Photo of 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
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.

Research Interests

  • Arctic ice shelves
  • Epishelf lakes
  • Ice islands and icebergs
  • Indicators and impacts of climate change in the cryosphere
  • Remote sensing of ice and cryospheric change

2015 – 2016 Courses

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

Work in progress

Copland, L and Mueller, D. (eds.) Arctic Ice Shelves and Ice Islands, Springer-Verlag. In preparation.

Selected Publications

Crawford, A.J., Mueller, D.R., Humphreys, E.R., Carrieres, T. and Tran, H. (2015) Surface ablation model evaluation on a drifting ice island in the Canadian Arctic, Cold Regions Science and Technology. 110, 170-182, doi:10.1016/j.coldregions.2014.11.011.

Paquette, M., Fortier, D., Mueller, D.R., Sarrazin, D., and Vincent, W.F. (2015) Rapid disappearance of perennial ice cover on Canada’s northernmost lake. Geophysical Research Letters. 42:5, 1433-1440, doi:10.1002/2014GL062960.

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, 56:69, 65-76.  doi:10.3189/2015AoG69A687.

White, A., Mueller, D.R. and Copland, L. (2015) Reconstructing hydrographic change in Petersen Bay, Ellesmere Island, inferred from SAR imagery. Remote Sensing Environment. 165, 1-13. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2015.04.017.

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.

Forrest, A.L., Hamilton, A.K., Schmidt, V., Laval, B.E., Mueller, D., Crawford, A., Brucker, S., and Hamilton, T. (2012) Digital terrain mapping of Petermann Ice Island fragments in the Canadian High Arctic. Proceedings of the 21st IAHR International Symposium on Ice “Ice Research for a Sustainable Environment”, Dalian, China, June 11-15, 2012, 710-721.

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.

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.

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., Bonilla, S., and Laurion, I. (2005) Extremotrophs, extremophiles and broadband pigmentation strategies in a high arctic ice shelf ecosystem. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 53:73-87, doi:10.1016/j.femsec. 2004.11.001.

Fountain, A.G., Tranter, M., Nylen, T.H., Lewis, K.J., and Mueller, D.R. (2004) Evolution of cryoconite holes and their contribution to melt-water runoff from glaciers in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, 50(168):35-45.

Mueller, D.R. and Pollard, W.H. (2004) Gradient analysis of cryoconite ecosystems from two polar glaciers. Polar Biology, 27:66-74, doi:10.1007/s00300-003-0580-2.

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:10.1029/2003 GL017931.


  • ArcticNet
  • Arctic Institute of North America
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Canadian Geophysical Union
  • Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
  • 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)