Postdoctoral Fellow, Geography and Environmental Management, Faculty of Environment

Scott J. Davidson is a postdoc in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management in the Faculty of Environment. He works with Maria Strack as part of the Wetland Soils & Greenhouse Gas Exchange Lab. Scott has been a postdoc at Waterloo since March of last year.

Scott in EV1 courtyardOriginally from Perthshire, Scotland, Scott moved to England to complete his master’s degree before completing his PhD, split between University of Sheffield, San Diego State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands. While there, he focused on methane emissions in northern Alaska, looking at the effects of climate change on vegetation.

Scott says he made his way to Waterloo because everything just fell into place. After finishing his PhD, he was looking for a postdoc position, a friend suggested he contact Professor Strack. Moving to Waterloo, he says, “I wanted to stay within the field of greenhouse gases but change where I did my fieldwork and expand my work to look at a range of different disturbances.”

Waterloo was a great fit for him, “because Professor Strack collaborates with various industry and government partners and this has opened up many opportunities for me.”

Scott’s research focuses on boreal peatland carbon exchange and in particular the effect of disturbance. “Canada has one of the largest peatland coverages in the world and these are hugely impacted by disturbances. I look at both natural and anthropogenic disturbances and quantify the impact on vegetation, soil and carbon dynamics.” Scott talks about discovering this line of work because of the influence of Helen Hunt in the 1996 Twister film, saying she made him want to be a scientist. Fast forward to his University years, where he ended up taking a geography class and loving it. “I realized, as a nature loving kid, this is what I’m supposed to do, this is where I’m a natural.”

Outside of work, Scott enjoys going to socials at the Grad House and exploring patios throughout Kitchener-Waterloo. Aside from that, he enjoys movies and says in another life, he’d like to be a movie reviewer. Overall, working as a postdoc at Waterloo has been a fantastic opportunity for Scott, “moving here really has been the best thing for my career post PhD and I am very thankful I made the move ‘across the pond’”.

Scott in his office, explaining his research

Scott in his office, explaining his research.

Scott enjoying the midnight sun in Arctic Sweden

Scott enjoying the midnight sun in Arctic Sweden.

University of Waterloo