Picture of Anna Coles

Anna Coles Environmental Monitoring Specialist, Government of the Northwest Territories

Research Area(s)

  • Catchment hydrology
  • Runoff generation
  • Climate change
  • Land management

Academic Background

By training Anna Coles is a hydrologist and geographer. She studied at Durham University (UK) where she obtained her B.Sc. in Geography (2010) and M.Sc. in Risk and Environmental Hazards (2011). Anna completed her Ph.D. in Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) in 2017. She has held research positions at Centre de Recherhe Public - Gabriel Lippmann (Luxembourg) and Oregon State Univeristy (USA). Anna is affiliated with the American Geophysical Union, and currently sits on their Surface Water Technical Committe. Her current position is as a postdoctoral researcher with the Mine Overlay Testing Facility and Global Institute for Water Securitym at the University of Saskatchewan.

Research Interests

Anna Coles research applies hydrometric, isotopic, experimental, and modeling methods to understand the storage and release of water at the hillslope, catchment and landscape scales. Anna's PhD focused on fundamental questions of snowmelt- and rainfall-runoff delivery on the northern Great Plains of North America, while her postdoctoral work is applying this understanding in the design of soil covers at mine sites in northern Canada. She is particularly interested in the interplay between topography and spatial patterns in land surface variables - such as driving fluxes, soil characteristics, vegetation and land use. Her research seeks to disentangle the interactions between these spatial patterns, understand how they combine to generate hydrological responses across scales, and predict how they affect downstream water quality and quantity.


Appels, W., Chun, K.P., Coles, A.E., and Strickert, G. (2017) DIY meteorologyL use of citizen sciene to montor snow dynamics in a data-sparse city, FACETS. In review.

Coles, A.E., Wetzel C.E., Martinez-Carreras, N., Frentress, J. Etor, L., Hoffmann, L., McDonnell, J.J., and Pfister, L. (2015) Diatoms as a tracer of hydrological connectivity: are they of infinite supply?, Ecohydrology, DOI: 10.1002/eco.1662. 

Coles, A.E., Appels, W.M., McConkey, B.G., and McDonnell, J.J. (2016) The hierarchy of contros on snowmelt-runoff generation over seasonally-frozen hillslopes, Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences Discussions, doi:10.5194/hess-2016-564.

Coles, A.E. and McDonnell, J.J. (2017) Fill and spill drives runoff connectivitiy over grozen ground, Hydrologial Processes. In review. 

Coles, A.E., McConkey, B.G., and McDonnell, J.J. (2017) Climate change impacts on hillslope runoff on the northern Great Plains, 1962-2013, Journal of Hydrology. In Review. 

Li, Z., Lin, X., Coles, A.E., and Chen, X. (2017) Catchment-scale surface water-groundwater connectivity on China's Loess Plateau, Catena 152: 268-276.