Merritt R. Turetsky in a grassy field
Ph.D., University of Alberta, 2002 • Professor

Office: INSTAAR Director's Office in SEEC
Twitter: @queenofpeat

Research Interests
I am an ecosystem ecologist with interests in plant ecology, biogeochemistry, and global change. My work contributes to theoretical predictions of ecosystem structure and function, but also applies to regulation of carbon in a global change world. I am passionate about northern ecosystems and the people who depend on them. My students and I use a variety of approaches, from large-scale manipulations to laboratory experiments and paleoecological reconstructions, to understand the resilience of communities and ecosystems to environmental change. We tend to work on a variety of research issues including permafrost degradation and changing wildfire regimes that are important to global change and environmental policy arenas.

Selected Publications
Walker, X. J., Baltzer, J. L., Cumming, S. G., Day, N. J., Ebert, C., Goetz, S., Johnstone, J. F., Potter, S., Rogers, B. M., Schuur, E. A. G., Merritt Turetsky, Mack, M. 2019: Increasing wildfires threaten historic carbon sink of boreal forest soils. Nature, 572: 520-523. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1474-y

Merritt Turetsky, Abbott, B. W., Jones, M. C., Anthony, K. W., Olefeldt, D., Schuur, E. A. G., Koven, C., McGuire, A. D., Grosse, G., Kuhry, P., Hugelius, G., Lawrence, D. M., Gibson, C., Sannel, A. B. K. 2019: Permafrost collapse is accelerating carbon release. Nature, 569: 32-34. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-019-01313-4

Neumann, R. B., Moorberg, C. J., Lundquist, J. D., Turner, J. C., Waldrop, M. P., McFarland, J. W., Euskirchen, E. S., Edgar, C. W., Merritt Turetsky 2019: Warming effects of spring rainfall increase methane emissions from thawing permafrost. Geophysical Research Letters, 46(3): 1393-1401. DOI: 10.1029/2018GL081274

Merritt Turetsky, Baltzer, J. L., Johnstone, J. F., Mack, M. C., McCann, K., Schuur, E. A. G. 2017: Losing legacies, ecological release, and transient responses: Key challenges for the future of northern ecosystem science. Ecosystems, 20(1): 23-30. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-016-0055-2

A full list of articles can be found at