Physical Geography

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Kira Borden
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • Plant root-soil dynamics
  • Subsurface/root imaging technologies
  • Temperate (tree-based intercropping) and tropical agroecosystems (cocoa agroforestry)
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Email: kira.borden@utoronto.ca

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Laura Bryson
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MSc Student
Research Interests
:
  • tropical rainforest conservation
  • rural poverty alleviation
  • impact of protected areas
  • GIS and spatial analysis
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E-mail: laura.bryson@mail.utoronto.ca
Office: SS 618

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Alex Cebulski
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MSc Student
Research Interests
:
  • Fluvial Geomorpholgy of Cariboo Lake, BC
  • Watershed Analysis
  • Limnology
  • Spatial Analysis
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Email: alexcebulski@gmail.com

Cell: 519-494-2412

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Phuong D. Dao
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • Remote Sensing
  • Drought
  • Geographic Information System
  • Plant physiology
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University of Toronto
Office: William G. Davis Building, Rm. 3207
            Sidney Smith Hall, Rm. 617A
Email: phuong.dao@mail.utoronto.ca
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Parastoo Hosseini
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • Remote Sensing
  • Carbon Modelling
  • Plant Physiology
  • GIS
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Office: Sydney Smith Hall, Room 5027B
Email: parastoo.hosseinibenhangi@mail.utoronto.ca
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Catherine L. Jimenea
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • Smart cities: definitions and frameworks
  • Smart buildings
  • Low-energy buildings
  • Whole building energy modelling
  • Building energy use
  • Energy efficiency
  • GCC countries
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c.jimenea@mail.utoronto.ca

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Xiangzhong Luo
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • carbon, water and energy cycles
  • remote sensing
  • vegetation structure
  • phenology
  • water management
  • GIS
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Contact Information
  • English name: Remi
  • Office: Room 307B, Physical Geography Building
  • Email: xiangzhong.luo@mail.utoronto.ca
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Justin Murfitt
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MSc Student
Research Interests
:

My interests are using remote sensing technologies to assess lake phenology events. This involves monitoring the process of formation and decay remotely as well as determining the timing of break and freeze up. Also included is an investigation into the processes that affect the timing of break up and freeze up.

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Telephone: 905 466 3496

Email: justin.murfitt@mail.utoronto.ca

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Kevin Ng
,
MSc Student
Research Interests
:
  • Mercury biogeochemical cycling
  • Hydrology
  • Wetlands
  • Riparian environments
  • Stable isotopes
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University of Toronto – Scarborough
1265 Military Trail (EV340), Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4

University of Toronto – St. George
100 St. George Street (SS596), Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3

Email: kevinkf.ng@mail.utoronto.ca

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Cameron Proctor
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • Methane Process Modelling
  • Wetlands
  • Remote Sensing

Supervisor: Dr. Vincent Robinson & Dr. Yuhong He

A biogeochemical-hydrological coupled model for spatially explicit wetland CH4 flux simulation

     Despite its low atmospheric concentration, methane (CH4) accounts for 20% of total radiative forcing and is the second most powerful greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Owing to the predominance of anaerobic conditions, wetlands are the strongest biogenic contributor to atmospheric CH4, emitting between 80 and 260 Tg CH4 annually1. However, the wide range in estimates of CH4 flux indicates an inability to accurately model the complex processes that govern the CH4 cycle. Simulating CH4 dynamics involves replicating a series of interacting processes driven by climate, hydrology, nutrient availability and vegetative controls. At the decameter scale, hydrological controls are likely to be the dominant component that enhance or attenuate CH4 flux at the sediment-atmosphere interface. Water table depth strongly influences a mosaic of biotic and abiotic factors such as soil redox potential, which influences CH4 production and consumption2. Duration of standing water also controls the type of colonizing vegetation, which has downstream implications for labile carbon availability and plant mediated CH4 transport3. However, hydrologic dynamics are difficult to predict and existing models of CH4 flux usually ignore the hydrological controls that govern them. Integration of spatially explicit hydrological representation in process models is an essential requirement to achieve realistic simulation of wetland CH4 flux.

My objective is to develop a tightly coupled biogeochemical-hydrological simulator of spatially explicit CH4 flux at the decameter scale. In particular, he Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator (BEPS) fused with the TerrainLabV2.0 hydrological model will be modified to simulate hydrological and biogeochemical processes in Mer Bleue Bog. Mer Bleue will be an ideal testing ground as it has simple hydrology that been previously quantified4 and the required remote sensing inputs are available. Additional model subcomponents for BEPS will be developed to simulate soil redox dynamics and plant mediated transport. Soil redox potential will vary with water table depth and the balance of oxygen diffusion from the atmosphere against microorganism consumption5. Soil fluxes will be the net of CH4 production in the lower anaerobic soil, minus oxidation as CH4 diffuses upward through the oxic soil layer. In addition to soil diffusion, the potential for CH4 to bypass oxidation through plant mediated transport by thermo-osmosis gas flow6 will be determined. CH4 production will be temperature dependent, with base rates modified by the availability of methanogenic substrates and hydrologically controlled soil moisture. To validate new model subcomponents, static flux chambers and pore water samples will be employed over two growing seasons to coincidentally observe soil redox potential and vascular plant transport. Model performance will be evaluated against multi-year CH4 flux records from numerous static chamber monitoring stations and eddy covariance observations of carbon dioxide flux serving as a CH4 proxy. Simulation experiments will be conducted to examine the sensitivity of model predictions to initial conditions, model parameters and climate drivers.

Existing process models often have low correlation between modeled and observed CH4 fluxes. Utilizing spatially explicit hydrological representation may improve model performance by identifying hot spots of CH4 flux, subsequently catching the seasonal and interannual variations that contribute to the uncertainty in the estimates of total CH4 flux.

 

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Office: SSH 5025
Email: cameron.proctor@utoronto.ca

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Alexis Robinson
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • Cryosphere
  • Cold Region Hydrology
  • Remote Sensing
  • Climate Change

 

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email: alexis.robinson@mail.utoronto.ca

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Cheryl Rogers
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • Remote Sensing
  • Carbon Cycle
  • GIS
  • Climate Change
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Office: Sidney Smith Hall, Rm. 5026C

Email: cheryl.rogers@mail.utoronto.ca

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Sarah-Anne Seale
,
MSc Student
Research Interests
:
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Geographic information systems
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sarahanne.seale@mail.utoronto.ca

Xiaojun Su
Xiaojun Su
,
MSc Student
Research Interests
:
  • Air quality analysis;
  • Statistical downscaling for GCMs;
  • Climate change impact;
  • SDSM, R, Matlab

 

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Email: xiaojun.su@mail.utoronto.ca

Office: SS595

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Pamela Tetford
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Physical Geography PhD Student
Research Interests
:
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Urbanization impact on soil and stream erosion
  • Modelling and spatial analysis of land surface and fluvial processes
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
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email: pam.tetford@mail.utoronto.ca

Office: ES3095, Geomorphology laboratory

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Victoria Wisniewski
,
MSc Student
Research Interests
:

High Arctic Limnology and Biogeochemistry; Methylmercury Cycling; Wetland Biogeochemistry, and Greenhouse Gas Quantification; Carbon Cycling.

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victoria.wisniewski@mail.utoronto.ca