Matt’s primary research focuses on understanding the hydrogeology (specifically fen-upland hillslope connectivity) of base-rich fens, which are ubiquitous in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, and are frequently affected by surface mining and in-situ oil extraction activities. His research site, a moderate-rich fen located, approximately 5 km from the Suncor oil sands, was heavily impacted by the 2016 wildfire. Matt hopes to gain insights into the hydrological and meteorological conditions that lead up to the burning of his research site, and to better understand how the hydrology and overall landscape connectivity of moderate-rich fen systems will change following this disturbance.
Pankaj received a Ph.D. in hydrology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, India. His current research involves investigating the behaviour of hydrocarbon pollutants in peatlands under dynamically fluctuating water tables.
James is the groups technician and project manager. He has a background in fire-disturbed peatland hydrology, with expertise in method development, equipment prototyping and refinement in field and laboratory applications. His current research involves investigating hydraulic property changes at the constructed Nikanotee fen in construction materials from freeze-thaw cycling and implications for material choices for constructed wetlands. He is also investigating non-destructive bulk density testing with piezoelectric sensors and wavelength properties. He reports the groups research progress to both federal and industrial entities.