Richard Petrone


EV1-223, ext. 49174

Rich’s research is focused on developing a further understanding of soil – vegetation – atmosphere interactions, especially as influenced by hydrologic and climatic conditions. Specific questions of interest to him include trace gas exchange in wetland and forested systems, interactions between vegetation and hydrology and climate (weather), and modeling the impacts of climatic and land-use stresses on these linkages. Rich’s research currently focuses on high latitude systems, specifically the Western Boreal Forest, where he is actively involved with these research questions and their applicability to landscape reclamation. However, he is also a lead-PI and node leader in the Southern Ontario Water Consortium where he is examining the effects of agriculture and landuse change on water quantity and quality in Southern Ontario. Rich is also one of the core faculty members in the Master’s of Climate Change Program. Visit my research website.

Key Areas of Graduate Supervision
Ecohydrology, hydrometeorology, climatology, micrometeorology, climate change, biogeochemistry, greenhouse gases, reclamation, landuse change, forest hydrology

Recent Courses Taught
GEM 641: Physical Dimensions of Climate Change
GEM642: Introductory Micrometeorology

Research Interests

My present research focuses on catchment ecohydrological processes and their influence on wetland permanence, wetland reclamation and forest hydroclimatological and biogeochemical processes in stressed northern ecosystems (Western Boreal Forest, Subarctic Wetland-Tundra). This involves combining theoretical, laboratory and fieldwork examining micrometeorological, hydrological and trace gas exchange in heterogeneous vegetated systems. My research philosophy is grounded in the belief that the development of theory and experimentation must progress in conjunction with one another. My long-term objectives involve issues of scaling in the development of fully coupled biogeochemical-hydrological models of climate change while developing realistic sound strategies for adapting to potential climate and landuse change scenarios, with specific applications post-industrial disturbance reclamation.

Current research projects include examining and linking hydrology, ecology and disturbance in the Western Boreal Forest; restoration/reclamation of wetland ecosystems impacted by oil and gas, and soil sands development; carbon and water exchange in the Boreal-Subarctic transition zone; the role of ice in high latitude wetland ecohydrological processes; and carbon-nutrient cycling in temperate multiple landuse agricultural basins.

Recent Publications

  • Observed and projected impacts of climate change on the sustainability of subarctic ponds, Churchill region, Manitoba” M.L. Macrae, L.C. Brown, C.R. Duguay, J.A. Parrott and R.M. Petrone (In Press in – Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research – 10/13)
  • Moving toward consistent ALS monitoring of forest attributes across Canada; a consortium approach” C. Hopkinson, L. Chasmer, D. Colville, R.A. Fournier, R.J. Hall, J. Luther, T. Milne, R.M. Petrone, B. St-Onge (Photogrammetric Engineering & Remote Sensing, 2013, 79(2):159-173)
  • CO2 Exchanges within Zones of Rapid Conversion from Permafrost Plateau to Bog and Fen Land Cover Types” L. Chasmer, A.J. Kenward, W. Quinton  and R.M. Petrone (Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 2012, 44(4), 399411)
  • Fusion of Airborne LiDAR and WorldView-2 MS Data for Classification of Depth to Permafrost within Canada’s Sub-Arctic” L. Chasmer, C. Hopkinson, R.M. Petrone and W. Quinton” (IProceedsing of the SilviLaser Conference, Hobart, Australia, October 16-20, 2011)
  • Permafrost loss and a new approach to the study of subarctic ecosystems in transition” W.L. Quintion, L.E. Chasmer & R.M. Petrone (Proceedings of Cold Regions Hydrology in a Changing Climate Symposium, IUGG2011 in Melbourne, Australia, July 2011, IAHS Piblication 346, 98 - 102)
  • The influence of rooting zone soil moisture on evapotranspiration from above and within a Western Boreal Plain aspen forest”    S. M. Brown, R. M. Petrone, L. Chasmer, C. Mendoza, M.S. Lazerjan, S. Landhausser & K. J. Devito (Hydrological Processes, 2013, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9879)
  • Reclamation for aspen revegetation: understanding soil moisture dynamics through unsaturated flow modelling”  Carrera-Hernandez, J.J., Mendoza, C.A., Devito, K.J., Petrone, R.M. & Smerdon, B.D. (Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 2011, 92, 103 - 116)
  • Sensitivity of modelled actual evapotranspiration to canopy characteristics within the Western Boreal Plain, Alberta” Chasmer, L., Petrone, R.M., Brown, S.M.,  Hopkinson, C., Mendoza, C., Diiwu, J., Quinton, W. & Devito, K.J. (Proceedings of the Remote Sensing Hydrology symposium, September 2010. , Jackson, Wyoming, USA: International Association of Hydrological Sciences. Redbook publication, 2011, 352:337-340)