Associate Professor, Geography | University of Guelph

Research Themes

Climate Variability Impacts on Runoff Generation and Duration

Climate uncertainty and its impacts on surface processes, specifically related to the hydrological cycle is by far one of the biggest challenges facing society today.  My research program aims to address how climate variability impacts stream runoff and flow duration through a number of projects and different collaborations.  This work is geographically focused along a north-south transect between the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario, Canada and the Catskill Mountains in central New York State, USA.  Focusing on discharge data from the Water Survey of Canada and the United States Geological Survey, streamflow is evaluated alongside climate and land use data in a particular region.  The work along this transect is progressing a different rates and involves research collaborations with Dr. J. Lindsay (U of G), Dr. A. Berg (U of G), Dr. J Garver (Union College), the Schoharie River Center (NY, USA), the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association (ON, Canada), and several former and continuing student collaborators.

 

Watershed-scale Sediment Transport and Delivery Processes

Changes to sediment transfer and deposition can pose threats to aquatic ecosystems, transportation corridors, and infrastructure, as well as other activities within a watershed.  I would argue that without dedicated field research approaches, combined with paleoenvironmental methods to extend beyond instrument records, our understanding of these systems is incomplete. My research program aims to addresses these multifaceted issues through a unique approach that combines contemporary process monitoring, and analyses of sedimentary records, to explain sedimentary yield trends beyond instrumentation time periods.  This aspect of my research started with my graduate work focused on processes in cold regions and has extended to working in landscapes impacted by human activities (e.g., agriculture, urban development).  My research collaborations related to this work include Dr. S. Lamoureux (Queen’s University), Dr. M. Pisaric (Brock University), Dr. J. Lindsay (U of G), Dr. A. Berg (U of G), Dr. J. Garver (Union College), Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association, Bruce Peninsula National Park, and several former and current student collaborators.

 

Ecohydrology, Stream Restoration and Urban Streams

Urban development is a tangible example of how humans modify the Earth’s surface and subsequently impact watershed processes.  In the Greater Toronto Area (ON, Canada), urban development adds additional stress to aquatic habitats and frequently stream restoration is under taken to remediate these problems. In collaboration with Dr. P. Villard (GEO Morphix, Ltd.) and several former and current students, my research program is investigating themes in resilient restoration design as it influences ecohydrology and habitat suitability.  This work is primarily focused on reach and geomorphic unit scale hydraulics in both modified and unmodified channels.