The region where I work in eastern James Bay
was covered by sea 6000 years ago. Now it is an endless taiga.
I am a broadly trained physical geographer with main research interest in ecosystem and landscape responses to climate and human forcings during the Quaternary period.
Using a series of geological and paleoecological techniques my research focuses on three main study areas:
- disturbance in northern peatlands: long-term community and carbon storage responses;
- Holocene sea level change on postglacial coastlines;
- climate and landscape dynamics in northern prehistory with regional focus on the Canadian Shield and Western Beringia.
I am currently looking for motivated graduate students to work on a string of projects dealing with millennial-scale ecological succession and/or biogeochemistry of subarctic wetlands from James Bay (Canada) and the Russian Far East. I am also open to discuss other graduate opportunities in the fields of historical ecology and Quaternary paleoenvironments.
Coring in the black fly infested bogs
Research projects I am or have been involved in (my role in parentheses):
- Towards a Carbon-Neutral Sustainable City: Carbon sequestration in urban turf as a potential offset for Urban Greenhouse Gas Emissions -LU VP Research and Innovation Strategic Fund (PI)
- Wetland Carbon Sequestration in Lake Simcoe Watershed: a Comprehensive Historical and Current Assessment of Wetland Carbon Sinks - Lake Simcoe Regional Conservation Authority (PI)
- Le site de la Maison Nivard - De Saint-Dizier: Un projet d'archéologie communautaire - City of Montréal (senior team member)
- Environmental stability as a resource: The case of prehistoric Eastern James Bay - SSHRC (Co-Investigator with Andre Costopoulos, McGill)
- Wetland development and carbon storage responses to historical nutrient loading in north-eastern Canada - Environment Canada (PI)
- The role of disturbance on Holocene carbon accumulation dynamics in northern peatlands - NSERC RDF (PI)
- Boreal wetland responses to long term nutrient loading in Eastern Siberia, Russian Federation - NSERC RDF (PI)
- International Collaborative Circumpolar Archaeological Project (ICCAP): Joint Russian-American research in Kamchatka, National Science Foundation, PI Ezra B. Zubrow (team member)
- Social Change and the Environment in Nordic Prehistory (SCENOP) – SSHRC and European Science Foundation BOREAS, PI Andre Costopoulos (graduate student)
- Protected area creation, culture and development at the Cree community of Wemindji, James Bay, Quebec,” SSHRC-CURA, PI Collin Scott (graduate student).
- Landscape Responses to marine regression in eastern James Bay during the late Holocene - Geological Society of America (graduate PI)
Best way to get around the Russian Arctic - vezdekhod - a modified military tank that literally means “it goes anywhere”.
Crystal Ferguson, (Masters Environmental Studies, Northern Environments and Cultures). Crystal is studying the role of peatland hydrology in ecological succession).
Kristen McLeod (Masters Environmental Studies, Northern Environments and Cultures)
Kristen is studying the relationship between wetland hydrology and carbon storage in a 15,000 years old peatland from Kamchatka, Russia.
Crystal Ferguson (Honours),
Amanda Grant (Honours)
Crystal and Amanda are looking at the relationships between peat surface wetness and ecological succession in two subarctic peatlands from the Wemindji area, northern Quebec.
Rebecca Fraser (Honours) - The use of grain-size parameters of Betula pollen in the paleovegetation reconstruction of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
Amanda Hamilton (Honours) – Uncovering the pristine myth on the eastern shores of James Bay