Canada is blessed with nature’s gifts-from clean drinking water to storied vistas that are rich in diverse plants and animals. But how do we sustain the benefits of these natural gifts for future generations? Answering this question requires an understanding of how organic material is cycled among its major reservoirs in vegetation, soils, oceans and the atmosphere.
As Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and Northern Ecosystems, Dr. Andrew Tanentzap is trying to determine how two of the most important global pools for organic materials-northern soils and freshwaters-will respond to climate change. He and his research team are integrating state-of-the-art tools in genomics, analytical chemistry and informatics to track large-scale associations between organic molecules and microorganisms and forecast how they might change in the future. Their findings will indicate how best to protect the benefits that northern ecosystems provide and identify opportunities for nature-based solutions to mitigate rapid climate change.