Trevor Porter

Trevor Porter

Associate Professor
Geography, Geomatics and Environment

My Research Interests

I am a paleoclimatologist, which means I study past climates. My geographic focus is NW Canada and Alaska, including sites just south of the Arctic circle to the Arctic coast in NWT. My research aims to reconstruct past climate dynamics and change in Arctic regions using natural climate proxies, such as tree- rings, relict ground ice or fossil plant remains (e.g., pollen, leaf waxes) in the sedimentary record. Data generated from this type of work help to fill spatial and temporal gaps in our knowledge of the Arctic system, which is largely constrained by a sparse network of instrumental stations spanning the last 50-100 years. There are no analogues in the historic era for where the Arctic system is going, and therefore we must look to past warm intervals to better understand what a future, warmer Arctic may look like, and how sensitive it is to the forcings (greenhouse gases, solar output and volcanic aerosols) and feedbacks that drive climate change over short and long timescales.

I participate in the following research clusters:

Environmental Processes & Change in Natural Systems

Graduate Student Recruitment

I am seeking graduate students with a demonstrated interest and knowledge in past climatic change. You will join my group to work on field-based research projects in NW Canada and Alaska related to paleoclimatic change. If your interests align with my research program, please contact me with your CV and statement of interest.


  • Eccles, K, Majeed, H, Porter, TJ, Lehnherr, I (accepted): A continental and marine influenced tree rings mercury record in Old Crow, Yukon, Canada. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry.
  • Munoz, S, Porter, T, Bakkelund, A, Nausbaumer, J, Dee, S, Giosan, L, & Tierney, J (2020): Lipid biomarker record documents hydroclimatic variability of the Mississippi River basin during the Common Era. Geophysical Research Letters 47 (12), doi: 10.1029/2020GL087237.[LINK]
  • Holland, KM, Porter, TJ, Froese, DG, Kokelj, SV, Buchanan, C (2020). Ice-wedge evidence of Holocene winter warming in the Canadian Arctic. Geophysical Research Letters 47(12), doi: 10.1029/2020GL087942.[LINK]
  • Bandara, Froese, D, S, Porter, TJ, Calmels, F, (accepted). Holocene pore-ice δ18O and δ2H records from drained thermokarst lake basins in the Old Crow Flats, Yukon, Canada. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes.
  • Otiniano, G, Porter, TJ, Benowitz, J, Bindeman, I, Froese, D, Jensen, B, Davies, L, Phillips, M (accepted): Late Cenozoic climate change in terrestrial southern Alaska. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology.[LINK]
  • Porter, TJ, Opel, T (2020). Relict permafrost as an archive for paleo-meteoric waters and climate reconstruction. 2020 International Permafrost Association Transactions Special Issue, Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. [LINK]
  • Churakova (Sidorova), OV, Porter, TJ, Kirdyanov, AV, Myglan, SV, Fonti, MV, & Vaganov, E.A. (accepted). Chapter 21. Stable isotopes in tree rings as indicators of climatic and eco-physiological changes across boreal forest. Editors: Siegwolf, R, Brooks, JR, Roden, & J, Saurer, M. In: Stable Isotopes in Tree Rings: Inferring Physiological, Climatic and Environmental Responses. Springer: Tree Physiology.
  • Ghotra, A, Lehnherr, I, Porter, TJ, & Pisaric, M (2020): Tree-Ring Inferred Atmospheric Mercury Concentrations in the Mackenzie Delta (NWT, Canada) Peaked in the 1970s but Are Increasing Once More. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 4: 457-466.[LINK]
  • Lange, J, Carrer, M, Pisaric, MFJ, Porter, TJ, Seo, J-W; Trouillier, M, Wilmking, M, (2019). Moisture-driven shift in the climate sensitivity of white spruce xylem anatomical traits is coupled to large-scale oscillation patterns across the northern treeline in Alaska and NW Canada. Global Change Biology 25:1842-1856. [LINK]
  • Porter, TJ, Schoenemann, SW, Davies, LJ, Steig, EJ, Bandara, S, Froese, DG (2019). Recent summer warming in northwestern Canada exceeds the Holocene thermal maximum. Nature Communications, doi://10.1038/s41467-019-09622-y. [LINK]
  • Bakkelund, A, Porter, TJ, Froese, DG, Feakins, SJ (2018). Net fractionation of hydrogen isotopes in n-alkanoic acids from soils in the northern boreal forest. Organic Geochemistry, doi://10.1016/j.orggeochem.2018.08.005. [LINK]
  • Clackett, S, Porter, TJ, Lehnherr, I (2018). A 400-year record of atmospheric mercury from tree-rings in northwestern Canada. Environmental Science & Technology, doi://10.1021/acs.est.8b01824. [LINK]
  • PAGES 2k Consortium (2017): A global multiproxy database for temperature reconstructions of the Common Era. Scientific Data, SDATA-16-00169. [LINK]
  • Porter, TJ, Froese, DG, Feakins, SJ, Bindeman, I, Mahony, ME, Pautler, BG, Reichart, G-J, Sanborn, PT, Simpson, MJ, Weijers, JWH (2016): Multiple water isotope proxy reconstruction of extremely low last glacial temperatures in Eastern Beringia (Western Arctic). Quaternary Science Reviews, 137: 113-125. [LINK]
  • Dick, M, Porter, TJ, Pisaric, MFJ, Wertheimer, È, deMontigny, P, Perreault, JT, Robillard, K-L (2014): Development of a multicentennial eastern white pine tree ring chronology from salvaged river logs and its utility for dendroarcheological dating in eastern Ontario, Canada. Dendrochronologia, 32: 120-126. [LINK]
  • Porter, TJ, Pisaric, MFJ, Field, R, Kokelj, SV, Edwards, TWD, deMontigny, P, Healy, R, and LeGrande, A (2014): Spring-summer temperatures since AD 1780 reconstructed from stable oxygen isotope ratios in white spruce tree-rings from the Mackenzie Delta, northwestern Canada. Climate Dynamics, 42: 771-785. [LINK]
  • Porter, TJ, Pisaric, MFJ, Kokelj, SV, deMontigny, P (2013): A ring-width-based reconstruction of June-July minimum temperatures since AD 1245 from white spruce stands in the Mackenzie Delta region, northwestern Canada. Quaternary Research, 80: 167-179. [LINK]
  • Porter, TJ, Middlestead, P (2012): On estimating the precision of stable isotope ratios in processed tree-rings. Dendrochronologia, 30: 239-242. [LINK]
  • Porter, TJ, Pisaric, MFJ (2011): Temperature-growth divergence in white spruce forests of Old Crow Flats, Yukon Territory, and adjacent regions of northwestern North America. Global Change Biology, 11: 3418-3430. [LINK]
  • Wolfe, BB, Humphries, MM, Pisaric, MFJ, Balasubramaniam, AM, Burn, CR, Chan, L, Cooley, D, Froese, DG, Graupe, S, Hall, RI, Lantz, T, Porter, TJ, Roy-Leveillee, P, Turner, KW, Wesche, SD, Williams, M (2011): Environmental change and traditional use of the Old Crow Flats in northern Canada: An IPY opportunity to meet the challenges of the new northern research paradigm. Arctic, 64: 127-135. [LINK]
  • Porter, TJ, Pisaric, MFJ, Kokelj, SV, and Edwards, TWD (2009): Climate signals in δ13C and δ18O of tree-rings from white spruce in the Mackenzie Delta region, northern Canada. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 41: 497-505. [LINK]