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Simon Donner

Research Associate (2002-2007)

I work with Michael Oppenheimer on the impacts of climate change on the health of freshwater and coastal ecosystems. During my doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin, I looked at the influence of climate and agricultural activity on the export of nitrogen by the Mississippi River. I am currently investigating the impact of climate change on the frequency and severity of eutrophication of coastal waters, by altering the export of nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorous, and sediments by rivers like the Mississippi. In addition, I am studying how future changes in climate may lead to the "bleaching" of coral reefs world-wide and attempting to quantify the probability for recovery given the variety of other stresses on reef ecosystems. My interest in environment was cultivated at young age, through rather typical Canadian activities like camping, canoeing, staring into space and sitting on the edge of large bodies of water. I hope in time to use my scientific training, communications experience and general affection for the outdoor activities to improve public understanding of the interaction between climate, people and the environment.


Donner, S.D., Foley, J.A. and Kucharik, C.J. "The impact of changing land use practices on nitrate export by the Mississippi River." Submitted to Global Biogeochemical Cycles.

Donner, S.D. and Kucharik, C.J. (2003) "Evaluating the impacts of land management and climate variability on crop production and nitrate export across the Upper Mississippi Basin". Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 17(3), 10.1029/2001GB1808.

Donner, S.D. (2003) "The distribution of the primary crops in the U.S. since 1950 and the relationship to river nutrient levels." Global Ecology and Biogeography, 12, 341-355.