Kyra St. Pierre

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research Units

Pelagic Ecosystems Lab
Hakai Coastal Initiative


Ph.D. in Biological Sciences (University of Alberta, Canada)
Honours B.Sc. in Environmental Science (University of Ottawa, Canada)

Contact Information


Research Interests

I am an aquatic biogeochemist with an interest in understanding the cycles of carbon, nutrients and contaminants across and between terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. I draw on principles and techniques from multiple disciplines, including limnology, hydrology, glaciology, analytical chemistry and biology, to understand these cycles along the land-to-ocean aquatic continuum.


I began my research career using isotope-enriched tracers of mercury to quantify rates of mercury methylation and demethylation in coastal sediments of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago under different environmental conditions. Since then, I have been involved in several projects aimed at better understanding the mercury cycle across Arctic ecosystems, from small scale physical and microbial transformations, to the bioaccumulation of mercury in polar bear tissues. Due to the complexity of the mercury cycle and its interconnectedness with that of other elements, this work naturally lent itself to the study of carbon and nutrient cycles across northern watersheds. For my Ph.D. thesis at the University of Alberta, I examined the impacts of enhanced glacial melt on the biogeochemical cycles of inorganic carbon, mercury and nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus) across the Lake Hazen watershed in the Canadian High Arctic, from glacial headwaters through a large lake and to the nearshore environment.

Building on these experiences, my current research with the Hakai Coastal Initiative aims to understand how the quality and quantity of freshwater exports from the coastal temperate rainforests along B.C.’s central coast change over time and space.