Profile: Derek Mueller

Profile: Derek Mueller


Derek Mueller - Associate Professor, Physical Geography Student Advisor

  • Degrees: B.Sc. Hons (Trent), M.Sc. (McGill), Ph.D. (Laval)
  • Phone: 613-520-2600 x 1984
  • Email:
  • Office: B349 Loeb


My research examines indicators and impacts of climate change in the cryosphere as well as the consequences of a warming climate (both atmospheric and oceanic) on cryospheric systems. Current interests include environmental change detection of Arctic ice shelves, sea ice and lake ice using microwave and optical remote sensing. I also study the drift and deterioration of large icebergs, known as ice islands, which are considered a hazard to navigation and offshore infrastructure. I am examining the relationship between changes in the cryosphere and climate and place my geophysical research in a broad ecological context.

Research Interests

  • Arctic coastal ‘extreme’ ice features (ice shelves, multiyear landfast sea ice, ice-dammed lakes)
  • Arctic ice islands
  • Indicators and impacts of climate change in the cryosphere
  • The vulnerability of cryo-ecosystems to climate change

2015 – 2016 Courses

  • GEOG 2014 The Earth’s Surface
  • GEOG 3000 Honours Field Course
  • GEOG 3105 Climate and Atmospheric Change

Work in progress

Crawford, A.J., Mueller, D.R., Humphreys, E.R., Carrieres, T. and Tran, H. (2014), Surface ablation model evaluation on a drifting ice island in the Canadian Arctic, Cold Region Science and Technology. In revision

White, A., Mueller, D.R. and Copland, L. (2014) Reconstructing environmental change in the hydrography of Petersen Bay, northern Ellesmere Island, using SAR imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment. In revision

Paquette, M., Fortier, D., Mueller, D.R., Sarrazin, D., and Vincent, W.F. (2014) Rapid disappearance of perennial ice cover on Canada’s northernmost lake. Geophysical Research Letters. In revision

Selected Publications

Chapters in peer-reviewed edited books

Overduin, P.P., Solomon, S.M., Atkinson, D.E., Dallimore, S.R., Eicken, H., Forbes, D.L., Grigoriev, M., Holmes, R.M., James, T.S., Manson, G.K., McClelland, J.W., Mueller, D., Ødegård, R., Ogorodov, S., Proshutinsky, A., and Wetterich, S. (2011) Physical State of the Circum-Arctic Coast. In Forbes, D.L. (ed.), State of the Arctic Coast 2010 – Scientific Review and Outlook. Helmholtz-Zentrum, Geesthacht, Germany, 11-103. (peer-reviewed)

Vincent, W.F., Mueller, D.R., Van Hove, P., and Howard-Williams, C. (2004) Glacial periods on early Earth and implications for the evolution of life. In: Origins: Genesis, Evolution and Diversity of Life. Seckbach, J. (ed.), Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht, 481-501. (editor-reviewed)

Articles in refereed journals

White, A., Copland, L., Mueller, D.R. and Van Wychen, W. (2015) Assessment of historical changes (1959-2012) and the causes of recent break ups of the Petersen Ice Shelf, Nunavut, Canada. Annals of Glaciology, 65-76.  doi:10.3189/2015AoG69A68765.

Mortimer, C., Copland, L. and Mueller, D.R. (2012) Volume and area changes of the Milne Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada, since 1950. Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, F04011, doi:10.1029/2011JF002074.

Derksen, C., Smith, S.L., Sharp, M., Brown, L., Howell, S., Copland, L., Mueller, D.R., Gauthier, Y., Fletcher, C., Tivy, A., Bernier, M., Bourgeois, J., Brown, R., Burn, C.R., Duguay, C., Kushner, P., Langlois, A., Lewkowicz, A.G., Royer, A., and Walker, A. (2012) Variability and Change in the Canadian Cryosphere. Climatic Change, 115(1), 59-88, doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0470-0.

Pope, S., Copland, L., and Mueller, D.R. (2012) Loss of multiyear landfast sea ice from Yelverton Bay, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, 44(2), 210-221. doi:10.1657/1938-4246-44.2.210.

Vincent, W.F., Fortier, D., Lévesque, E., Boulanger-Lapointe, N., Tremblay, B., Sarrazin, D., Antoniades, D., and Mueller, D.R. (2011) Extreme ecosystems and geosystems in the Canadian High Arctic: Ward Hunt Island and vicinity. Écoscience, 18:236-261.

Mueller, D.R., Van Hove, P., Antoniades, D., Jeffries, M.O., and Vincent, W.F. (2009) High Arctic lakes as sentinel ecosystems: Cascading regime shifts in climate, ice-cover, and mixing. Limnology and Oceanography. Special Issue: Lakes and Reservoirs as Sentinels, Integrators, and Regulators of Climate Change. 54: 2371-2385.

Mueller, D.R., Copland, L., Hamilton, A., and Stern, D.R. (2008) Examining Arctic ice shelves prior to 2008 breakup. Eos, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 89(49): 502-503. doi:10.1029/2008EO490002.

Veillette, J., Mueller, D.R., Antoniades, D., and Vincent, W.F. (2008) Arctic epishelf lakes as sentinel ecosystems: Past, present and future. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 113: G04014, doi:10.1029/2008JG000730.

Vincent, A.C., Mueller, D.R., and Vincent, W.F. (2008) Simulated heat storage in a perennially ice-covered high Arctic lake: Sensitivity to climate change. Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans. 113: C04036, doi:10.1029/2007JC004360.

Copland, L., Mueller, D.R., and Weir, L. (2007) Rapid loss of the Ayles Ice Shelf, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Geophysical Research Letters 34: L21501, doi:10.1029/2007GL031809.

Mueller, D.R., Vincent, W.F., and Jeffries, M.O. (2006) Environmental gradients, fragmented habitats and microbiota of a northern ice shelf cryoecosystem, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 38: 593-607.

Mueller, D.R. and Vincent, W.F. (2006) Microbial habitat dynamics and ablation control on the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf. Hydrological Processes 20: 857-876, doi:10.1002/hyp.6113.

Mueller, D.R., Vincent, W.F., and Jeffries, M.O. (2003) Break-up of the largest Arctic ice shelf and associated loss of an epishelf lake. Geophysical Research Letters 30: 2031, doi:10.1029/2003GL017931.


  • ArcticNet
  • Centre d’études nordiques
  • Arctic Institute of North America
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Canadian Geophysical Union
  • International Glaciological Society


  • 2009 NSERC Visiting Fellow (Canadian Ice Service)
  • 2008 Roberta Bondar Fellow in Northern and Polar Studies (Trent University)
  • 2006-7 NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks)