Francis Quinby

2022 Weston Family Awards in Northern Research recipient

Picture of Francis Quinby

PhD candidate
Trent University

Francis is a PhD candidate at Trent University currently investigating the impacts of climate change on boreal forest soil ecosystems in the Kluane Region, Yukon. Specifically, he is studying how predicted climatic shifts will affect microbial community dynamics and soil nutrient cycling.

Boreal forest soils represent one of the Earth’s largest carbon sinks; They absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than they release. How the soil microorganisms—bacteria, archaea and fungi living within the soil—respond to climate change will play a major role in determining whether the forest remains a carbon sink or becomes a net source of greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, soil microorganisms are essential for the health of forest ecosystems as they influence plant productivity and nutrient cycling.

Francis has established a field experiment that simulates predicted shifts in temperature and precipitation on forest soils. By assessing changes in microbial community structure and function attributable to climate manipulations, his research will help predict how these soil ecosystems will respond to climate change, which has both local and global implications.

Learn more about the Weston Family Awards in Northern Research.

Universities Canada