ArcticNet - About us

Greg Henry
University of British Columbia

(Biography) I have conducted ecological research in the Arctic since 1980, and mainly in the High Arctic. I have broad interests in responses of tundra ecosystems to environmental change, and use experimental and observational approaches to understand and predict the responses. In 1992, I established the first set of warming experiments linked to the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) in seven tundra plant communities at Alexandra Fiord, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut (79ºN). The long-term experiments are augmented by experiments that combine warming with snow manipulations and nutrient additions. The experiments and associated studies have been maintained for the past 20+ years and have been used in numerous graduate student projects and contributed to large scale synthesis studies of responses of tundra systems to warming. Current studies include common garden experiments to determine the degree of local adaptation in populations of important tundra plant species, and whether plants are showing heritable adaptations to the long-term warming experiments. We also maintain studies of vegetation succession after deglaciation, and have measured the retreat of a glacier at Alexandra Fiord since 1980. In addition, I have conducted studies of the impacts of grazing by muskox and caribou; pioneered the use of dendrochronology of tundra shrub species to reconstruct past climate; and studies of treeline change in the Mackenzie Delta region. The experimental and other studies have become part of our ArcticNet research on understanding the implications of vegetation change in tundra systems. The research was initially started as part of an IPY project (CiCAT), with studies established in Arctic communities linked to high school science classes. We focus on the study of berry producing shrub species, and involve students in measuring berry productivity and in learning traditional knowledge about the berry plants and environmental changes in general. The studies are now conducted in communities across the Canadian Arctic, from Nunatsiavut to the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. I was one of the group of researchers that established ITEX in 1990, and served as Chair from 2003 to 2012. I also helped to establish ITEX as a core project in the International Polar Year (IPY: 2007-2008). During the IPY, I led the largest terrestrial project in the Canadian IPY program: Climate Impacts on Canadian Arctic Tundra (CiCAT) from 2006 to 2011. In addition, I am part of the first NSERC Discovery Frontiers project (ADAPT, led by Prof. Warwick Vincent), which is designed to integrate research on permafrost ecosystems from physical, biological and engineering perspectives. I currently serve as a member of the science and technology management committee for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS). I am also the editor of the new, open access journal "Arctic Science", launched at the ArcticNet conference in Ottawa, December 2014.


Project Leader

Enhancing Community-Based Environmental Monitoring in the Canadian Arctic for Local and Regional Assessments and Adaptation Strategies

Primary Address

University of British Columbia
Department of Geography
1984 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z2

Phone: (604) 822-2985

Fax: (604) 822-6150