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Interested in learning more about our research, field sites, or experiments? Feel free to explore the contents of this website, or contact us directly.


We are always looking for self-motivated, enthusiastic, and capable students to work with us. We support both graduate and undergraduate students in gaining experience with northern field ecology.




Phone: 519.824.4120 x56166

Office: SSC 2469

Lab: SSC 2407/2408

Lab Members


Dr. Merritt Turetsky

Principal Investigator

Dr. Turetsky has more than 20 years of experience working in boreal and arctic ecosystems. Her work contributes to theoretical predictions of ecosystem structure and function, but it also applies to regulation of carbon in a global change world.


Dr. Turetsky has played leading roles in the Permafrost Carbon Network, NASA's ABoVE campaign, and the recently formed Canadian Permafrost Association. She sits on the executive committees of several international research networks and was selected this year as a AAAS Leshner Science Engagement Fellow.


She is passionate about northern ecosystems and the people who depend on them. Through her research and teaching, she hopes to train the next generation of scientists in the interdisciplinary skills required to tackle ongoing challenges in the north related to food and water security, energy sustainability, carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, and landscape change.

A complete list of papers and publications can be viewed here.         @queenofpeat


Dr. Catherine Dieleman

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Catherine was recently awarded a prestigious NSERC postdoctoral fellowship and has played a central role in several NASA ABoVE funded projects related to wildfire activity in Canada. In the past couple of years, she also initiated an ambitious experiment testing the effects of deep nitrogen fertilization on permafrost ecosystem greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Kathe Todd-Brown

Post-Doctoral Researcher

Kathe recently started a research associate position in between the Turetsky lab and Jennifer Baltzer's group at Wilfrid Laurier University. With funding from Tides Canada and the government of the Northwest Territories, we are quantifying the potential for carbon storage in forests and wetlands in northwestern Canada. Kate will use data- and process-driven models to quantify ecosystem services such as carbon accumulation in proposed protected areas in the Northwest Territories.


Ph.D. Students

Carolyn Gibson

Ph.D. Candidate

Carolyn is interested in landscape change and its impacts on communities in the north. Her MSc research at the University of Alberta quantified rates of wildfire-induced permafrost thaw and carbon losses associated with thaw. Carolyn's Ph.D research focuses on interdisciplinary approaches melding permafrost geoscience with Traditional knowledge to address the ecological and social consequences of landscape change associated with fire-permafrost thaw interactions.          @CarolynG_22

Will Cox

Ph.D. Candidate

Will spent the summer of 2018 in Alaska as part of the APEX crew and recently arrived in Guelph to begin his PhD. A self-described moss lover, we are excited to see what questions he comes up with regarding changes in these cryptic species!


David Bysouth

Ph.D. Candidate

David recent completed his MSc research on peatland paleoecology at the University of Toronto and will be developing his PhD work to focus on agroecology in peat-rich soils of the Northwest Territories. This is an emerging topic of research in the Turetsky lab and we are excited to see how David's ideas develop!


Christine Dulal-Whiteway

Ph.D. Candidate

Christine completed her BSc. in Marine and Freshwater Biology at Guelph. Following this, she completed her Master's in Biology at Western University, where she studied the effects of environmental parameters on the toxicity of a harmful algae species. As part of the Food from Thought initiative at Guelph, Christine will focus on the effects of agriculture on the biogeochemistry and metabolism of stream ecosystems within the Lake Erie watershed.


Zhichao Jiao

Ph.D. Candidate

After completing a MSc thesis on soil science at the University of Alberta, Zhichao joined the lab to gain more experience in soil ecology. He is utilizing the Bonanza Creek LTER regional site network to examine long term changes in soil carbon and nitrogen stocks and quality in response to wildfire and shifts between conifer and deciduous dominance.


M.Sc. Students

Kristen Bill

M.Sc. Candidate


Kristen is currently researching post-fire succession in Canadian boreal forests, specifically in the Northwest Territories' Taiga plains ecozone. She completed her BSc. in environmental science at UoG and has crossed the path to the Integrated Biology department. Kristen is interested in the mechanisms causing forest state shifts from coniferous to deciduous after moderate to severe fires.          @kristenbill95


Undergraduate Students

Emily Ogden

Undergraduate, BSc.

After spending the summer of 2018 working on the NWT fire crew, Emily is back in Guelph and ready to tackle an undergraduate thesis. She will be quantifying the effects of human and natural disturbance and a range of other landscape variables on fire severity.

​​          @elogden

Jessica McCuaig

Undergraduate, BSc.Bios.

Jessica is currently in her final year in the Biological Sciences at Guelph. She has enjoyed many days covered in soil in the Turetsky lab where she supports the team's research. When she is not in lab she is hiking with her dog Paisley through any forest they can find. 


Evan Schijns

Undergraduate, BAS

Evan spent the summer 2018 on the Alaska crew and is taking on an undergraduate research project far before his senior year! As part of an independent research course, Evan will be exploring relationships between vegetation, topography, and water chemistry using data that he collected this summer.

​​          @BioGeoEcoEvan

Julie Trus

Undergraduate, BSc.Envs.

Julie is currently a BSc.Envs. student at the University of Guelph. She became interested in wetlands during her previous education at Algonquin College in the Environmental Technician program, and became a Turetsky lab member in her first year at Guelph. Julie is excited to continue having moss/fire/permafrost/soil/Northwest Territories/boot-filled experiences and to contribute to the Turetsky lab's amazing research.


Lab Alumni

Click here to view former lab members!