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Lorna Harris

Director of Forests, Peatlands and Climate Change Program

Forests, Peatlands & Climate Change

Lorna Harris serves as the Director of Forests, Peatlands and Climate Change Program at WCS Canada.

Lorna is an ecosystem scientist, working on the ecology, hydrology and biogeochemistry of peatlands and forests in North America's boreal zone. Lorna’s research focuses on how peatlands form and develop over time, and how this development may be impacted by environmental change, either due to global climate warming, or direct human disturbance such as infrastructure development for resource extraction. Lorna is also working on improving links in science and policy for the better protection and management of peatlands.

Lorna completed her PhD at McGill University in Montreal, where her research focused on the ecohydrology and biogeochemistry of the vast peatlands of the Hudson Bay Lowland in northern Ontario. Lorna's studies of peatland ecohydrology and carbon dynamics, including in permafrost landscapes impacted by wildfire, continued for her Postdoctoral research.

Prior to moving to Canada for her PhD, Lorna worked as a Wetland Project Officer and a Senior Scientist for the Environment Agency of England and Wales for one year, then as a Wetland Ecologist and Senior Scientist for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency for six years.

Resources


Stories and op-eds

Ignoring Canada’s peatlands is a catastrophe in the making
2022-12-14

Ignoring Canada’s peatlands is a catastrophe in the making

Canada has one-quarter of the world’s peatlands within its borders, storing more carbon than the Amazon Rainforest.
Lorna Harris
Peatlands - the carbon storage powerhouse protecting us from climate change
2022-08-01

Peatlands - the carbon storage powerhouse protecting us from climate change

Featured on the WCS Wild Audio podcast
Lorna Harris

Media coverage

Area covered by mining claims in Ontario’s ‘Ring of Fire’ increased by 30 per cent in one year

“I’m worried the increase in mining claims will lead to more exploration activities within the region and that those exploration activities, which are largely unchecked, will lead to irreversible damage to the peatlands within the region,” says Lorna Harris.
2023-12-04 | Global News

Peatlands are the climate bomb waiting to explode

The destruction of peatlands can cause billions of tons of carbon to be released into the atmosphere, worsening the already intensifying climate crisis
2023-08-28 | The Week

, L. Harris
© L. Harris
  • canadamedia@wcs.org
Areas of expertise
Boreal Peatlands Climate change