Sophia Burke

Sophia Burke

Research Topic

Methane (CH4) Flux Dynamics in Subarctic Peatland Thaw Ponds Using Field and Remote Sensing Techniques

Sophie's research involves the monitoring of CH4 emissions (focusing on ebullitive flux) from thaw ponds at Stordalen Mire in Northern Sweden. Her goals are to understand how CH4 emissions from these ponds are changing over time and to compare them to those of other sub-ecosystems within the whole mire landscape (i.e. intact peat and lakes). She is also interested in using UAVs (unmanned areal vehicles) and other remote sensing platforms as a way of assessing seasonal and interannual changes in thaw pond size.

Degree: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Advisor: Ruth Varner, Earth Sciences

Previous Awards and Activities

  • Fulbright U.S. Student Grant Award, US Department of State & New Zealand Fulbright Commission, April 2014
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantship, March 2014
  • Malmberg Scholarship, American Swedish Institute, January 2014
  • Honorable Mention, AGU, December, 2012

Selected Presentations and Publications

  • Burke, S., M. Wik, A. Lang, P. Crill, R. K. Varner. Thaw Stage and Incoming Solar Radiation Influence Ebullitive Methane Fluxes from Peatland Ponds, Poster Presentation: ICOS Sweden Annual Meeting, Abisko, Sweden. August 24, 2016.
  • Burke, S., R. K. Varner, M. Palace, M. Wik, P. Crill, A. Lang. The sound of bubbles: Monitoring methane fluxes from thaw ponds using acoustic systems, Poster Presentation: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (AGU), San Francisco, CA. December 14, 2013.
  • Burke, S., R. K. Varner, M. Palace, M. Wik, P. Crill, C. K. McCalley, J. Amante. Acoustic Monitoring of Ebullitive Flux from a Mire Ecosystem in Subarctic Sweden.


  • Oral Presentation: College of Life Sciences and Agriculture Undergraduate Research Conference, UNH, April, 2013
  • Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Symposium (ISE), UNH, April, 2013
  • NERU Student Poster Symposium, UNH, August, 2012


Post Graduate Certificate – Earth Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2016
B.S., Environmental Science, University of New Hampshire, 2013

Related Links

Professional Positions

UNH Graduate Teaching Assistant