Dr. Rich Petrone

Rich PetroneI received my Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in 2002, at which time I accepted a faculty position at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. In July 2004, I was appointed the Director of the Cold Regions Research Centre and served in that capacity until 2013. In 2013 I moved to the Department of Geography & Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo.

My 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 me 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.

My present research focuses on catchment hydrometeorological and ecohydrological processes and their influence on wetland permanence, wetland reclamation and forest hydrological 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.