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This is me. My research interests are described on other pages linked to here, and at

Yvette Chirinian is our lab technician, and joined us in November 2011.



Casper Christiansen is a Ph.D. thesis student who started in September 2011.

"My primary research interests are rooted within arctic ecosystem ecology. What drives litter decomposition on the tundra, how do biogeochemical properties fluctuate with season and soil depth, and how will these characteristics influence ecosystem responses to a changing climate?"

Casper was awarded an Ontario Trillium International Student Scholarship from the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for the years 2011-2015.

Casper was awarded a Dean's doctoral travel grant from Queen's in April 2014.

Casper's personal website


Nishka (Veronika) Wright is an M.Sc. thesis student who started in September 2013.

Preliminary thesis title: Temperature and snowmelt water dynamics during thaw in the low Arctic: their impact on soil microbial communities and nutrient availability.

Nishka was awarded an NSERC M.Sc. scholarship in April 2014, and a R. Samuel McLaughlin Fellowship to support her graduate studies in September 2013.


Qian Gu is an Ph.D. thesis student who started in September 2015.

"I am interested in exploring the roles of shrub species in regulating methane fluxes from arctic tundra. How will the expansion of shrub species across the low Arctic due to climate warming influence soil microbial methane processing and net methane exchange with the atmosphere."

Qian has a M.Sc. from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and is the recipient of Chinese Scholarship Council and Ontario Trillium international Ph.D. Scholarship support.


Harris Ivens is an M.Sc. thesis student who started in September 2015.

"I am interested in the possibilities of reducing fertilizer use in agricultural ecosystems by increasing and transforming greater amounts of the inherent nutrient supply in soils." 

Harris was a faculty member at Fleming College Ontario in their Sustainable Agriculture Program prior to joining our lab, and has his own consultancy business providing on-farm plant and soil assessments, management recommendations and financial advice.

John Serafini is an M.Sc. thesis student who started in September 2015 and is working jointly with Profs Aarssen and Grogan.

"My research will explore how plant community composition and productivity is influenced by belowground water and nutrient availability, and aboveground deer herbivory in a meadow grassland near the Queen's University Biological Station." 


Sanna Masud was an undergraduate research mentorship (BIOL 538) for Fall 2014, and will continue to work with us on the micronutrient project over 2015.


"I am researching the impacts of greenhouse warming on accumulation of various micronutrients in above-ground biomass of the principal plant species of low arctic tundra."

Other current and recent lab assistants and volunteers  

Kristen Siegal is a SWEP student assistant helping us in the summer and Fall of 2015.


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