Kate Edwards

Research Scientist

Research on climate change

Current research and/or projects


I have always enjoyed being in the outdoors and exploring nature, so a career in ecology came naturally to me. From the grandeur of the Pacific Northwest rainforest to the stark beauty of the arctic tundra, I’ve been fortunate to work in many different ecosystems during my B.Sc. and Ph.D. training and now as a research scientist, studying vegetation dynamics, soil properties, and connections between soils and streams. I currently work to understand the role that climate plays in forest functioning, and am also interested in how science concepts are used in conservation management.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Co-leadership of the Newfoundland and Labrador Boreal Ecosystem Latitudinal Transect (NL-BELT).
  • The role of climate on soil carbon and nutrient stocks, transformations, and export in mesic Eastern boreal forests.
  • Climate and seasonal controls on dissolved organic carbon transport in soils.Carbon accounting at the watershed scale: understanding the connection between terrestrial and aquatic landscape features.
  • The role of climate on forest productivity in Eastern boreal forests.
  • The concept of landscape intactness as used in applied science and forest management.

Professional activities / interests

  • Adjunct Professor, Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland.
  • Co-supervisor of 2 graduate students.
  • Forestry judge, Newfoundland and Labrador Envirothon.
  • Member, core team for CFS Forest Change 2.0.

Education and awards


Ph.D. in Plant and Microbial Biology, University of Toronto, 2010.

B.Sc. in Biology, specialization in Ecology, University of British Columbia, 2002.


Frederick P. Ide Graduate Research Award, 2008. 

Global Change Science Research Award, University of Toronto, 2007. 

Northern Internship Fund, NSERC, 2006.

Northern Research Fund, Churchill Northern Studies Centre, 2005. 

Key publications

  1. Jefferies, R.L.; Walker, A.N.; Edwards, K.A.; Dainty, J. 2015. Is the decline of soil microbial biomass in late winter coupled to seasonal changes in the physical state of cold northern soils?. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 42: 129-135. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2009.10.008.
  2. Laganiere, J.; Podrebarac, F.; Billings S.A.; Edwards, K. A.; S. E. Ziegler. 2015. A warmer climate reduces biological reactivity without increasing the temperature sensitivity of carbon losses in boreal forest soils. . doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2015.02.025.
  3. Edwards, K.A.; Jefferies, R.L. 2013. Inter-annual and seasonal dynamics of soil microbial and nutrients in wet and dry low-Arctic sedge meadows. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 57: 83-90. doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2012.07.018.
  4. Edwards, K.A.; Jefferies, R.L. 2010. Early-spring nitrogen uptake by Carex aquatilis in low- Arctic wet sedge meadows. Journal of Ecology 98, 737-744.
  5. Treberg, M.A.; Edwards, K.; Turkington, R. 2010. Voles Are Attracted To Fertilizer in Field Experiments. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 42: 113-116. doi:10.1657/1938-4246-42.1.113.
  6. Jefferies, R.L., Edwards, K.A. 2008. Soluble carbohydrate content of shoots of Arctic wetland plants that are consumed by lesser snow geese. Botany 86: 995-1001. doi:10.1139/B08-051.
  7. Edwards, K.A.; McCulloch, J.; Kershaw, G.P.; Jefferies, R.L. 2006. Soil microbial and nutrient dynamics in a wet Arctic sedge meadow in late winter and early spring. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 38: 2843-2851 . doi:10.1016/j.soilbio.2006.04.042.