Dr Scott Davidson

Dr Scott Davidson

Lecturer in Ecosystem Resilience

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)



Lecturer in Ecosystem Resilience - University of Plymouth, UK

Adjunct Assistant Professor - University of Waterloo, Canada



2017 PhD Biogeosciences - University of Sheffield, UK/San Diego State University, USA. Thesis title: Scaling methane fluxes in spatially heterogeneous Arctic landscapes: the importance of vegetation

2013 MSc Polar and Alpine Change - University of Sheffield, UK

2012 MA (Hons) Geography - University of Dundee, UK


2018 - 2021 Postdoctoral Fellow - University of Waterloo, Canada

Professional membership

  • American Geophysical Union
  • European Geosciences Union
  • Canadian Geophysical Union
  • British Ecological Society

Roles on external bodies

ACU British Council Commonwealth Future Climate Research Cohort Fellow

Article Editor - Mires and Peat



Teaching interests

My teaching interests fall broadly within Environmental Science and Ecology. Specifically,

  • Ecosystem vulnerability, resilience and management
  • Climate Change
  • Ecohydrology
  • Science Communication

I currently teach on the following modules:

ENVS1003 The Biosphere

ENVS1009 Sustainability Science

ENVS2004 Environmental Issues and Communication

ENVS3011 Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation



Research interests

My research investigates the resilience of wetland ecosystems to both climate change and disturbance regimes, as well as the roles these ecosystems can play as natural climate solutions.

I like to use a multi-scale approach, combining both field research and laboratory analysis with remote sensing and modelling approaches to better constrain spatio-temporal dynamics of wetland ecosystems.

With my work, I aim to contribute to a better understanding of the complex feedbacks between ecosystem resilience and disturbance regimes under a rapidly changing climate.

Broadly, I am interested in identifying the key biotic and abiotic drivers of greenhouse gases, ecosystem processes and vegetation community change across northern latitude landscapes.

For more information: sjdavidsonecology.com

Grants & contracts

Ducks Unlimited Canada: Understanding wetland phenology using smartphones ($2000 CAD - Lead Investigator)

Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change: Peatland conservation and restoration: Managing Canadian peatlands as natural climate solutions ($9200 CAD - Co-Lead Investigator)

Canadian Institute for Ecology and Evolution: Vulnerabilities of Canadian Wetlands in a Changing Climate ($10,280 CAD - Co-Lead Investigator)

Boreal Water Futures: Modelling hydrological processes for wildfire and carbon management ($200,000 - Named HQP)

International Peatland Society: Allan Robertson Research Grant (€800)

EU-COST Action: Scaling CH4 fluxes using hyperspectral and multispectral data in Arctic tundra Ecosystems (£2000 - Lead Investigator)



