). Potential for high contribution of urban gardens to nutrient export in urban watersheds. Landscape and Urban Planning 229: 104602

G S Metson, W J Brownlie, B Spears (2022). Towards Net-Zero Phosphorus Cities. npj Urban Sustainability 2:30

A Thatcher, G S Metson, M Sepeng (2022). Applying the sustainable system-of-systems framework: wastewater(s) in a rapidly urbanising South African settlement. Ergonomics 10.1080/00140139.2022.2068647

R Feiz, G S Metson, J Wretman, J Ammenberg (2022). Key factors for site-selection of biogas plants in Sweden. Journal of Cleaner Production 354:131671

G S Metson, R Feiz, I Lindegaard, T Ranggård, NH Quttineh, E Gunnarsson (2022). Not all sites are created equal – Exploring the impact of constraints to suitable biogas plant locations in Sweden. Journal of Cleaner Production 349:131390

P CH van de Vlasakker, K Tonderski, G S Metson (2022). A review of nutrient losses to waters from soil- and ground-based urban agriculture – more nutrient balances than measurements. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 6:842930

G S Metson, A Sundblad, R Feiz, NH Quttineh, S Mohr (2022). Swedish food system transformations: Rethinking biogas transport logistics to adapt to localized agriculture. Sustainable Production and Consumption 29, 370-386

B Macura, J Thomas, G S Metson, J R McConville, S L Johannesdottir, D Seddon, R Harder (2021). Technologies for recovery and reuse of plant nutrients from human excreta and domestic wastewater: a protocol for a systematic map and living evidence platform. Environmental Evidence 10(20)

G S Metson, et al. (2021) Nitrogen and the food system. Voices contribution entitled Nimbly treading at the nexus. One Earth 4(1) 3-7

R D Sabo, C M Clark, D A Gibbs, G S Metson, M J Todd, S D LeDuc, D Greiner, M M Fry, R Polinsky, Q Yang, H Tian, J E Compton (2021). Phosphorus Inventory for the Conterminous United States (2002-2012). Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeoscience 126(4)

K Schreiber, G Hickey, G S Metson, B Robinson, G K MacDonald (2021). Quantifying the foodshed: A systematic review of urban food flow and local food self-sufficiency research. Environmental Research Letters 16(2): 023003

G S Metson, R Feiz, NH Quttineh, K Tonderski (2021). Optimizing transport to maximize nutrient recycling and green energy recovery. Resources, Conservation, & Recycling X 9-10:100049

G S Metson, J Lin, J E Compton, J A Harrison (2020). Where have all the nutrients gone? Long-term Decoupling of Inputs and Outputs in the Willamette River Watershed, Oregon, United States. eJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeoscience 125(10) e2020JG005792

G Öberg, G S Metson, Y Kuwayama. S Conrad (2020). Conventional Sewer Systems Are Too Time-Consuming, Costly and Inflexible to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century. Sustainability12(16) 6518

G S Metson, G K MacDonald, A Leach, J E Compton, J A Harrison., J Galloway (2020). The U.S. consumer phosphorus footprint: where do nitrogen and phosphorus diverge? Environmental Research Letters 15(10) 105022

K J Forber, S A Rothwell, G S Metson, H P Jarvie, P JA Withers (2020). Plant-based diets add to the wastewater phosphorus burden. Environmental Research Letters 15:094018

D L Childers, P Bois, H E Hartnett, T McPhearson, G S Metson, C Sanchez (2019). Urban Ecological Infrastructure (UEI): An inclusive concept for the non-built urban environment. Elementa 7(1)

G Small, R McDougal, G S Metson (2019). Would a sustainable city be self-sufficient in food production? International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics 14(3) 178-194 (WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment conference paper series for Sustainable Cities)

G Small, P Shrestha, G S Metson, K Connelly, I Jimenez, A Kay (2019). Excess phosphorus from compost applications in urban gardens creates potential pollution hotspots. Environmental Research Communications 1(9):91007

