Merritt Turetsky


Dr. Merritt Turetsky is an ecosystem ecologist with broad interests in plant ecology, wetland ecology, biogeochemistry, and global change. She and her students use a variety of approaches, from large-scale manipulations to laboratory experiments and paleoecological reconstructions, to understand the resilience of communities and ecosystems to environmental change. Dr. Turetsky works on a variety of research issues including permafrost degradation and changing wildfire regimes that are important to global change and environmental policy arenas. She has 20 years of experience working in boreal and arctic ecosystems, and her work contributes to theoretical predictions of ecosystem structure and function, but it also applies to regulation of carbon in a global change world. Turetsky is passionate about northern ecosystems and the people who depend on them. Through research, engagement, and teaching, her primary aim is to train the next generation of scientists in the interdisciplinary skills required to tackle ongoing challenges in the north related to food and water security, energy sustainability, carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, and landscape change. Turetsky frequently engages with the media and has produced her own science segment for live television. Examples of media collaboration can be found at


  • Member of National Academies’ Polar Research Board
  • AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Science Engagement Fellow
  • Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists


Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder


Boulder, Colo.