Kirsten Reid

Office: SN1020
Email: kirsten.reid[at]mun[dot]ca  
Office: SN1020
Research Group: Northern EDGE Lab

Project Title and Summary
Biodiversity gradients and trophic interactions in the western Canadian subarctic
This project describes latitudinal biodiversity gradients and trophic interactions across 14 study sites throughout the western Canadian subarctic. At each site, I am monitoring the diversity of five distinct taxa – large mammals, small mammals, invertebrates, understory vegetation, and soil microbes. Through the continued measurement of these taxa, I aim to describe biodiversity patterns across this region, identify which abiotic and biotic processes drive these patterns, predict how biodiversity will influence species’ shifting ranges, and assess how diversity will likely be influenced by future warming. Preliminary data from this research show that the study sites are suitable habitat for a variety of large mammals that are threatened within this region (e.g., grizzly bears and wolverines). In combination with data such as predictions for future climate and biome scenarios throughout Yukon, landscape-scale baseline data for diversity and distribution of these species can assist in decisions regarding landscape connections and conservation corridors.

Research Interests

  • Arctic biodiversity
  •  Arctic biogeography
  • Climate change
  • Species’ ranges
  • Community composition


  • PhD Candidate, Geography
    January 2018 – Present: Department of Geography, Memorial University
  • Master of Science, Integrative Biology
    September 2015 – August 2017: Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University
    Effects of wildfires on tree establishment in conifer-dominated boreal forests in southern Northwest Territories
  • Honours Bachelor of Science, Biology
    September 2011 – April 2015: Department of Biology, University of Ottawa
    Honours Thesis: Investigating latitudinal and longitudinal patterns in productivity of tree stands across the Northwest Territories

Research Funding Secured

  •  The W. Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research (2019-2021)
  •  The W. Garfield Weston Graduate Fellowship for Northern Conservation - Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
  • Research Fellowship - Aurora Research Institute
  • Northern Scientific Training Program
  • Research Assistantship Grant - Aurora Research Institute
  • Graduate Research Scholarship - Royal Canadian Geographic Society
  • Laurie Consaul Northern Research Scholarship - Canadian Botanical Association


  •  Northern Scientific Training Program
  • Sarah Baker Memorial Fund - Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
  • Western Ag Plant Root Simulator Probe (PRS® Probe) Award
  • The Dr. Joyce C. MacPherson Graduate Research Award in Physical Geography - Memorial University: Department of Geography


  • 2020 Winner – International Association of Landscape Ecology Annual Meeting – Graduate Student Travel Award
  • 2019 Winner - Memorial University Geography Emerging Researcher Prize
  • 2018 Institutional Nominee for the George Hobson Award for Northern Research (Awarded by the Northern Scientific Training Program)
  • 3rd Place Doctoral Poster Presentations. Association of Canadian Universities for
  • Northern Studies (ACUNS) Student Conference
  • Recipient Travel grant: Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) Student Conference

Articles in Review at Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Day NJ, Cumming SG, Dunfield KE, Johnstone JF, Mack MC, Reid KA, Turetsky MR, Walker XJ, Baltzer JL. Identifying fungal drivers of decomposition and plant growth after wildfire in boreal forests. In review, Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, section Fire and Forests, 507318.

Articles in preparation

  • Reid K, Day N, Johnstone J, Cumming S, Mack M, Turetsky M, Walker X, Baltzer J. Burn severity predicts black spruce seed availability post-fire in sub-arctic boreal forests. In prep for Canadian Journal of Forest Research.

Recent Oral & Poster Presentations

  • Reid K and Brown C. 2020. Biodiversity Gradients and Trophic Interactions in the Western Canadian Subarctic. Yukon Biodiversity Forum, March 2020. Whitehorse, Yukon.
  • Reid K. 2019. Biodiversity gradients in the western Canadian subarctic. Atlantic Division of Canadian Association of Geographers. Symposium: Emerging Researchers, October 2019. St. John’s, NL.
  • Reid K and Brown C. 2018. The influence of biotic and abiotic latitudinal gradients on tree range expansion in the subarctic. Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) Student Conference, November 2018. Edmonton, Alberta.

Invited Speaker

  • Northern Reflections: A Roundtable on Northern Geographical Research Methods and Fieldwork. Panelist. Atlantic Division Canadian Association of Geographers, October 6th 2019.
  • Reid K. What influences tree range expansion in the western subarctic? July 25th 2019. Aurora Research Institute, Inuvik NT. Summer Speaker Series. Outreach Talk.
  • CBC Radio 1 Yukon. Radio Interview. July 16th 2019.
  • Reid K and Brehaut L. Trees on the move: How climate change and fires facilitate tree range expansion on the Dempster Highway. July 16th 2019. Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon, Interpretative Centre. Outreach Talk, Invited Speaker.


  • Reid K. (2017) Effects of wildfires on tree establishment in conifer-dominated boreal forests in southern Northwest Territories: A thesis submitted to Wilfrid Laurier University in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Integrative Biology. Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON, Canada. Published thesis. 152 pp. (MSc).
  • Reid K. (2015) Investigating latitudinal and longitudinal patterns in productivity of tree stands across the Northwest Territories: An undergraduate thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for graduation with Honours from the department of Biology. University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Unpublished thesis. 22 pp. (Undergraduate thesis).


  • Member-at-large, Atlantic Division Canadian Association of Geographers. October 2019 – Present.
  • Graduate Student Representative – Department of Geography (September 2018 – Present)
  • Department of Geography Representative - Teaching Assistants' Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland (September 2018 – Present)
  • Department of Geography Graduate Student Representative – Faculty Council: Humanities and Social Sciences (January 2018 – August 2018)
  • Board of Directors – Student Representative (East): Canadian Botanical Association (July 2017 – Present)

Member of:

  • International Association for Landscape Ecology
  • International Association of Wildland Fire
  • Canadian Botanical Association
  • Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution

Teaching Assistant, Memorial University
GEOG 1050 Geographies of Global Change; Dr. Yolande Pottie-Sherman; Winter 2020
GEOG 3140 Biogeography; Dr. Carissa Brown; Fall 2019
GEOG 1050 Geographies of Global Change; Dr. Arn Keeling; Fall 2018
Guest lecture: Climate change in the Anthropocene (October 26, 2018)
Guest lecture: The Arctic in the Anthropocene (October 29, 2018)
GEOG 3222 Research Design and Quantitative Methods in Geography; Dr. Max Liboiron; Winter 2018
Guest lecture: The use of t-tests (March 5, 2018)

Teaching Assistant, Wilfrid Laurier University
BI309 Population Ecology; Dr. Derek Gray Winter 2017
BI302 Evolution; Dr. Scott Ramsay; Fall 2016
Guest lecture: Fire as an evolutionary driver (November 18th, 2016)
BI296 Contemporary Issues in Biology; Dr. Christina Gheorghiu; Winter 2016
BI358 Animal Form and Function; Dr. Thomas Singer and Dr. Jim McGeer; Fall 2015