Catherine M. Dieleman

Portrait of Dr. Catherine Dieleman. She is wearing a hat, sunglasses, a pink scarf and a blue shirt and is standing next to a waterway
Assistant Professor
Alexander Hall Room 220
Alexander Hall Room 131

Dr. Catherine Dieleman is an Assistant Professor in Boreal Forest Ecology, with expertise in biogeochemical cycling across a range of northern ecosystems. Accordingly, Dr. Dieleman integrates trends found within the soil, water, vegetation, and surface gas chemistry to identify emergent patterns at the ecosystem level. She is particularly fascinated with novel disturbance regimes impacting northern environments, including climate change, permafrost thaw, wildfire, anthropogenic development, and resource extraction. Working in tandem with community members, governmental partners, NGO’s, and fellow academics, Dr. Dieleman’s program strives to understand the resilience of the boreal to these evolving stressors and develop tools and strategies urgently needed now to navigate foreseeable trade-offs scenarios and mitigate negative environmental impacts.

Academic History

  • B.Sc. Hons, McMaster University, Biology (2010)
  • M.Sc. McMaster University, Biology (2012)
  • Ph.D. University of Western Ontario, Biology (2016)
  • NSERC Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Guelph, Integrative Biology (2016 - 2020)
  • Research Associate, University of Guelph, Integrative Biology (2020 - 2022)

Affiliations and Partnerships

  • Associate Graduate Faculty, Department of Biology, Wilfrid Laurier University
  •  Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Canadian Wildlife Society
  • Government of the Northwest Territories
  • NASA’s Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE)
  • Bonanza Creek Long-Term Experimental Research Site – Alaska Peatland Experiment

Awards and Honours

  • NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellowship
  • Invited NSERC and L’Oreal-UNESCO for Woman in Science Finalist

Current Research Projects

See my personal website for an up-to-date list of the programs the NorthCore research group is leading.

Graduate Student Information

One of the greatest joys in Dr. Dieleman’s life is developing a mentoring relationship built on mutual respect and trust with a student and then watching the joy of discovery and comprehension as the student masters a new task or concept. As a direct supervisor she works closely with students to develop individualized research plans during weekly meetings where goals, challenges, and emerging ideas are shaped and addressed. As a graduate of Western University’s Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Environment and Sustainability enrichment program, she trains her students to work across traditional disciplinary boundaries to develop novel solutions to the large environmental challenges society is faced with today. Lab meetings are a dynamic experience used to refine oral communication techniques, explore emerging literature, develop professional skills, as well as creating team building opportunities. All of these experiences are based in safe space where all students are empowered to take the risks needed to overcome the challenges inherent to a rewarding learning experience. If you are interested in working with Dr. Dieleman, check her twitter account for currently opportunities and reach out directly via email.

Featured Publications

For a full list of publications, refer to her Google Scholar Profle or Research Gate Profile 

  • Dieleman, C.M., Branfireun, B.A., McLaughlin, J.W., Lindo, Z. (2015) Climate change drives a shift in peatland ecosystem plant communities: Implications for ecosystem function and stability. Global Change Biology. 21, 388-395. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.1264
  • Desjardins, E., Barker, G., Lindo, Z., Dieleman, C. M., Dussault, A. (2015) Promoting Resilience. The Quarterly Review of Biology. 90, 147-165. DOI: 10.1086/681439
  • Walker, X., Baltzer, J.L., Barrett, K., Bourgeau-Chavez, L., Brown, C., Day., N.J., de Groot, W.J., Dieleman, C.M., Goetz, S., Hoy, E., Jenkins, L., Johnstone, J., Kane, E.S., Natali, S., Parisien, M-A., Rogers, B., Shuur, T., Turetsky, M., Veraverbeke, S., Whitman, E., Mack, M.C. (2020) Fuel availability not fire weather controls wildfire severity and carbon emissions. Nature Climate Change. 10, 1130-1136
  • Dieleman, C.M., Rogers, B., Veraverbeke, S., Johnstone, J.F., Laflamme, J., Solvik, K., Walker, X., Mack, M.C., Turetsky, M.R. (2020) Wildfire combustion and carbon stocks in the southern Canadian boreal forest: Implications for a warming world. Global Change Biology. 26, 6062-6079 *Highlighted via additional commentary article by Global Change Biology
  • Dieleman, C.M., Day, N., Baltzer, J., Turetsky, M.R. (2022) Mechanistic linkages between carbon and nitrogen cycling following permafrost thaw. Science of the Total Environment, In Press.


Area of Research

Ecosystem Science and Biodiversity