Western University GeographyWestern Social Science

Irena Creed

Canadian Research Chair
Cross Appointment with Biology


Contact Information

Office: Room 3023, B&GS
Tel: 519 661-2111, 84265
Fax: 519 661-3750
E-mail: icreed@uwo.ca
Personal Webpage

Research Areas

Watersheds, forests, hydrology, biochemistry, GIS and remote sensing

Research Interests

I am the founder and leader of the Catchment Research Facility (CRF), an advanced monitoring, analytical and modeling facility established for the analysis of watchmen processes.

My research involves investigation of the dominant factors regulating energy, water, and nutrient processes and pathways within specific regions across Canada, including the Algoma Highlands of central Ontario, the boreal forest of northern Alberta, and the Prairie Pothole Region of Saskatchewan.

There are three common themes to my research questions:

1.    understanding the natural range in variation of watershed functions
2.    scaling watershed processes from catchment to regional scales
3.    translating numerical models into indices that can be applied to resource
       management decisions


Publications & Supervised Graduate Students and Theses Titles

Refereed Journals

Clare S, Creed IF. In Press. Tracking wetland loss to improve evidence-based
   wetland policy learning in Alberta, Canada. Accepted by Wetland Ecology and
   Management, September 2013.

Kreutzweiser D, Beall F, Webster KL, Thompson D, Creed IF. In Press. Impacts and
    prognosis of natural resource development on aquatic biodiversity in Canada’s
    boreal forest. Accepted by Environmental Reviews, September 2013.

Sass GZ*, Creed IF, Riddell J, Bayley S. In Press. Mapping groundwater recharge
   and discharge zones at the watershed scale using publicly available
   hydrogeological and remote sensing datasets. Accepted by Hydrological
   Processes, September 2013.

Mengistu SG*, Creed IF, Webster KL, Enanga EM, Beall FD. In Press. Searching for
   similarity in topographic controls on carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus export from
   forested headwater catchments. Accepted by Hydrological Processes April 2013.

Creed IF, Miller JF, Aldred DA, Adams JK, Spitale S, Bourbonniere RA. 2013.
   Hydrologic profiling for greenhouse gas effluxes from natural grasslands in the
   prairie pothole region of Canada. Journal of Geophysical Research –
   Biogeosciences 118: 680-697. Selected as EOS Research Highlight.

Mengistu SG, Creed IF, Kulperger RJ, Quick C. 2013. Discriminating between non-
   stationary and stationary responses in water yields from catchments on a
   northern forested landscape. Hydrological Processes 23: 669-686. Invited
   contribution to Special Issue: “Catchments of the future North: creating science
   for management in 2050.”

Creed IF, Webster KL, Braun GL, Bourbonniere RA, Beall FD. 2013. Topographically
   regulated traps of dissolved organic carbon create hotspots of carbon dioxide
   efflux from forest soils. Biogeochemistry 112: 149-164.

Kerr JG, Eimers C, Creed IF, Adams MB, Beall F, Campbell J, Christopher S, Clair T,
   Courschesne F, Duchesne L, Fernandez I, Houle D, Jeffries D, Likens G, Mitchell M,
   Shanely J, Yao H. 2012. The effect of seasonal drying on sulphate dynamics in
   streams across southeastern Canada and northeastern USA. Biogeochemistry
   111: 393-409. doi:10.1007/s10533-011-9664-1.

Rooney RC, Bayley SE, Creed IF, Wilson MJ. 2012. The accuracy of land cover-based
   wetland assessments is influenced by landscape event. Landscape Ecology 27:  

Jones JA, Creed IF, Hatcher K, Warren R, Benson M, Boose E, Brown W, Campbell J,
   Covich A, Clow D, Dahm C, Elder K, Ford C, Grimm N, Henshaw D, Larson K, Miles
   E, Moore K, Sebestyen S, Stone A, Vose J, Williams M. 2012. Water supply
   sensitivity and ecosystem resilience to land use change, climate change, and
   climate variability at long-term ecological research sites. Bioscience 62: 390-404.
   Invited contribution to Special Issue on the US Long-Term Ecological Research

Sass GZ, Aldred DA, Wheatley M, Gould J, Creed IF. 2012. Protected areas: a
   hydrological approach for defining boundaries based on archived radar imagery.
   Biological Conservation 147: 143-152.

Powers L, Creed IF, Trick CG. 2012. Sinking of Heterosigma akashiwo results in
   increased toxicity of this harmful algal bloom species. Harmful Algae 13: 95-104.

