On February 27th, the Faculty of Environment is hosting yet another Enivornment Seminar Series! More specifically, this installment of the Environment Seminar Series will focus on PhD students from across the faculty to give short presentations based around their work. PhD students from the Faculty of Environment, Truzaar Dordi and Percy Erasmus Korsah will be presenting their research and showcasing what they have been working on. Truzaar Dordi will be speaking on decarbonization paradigms in social and financial spheres, and Percy Erasmus Korsah will be speaking on the impact of seismic lines on carbon cycling in boreal peatlands, through a microbial perspective. After each of the presentations, there will be an oppourtinty to ask any questions in the Q&A session surrounding their research.
The Environment Seminar Series will be taking place at St Paul’s Greenhouse (STP 164) at 12:00 p.m., with free lunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 27th. Students, faculty and other members of the ENV community will be in attendance, all are welcome!
For more information on the topics being discussed, please refer to both abstracts:
Decarbonization Paradigms in Social and Financial Spheres
To keep global warming under 2°C, most of the existing carbon reserves can not be burned. Our rapidly depleting carbon budget frames a stark contrast between a safe climate future and continued fossil fuel production. This presentation traces the legitimization of a carbon-constrained future in two disparate but interrelated realms - social movements and the financial sector – and charts the adoption of a 2°C carbon budget from the fringes to the mainstream. We conclude with an examination of self-reinforcing dynamics, highlighting overlapping implications for actors across finance and social movements.
Percy Erasmus Korsah
Impact of seismic lines on carbon cycling in boreal peatlands; a microbial perspective
Global focus on greenhouse gas emissions is currently at its peak due to overwhelming concerns over climate change. Peatlands, one of nature’s efficient and functional systems for carbon storage, are threatened by both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The extensive network of linear disturbances in the Canadian boreal region; such as seismic lines (created for geologic exploration) and roads could alter the carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane exchange in peatlands, as well as long-term carbon storage. We investigated microbial interactions driving carbon flow in peatlands by assessing changes in microbial communities and functional diversity and determining soil respiration rates. Peat samples from seismic lines and surrounding undisturbed areas were transported from four different wooded peatlands in Peace River, Alberta, including bog and fen and wide and narrow seismic lines. The MicroRESP technique was implemented using 15 carbon sources and Milli-Q Water as a control with samples run in triplicate. There were differences in CO2 production rates from substrates between bogs and fens. Shifts in substrate use on lines relative to undisturbed areas indicate that key microbial players are dependent on the type of disturbance introduced to peatlands. Future work will link these results to field greenhouse gas flux measurements and changes in local microclimatic conditions to better understand the drivers of peatland carbon cycling on seismic lines.
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