Scotty creek research station

Research Team

About us

I am accepting inquiries and applications from students interested in graduate work at both the master’s and doctorate levels. Please contact for more information.

Tyler Veness

Tyler's M.Sc. research is directed toward understanding the influence of tree-canopy, shrub-canopy and ground surface properties on the rate and spatial pattern of seasonal active-layer thaw at Scotty Creek, NWT. His work will improve our understanding of and capacity to predict permafrost thaw which is widespread throughout the study region.

Dr. Justin Adams

Justin received his Ph..D. from the University of Guelph in September, 2015, and joined our research programme in the same month. He plays a leading role in the Consortium for Permafrost Ecosystems in Transition, which examines permafrost-thaw impacts on water resources and ecosystems in the southern Northwest Territories and northeastern British Columbia. He brings to the programme strengths in remote sensing, modelling and hydrology. Welcome Justin!

Michael Braverman

Michael is an M.Sc. student at Laurier and leads the Research and Development Division at Inspec-Sol Engineering in Waterloo. He helped to establish a research partnership between Inspec-Sol and the Cold Regions Research Centre at Laurier. He is interested in the hydrological impacts of seismic exploration in the wetland-dominated zone of discontinuous permafrost. Specifically, he is examining permafrost degradation and regeneration processes along seismic lines, and the hydrological consequences of these processes.

Dr. Laura Chasmer

Laura Chasmer (PDF) is interested in climate change; remote sensing; long-term ecosystem change; energy and mass (CO2, H2O) exchanges; discontinuous permafrost; forestry; scaling; ecosystem models. Her research is focused on the influence of canopy structure and ground surface topography on energy balance and scalar fluxes within northern boreal and discontinuous permafrost ecosystems. To do this, she uses a range of remote sensing technologies (including airborne and terrestrial lidar systems), hydrometeorological equipment, and in situ measurements. Dr. Chasmer is now at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, but she remains an important member of our research team.

Ryan Connon

Ryan's Ph. D. research is focused on improving the understanding of and ability to model runoff from peat plateau-bog complexes. So far his research has identified major runoff pathways and how their importance changes with soil moisture conditions. He has also shown that recent increases in discharge from streams and rivers in the southern NWT is strongly influenced by permafrost thaw-induced land-cover change that has increased the extent of runoff contributing areas.

John Gordon

John's M.Sc. research is focused on the influence of permafrost thaw on mercury methylation in wetlands and streams in the lower Liard River valley. This is of growing concern with local communities in the NWT. Some preliminary results were presented in Kakisa, NWT in August, 2013.

Emily Haughton

Emily's M.Sc. research is focused on snowmelt runoff processes on a peat plateau-bog complex at Scotty Creek. Specifically, she will examine the role of shrub and tree canopies on controlling the spatial distribution of melt energy over the heterogeneous complex. She is working with the Raven hydrological model to improve the understanding and ability to simulate snowmelt runoff in wetland-dominated high-Boreal environments.

Alex MacLean

Alex MacLean is the full-time Research Technician in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at Laurier. He makes a very important contribution to the Scotty team by helping to prepare students for the field, and assisting with technical aspects of the project. Alex joins us in the field at Scotty whenever he can.

Elyse Mathieu

Elyse is examining the impact of fire on snow accumulation, melt and ground thermal regimes. She uses a combination of detailed energy flux measurements above and below the ground surface, and aerial remote sensing provided by cameras mounted on UAV platforms.

Allison McManus

Allison's M.Sc. research examines the energy balance implication of mite infestations on shrubs species at Scotty Creek. It was found that the transpiration rates from shrubs infested with gall-forming mites are greatly reduced. This reduction has the potential to alter the partitioning of energy at the scale of individual leaves and increase the soil moisture content below the shrubs. Allison is investigating both of these potential responses to galling, and their impact on the thaw of the active layer. She successfully defended on 2 Dec., 2015. Congratulations Allison!

Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad

Fereidoun (PDF) received his Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg, Germany in 2007. His Ph.D. research applied light transmission methods and image processing to the study of water flow through porous media. In August 2007, he joined the Cold Regions Research Centre as Visiting Research Scientist. His PDF research focused on developing new analytical methods of measuring the physical and hydraulic properties of peat soils using X-ray computed tomography. This research led to improved algorithms for predicting mass and energy flows through organic soils. He is now a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo, and remains an important member of our research team.

Lindsay Stone

Lindsay is studying the hydrology of channel fens at Scotty Creek. She intensively instrumented a 700 m fen connecting Goose Lake and First Lake in the Scotty Creek basin to better understand the flux and storage of water within and from the fen. She also uses the Cold Regions Hydrological Model (CRHM) to improve the understanding of the hydrological functioning of channel fens and how it can change in response to disturbance.

Stacey VanOpstal

Stacey's M.Sc. research is examining the role of black spruce root networks in the redistribution of energy into and from the active layer, and the relative importance of the root network and the soil matrix in providing energy into the ground to thaw the active layer and degrade the underlying permafrost.

Élise Devoie

Élise is pursuing her PhD at the University of Waterloo in hydrological and thermal modelling and plans to apply her skills to improve the understanding of the rate and pattern of permafrost thaw at Scotty Creek. She is a modeller, but also loves to be in the field. That makes her an even better modeller.

Bhaleka Persaud

Bhaleka is studying how climate in the Fort Simpson (NWT) region has changed over the last half century. Her work on how the changing climatic conditions have influenced stream flows is an important complement to other work within the team that is focussed on how permafrost thaw has affected steam flows.

Caren Ackley

Caren is studying how forest fires alter the physical and hydraulic properties of peat and how these changes affect both the quantity and quality of runoff.

Geoff Kershaw

Geoff is pursuing his PhD on the ecological and hydrological impacts of permafrost thaw on peat palsas and peat plateaus in alpine tundra environments near the NWT - Yukon border. Scotty Creek provides a lowland comparison for his studies.

Joelle Langford

Joelle is pursuing her M.Sc. at Western University. She is generating a permafrost plateau model using FEFLOW to simulate thaw and its interactions with groundwater.

Julie Mai

Julie received her Ph.D. in 2011 at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig, Germany. After a first PostDoc at that institute, she moved to University of Waterloo in September 2016 and joined our research programme. Her expertise is in modelling and computational analyses like parameter estimation, sensitivity analysis and uncertainty analysis. She is further strongly interested in the development of robust and widely applicable computer codes.

Olivia Carpino

Olivia is pursuing her M.Sc. at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on permafrost thaw-induced land cover change and evaluating the suitability of remote sensing-based land cover classification as a predictor for permafrost distribution.

Gabriel Gosselin

Gabriel is a Research Technician based at the University of Montreal for the Changing Arctic Network (CANet). His expertise is on hydrometerological instrumentation, including eddy co-variance systems.

Recent Graduate Student's Project