Julie Loisel


Peatlands and wetlands, soils, carbon cycling, terrestrial ecosystem dynamics, paleoecology, paleoclimatology, environmental change, Holocene, alpine, arctic, and antarctic regions

Dr. Julie Loisel was born and raised near Montreal, in the Quebec province of Canada. Prior to earning a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Physical Geography at University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), she spent two years traveling across Canada and western Europe, where she worked as a ski instructor and ski guide. Dr. Loisel moved to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley in 2008 to complete a PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences at Lehigh University, where she studied the contrasting Holocene carbon dynamics in peatlands from Alaska and Patagonia. After three years working as a post-doc at Lehigh and then UCLA, she moved to Houston to join Texas A&M University in 2015.

Dr. Loisel has been conducting field research on terrestrial ecosystem ecology, paleoclimatology, and geomorphology in the United States Southwest, Canada, Alaska, southern Patagonia (Chile and Argentina), Peru, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Those expeditions have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, Lehigh University, Texas A&M University, and DoD's Southwest Climate Science Center. Her research focuses on long-term terrestrial ecosystem response to global change, specifically on carbon sequestration in peatland ecosystems from around the world and on peat-based paleoenvironmental reconstructions using a suite of proxies (plant fossils, stable isotopes, testate amoebae, etc.).

Selected Publications

32-Treat C, Broothaerts N, Dalton A, Dommain R, Douglas T, …, Loisel J, …, Verstraeten G, Williams C, Xia Z, Yu Z, Brovkin V. 2019. Widespread global peatland establishment and persistence since the last interglacial. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

31-Galka M, Szal M, Broder T, Loisel J, Knorr K-H. 2019. Peatbog resilience to pollution and climate change over the past 2700 years in the Harz Mountains, Germany. Ecological Indicators 97, 183-193.

30-Loisel J, Gallego-Sala A. 2018. A forward modeling approach to paleoclimatic interpretation of peat cores. Quaternary Perspectives, International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA).

29-Amesbury MJ, Booth RK, Roland TB, Bunbury J, Clifford MJ, …, Loisel J , …, Sullivan ME, Swindles GT, Talbot J, van Bellen S, Warner BG. 2018. Towards a global synthesis of peatland testate amoeba ecology: development of a new continental-scale palaeohydrological transfer function for North America and comparison to European data. Quaternary Science Reviews 201, 481-500.

28-Loisel J, Gallego-Sala A. 2018. New research directions for the PAGES C-PEAT working group. PAGES Newsletter, Past Global Changes (PAGES).

27-Gallego-Sala A, Charman D, Brewer S, Page S, Prentice C, …, Loisel J, …, van Geel B, Wang G, Yu Z, Zaragoza-Castells J, Zhao Y. 2018. Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming. Nature Climate Change, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0271-1.

26-Xia Z, Yu Z, Loisel J. 2018. Centennial-scale dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere westerly winds across the Drake Passage over the past two millennia. Geology, https://doi.org/10.1130/G40187.1

25-Stelling J, Yu Z, Beilman DW, Loisel J. 2018. Dynamic response of moss peatbank ecosystems to late Holocene hydroclimate change in the western Antarctic Peninsula. Quaternary Science Reviews, 188: 77-89, https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.quascirev.2017.10.033.

24-Loisel J, MacDonald GM, Thomson M. 2017. Little Ice Age climatic erraticism as an analogue for future enhanced hydroclimatic variability across the American Southwest. PLoS One, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186282.

23-Loisel J, Yu Z, Beilman DW, Kaiser K, Parnikoza I. 2017. Past and present peatland development in Antarctica under warm climates. Scientific Reports 7, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-12479-0.

22-Harden J, Hugelius G, Ahlström A, Blankinship J, Bond-Lamberty B, …, Loisel J, …, Heckman K, Crow S, Silver W, DeLonge M, Nave L. 2017. Pathways for the science community to characterize the state, vulnerabilities, and management opportunities of soil organic matter. Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13896.

**One of the top 25 most downloaded GCB articles in 2018**

21-Loisel J, Malhotra A, Phillips C. 2017. A new platform for managing soil carbon and soil health. Eos Magazine, 98, American Geophysical Union (AGU), doi.org/10.1029/2017EO 080753.

20-Loisel J, van Bellen S, Pelletier L, Talbot J, Hugelius G, Karran D, Yu Z, Nichols J, Holmquist J. 2016. Insights and issues with estimating northern peatland carbon stocks and fluxes since the Last Glacial Maximum. Invited review. Earth Science Reviews, doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2016.12.001.

19-Yu Z, Beilman DW, Loisel J. 2016. Transformations of landscape and peat-forming ecosystems responding to late Holocene climate change in the western Antarctic Peninsula. Geophysical Research Letters. 43. doi: 10.1002/ 2016GL069380.

18-Loisel J. 2015. Peatlands as carbon sinks / Las turberas como sumideros de carbono, Chapter 11 p. 297-315. In: E Domínguez and D Vega-Valdés (eds.). Funciones y servicios ecosistémicos de las turberas en Magallanes. INIA Nº 33. Punta Arenas, Chile. 334 pp.

17-Treat CC, Jones MC, Camill P, Garneau M, Gallego-Sala A, …, Loisel J, …, Ronkainen TM, Sannel ABK, Talbot J, Tarnocai CM, Väliranta M. 2015. Effects of permafrost aggradation on peat properties as determined from a pan-arctic synthesis of plant macrofossils. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences. 121(1): 78-94. doi:10.1002/2015JG003061.

