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Our Team

Led by Laurier researchers, Northern Water Futures is an interdisciplinary team made up of partners from across Canada including different institutions, organizations and communities working collaboratively to address water issues in the Northwest Territories.

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Principal Investigators

  • Jennifer Baltzer, Canada Research Chair in Forests and Global Change; Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University

Project Co-Investigators

Wilfrid Laurier University

  • Alison Blay-Palmer, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Chair in Sustainable Food Systems; Associate Professor, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • William Quinton, Director, Cold Regions Research Centre; Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Michael English, Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Derek Gray, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
  • Deborah MacLatchy, President and Vice-Chancellor; Professor, Department of Biology
  • Philip Marsh, Canada Research Chair in Cold Regions Water Science; Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Jason Venkiteswaran, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Brent Wolfe, Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

McGill University

  • Jeff McKenzie, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

University of Calgary

  • Masaki Hayashi, Canada Research Chair in Physical Hydrology; Professor, Department of Geoscience

University of Guelph

  • Merritt Turetsky, Canada Research Chair in Integrative Ecology; Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Biology

Université de Montréal

  • Oliver Sonnentag, Canada Research Chair in Atmospheric Biogeochemistry in High Latitudes; Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

University of Saskatchewan

  • Christopher Spence, Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography and Planning; Research Scientist, National Hydrology Research Centre, Environment and Climate Change Canada

University of Waterloo

  • James Craig, Canada Research Chair in Hydrologic Modeling and Analysis and Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chris Derksen, Research Scientist - Cryosphere and Climate Interaction, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Roland Hall, Professor, Department of Biology
  • Brian Laird, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health and Health Systems
  • David Rudolph, Professor and Chair, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Sherry Schiff, Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Kelly Skinner, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health and Health Systems
  • Heidi Swanson, University Research Chair; Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

Collaborators

  • Leon Andrew, Sahtú Renewable Resources Board/Ɂehdzo Got’ı̨nę Gots’ę́ Nákedı
  • Aaron Berg, University of Guelph
  • Julia Boike, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research: Research Unit Potsdam
  • Simon Courtenay, University of Waterloo
  • Brian Branfireun, Western University
  • Joseph Culp, Wilfrid Laurier University, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Isabelle de Grandpré, Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Kevin Devito, University of Alberta
  • Jennifer Fresque-Baxter, Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Audrey Giles, University of Ottawa
  • Stephan Gruber, Carleton University
  • Steve Kokelj, Government of the Northwest Territories, Northwest Territories Geological Survey
  • George Low, Deh Cho Aboriginal Aquatic Resources and Oceans Management
  • James McLaughlin, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • Craig Scott, Ecology North
  • Rob Scincariol, Western University
  • Melaine Simba, Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation
  • Mark Servos, University of Waterloo
  • Sharon Smith, Natural Resources Canada
  • Suzanne Tank, University of Alberta
  • Stephen Wolfe, Natural Resources Canada
  • Sonia Wesche, University of Ottawa

Staff

Meghan works with the NWF team as the Project Manager. She was a Division One, NCAA, scholarship athlete in the sport of swimming at the University of South Carolina, where she studied both Marine Science and Public Health. She holds a MSc in Global Health, which focused on the impacts of offshore drilling on Canadian Arctic marine food security and is particularly interested in the adaptive capacity of health and food systems to climate change in the north. To this position, Meghan brings a wide range of research and project management experience, both in Canada and internationally, working with academic, non-governmental and consulting organizations.
  • Heather Dixon, GWF Research Associate, Biomonitoring, Wilfrid Laurier University

Heather moved from the UK to Canada in 2011 to pursue a PhD at the University of Waterloo, where she investigated Atlantic salmon marine feeding using stable isotopes and gut contents analyses. After completing her PhD, Heather worked at the Atlantic Salmon Federation in New Brunswick, researching Atlantic salmon survival during their migration to the ocean using acoustic telemetry. As the Research Associate in Biomonitoring in the Global Water Futures programme, Heather is looking forward to investigating contaminant levels and trophic interactions in the food webs of subarctic lakes in The Northwest Territories, and linking these with abiotic and biotic factors.

  • Ana Sniderhan, GWF Research Associate, Ecosystem Resilience, Wilfrid Laurier University

Ana completed her PhD at Laurier, studying the growth dynamics of black spruce in northwestern boreal forests. Her research primarily used tree-ring records to determine how these iconic boreal trees have changed their growth patterns over recent history, but she also performed experiments with black spruce seedlings to help predict the resilience of the black spruce to a changing environment. As the Ecosystem Resilience Research Associate, Ana will continue to work on questions concerning the broader plant community and changes the terrestrial environment is facing in the Northwest Territories.

  • Andrew Spring, GWF Research Associate, Northern Canada Knowledge Networks, Wilfrid Laurier University

Andrew completed his PhD in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Laurier. Andrew’s research looks at food security and climate change in the Northwest Territories and is part of the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems. As the Research Associate, Northern Canada Knowledge Networks, Andrew’s work will focus on building a broad network of communities, NGOs, and government agencies in support of Laurier’s northern research initiatives and develop tools to effectively mobilize knowledge to stakeholders.

  • Gopal Saha, GWF Research Associate, Data Management, Wilfrid Laurier University

Gopal obtained his PhD in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia, where he investigated climate and land use changes impacts on groundwater-surface water interaction in the Kiskatinaw River Watershed, northeast British Columbia. As the Data Management Research Associate, Gopal’s will work with Laurier researchers to support all aspects of data management, analysis, policy, access and archiving for GWF projects.

  • Casey Beel, Seniro Research Associate, Hydrometeorology, Wilfried Laurier University

Based out of the Yellowknife research office, Casey Beel works within the GWF team examining hydrometeorological change in the Northwest Territories.
Beel is in the final stages of his PhD from Queen’s University, where he is investigating the impact and response of river systems to permafrost degradation and hydrometeorological change in the Canadian High Arctic. Prior to joining Laurier, he completed two master's degrees, one in quaternary geology at Purdue University (USA), and the other in fluvial geomorphology at the University of Otago (New Zealand).

  • Niels Weiss, Research Associate, Permafrost, Wilfrid Laurier University

Based out of the Yellowknife research office, Niels Weiss works within a research team focused on monitoring changing permafrost in the NWT. His work aims to understand permafrost landscape sensitivity by linking permafrost change to climatic, hydrologic, and geomorphologic change, as well as infrastructure and resource development.

Niels completed his PhD in physical geography at Stockholm University (Sweden) where he studied permafrost carbon quantity, quality, and dynamics. He worked in permafrost environments in northern Scandinavia and Russia, focusing on the fate of organic matter following thaw and thaw-induced landscape change. Before joining Laurier, Niels was a postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University with Stephan Gruber, where he worked on a collaborative pan-Canadian synthesis of recent permafrost change.