U Akram, NH Quttineh, U Wennergren, K Tonderski, G S Metson (2019). Enhancing nutrient recycling from excreta to meet crop nutrient needs in Sweden – a spatial analysis. Scientific Reports 9:10264

K Reitzel, Bennett, Berger, Brownlie, Bruun, Christensen, Cordell, van Dijk, Egemose, Eigner, Glud, Grönfors, Hermann, Houot, Hupfer, Jacobs, Korving, Kjærgaard, Liimatainen, Van Loosdrecht, Macintosh, Magid, Maia, Martin-Ortega, McGrath, Meulepas, Murray, Neset, Neumann, Nielsen, O'Flaherty, Qu, Santner, Seufert, Spears, Stringer, Stutter, Verburg, Wilfert, Williams, G S Metson (2019). New Training To Meet The Global Phosphorus Challenge. Environmental Science & Technology 10.1021/acs.est.9b03519

U Akram, NH Quttineh, U Wennergren, K Tonderski, G S Metson (2019). Optimizing nutrient recycling from excreta in Sweden and Pakistan: Higher spatial resolution makes transportation more attractive. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3(50) 10.3389/fsufs.2019.00050

S M Powers, R Chowdhury, G K MacDonald, G S Metson, A Beusen, ABouwman, S E Hampton, B K Mayer, M L McCrackin, D A Vaccari (2019). Global opportunities to increase agricultural independence through phosphorus recycling. Earth’s Future 10.1029/2018EF001097

M Tälle, L Wiréhn, D Ellström, M Hjerpe, M Huge-Bordin, P Jensen, T Lindström, TS Neset, U Wennergren, G S Metson (2019). Synergies and trade-offs for sustainable food production in Sweden: an integrated approach. Sustainability 11(3) 601

J A Harrison, A HW Beusen, G Fink, T Tang, M Strokal, A F Bouwman, G S Metson, L Vilmin (2019). Modeling phosphorus in rivers at the global scale: recent successes, remaining challenges, and near-term opportunities. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 36 68-77

Chapters in Books

W J Brownlie, M A Sutton, D S Reay, K V Heal, B M Spears, […] G S Metson. Chapter 9. Towards our phosphorus future. in: Our Phosphorus Futures. W J Brownlie, M S Sutton, K V Heal, D S Reay, B M Spears (Eds). UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh (2022)

G S Metson, W J Brownlie, J C Bausch, M Jonell, K Matsubae, F Mnthambala, C Schill, E Tilley. Chapter 8. Consumption: The Missing Link in Phosphorus Security. in: Our Phosphorus Futures. W J Brownlie, M S Sutton, K V Heal, D S Reay, B M Spears (Eds). UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh (2022)

W J Brownlie, R Sakrabani, G S Metson, M Blackwell, B Spears. Chapter 6. Opportunities to recycle phosphorus rich organic wastes. in: Our Phosphorus Futures. W J Brownlie, M S Sutton, K V Heal, D S Reay, B M Spears (Eds). UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology, Edinburgh (2022)

D Cordell, G S Metson, D Iwaniec, T T Bui, D L Childers, N Dao, H TT Dang, J Davidson, B Jacobs, S Kumwanda, T Morse, V Nguyen, B Thole, E A Tilley. Transforming Cities: Securing food and clean waterways through phosphorus governance. Transdiciplinary Research and Practice for Sustainability Outcomes, D Fam, J Palmer, C Reidy, C Mitchell (Eds.). Routledge (2017)

G Metson, K Wyant, D Childers. Introduction to P sustainability. Phosphorus, Food, Our Futures. J Elser, K Wyant, J Corman (Eds.) Oxford University Press (2013)

S H. Riskin, G Small, R Mikkelsen, G Metson, A Bateman, J Cooper, O S Hanserud, P Haygarth, C Laspoumaderes, M McCrackin, and S Remington. Phosphorus in Urban and Agricultural Landscapes. Phosphorus, Food, Our Futures. J Elser, K Wyant, J Corman (Eds.). Oxford University Press (2013)