By Ceres Barros and Sonya Odsen
It started out as a typical day for Ceres Barros, a Post-Doctoral Fellow on the Landscapes in Motion Team. She was finishing up converting forest inventory data so she could analyse the vegetation dynamics of fire severity. It was then she heard the “Ding!” of her email inbox with the news that she had won the Mitacs Elevate award. Her tea break came sooner than usual that day as she ran downstairs to celebrate with her colleagues—this award is highly competitive, and thus a significant accomplishment that opens new doors for her and her work!
The Mitacs Elevate award provides Ceres with an extra year of funding to develop the team’s simulation model for the fire history and fire regime of Alberta’s southwest Rockies. This extra time will allow them to fine-tune the model and simulate fire-vegetation dynamics more realistically: this will be crucial to better understanding the circumstances under which fires can cause partial forest mortality in the study region.
The extra time may also allow them to explore how fire and vegetation dynamics might change as the climate shifts. This will be valuable from a forest management point of view as the climate is changing fast and, in many parts of the world, has already been linked back to fire severity and size. Without the extra funding and time, this would have been impossible to pursue—now they might have a shot at it.
For Ceres, this award extends her stay in Canada working with Landscapes in Motion, two experiences she is thoroughly enjoying. This accomplishment reflects the high caliber of her work and will serve her well in her future pursuits in an academic career.
Congratulations to Ceres, and a sincere thank-you to Mitacs for supporting her important work to better understand the historical role fire has played in shaping the landscapes of southwestern Alberta. You can learn more about the Mitacs Elevate program here.
Sonya Odsen is an Ecologist and Science Communicator with a background in boreal ecology and conservation. She is a regular writer for Landscapes in Motion and is part of the Outreach and Engagement Team for the project.
Every member of our team sees the world a little bit differently, which is one of the strengths of this project. Each blog posted to the Landscapes in Motion website represents the personal experiences, perspectives, and opinions of the author(s) and not of the team, project, or Healthy Landscapes Program.