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The Climatology, Hydrology and Paleo-Environmental Lab (CHAPEL)


Claire O'Neill Sanger's MSc talk at the Geological Society of America 2020 Annual Meeting

The Climatology, Hydrology and Paleo-Environmental Lab (CHAPEL) was started in January, 2017.  Research in CHAPEL is focused on North American climatology and hydrology of the past 2000 years, the present and the near future. Our goal is a better comprehension of decadal-to-centennial climate variability, just beyond the scale of instrumental records, yet vital for our understanding of regional climate and hydrology, anthropogenic global warming impacts, and water management for infrequent extremes, such as sustained droughts and floods.

We use a wide variety of methods and approaches. For paleoclimate and paleo-hydrology reconstructions, we use tree-rings, pollen preserved in lake sediments, and other biological and physical proxies from lake sediments (i.e., diatom and varved sediment analysis). Research tools that we use for modern and near-future projected climatology and hydrology include: instrumental climatological and hydrological databases and archived GCM and RCM runs. Our research is heavily statistical, and methods used include multivariate statistics, time series analysis, Monte Carlo techniques and regression analysis.

CHAPEL is presently completely equipped for tree-ring based climate reconstructions, including extensive lab space, Windows computers, dissecting microscopes, WinDENDRO measuring software and other tree-ring software, a LA2400 Calibrated Color Optical scanner (2400 dpi resolution) and field equipment. It is also equipped for pollen based paleo-environmental reconstructions with two Leica DM2500 compound microscopes with cameras. Additionally, CHAPEL is equipped for sediment charcoal analysis to reconstruct forest fire frequencies with a Leica M80 dissecting microscope and WinSEEDLE image analysis software.

I collaborate closely with Professor Matthew Peros (CRC Tier II Chair) of Bishop’s University. We have full access to his extensively equipped paleo-environmental research laboratory

zachary patterson

Jeannine-Marie St-Jacques (Ph.D. Queen's, 2007)
Assistant Professor 

Jeannine-Marie St-Jacques received a PhD in Biology, specialty in environmental science, from Queen’s University in 2007 and joined Concordia’s Department of Geography, Planning and Environment in 2017. She holds master’s degrees in botany and mathematics. After her PhD, she worked for nine years as a Research Associate at the Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative, University of Regina. Dr. St-Jacques’ expertise is in paleoclimatology, climatology and hydrology. Dr. St-Jacques is funded by NSERC. She collaborates with a broad spectrum of colleagues and students, who have expertise in environmental studies and sciences, climatology, climate modeling, botany, geology, statistics, aquatic ecology and Indigenous studies.

trip lab

 Northern white cedar (Thuya occidentalis) cross-section from the Parc national de la Gaspésie. Photo courtesy of David Ward.​

Current Research Projects
  1. FRQNT New University Researchers Start-Up Grant 2018, Environmental Change in Southeastern Québec During the Past Millennium, Principal Investigator.

  2. NSERC Discovery Grant, 2017, Low-frequency Variability in Canadian Hydroclimate, Principal Investigator.

  3. NSERC Collaborative Research and Development Grant, 2017, Supporting Adaptation Planning in the Athabasca River Basin with Advances in the Projection of Hydroclimatic Variability, co-Principal Investigator.

Current students
Name Degree Research Area Co-supervisor
Alexandre Pace  (PhD student, January 2021-present), Tree-ring-based climate reconstructions of southern Québec”  
Duane Noel M.Sc. masters student Sept 2019-  The Influence of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation on Flood Frequency in eastern Canada  
Antoine Lachance  (MSc student, July 2020-present) Paleotempestology in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec M. Peros, Bishop’s University
Kayden Schwartz MSc student, September 2020-present The pre-European Acadian Forest of New Brunswick from initial land survey records D. Arseneault, UQÀR
Sabrina Mruczek undergraduate honour’s BSc student, September 2020-May 2021 Paleo-flood records from the Eastern Townships, Québec  
Charlotte Whyte undergraduate honour’s BSc student, August 2020-May 2021 Forest fire reconstruction for Scotstown Bog, Québec for three millennia after Deglaciation  
Jessica Lapenna undergraduate honour’s BSc student at Bishop’s University, September 2020-May 2021 Common Era fire history of two peat lands on the Magdalen islands using micro charcoal analysis M. Peros, Bishop’s University
Current Opportunities in the CHAPEL Lab

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