Ian Giesbrecht

PhD Candidate


  • BSc, Environmental Science, Simon Fraser University
  • MRM, REM, Simon Fraser University


I'm an ecosystem scientist interested in spatial controls on ecosystem form and function across a range of settings and scales. My masters research examined fine-scale spatial controls on forest composition and development. My PhD examines watershed-scale controls on the ecohydrology of rivers. I am a research scientist with the Hakai Institute where I coordinate a watershed science program focused on understanding how freshwaters influence ocean ecosystems and carbon cycling at the temperate rainforest margin.

In my PhD thesis and my work at Hakai, I study how rivers connect the land to the ocean, and how that connection changes from river to river. I take measurements from the outlets of rivers and merge that information with watershed maps to make predictions over larger regions. Along the way, I work to discover which watershed characteristics (e.g., climate, glaciers, topography, soils, and vegetation) are responsible for controlling river hydrology and biogeochemistry. My study area is the coastal rainforest of western North America, from southeast Alaska through northern California, with an emphasis on the central coast of British Columbia where my field work takes place.

Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ian_Giesbrecht