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

CHAPEL lab

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, charcoal, grain size, megnetic susceptibility, 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 https://peroslab.ubishops.ca/members/.

zachary patterson

Jeannine-Marie St-Jacques (Ph.D. Queen's, 2007)
Associate 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. NSERC CREATE grant, Science Leadership for Global Sustainability Grant 2020-2026, D. Matthews PI, with C. Potvin, E. Bennett, J. Cardille, P. Peres-Neto, C. Bulle, N. Mousseau, G. MacDonald, A. Luers and S. Turner. St-Jacques as co-investigator

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

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

  4. 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 Dominique Arseneault, UQAR
Fateme Salemi PhD student, September 2021-present Paleo-flood reconstruction for the Ottawa River valley M. Peros, Bishop’s University
Duane Noel MSc masters student September 2019-present The influence of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation on flood frequency on the western North American margin  
Antoine Lachance MSc student, July 2020-present Paleotempestology in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec M. Peros
Megan Tremblay undergraduate hounour's BSc student, September 2021-present Fire history of Albany Pine Bush, New York State M. Peros  
Sophie McCafferty undergraduate honour’s BSc student, September 2021-present Pollen analysis of a peat bog on the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec M. Peros  
Charlotte Whyte summer undergraduate research assistant 2021 Concordia undergraduate student research award Forest fire reconstruction for Scotstown Bog, Québec for three millennia after Deglaciation M. Peros  
Past students
Name Degree Research Area Co-supervisor
Marc-Olivier Brault post doctoral fellow June 2018-May 2019 Hydroclimate projections for the Athabasca River Valley, Canada, using CORDEX  
Alexandre Pace MSc May 2018-July 2020 A 211-year river reconstruction of the Chic-Choc and McGerrigle Mountains of the Gaspésie from tree-rings  
Claire O'Neill-Sanger MSc May 2018-July 2020 A 2300-year reconstruction of environmental change from Mont-Orford National Park, southeastern Québec, using high-resolution pollen, charcoal and X-ray fluorescence records  
Taline Kalindjian MEnv September 2017- May 2018 Understanding the public’s perception towards nuclear wastes by assessing public participation in environmental assessment: a dual case study of radioactive waste management in Canada  
Sabrina Mruczek undergraduate honour’s BSc student, September 2020-May 2021 Paleo-flood records from the Eastern Townships, Québec M. Peros
Charlotte Whyte undergraduate honour’s BSc student, August 2020-May 2021 Forest fire reconstruction for Scotstown Bog, Québec for three millennia after Deglaciation M. Peros
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 Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Québec using micro charcoal analysis M. Peros
Sabrina Mruczek summer undergraduate research assistant, June 2020-August 2021 Paleo-flood records from the Eastern Townships, Québec M. Peros, Bishop’s University
Duane Noel NSERC undergraduate research assistant May 2018-August 2018, and May 2019-August 2019 and Undergraduate Honour's BSc Effects of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation on flood maxima and frequency on the North American West Coast  
Zachary Masson undergraduate research assistant Fall 2018-winter 2019    
Alexandre Pace CUSRA undergraduate research assistant May 2017-May 2018    
Anna Michetti summer undergraduate research assistant 2017    
Current Opportunities in the CHAPEL Lab

Fully Funded MSc Project in the Department of Geography

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