Creed IF, Sass GZ. 2011. Digital terrain analysis approaches for tracking
   hydrological and biogeochemical pathways and processes in forested landscapes.
   In Levia DF, Carlyle-Moses DE, Tanaka T (Eds). Forest Hydrology and
   Biogeochemistry: Synthesis of Research and Future Directions. Ecological Studies
   Series, No. 216, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany. pp. 69-100. Invited Book

Sass GZ, Creed IF. 2011. Bird’s eye view of forest hydrology: Novel approaches
   using remote sensing techniques. In Levia DF, Carlyle-Moses DE, Tanaka T (Eds).
   Forest Hydrology and Biogeochemistry: Synthesis of Research and Future
   Directions. Ecological Studies Series, No. 216, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg,
   Germany. pp. 45-68. Invited Book Chapter .

Gala TS, Aldred DA, Carlyle S, Creed IF. 2011. Improved performance of models for
   predicting soil moisture using physically-based spatially averaging of synthetic
   aperture radar data. Remote Sensing of Environment 115: 3507-3516,

Chasmer L, Kljun N, Hopkinson C, Brown S, Milne T, Giroux K, Barr A, Devito KJ,
   Creed IF, Petrone R. 2011. Characterizing vegetation structural and topographic
   characteristics sampled by eddy covariance within two mature aspen stands
   using LiDAR and a flux footprint model: Scaling to MODIS. Journal of Geophysical
   Research (Biogeosciences) 116: G02026, doi:10.1029/2010JG001567.

Creed IF, Sass GZ, Buttle JM, Jones JA. 2011. Hydrological principles for sustainable
   management of forest ecosystems. Hydrological Processes 25: 2152-2160.

Webster KL, Creed IF, Beall FD, Bourbonniere RA. 2011. A topographic template for
   estimating soil carbon pools in forested landscapes. Geoderma 160: 457-467.
   Doi: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2010.10.016.

Koo K-A, Patten BC, Creed IF. 2011. A tree-growth systems model discriminates
   elevation-dependent causes of Picea rubens growth declines in the Great Smoky
   Mountains National Park. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 41: 945-962.

Enanga EM, Shivoga WA, Maina-Gichaba C, Creed IF. 2011. Effectiveness of riparian
   buffer strips in mitigating changes in soil properties related to land use activities,
   in River Njoro watershed, Kenya. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 218: 587-601.

Jones JA, Achterman GL, Augustine LA, Creed IF, Ffolliott PF, MacDonald L, Wemple
   BC. 2009. Hydrologic effects of a changing forested landscape – Challenges for
   the hydrological sciences. Hydrological Processes 23: 2699-2704, doi:
   10.1002/hyp.7404. Invited.

Creed IF, Beall FD. 2009. Distributed topographic indicators for predicting nitrogen
   export from headwater catchments. Water Resources Research 45: W10407,

Buttle JM, Creed IF, Moore RD. 2009. Advances in Canadian forest hydrology, 2003-
   2007. Canadian Water Resources Journal 34: 113-126. Invited.

O’Connor EM, Dillon PJ, Molot LA, Creed IF. 2009. Modelling dissolved organic
   carbon mass balances for lakes of the Muskoka River Watershed. Hydrology
   Research 40: 273-290.

Krougly ZL, Creed IF, Stanford DA. 2009. A stochastic model for generating
   disturbance patterns within landscapes. Computers and Geosciences 35: 1451-

Webster KL, Creed IF, Skowronski MD, Kaheil YH. 2009. Comparison of the
   performance of statistical models that predict soil respiration from forests. Soil
   Science Society of America Journal 73: 1157-1167.

Kaheil YH, Creed IF. 2009. Detecting and downscaling wet areas on boreal
   landscapes. IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters 6: 179-183.

Clark RB, Sass GZ, Creed IF. 2009. Mapping hydrologically sensitive areas on the
   Boreal Plain: a multitemporal analysis of ERS synthetic aperture radar data.
   International Journal of Remote Sensing 30: 2619-2635,

Creed IF, Beall FD, Clair TA, Dillon PJ, Hesslein RH. 2008. Predicting export of
   dissolved organic carbon from forested catchments in glaciated landscapes with
   shallow soils. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 22: GB4024, doi:

Creed IF, Sass GZ, Wolniewicz MB, Devito KJ. 2008. Incorporating hydrologic
   dynamics into buffer strip design on the sub-humid Boreal Plain of Alberta. Forest
   Ecology and Management 256: 1984-1994, doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2008.07.021.

Krezek CC, Buttle JM, Beall FD, Moore RD, Creed IF, Sibley PK, Silins U, Devito KJ,
   Mendoza CA. 2008. HydroEcological Landscapes and Processes Project: A
   national scale forest hydrology initiative. Streamline Bulletin 12: 33-38.

