Katherine, an assistant professor in the Soil Science department at the U of S, is the lead investigator for this project. Her research focuses on biologically mediated nitrogen input and nitrogen cycling in arctic, alpine and boreal ecosystems to identify means of restoring sustainable pathways that promote long-term ecosystem health. She is bringing a wealth of knowledge on restoration techniques and biological soil crusts that will help guide this project.
Eric, an associate professor in the Plant Sciences department, is a co-investigator on this project. His research focuses on plant community diversity, composition, and plant-soil interactions. Eric has experience working in tundra landscapes, as well as restoration in Saskatchewan rangelands. His excellent plant identification skills and knowledge of statistical ecology are essential in this project.
Steven, a professor in the Soil Science department, is a co-investigator on this project. His research focuses on how humans poison soil and how soil poisons humans. As an Industrial Research Chair, Steven has worked with industry on developing new tools to clean up contaminated sites. His expertise in the realms of soil science and invertebrates, and northern ecology are integral for this project.
Alix is the project and education coordinator for this project. She has a PhD in Biology, and with six summers spent in the boreal forest is well prepared for helping ensure the success of the project. Her past research focused on tree responses to disturbances in the boreal forest. During her time as a graduate student Alix was a teaching assistant for many different ecology courses, of which some included hands-on field trips into boreal and grassland ecosystems.
Phaedra joined the project as a PhD student in the summer of 2018, having just completed her MSc from Trent University in Environmental and Life Sciences and a BSc in Restoration Ecology. Her past research focused on the use of mosses as biomonitoring tools to indicate areas of elevated concentrations of atmospheric pollutants across Canada. Phaedra, who is supervised by Katherine, will be focusing on the role of biological soil crusts in arctic ecosystem development as part of this project. As a budding bryologist, she is an important addition to the project!
Ian completed his BSc in Renewable Resource Management at the U of S and started his MSc, under the co-supervision of Katherine and Eric, in May 2019. Ian will be working on the restoration trial for this project. His focus will be on biological soil crust recovery and development in the trial, as well as characterizing the invertebrate community within the trial and undisturbed tundra nearby. Ian is excited to improve his bryophyte and invertebrate identification skills and better understand different mine restoration approaches.
A special thank you to our amazing University of Saskatchewan undergraduate and graduate students, and Rankin Inlet youth for their hard work as field assistants in 2018 and 2019!