Queen's University

Impacts of changing permafrost and hydrology on nutrients, dissolved organic matter in High Arctic catchments.

The overarching long-term goal of my research program is to develop an integrated understanding of the spatial and seasonal variability in the processes that drive drive water quality in arctic watersheds, and how changes in climate and permafrost will affect these processes and downstream ecosystems and communities.

My research at the CBAWO is part of a collaborative integrated watershed research program that has operated at the site since 2005. My research is focused on investigations of the effects of changes in precipitation (snow and summer rainfall) and permafrost conditions (active layer depth and disturbances, permafost temperature) on hydrology and inorganic solute, nutrient, and dissolved organic matter dynamics in High Arctic watersheds. Research under this program examines the movement and composition of water, solutes, nitrogen and organic carbon from a series of watersheds and study sites with varying types of vegetation, snowpack conditions, and varying degrees of permafrost distrubance. Through these intensive field and laboratory based investigations the research aims to develop an integrated understanding of the spatial and seasonal variability in hydrological and biogeochemical processes that control water quality and nutrient exports in surface waters. Specific projects are funded through a combination of grants from NSERC Discovery , ArcticNet or the ADAPT (Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition) programs, and with support from the Polar Continental Shelf Programme.

The CBAWO is the longest running integrated watershed study in the Canadian High Arctic. This natural observatory offers a unique training experience, with opportunities to participate in numerous aspects of the collaborative research that take place at this site. For more information you can also visit the CBAWO website.