Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Isla Myers-Smith

Senior Lecturer

Profile photo

Research Interests

My research group and I are ecologists working to understand how global change alters plant communities and ecosystem processes. We work at focal research sites in Northern Canada and conduct data syntheses at tundra biome and global scales.

A key theme of our research is investigating climate change impacts in tundra ecosystems. There is strong evidence that tundra ecosystems are responding to a warming climate. However, we don’t yet know the mechanistic pathways leading to change that would allow for quantitative predictions. Vegetation change could restructure the tundra by influencing nutrient cycles, carbon storage, surface reflectance, thus creating feedbacks that can affect the planet as a whole. Our research group is addressing these major knowledge gaps to better understand the causes and consequences of vegetation change.

We conduct field research using a variety of tools including ecological monitoring, drones, dendroecology, decomposition experiments using tea bags, and more. We also lead data syntheses in collaboration with researchers working across the circumpolar Arctic and around the world.

Websites

Research Group Webpage:
https://teamshrub.com/

Research activities & awards

  1. The Greening of the Arctic

    Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

  2. The Great Global Species Shakeup

    Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

  3. Researchers stunned by rapid rate of erosion on Herschel Island

    Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

View all (15) »

Latest prizes

  1. Walters Kundert Fellowship

    Prize: Fellowships awarded competitively

View all (1) »

ID: 6012230