Dr. Laura Brown

Laura Brown

Associate Professor, Associate Chair, Academic, Physical Geography Program Advisor
Geography, Geomatics and Environment

My Research Interests

My research focuses primarily on ice and snow, with a large focus on the response of lake ice to the overlying climate conditions. My research interests are split between Arctic and Temperate regions, and how the cryosphere is responding differently to climate variations in each region. Ongoing projects in my lab group use a combination of tools to assess the current state of the cryosphere. Satellite data is one of the most useful tools as you can view a large area in one image to assess the ice over on an entire lake rather than just what can be observed from the shore. Modelling is advantageous when dealing with aspects undetectable by satellites, such as ice type or thickness. Additionally, field data and ground-based imagery play a crucial role to validate the technology-based data, and I have sampling programs in place throughout Canada to collect field data.

I participate in the following research clusters:

Environmental Processes & Change in Natural Systems

Graduate Student Recruitment

I am actively recruiting highly motivated MSc or Ph.D. students who are interested in the cryosphere, with a particular focus on freshwater ice and snow. Research projects are currently underway in Central Ontario and Nunavut with additional research locations possible in the sub-arctic regions. Students with a strong background in physical sciences are ideal candidates for positions in my research group. Potential projects could involve fieldwork and/or remote sensing and/or numerical modelling.

Selected Publications

Dauginis A and Brown LC. 2021. Recent changes in pan-Arctic sea ice, lake ice, and snow-on/off timing. The Cryosphere, 15, 4781–4805, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-15-4781-2021

Robinson AL, Ariano SS, Brown LC. 2021. The Influence of Snow and Ice Albedo towards Improved Lake Ice Simulations. Hydrology, 8(1), 11, https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology8010011

Young, K.L, Brown, L.C. and Dibike, J. 2020. Arctic wetlands and lakes: dynamics and linkages. In Arctic Hydrology, Permafrost, and Ecosystem: Linkages and Interactions. Yang, D. and D. Kane (Eds.). Springer, Berlin, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50930-9 https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-50930-9

Ariano SS and Brown LC. 2019. An investigation of temperate region lake ice processes on medium sized lakes in Central Ontario. Hydrological Processes, 33, 2434– 2448, doi: 10.1002/hyp.13481

Murfitt J, Brown LC and Howell SEL. 2018. Evaluating RADARSAT-2 for the Automated Monitoring of Lake Ice Phenology Events in Mid-Latitudes, Remote Sensing, 10(10), 1641. doi: 10.3390/rs10101641

PhD, University of Waterloo
MSc, York University
HBSc, York University
Certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing, York University