BIG NEWS! CMN has successfully secured 5 years of funding from the Government of Canada's Strategic Science Fund (SSF)

Dr. Craig Emmerton


Dr. Craig Emmerton is a Watershed Scientist with the Government of Alberta (Environmental Monitoring and Science Division, Alberta Environment and Parks). Craig’s primary research interests are focused on the use of multi-disciplinary approaches to understand the cycling of nutrients and contaminants in freshwater catchments.

Craig was initially trained in whole-ecosystem sciences at the Experimental Lakes Area (Government of Canada; northwestern Ontario) as an undergraduate student at McMaster University. As an M.Sc. student at Simon Fraser University, he studied the transfer of nutrients and the heavy metal mercury between the lakes, river channels and the estuary of the Mackenzie River Delta in the western Canadian Arctic. Craig then worked for the Government of Alberta as a limnologist, primarily managing the recovery of the Wabamun Lake ecosystem following the 2005 spill of bunker oil into its surface waters. During his Ph.D. degree at the University of Alberta, Craig studied the impacts of climate change on the cycling of carbon across the landscapes of Ellesmere Island in Canada’s high Arctic. Coming full circle, Craig completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area where he examined the impacts of climate change and forest fire recovery on the mobility of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus within a boreal watershed. He completed two other post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Alberta where he studied the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and grasslands of southern Alberta and the distribution of contaminants in lakes surrounding the Athabasca Oil Sands.

Craig’s current research activities in Alberta include: 1. assessing the impacts of the 2016 Horse River wildfire on the quality of surface water resources in the region; 2. 3. quantifying the impacts of climate change and other human-related stressors on the quality and quality of water in major rivers draining Alberta’s Rocky Mountains region; and 4. understanding the synergies between ground-level and satellite-based measurements of vegetation growth in southern Alberta grasslands.

Selected Publications

Emmerton, C.A., Beaty, K.G., Casson, N.J., Graydon, J.A., Hesslein, R.H., Higgins, S.N., Osman, H., Paterson, M.J., Park, A., Tardif, J. (2018) Long-term responses of nutrient budgets to concurrent climate-related stressors in a Boreal watershed. Ecosystems (in-press)

Lehnherr, I., St. Louis, V.L., Sharp, M., Gardner, A.S., Smol, J.P., Schiff, S.L., Muir, D.C.G., Mortimer, C.A., Michelutti, N., Tarnocai, C., St. Pierre, K.A., Emmerton, C.A., Wiklund, J.A., Köck, G., Lamoureux, S.F., Talbot, C.H. (2018) The world’s largest High Arctic lake responds rapidly to climate warming. Nat. Commun., 9, 1290.

Emmerton, C.A., St. Louis, V.L., Humphreys E.R., Gamon, J.A., Barker, J.D., Pastorello, G.Z. (2016) Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in the rapidly changing high Arctic. Glob. Change Biol., 22, 1185-1200.

Wang, R., Gamon, J.A., Emmerton, C.A., Li, L., Nestola, E., Pastorello, G.Z., Menzer, O. (2016) Integrated analysis of productivity and biodiversity in a southern Alberta prairie. Remote Sens., 8, 214.

Emmerton, C.A., St. Louis, V.L., Lehnherr, I., Humphreys, E.R., Rydz, E., Kosolofski, H. (2014) The net exchange of methane with high Arctic landscapes during the summer growing season. Biogeosciences, 11, 3095-3106.

Emmerton, C.A., Graydon, J.A., Gareis, J.A.L., St. Louis, V.L., Lesack, L.F.W., Banack, J.K.A., Hicks, F., Nafziger, J. (2013) Mercury export to the Arctic Ocean from the Mackenzie River, Canada. Envir. Sci. Technol., 47,7644-7654.


Craig Emmerton

Water Quality Scientist
Environmental Monitoring and Science Division
Government of Alberta (Environment and Parks
10th fl 9888 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB
T5J 5C6

Office: 1(780)229-7279

👋 Hi there, Canadian Mountain Network uses cookies 🍪 to analyze our website traffic and to understand where our visitors are coming from. See our Privacy Policy for details.