Ronald Layden

Ronald Layden

Ronald Layden, PhD
Manager, North Slave Research Centre
North Slave Research Centre (Yellowknife)
P: 867-920-3123



Research Statement

I’m interested in new technology and research studies to better understand and predict the impact of climate change.  Climate warming is occurring at some of the fastest rates in the world in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Mean annual temperature increases of up to 5 C have been recorded in some areas over the past 50 years. Climate change poses huge issues for Northern Canada, and the NWT in particular. Impacts on wildlife, infrastructure, power generation, transportation, and housing are just some of the current issues.  Over the past 5 years the Snare Hydro Basin has experienced more frequent and severe forest fires, drought, and low water that sometimes prevents power generation for long periods.   Paradoxically in some rivers flows are increasing, likely due to warming temperatures and permafrost thawing. This may be impacting the groundwater used in some communities for drinking. 

Much of the North moves on ice and winter roads, so warming winter temperatures and larger loads to mine sites have put stresses on the length of winter road seasons and limits the size of loads that are moved. I’m working with local engineering companies to better understand ice dynamics to improve ice roads.

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Current Projects

  • Permafrost and Groundwater in Whati and the La Martre River Basin
  • ​Native Seed Bank Genomic Characterization and Use for Revegetation
  • ​Using Novel Technology to Survey Methane Emissions in the Mackenzie Delta

Significant Contributions

  • Completion of a feasibility study on solid waste disposal in Yellowknife and surrounding communities. Funded by NSERC and the Montreal-based Terragon Environmental Technologies Inc.
  • Layden RE. 2018. Soil CO2 Measurements in Canada’s High Arctic Winter. Presentation at the Fifth International Symposium on Arctic Research, Tokyo, Japan.
  • Layden RE, and Pickett J. 2017. Northern Research is Helping NTPC Adapt for the Future in Yellowknife. Presentation to the Canadian Hydropower Association, Yellowknife, NT.
  • Hickman J, English M, Marsh P, and Layden RE. 2017. Towards an understanding of the relationships between precipitation and surface discharge in unregulated basins of the Snare River watershed. (Unpublished) Final Report for NTPC.
  • Layden RE. 2017. Testing novel CO2 flux measuring equipment and its use in monitoring permafrost activity. Presentation to the International Symposium on the Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, Wellington, New Zealand