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Joan Bunbury

Specialty area(s)

Paleoclimatology, biogeography, freshwater environments

Brief biography

There is no place I would rather be than on a lake. I consider myself very lucky to be able to combine my favourite place with the research that I do. At UWL, I work closely with undergraduate students to investigate how climate change and anthropogenic activities have impacted freshwater environments recently and in the past. As a physical geographer, my knowledge spans different fields, so if you are interested in contributing to research focused on aquatic ecosystems, I may have an opportunity for you; please feel free to contact me.

Current courses at UWL

ESC 101 Earth Environments; GEO/ESC 340 Earth's Polar Regions; GEO/ESC 425/525 Biogeography; GEO 488 Spatial Data Analysis


2009 Ph.D. Geography, University of Ottawa

Teaching history

GEO 200 Conservation of Global Environments; ESC 211 Global Warming and Climate Change

Professional history

2013-present Member, River Studies Center, UW-La Crosse
2012-present Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Earth Science, UW-La Crosse
2011-2012 Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Geography, University of Toronto
2009-2011 Center for Global Change Science Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Toronto

Research and publishing

I currently have three research projects underway in the region:

1. Reconstructing hydroclimatic variability during the past 2000 years in the Upper Midwest
2. Understanding the effects of climate on the ancient community of Aztalan, south-central Wisconsin
3. Anthropogenic impacts on the ecology and hydrology of backwaters along the Upper Mississippi River (Colin Belby, Geography and Earth Science and Gretchen Gerrish, Biology)

Select publications

Finkelstein, S.A., Bunbury, J., Gajewski, K., Wolfe, A.P., Adams, J.K. and Devlin, J.E. 2014. Evaluating diatom-derived Holocene pH reconstructions for arctic lakes using an expanded 171-lake training set. Journal of Quaternary Science 29:249-260.

O’Reilly, B.C., Finkelstein, S.A., Bunbury, J. 2014. Pollen-derived paleovegetation reconstruction and long-term carbon accumulation at a fen site in the Attawapiskat River watershed, Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 46:6-18.

Bunbury, J. and Gajewski, K. 2013. Effects of the White River ash event on aquatic environments, southwest Yukon Territory, Canada. Arctic 66: 17-31.

Bunbury, J., Finkelstein, S.A., and Bollmann, J. 2012. A testate amoeba record of Holocene hydro-climatic change from a peat bog in the Attawapiskat River watershed, Hudson Bay Lowlands, Canada. Quaternary Research 78: 275-284.

Bunbury, J. and Gajewski, K. 2012. Temperatures of the past 2000 years inferred from lake sediments, southwest Yukon Territory, Canada. Quaternary Research 77: 355-367.

Bunbury, J. and Gajewski, K. 2009. Postglacial climates inferred from a lake at treeline, southwest Yukon Territory, Canada. Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 354-369.