Post-Doctoral Fellows & Research Associates

Dr. Olena Volik, M.Sc., M.Ed., Ph.D (E-mail)                                                                

Olena’s research focus is on carbon uptake and long-term storage along a salinity gradient within a saline, boreal, peat-forming wetland that represents an adequate model for wetlands reclamation in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region. Specific questions of interest include: reconstruction of temporal salinity change within the wetland using diatom-based transfer function and assessment of the main controls on salinity fluctuation over time; examination of the main controls on organic matter accumulation rate in open-water areas within the wetland over time; evaluation of degree of variability in long-term carbon accumulation rates within terrestrial areas of the wetland and assessment the main drivers of this variability; assessment of the main controls on recent carbon uptake along a salinity gradient. Olena’s study will endeavour to improve our understanding of carbon sequestration in natural saline fens that is useful for advancing fen construction in the region.


Dr. Matthew Elmes, B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D (E-mail)                                                                   

MattMatthew’s research interests are focussed primarily on the variability of peatland-landscape connectivity in the Western Boreal Plain (WBP), northern Alberta, and understanding the implications of climate change on peatlands connected to groundwater flow systems of varying scales (local, intermediate, and regional). Other interests include the effects of wildfire and oil sands mining activities on peatland watershed hydrology in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region of the WBP and associated hydrological feedbacks


Dr. Myroslava Khomik, Ph.D (E-mail)                                                                   

Myroslava is a biogeochemist with experience in terrestrial carbon cycling. In her work, she uses chamber and eddy covariance based methods to measure various components of ecosystem carbon fluxes and relates these to different environmental drivers using empirical modelling and statistics. She works closely with ecosystem modellers, providing them empirical data for model development and validation, and in turn uses their feedback to inform new experiments. She also works with colleagues who are experts in remote sensing, to find ways to improve our ability to estimate carbon emissions from remotely sensed data.

Myroslava’s research interests include improving our understanding of the impacts of land management practices and extreme weather events on soil and ecosystem greenhouse gas emissions. She is also interested in improving our understanding of various drivers of soil carbon emissions and in using that knowledge to improve process-based models of carbon turnover and remote-sensing-based models of carbon emissions. She has worked in boreal, temperate and oceanic climate zones.


Brandon Van Huizen, Ph.D