My research is focused on advancing our understanding of the linkages between climate, hydrology and geomorphology in permafrost landscapes. This research is driven by the need to understand how terrestrial landscapes are sensitive to climate variability and respond to permafrost change. This is important to predict landscape stability, water quality and downstream effects in natural systems, and to contribute to land use management and protection in Arctic regions. I have worked across the Canadian Arctic since 1988 and have also carried out research in Alaska and Norway. My research approach at Cape Bounty is a combination of field-based studies to document processes and fluxes, along with laboratory work to measure water quality, and modelling to predict hydrological systems. I work extensively with both watershed and lake systems at Cape Bounty and I have a strong interest in the use of sedimentary records as a means to investigate long term changes. I have worked extensively with clastic varved sediments, which provide high resolution chronology to better integrate with contemporary process and environmental data sets.
My research at CBAWO has focused on a number of related themes: contemporary fluxes of water, sediment and particulate organic carbon in the streams; climatic controls over streamflow and sediment transport; the impact of rainfall on catchment processes; permafrost dynamics and change; permafrost disturbance and geotechnique; limnological and sedimentary processes; varved lake sediments as records of past hydroclimate and landscape disturbance; aquatic ecosystem linkages and subfossil indicators of past ecological change and long term sediment transport dynamics.
Current research work at CBAWO is directed at understanding:
- the magnitude of sediment fluxes from surfaces that have been disturbed by permafrost change at various scales
- subsurface water movement and pathways in permafrost terrain
- hydrological and geomorphic controls over permafrost disturbance
- precision mapping of landscape processes with UAV imaging
- the chemical evolution of the lakes in the region
- the application of hydrological modelling to watershed, sedimentary and geotechnical processes
Collaborative work currently links stream processes with the hydrochemical fluxes, and the characterization and origin of contaminants and organic carbon in the watersheds. I am also working with other researchers on contaminant research, ecosystem studies, and sedimentary analyses at CBAWO and other sites in the Arctic.