16-Loisel J, Yu Z, Beilman DW, Camill P, Alm J, Amesbury MJ, Anderson D, Andersson S, Bochicchio C, Barber K, Belyea LR, Bunbury J, Chambers FM, Charman DJ, De Vleeschouwer F, Fiałkiewicz-Kozieł B, Finkelstein SA, Gałka M, Garneau M, Hammarlund D, Hinchcliffe W, Holmquist J, Hughes P, Jones MC, Klein ES, Kokfelt U, Korhola A, Kuhry P, Lamarre A, Lamentowicz M, Large D, Lavoie M, MacDonald G, Magnan G, Mäkilä M, Mallon G, Mathijssen P, Mauquoy D, McCarroll J, Moore TR, Nichols J, O’Reilly B, Oksanen P, Packalen M, Peteet D, Richard PJH, Robinson S, Ronkainen T, Rundgren M, Sannel ABK, Tarnocai C, Thom T, Tuittila E-S, Turetsky M, Väliranta M, van der Linden M, van Geel B, van Bellen S, Vitt D, Zhao Y, Zhou W. 2014. A database and synthesis of northern peatland soil properties and Holocene carbon and nitrogen accumulation. The Holocene 24(9), 1028-42.

15-Yu Z, Loisel J, Charman DJ, Beilman DW, Camill P. 2014. Holocene peatland carbon dynamics in the circum-Arctic region: an Introduction. The Holocene 24(9), 1021-27.

14-Loisel J, Yu Z, Charman D. 2014. A synthesis of northern peatland carbon accumulation history. Quaternary Perspectives Magazine, International Quaternary Association (INQUA).

13-Yu Z, Loisel J. 2014. Holocene circum-Arctic peatland carbon dynamics. PAGES Newsletter, Past Global Changes (PAGES), 22(1): 41.

12-Loisel J, Yu Z. 2013. Surface vegetation patterning controls carbon accumulation in peatlands. Geophysical Research Letters, 40: 1-6, doi:10.1002/grl.50744.

11-Loisel J, Yu Z. 2013. Holocene peatland carbon dynamics in Patagonia. Quaternary Science Reviews, 69: 125-141.

10-Loisel J, Yu Z, Parsekian A, Nolan J, Slater L. 2013. Quantifying landscape morphology influence on peatland lateral expansion using ground penetrating radar (GPR) and peat core analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 118, 10.1002/jgrg20029.

09-Yu Z, Loisel J, Turetsky MR, Cai S, Zhao Y, Frolking S, MacDonald GM, Bubier JL. 2013. Evidence for elevated emissions from high-latitude wetlands causing high atmospheric CH4 concentration in the early Holocene. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 27, 10.1002/gbc20025.

08-Loisel J, Yu Z. 2013. Recent acceleration of carbon accumulation in a boreal peatland, south-central Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 118, 10.1029/2012jg001978.

07-Charman D, Beilman D, Blaauw M, Booth RK, Brewer S, …, Loisel J, …, Väliranta M, van Bellen S, van Geel B, Vitt D, Zhao Y. 2013. Climate-related changes in peatland carbon accumulation during the last millennium. Biogeosciences, 10, 929-944, 10.5194/bg-10-929-2013.  

06-Loisel J, Gallego-Sala AV, Yu Z. 2012. Global-scale pattern of peatland Sphagnum growth driven by photosynthetically active radiation and growing season length. Biogeosciences, 9: 2737-2746.

05-Yu Z, Loisel J, Brosseau D, Beilman D, Hunt S. 2010. Global peatland dynamics since the Last Glacial Maximum. Geophysical Research Letters 37, L13402, 10.1029/2010GL043584.
***Research spotlight article in EOS***

04-Loisel J, Garneau M. 2010. Late-Holocene paleoecohydrology and carbon accumulation estimates from two boreal peat bogs in eastern Canada: potential and limits of multi-proxy analyses. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 291:493-533.

03-Loisel J, Garneau M, Hélie J-F. 2010. Sphagnum δ13C values as indicators of paleohydrolo-gical changes in a peat bog. The Holocene 20(2): 285-291.

02-Loisel J, Garneau M, Hélie J-F. 2009. Modern Sphagnum δ13C signatures follow a surface- moisture gradient in two boreal peat bogs, James Bay lowlands, Québec. J of Quaternary Science 24(3): 209-214.

01-Ali AA, Ghaleb B, Garneau M, Asnong H, Loisel J. 2008. Recent peat accumulation rates in minerotrophic peatlands of Bay James region, Eastern Canada, inferred by 210Pb and 137Cs radiometric techniques. Applied Radiation and Isotopes 66: 1350-1358.


Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University (2012)

M.Sc. in Physical Geography, University of Quebec - Montreal, Canada (2008)

B.Sc. in Physical Geography, University of Quebec - Montreal, Canada (2006)


Dean’s PhD Fellowship, Lehigh University (2011-2012)

Alexander Graham Bell Canada Doctoral Postgraduate Scholarship, NSERC (2008-2011)

Alexander Graham Bell Canada Masters Postgraduate Scholarship, NSERC (2006-2008)

Undergraduate Student Research Awards, NSERC (2004, 2005)

Additional Information

2018-  Co-leader of the Steering Group Committee, C-PEAT (Carbon in Peat on Earth through Time), a Past Global Changes (PAGES) Working Group on climate forcings.

2017-  Scientific Steering Group member, International Soil Carbon Network (ISCN).

2018-  Associate Editor, Climate of the Past

2018-  Associate Editor, Scientific Reports

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