Mika Little Devito, MSc Candidate

Thesis title: The impact of peat extraction activities on dissolved organic carbon, nutrients, and major ion concentrations in outflow water across two biogeoclimatic settings

The objective of this study is to assess the impact of horticultural peat extraction activities on dissolved organic carbon, soluble and particulate nitrogen and phosphorus, and major ions in outflow water from peat extraction operations in two biogeoclimatic settings. Water from peatlands being opened, extracted, and recovering from extraction in Alberta and New Brunswick will be assessed and compared with control peatlands to determine the influence of extraction phase and biogeoclimatic setting. Understanding of export concentrations within extraction phases and in different biogeoclimatic settings can help guide best management practices to improve protection of downstream water quality across Canada and throughout the lifecycle of peat extraction operations.

Mika received her Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta in 2016. After graduation, she worked as a research technician and environmental consultant across Alberta, with a focus on boreal ecosystems. She has always been passionate about wetlands and loves studying ecosystem function, especially water, soil, and vegetation interactions. When she’s not wandering through a peatland or crashing through a swamp, you can find her on a plant walk, puttering in her garden, or baking tasty treats in her kitchen.