Rick Bourbonniere

Research Scientist - Study Leader, Impact of Land-Use & Disturbances on Water (Biogeochemistry)
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Current research and/or projects

Contributing to improved understanding of land-use change and other human disturbances on aquatic, wetland and riparian ecosystems

  • Cycling of carbon and nitrogen in aquatic and wetland ecosystems and their role in the sequestration of atmospheric carbon.
  • Influence of agricultural practices on greenhouse gas exchange at adjacent wetlands and riparian zones
  • Carbon, nitrogen and greenhouse gas dynamics in forested wetlands
  • Interactions among carbon and metal cycles, microbial ecology, human impacts and climate change effects on the Lake Erie ecosystem
  • Dissolved organic matter, its role in aquatic and wetland ecosystems, and modification by microbial and photochemical processes

Professional activities / interests

Organized conference sessions on dissolved organic matter at ASLO Feb, 2007 and AGU Dec, 2005

Supervised, co-supervised or served on advisory committee for many graduate and undergraduate students including: 2 Ph.D., 6 M.Sc. and 8 B.Sc. theses over the past five years

Member, Program on Energy Research and Development (PERD) steering committee for Enhanced Greenhouse Gas Sinks, 1999-2007 and Prairie Carbon Research Group, 1999 - present

Member, Boreal Ecosystem Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) Science Team, 1993-1997 and Peatland Ecology Research Group, 2000 - 2006

Education and awards

Senior Research Associate (USNRC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, GA - 1995

BA (Chemistry) Northeastern University, Boston, MA - 1971

MS (Ocean Science) & PhD (Geochemistry) University of Michigan, 1976, 1979

Key publications

Waddington, J.M., K. Tóth and R. Bourbonniere. (2007). Dissolved Organic Carbon Export from a Cutover and Restored Peatland. Hydrological Processes. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.6818.

Bourbonniere, R.A. and I.F. Creed. (2006). Biodegradability of dissolved organic matter extracted from a chronosequence of forest-floor materials. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science. 169:101-107. DOI: 10.1002/jpln.200521721

Wilhelm, S.W., G.S. Bullerjahn, M.L. Eldridge, J.M. Rinta-Kanto, L. Poorvin and R.A. Bourbonniere. (2006). Seasonal hypoxia and the genetic diversity of prokaryote populations in the central basin hypolimnion of Lake Erie: Evidence for abundant cyanobacteria and photosynthesis. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 32:657-671.

Euliss, N.H. Jr., R. A. Gleason, A. Olness, R. L. McDougal, H. R. Murkin, R. D. Robarts, R. A. Bourbonniere, B. G. Warner. (2006). North American prairie wetlands are important nonforested land-based carbon storage sites. Science of the Total Environment.361:179-188.

Twiss, M.R., S.P. Gouvêa, R.A. Bourbonniere, R.M.L. McKay and S.W.Wilhelm. (2005). Field investigations of trace metal effects on Lake Erie phytoplankton productivity. Journal of Great Lakes Research. 31(Suppl. 2):168-179.

Bourbonniere, R.A., W.L. Miller and R.G. Zepp. (1997). Distribution, flux and photochemical production of carbon monoxide in a boreal beaver impoundment. Journal of Geophysical Research. 102(D24):29,321-29,329.


Adjunct Professor, McMaster University, School of Geography and Earth Science since 1998

Adjunct Professor, University of Western Ontario, Department of Biology since 2001

Member: Canadian Geophysical Union, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, American Geophysical Union, Sigma Xi