I am an Associate Professor in the Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Physics group in the Department of Physics, and a cross-appointed member of the School of the Environment.

I am interested in the Earth's carbon cycle, which is the flow of carbon (generally in the form of carbon dioxide) between the land, oceans and atmosphere. Measurements of the atmosphere are key to understanding these processes: they constrain the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide and help determine the impacts of increasing fossil fuel emissions into our atmosphere. My research focuses on making precise and accurate measurements of atmospheric greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, and interpreting the measurements in the context of the carbon cycle.

My two main research projects investigate the impact of the Boreal forest on the global carbon cycle, and the magnitude of the greenhouse gas emissions from Toronto, Canada's largest city. We're currently observing greenhouse gases in Toronto's atmosphere using a mobile in situ gas analyser. Please visit our GTA emissions webpage to check it out. U of T Magazine included a nice write-up about our project here: How Much Methane?

I am involved in two large projects: the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON), which is a global network of ground-based instruments that measure greenhouse and other atmospheric trace gases with unprecedented precision and accuracy, and the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2), a satellite launched in July 2014, that is making high precision global measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide and solar-induced fluorescence (a measure of plant photosynthesis).

Data from our TCCON observatory at East Trout Lake, Saskatchewan, are available through the TCCON data archive, and our other datasets are available through Dataverse. Our software is available through GitHub.

If you'd like to work with us as a postdoctoral scholar, please see the Postdoctoral Opportunities link for details!


Debra Wunch
University of Toronto
Department of Physics, Rm 707A
60 St. George Street
Toronto, ON  M5S 1A7
Phone: (416) 946-0408
Fax: (416) 978-8905
Email: dwunch at atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca
More information: About the PI