Scott Zolkos Ph.D.

  • Postdoctoral Fellow
Scott Zolkos

Dr. Scott Zolkos studies the effects of climate change on high-latitude northern ecosystems, specifically researching how permafrost thaw affects land-freshwater linkages. As a National Science Foundation Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Zolkos works with scientists at Woodwell Climate and Harvard University to study the effects of permafrost thaw and wildfire on mercury and carbon cycling in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Southwestern Alaska.

permafrost photo by Scott Zolkos

After completing a B.A. in environmental science and geology from Middlebury College in 2011, Dr. Zolkos joined Woodwell as a research assistant. He became hooked on Arctic science on a trip to the remote Russian Arctic and became fascinated with the effects of permafrost thaw on ecosystems and climate. He pursued this interest through graduate studies in biological sciences at the University of Alberta in Canada, where his Ph.D. (2019) research investigated permafrost thaw effects on aquatic ecosystems and carbon cycling in the Yukon and Northwest Territories.

Dr. Zolkos is passionate about education and inspiring the next generation of scientists through involvement in initiatives like the Polaris Project. He finds engaging with students and interacting with local northern communities to be among the most rewarding aspects of his collaborative research to better understand northern ecosystem change.

Northern ecosystems are rapidly changing, with implications for global climate. It is a critical time for collaborative science to advance understanding of this change, for informed and improved societal outcomes. This is a big motivation for me!

Selected Publications

Detecting and Mapping Gas Emission Craters on the Yamal and Gydan Peninsulas, Western Siberia

Zolkos, S., G. Fiske, T. Windholz, G. Duran, Z. Yang, V. Olenchenko, A. Faguet, and S.M. Natali. (2021). Geosciences.


Mercury Export from Arctic Great Rivers

Zolkos S., D. P. Krabbenhoft, A. Suslova, S. E. Tank, J. W. McClelland, R.G.M. Spencer, A. Shiklomanov, A.V. Zhulidov, T.Y. Gurtovaya, N. Zimov, S. Zimov, E.A. Mutter, L. Kutny, E. Amos, and R.M. Holmes. (2020). Environmental Science & Technology.