Key publications

Key publications are highlighted

Harris LI, Richardson K, Bona KA, Davidson SJ, Finkelstein SA, Garneau M, McLaughlin J, Nwaishi F, Olefeldt D & Packalen M (2021) 'The essential carbon service provided by northern peatlands' Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment , DOI
Davidson SJ, Smith M, Prystupa E, Murray K, Nwaishi FC, Petrone RM & Strack M (2021) 'High sulfate concentrations maintain low methane emissions at a constructed fen over the first seven years of ecosystem development' Science of The Total Environment 789, 148014-148014 , DOI
Engering A, Davidson SJ, Xu B, Bird M, Rochefort L & Strack M (2021) 'Restoration of a boreal peatland impacted by an in‐situ oil sands w ell‐pad 2: Greenhouse gas exchange dynamics' Restoration Ecology , DOI
Elmes MC, Davidson SJ & Price JS (2021) 'Ecohydrological interactions in a boreal fen–swamp complex, Alberta, Canada' Ecohydrology 14, (7) , DOI Open access
Irvine S, Davidson SJ, Price JS & Strack M (2021) 'Dissolved organic carbon production and transport within a constructed fen watershed in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, Alberta, Canada' Journal of Hydrology 599, 126493-126493 , DOI
Davidson SJ, Goud EM, Malhotra A, Estey CO, Korsah P & Strack M (2021) 'Linear Disturbances Shift Boreal Peatland Plant Communities Toward Earlier Peak Greenness' Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 126, (8) , DOI
Drever CR, Cook-Patton SC, Akhter F, Badiou PH, Chmura GL, Davidson SJ, Desjardins RL, Dyk A, Fargione JE & Fellows M (2021) 'Natural climate solutions for Canada' Science Advances 7, (23) , DOI
Davidson SJ, Goud EM, Franklin C, Nielsen SE & Strack M (2020) 'Seismic Line Disturbance Alters Soil Physical and Chemical Properties Across Boreal Forest and Peatland Soils' Frontiers in Earth Science 8, , DOI
Arndt KA, Santos MJ, Ustin S, Davidson SJ, Stow D, Oechel WC, Tran TTP, Graybill B & Zona D (2019) 'Arctic greening associated with lengthening growing seasons in Northern Alaska' Environmental Research Letters 14, (12) 125018-125018 , DOI
Davidson SJ, Strack M, Bourbonniere RA & Waddington JM (2019) 'Controls on soil carbon dioxide and methane fluxes from a peat swamp vary by hydrogeomorphic setting' Ecohydrology 12, (8) , DOI
Davidson SJ, Elmes MC, Rogers H, Beest C, Petrone R, Price JS & Strack M (2019) 'Hydrogeologic setting overrides any influence of wildfire on pore water dissolved organic carbon concentration and quality at a boreal fen' Ecohydrology 12, (7) , DOI
Davidson SJ, Van Beest C, Petrone R & Strack M (2019) 'Wildfire overrides hydrological controls on boreal peatland methane emissions' Biogeosciences 16, (13) 2651-2660 , DOI
Davidson S, Santos M, Sloan V, Reuss-Schmidt K, Phoenix G, Oechel W & Zona D (2017) 'Upscaling CH4 Fluxes Using High-Resolution Imagery in Arctic Tundra Ecosystems' Remote Sensing 9, (12) 1227-1227 , DOI
Davidson S, Santos M, Sloan V, Watts J, Phoenix G, Oechel W & Zona D (2016) 'Mapping Arctic Tundra Vegetation Communities Using Field Spectroscopy and Multispectral Satellite Data in North Alaska, USA' Remote Sensing 8, (12) 978-978 , DOI
Walker DA, Breen AL, Druckenmiller LA, Wirth LW, Fisher W, Raynolds MK, Šibík J, Walker MD, Hennekens S & Boggs K (2016) 'The Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA-AK)' Phytocoenologia 46, (2) 221-229 , DOI
Davidson SJ, Sloan VL, Phoenix GK, Wagner R, Fisher JP, Oechel WC & Zona D (2016) 'Vegetation Type Dominates the Spatial Variability in CH4 Emissions Across Multiple Arctic Tundra Landscapes' Ecosystems 19, (6) 1116-1132 , DOI
Field KJ, Davidson SJ, Alghamdi SA & Cameron DD (2017) 'Magnitude, Dynamics, and Control of the Carbon Flow to Mycorrhizas' Mycorrhizal Mediation of Soil Elsevier 375-393 , DOI


Reports & invited lectures

“Drawing a line in the peat”: Royal Geographical Society, Public Lecture - Feb 2021

“The impact of linear disturbances on boreal peatlands”: Catchment and Wetland Sciences Research Group (CAWS) virtual seminar - Dec 2020

“Anthropogenic disturbances across Boreal Canada”: Arctic Boreal Carbon Flux Upscaling Workshop, ABoVE Virtual Workshop - Oct 2020

“Peatlands as Natural Climate Solutions”: Nature-Based Climate Solutions Summit, Nature Canada, Ottawa, Canada - Feb 2020

“Impact of anthropogenic and natural disturbances on Boreal Peatlands” McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada - Nov 2019

“Effects of seismic line creation on soil characteristics across contrasting boreal soils” Waterloo Ecology Network, Waterloo, Canada - Sep 2019

“Upscaling CH4 emissions across contrasting arctic tundra landscapes” University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK - Sep 2016

“Remote sensing of Arctic tundra landscapes” Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands - May 2016

"Vegetation type dominates CH4 emissions across spatially heterogeneous arctic landscapes” University College London, London, UK - April 2015