My main research interests are: (1) the effect of landscape disturbance (e.g. forestry, agriculture, mining, urbanisation, wildfire, climate change) on the behaviour, fluxes and fate of water, sediment and chemicals in the environment at a range of time and space scales; and (2) the development of appropriate information and advice for improved management of land and water resources. Specific interests include:
- Landscape disturbances on aquatic systems
- Effects of wildfire and forest disturbance on soil erosion and sediment fluxes
- Sediment sources, transport, storage and budgets
- Sediment management in river basins
- Environmental fallout radionuclides and other environmental tracers
- Sediment fingerprinting
- Nutrients and contaminants in soils, sediments and waters
- Mountain geomorphic processes
- Ecology-water-sediment interactions
Selection of present and recent research projects
Forest Renewal British Columbia (FRBC) Endowed Research Chair Operating Grant (2007 – ongoing) – several projects including: sediment fingerprinting in Canadian watersheds; sources of sediment in proglacial environments; impacts of wildfire on soil erosion and fine-grained sediment dynamics in forested aquatic systems; composition and quality of urban street sediment in Prince George and its impact on air and water quality. Funds: ~$500,000.
NSERC Discovery Grant – Advancing techniques to fingerprint sediment sources in disturbed watersheds. Project team: P.N. Owens, PI. Duration: 2018 – 2023 (5 years). Funds: $180,000.
Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund (NEEF) – Integrated watershed research in the Nechako river basin: Phase 1 and 2. Project team: Stephen Déry, Phil Owens, Margot Parkes and Ellen Petticrew (all UNBC). Duration: 2014 – 2022 (9 years). Funds: ~$1,000,000 from NEEF with ~$1,000,000 as matched funding from other sources.
Environment and Climate Change Canada, Environmental Damages Fund – Evaluating the resiliency of aquatic ecosystems to a catastrophic mine tailings spill event: the 2014 Mount Polley incident in the Quesnel River watershed, British Columbia: Phase 1 and 2. Project team: UNBC (Ellen Petticrew (PI), Phil Owens, Stephen Déry), UBC (Sue Baldwin, Bernard Laval), U of Lethbridge (Greg Pyle). Duration 2016 – 2020 (4 years). Funds: ~$1,000,000.
NSERC Collaborative Research and Development Grant - Contributions of climate change and hydro-electric regulation to the variability and change of freshwater-marine coupling in the Hudson Bay System. Project team: U of Manitoba (David Barber, PI, and others), UNBC (Stephen Déry, Phil Owens and Ellen Petticrew), University of Quebec and other institutions. Duration: 2015 – 2020 (5 years). Funds: ~$9,000,000 (50% from NSERC and matched funding from Manitoba Hydro).
Environment Canada – Lake Winnipeg Basin Stewardship Fund (LWBSF) – Designing and managing riparian areas to filter phosphorus and sediment. Project team: UNBC (Phil Owens, PI) and U of Manitoba (David Lobb). Duration: 2013 – 2017 (4 years). Funds: $147,500.
Canada Foundation for Innovation (John R Evans Leaders Fund) – Infrastructure to support innovations in soil erosion and sedimentation research. Project team: David Lobb (PI, U of Manitoba) and Phil Owens (co-PI). Duration 2014 – onwards. Funds: $620,000 (50% from CFI, 50% from Manitoba Research) plus other matched-funding.
Selection of present and recent graduate students and researchers
- Dr David Gateuille (Post-doctoral research fellow)
- Dr Leticia Gaspar (Post-doctoral research fellow)
- Barry Booth (Research Manager, co-supervised with Déry, Parkes, Pettticrew)
- Todd French (Research associate, co-supervised with Ellen Petticrew)
- Jordan Lindgren (Research associate, co-supervised with Ellen Petticrew)
- Masoud Goharrokhi (PhD student, co-supervised with David Lobb)
- Alex Koiter (PhD student, co-supervised with Ellen Petticrew)
- Kristen Kieta (PhD student, co-supervised with Ellen Petticrew)
- Dominic Reiffarth (PhD student, co-supervised with Ellen Petticrew)
- Kristina Anderson (MSc student)
- Katrina Caley (MSc student)
- Kristen Kieta (MSc student)
- Mike Leggat (MSc student)
- Gabrielle Lint (MSc student, co-supervised with Ellen Petticrew)
- Ty Smith (MSc student)
- Richelle Sussbauer (MSc student)
- Jason Vanrobaeys (MSc student, co-supervised with Michael Campbell)
- Aaron Zwiebel (MSc student, co-supervised with Ellen Petticrew)