Research

I am broadly interested in environmental change as it relates to terrestrial ecosystems and regions. Specifically, I am interested in the following areas of research:

  • Climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation;
  • Sustainable resource management;
  • Tree-ring science (dendrochronology);
  • Tree ecophysiology, and;
  • Knowledge mobilization.


Bridge Glacier in early September 2016 following a light dusting of snow (Photo: Bryan Mood). 

Current Research

Drought legacy responses from three disparate species in the Canadian Prairies – Working with the University of Saskatchewan, Conservation Learning Centre, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, we are developing a comparative study of how drought impacts three species with disparate geographic distributions. The results of this study are expected to be submitted for publication in December 2021.

Past Research Projects

Caribou Range Planning and Offset Strategies – I worked closely with the Caribou Team with the Government of Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment to develop toolkits to help understand mitigation and offsetting strategies in Saskatchewan’s Boreal Plain as it related to habitat management.

White spruce drought legacies – I developed a spatial network of tree-ring chronologies south of white spruce’s natural range to understand their ecological plasticity. The work was conducted in collaboration with Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Dr. Barrie Bonsal. The results show that white spruce can, and will likely, survive in the boreal forest following climate change and that drought impacts may be overestimated. The species is especially sensitive, and takes years to recover, from long (3 month) summer droughts. This work resulted in a publication: Multi-year white spruce drought legacies in southern Saskatchewan.

Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Programme (Post-Doctoral) – From 2019-2021, I focused on climate change knowledge mobilization in Saskatchewan. My research team and I developed a shelterbelt decision support system to help the province’s landowners better understand what tree species they should be planting under a range of future climate conditions (www.shelterbelt-sk.ca). Furthermore, we illustrated the amount of CO2 sequestered by trees over time, their economic value, and much more though our internet-based application. A publication describing the work has been submitted for publication.

Complementing this research, I modelled the dollar-value of trees based on future radial growth scenarios for three different RCPs. The information helps landowners and policy analysts understand the multi-layered value of shelterbelt trees as a climate change adaptation and mitigation tool.

UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Interactive Science Atlas – From 2018 to 2018, I helped to develop the UNESCO SNBR Interactive Science Atlas (www.scienceatlas.ca) in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Provincial Government and the Nova Scotia Community College Centre of Geographic Sciences’ Geomatics Research Group. The application allows a range of users to learn and understand their region and discover the incredible scientific research being conducted nearby. The web-based application has a number of interesting functions including educational materials and substantive background information.

Hydroclimatic Reconstructions in the Pacific Ranges (PhD) – From 2015 to 2019, my doctoral research focused on dendroclimatic reconstructions in the southwestern British Columbia with an emphasis on hydroclimatic variability over the past several centuries. As part of my Doctorate of Philosophy program, I developed several comprehensive reconstructions of hydrological variables as they relate to climate including streamflow, snowpack, lake levels, and more. This research is of immediate use to resource managers in the region and links the developed records to important low-frequency climate oscillations.

Two of the four chapters of the dissertation have been published: (1) Three hundred years of snowpack variability in southwestern British Columbia reconstructed from tree-rings and (2) A multi-century July-August streamflow reconstruction of Metro Vancouver’s water supply contribution from the Capilano and Seymour watersheds in southwestern British Columbia, Canada. The final two papers are under revision.

Before hiking to upper Joffre Lake to collect ecological information in 2015 with my field assistants, Lauren Farmer, Octavia Gordon, and Lee Britton (L-R) (Photo: Bryan Mood). 
After hiking to upper Joffre Lake to collect ecological information in 2015. Naps were needed (Photo: Bryan Mood).  

Coast Mountain Glacier History (MSc) – As part of my Master of Science degree (2013-2015) with Dr. Dan Smith and the UVTRL, I completed a research project that involved synthesizing our present understanding of Coast Mountain Holocene Glacier activity. The research project included a case study at Franklin Glacier, near Mt. Waddington in the Pacific Ranges off the BC Coast Mountains. This research project resulted in two publications: (1) a record of glacier activity at Franklin Glacier; and (2) a review of glacier activity throughout the Coast Mountains.

Tiedemann Glacier during the 2015 field season (Photo: Bryan Mood). 

Banff and Jasper National Parks (BSc) – I have conducted geomorphic and ecological research in the Canadian Rockies under the supervision on Dr. Colin P. Laroque from 2010-2012. Research projects included lichenometric studies of the Stutfield Glacier, dendrogeomorphology in the Cavell Valley, and glaciological surveys of the Saskatchewan Glacier.

Stu Murray, Cecilia Jennings, and myself (R-L) traversing the Stutfield Glacier forefield after a long day in the field in Jasper National Park, AB (Photo: Colin Laroque). 

Saskatchewan Agroforestry (Honours project, BSc) – From 2011 to 2013, I was part of a multi-university collaborative program that sought to understand and aid the agroforestry sector in Saskatchewan. I was part of a team that initated general dendrochronologic and dendroclimatic studies on shelterbelt tree species throughout southern Saskatchewan. My part in this collaborate included tree-ring studies of white spruce and the development of an interactive program to aid landowners decide which species to use when they wish to plant new shelterbelts on their land.