Irena CreedFaculty of Science


Alberta | Aquatic Ecosystem Services | Great Lakes Futures | Lake Naivasha | Turkey Lakes | Carbon SequestrationMeta-Analyses

Alberta Wetlands
The Province of Alberta is undergoing an unprecedented level of development. We are working with governmental, NGO, and academic researchers to develop methodologies to identify and characterize wetlands using remote sensing and GIS techniques. These techniques will be used to develop a new Wetland Policy for the province.

Alberta DEM

Satellite image of Beaverhills area in Alberta overlain on a digitial elevation model.

Selected Publications:
Rooney RC, Bayley SE, Creed IF, Wilson MJ. 2012. The accuracy of land cover-based wetland assessments is influenced by landscape event. Landscape Ecology 27: 1321-1325. [PDF]

Sass GZ, Aldred DA, Wheatley M, Gould J, Creed IF. 2012. Protected areas: a hydrological approach for defining boundaries based on archived radar imagery. Biological Conservation 147: 143-152. [PDF]

Canadian Network for Aquatic Ecosystem Services
This NSERC Strategic Network was started by a consortium of ecologists across the country. The goal of this network is to identify and develop unique physical, chemical, and ecological indicators of aquatic ecosystem services to serve as a basis for developing appropriate policies and management practices to protect and sustain aquatic ecosystems. Irena is the co-leader of the theme "Healthy Forests, Healthy Aquatic Ecosystems," where we will investigate how forested catchments regulate aquatic ecosystem services. Specific projects include (1) describing the physical, chemical and biological indicators of aquatic ecosystem services from headwaters of forested catchments; (2) conducting experimental manipulations to test the effects of forest management activities on aquatic ecosystem services; (3) determining the cumulative effects of catchment disturbances on downstream ecosystem services in forested catchments; (4) conducting scenario analyses to identify desired future states; (5) developing policy implementations that will maintain aquatic ecosystem services on forest landscapes.

This project is seeking graduate students to start in 2013 and 2014. See this advertisement for more information. [PDF]

For more information about the CNAES, check out the website at

Great Lakes Futures Project
Trans-boundary water issues are becoming increasingly important as the need for ecosystem services from safe and sustainable water supplies increases, particularly in light of climate change. The Great Lakes Futures Project, administered through the Transborder Research University Network (TRUN) - Water Stewardship Consortium, aims to conduct interdisciplinary research to envision the desired future of the Great Lakes basin, analyze the future that current policy is leading us towards, and, if different, recommend public policies required to achieve socio-ecological sustainability in the Great Lakes.

Lake Naivasha Sustainability Project
The health of ecosystems and human beings are intrinsically tied together. The Lake Naivasha Susatainability project is an IDRC-funded, transdisciplinary project measuring the effects of land use and land classification within a watershed in Kenya that supports a growing floriculture industry and hundreds of thousands of people.

Lake Naivasha Shore

Lake Naivasha, Kenya.

Selected Publications:
Forthcoming Special Issues of EcoHealth highlighting our research findings.

Turkey Lakes
The Turkey Lakes Watershed is an experimental watershed north of Sault Ste. Marie in central Ontario. It contains a cluster of headwater streams that enable the investigation of the coupling of hydrological and climatological variables with carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in complex terrain. There is a 30+ year data record, which allows time series studies.

Turkey Lakes Watershed

Turkey Lakes, Ontario.

Selected Publications:
Creed IF, Webster KL, Braun GL, Bourbonniere RA, Beall FD. In Press. Topographically regulated traps of dissolved organic carbon create hotspots of carbon dioxide efflux from forest soils. Biogeochemistry. [PDF]

Webster KL, Creed IF, Beall FD, Bourbonniere RA. 2011. A topographic template for estimating soil carbon pools in forested landscapes. Geoderma 160: 457-467. [PDF]

Creed IF, Beall FD. 2009. Distributed topographic indicators for predicting nitrogen export from headwater catchments. Water Resources Research 45: W10407. [PDF]

Carbon Stores and Sequestration in Mineral Wetlands of Southern Ontario

This project is funded by Ducks Unlimited Canada and will advance our knowledge and understanding of the role that mineral wetlands, both natural and degraded, have in the net carbon balance of Southern Ontario. It will achieve this by assessing current carbon storage and carbon sequestration rates. It will contribute invaluable insight into the benefits to carbon management provided by wetland restoration efforts in these highly degraded landscapes. We are (1) establishing the current and historical carbon sequestration rate for natural, degraded and restored mineral wetlands; (2) assessing the changing stocks of carbon in mineral wetlands, with the intent of identifying the potential through restoration to increase Carbon stocks in wetlands throughout southern Ontario; and (3) assess the impacts of links between adjacent land use/land cover, trophic status, and carbon sequestration rates and storage.

Irena Creed and Eric Enanga

Irena Creed and Eric Enanga in the field.

Our work on individual headwater catchments can be combined with studies conducted across Canada and around the world to examine trends and investigate. We are looking to expand this international collaboration to examine the effects of climate on both water and solute exports both in North America and Europe. This will be one of the main focuses of my research sabbatical in France.


Map of precipitation minus potential evapotranspiration across North America with Long-term Ecological Research sites (Jones et al. 2012)

Selected Publications:
Jones JA, Creed IF, Hatcher K, Warren R, Benson M, Boose E, Brown W, Campbell J, Covich A, Clow D, Dahm C, Elder K, Ford C, Grimm N, Henshaw D, Larson K, Miles E, Moore K, Sebestyen S, Stone A, Vose J, Williams M. 2012. Water supply sensitivity and ecosystem resilience to land use change, climate change, and climate variability at long-term ecological research sites. Bioscience 62: 390-404. Invited contribution to Special Issue on the US Long-Term Ecological Research Network. [PDF]