Rebecca Frei | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 12/09/2023
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
South Academic Building (SAB) 150, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB

Event details: A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES PhD Final Exam Seminar by Rebecca Frei. This seminar is open to the general public to attend.

Zoom Link:

PhD with Dr. David Olefeldt.

Thesis Topic: Consequences of peatland disturbance for dissolved organic matter and nutrient transport and fate in northern catchments


Climate change and land conversion are disturbing northern peatlands, affecting the transport of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) to inland waters. However, the downstream fate of DOC and nutrients from disturbed peatlands is uncertain at catchment- to continental-scales, with consequences for local water quality and freshwater biogeochemical fluxes. I studied how peatland disturbances (peat extraction, wildfire, permafrost thaw) affected the magnitude, composition, and fate of DOC and nutrients at multiple scales. I conducted 3 years of field and laboratory research on 55 nested watersheds (1–180 km2) in central Alberta with peatlands affected by wildfire and peat extraction. Additionally, I used a systematic review and random forest modeling to upscale DOC concentration and yield across high-latitude peatland catchments, advancing our understanding of current and future (end of century) DOC fate in northern river networks. This work helps inform water quality management and advances understanding of freshwater ecosystems’ role in global biogeochemical cycles.

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