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Laurier Institute for Water Science

Brent Wolfe among group to receive $4M in funding

Sep 9/11

WLU Headlines (News Releases)

Laurier Arctic researcher among group to receive $4M in government funding

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Sep 9/11

Contact:

Brent Wolfe, Associate Professor
NSERC Northern Research Chair
519-884-0710 ext. 3470 or bwolfe@wlu.ca

or 

Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3070 or kcrowley@wlu.ca

WATERLOO – Laurier Professor Brent Wolfe, who holds a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Northern Research Chair, is one of 15 leading Canadian Arctic researchers who have been awarded $4 million over the next five years under NSERC’s Discovery Frontiers Northern Earth System program.

The team’s project – called ADAPT: Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition – is being led by Warwick Vincent, a professor in the Biology Department at Université Laval. Wolfe will collaborate with Vincent on studies to determine the effects of hydrological change on greenhouse gas emission rates of thermokarst lakes, which are created due to the thawing of permafrost.

“This is an incredible opportunity to launch leading-edge collaborative and transformative research in permafrost science,” said Wolfe, who is an associate professor in Laurier’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. “Our findings will contribute important new knowledge regarding the effects of permafrost thaw on ecosystems, northern communities and infrastructure.”

This new research opportunity will take Wolfe to the eastern (Quebec) side of Hudson Bay. To date, Wolfe’s northern research has seen him working on floodplain lakes in the Peace-Athabasca Delta (northern Alberta) and Slave River Delta (Northwest Territories), and on thermokarst lakes in the Old Crow Flats (Yukon) and in the western Hudson Bay Lowlands (northern Manitoba). His work has involved determining how water levels of lakes have changed over time in response to climate change and other stressors.
Wolfe said his funding will primarily be used to support two new PhD students, and for travel and the cost of analysis work.

The 15 researchers involved in the ADAPT project have expertise in natural sciences and engineering, and will provide an unprecedented pan-Canadian view of permafrost dynamics. The group’s members already have research sites extending across Northern Canada, including Yukon, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Labrador, and both sides of Hudson Bay.

There are four modules in the ADAPT project. Wolfe is part of the second module, which is headed by Scott Lamoureux, an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Queen’s University, called Permafrost and Aquatic Ecosystems.

The other three modules include: Permafrost Dynamics in Natural and Engineered Environments, Microbes and Biogeochemical Fluxes of Nutrients and Carbon, and Tundra Ecosystems: Vegetation and Wildlife.

The NSERC announcement is available at http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease-CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=291.

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