Webster KL, Creed IF, Beall FD, Bourbonniere RA. 2008. Sensitivity of catchment
   aggregated estimates of soil carbon dioxide efflux to topography under different
   climatic conditions. Journal of Geophysical Research (Biogeosciences) 113,
   G03040, doi: 10.1029/2008JG000707.

Webster KL, Creed IF, Beall FD, Bourbonniere RA. 2008. Controls on the
   heterogeneity of soil respiration in a tolerant hardwood forest. Journal of
   Geophysical Research (Biogeosciences) 113: G03018, doi:   

Sass GZ, Creed IF, Devito KJ. 2008. Spatial heterogeneity in trophic status of
   shallow lakes on the Boreal Plain: the influence of hydrologic setting. Water
   Resources Research 44: W08444, doi: 10.1028/2007WR006311.

Sass GZ, Creed IF, Bayley SE, Devito KJ. 2008. Inter-annual variability in trophic
   status of shallow lakes on the Boreal Plain: is there a climate signal? Water
   Resources Research 44: W08443, doi:10.1029/2007WR006310.

Sass GZ, Creed IF. 2008. Characterizing hydrodynamics on boreal landscapes using
   archived synthetic aperture radar imagery. Hydrological Processes 22: 1687-
   1699, doi:10.1002/hyp.6736.

Khalil AF, Kaheil YH, Gill KM, McKee M, Creed IF. 2008. Application of learning
   machines and combinational algorithms in water resources management and
   hydrologic sciences. Machine Learning Research Progress. New York, Nova
   Publishers.  ISBN: 978-1-60456-646-8.

Supervised Graduate Students and Theses Titles

PhD StudentsYearTitle
O. E-Senar Current Influence of catchment characteristics on lake food webs
E. Enanga Current Effects of seasonal and spatial variations on the fate of nitrogen in forested catchments
R. Sorichetti Current The role of N:P and Iron in the recent emergence of cyanobacterial blooms in oligotrophic lakes in the Canadian Shield
S. Mengistu 2012 Hydraulic consequences of forest management practices in a regional glaciated watershed
T. Gala 2010 Evaluating Satellite-based Mapping of Near-surface and Surface Water in the Prairie Pothole Region of Central Canada
K. Webster 2007 Soil respiration from forest soils in topographically complex landscapes
G. Sass 2006 Hydrologic controls on the trophic status of lakes on the Boreal Plain
J. Lindsay 2004 Coping with topographic depressions in digital terrain analysis
MSc StudentsYearTitle
J. Clapp Current TBA
T. Finger Current Factors influencing spring migration chronology and habitat use by lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) during migration
E. Freeman Current Limnology
A. Paltsev Current TBA
S. Salaria Current Hydrologic connectivity and its influence on plant diversity
J. Were Current Adolescent Health
J. Igras 2016 Uncertainty Analysis of the Performance of a System of Best Management Practices for Achieving Phosphorus Load Reduction to Surface Waters
A. Waz 2016 An Automated Framework to Identify Lost and Restorable Wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region
J. Serran 2014 A watershed scale and process-based approach to estimating wetland health using GIS/remote sensing techniques
X. Du 2013 Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cHABs) unlocked by the presence siderophores: Iron is the key
J. McLaughlin 2012 Cause for increased incidence of harmful algal blooms in oligotrophic lakes
N. Lecki 2011 Microbial controls on carbon dioxide efflux from a forested swamp
N. Casson 2008 Nitrogen cycling processes within forested catchments
A. Rams 2008 Shifts in the magnitude and partitioning of atmospheric versus aquatic carbon export in response to changing climatic conditions
E. Enanga 2007 Effectiveness of riparian buffers in migrating changes related to land use in River Njoro watershed, Kenya
T. Fairweather 2007 Tracking the alternative fates of nitrogen in forested catchments
S. Carlyle 2006 The changing nature of topographic controls on soil moisture in prairie pothole complexes along a climatic gradient
G. Braun 2006 Specificity of substrate control on carbon dioxide efflux from soils along a forest toposequence
S. Sanford 2005 Scale-dependence of natural variability of stream flow parameters in a forested drainage basin on the Boreal Shield
R. Clark 2004 Mapping probability of inundation beneath a forest canopy: A multi-temporal analysis of ERS synthetic aperture radar data
M. Wolniewicz 2002 Hydrological Portals: Unprotected Pathways of Nutrient Loading to Boreal Lakes
D. Morrison 2002 The nitrogen sink versus source potential of coarse woody debris in the southern Appalachians, USA
C. Krezek 2001 Climatic regulation of peak flows and their contributing source areas under natural and disturbed conditions in the Carnation Creek Watershed, Vancouver Island, BC, CANADA