Lauchlan Fraser

Lauchlan Fraser

Natural Resource Science
Thompson Rivers University

Chair title

NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Ecosystem Reclamation

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2018


Mining is a major driver of Canada's economy, contributing over $54 billion to annual gross domestic product. Over 380,000 workers across the country are employed in mining, with the largest proportion of First Nations (FN) workers of any industry. New mines incorporate strategies for closure from day one and put down a bond committing to tens of millions of dollars that ensures a walk-away or sustainable maintenance scenario after closing of operations. Despite the introduction of industry-driven protocols for assessing performance, there are still gaps in guidelines and protocols for successful ecosystem reclamation following mine closure.

This research Chair in ecosystem reclamation, to support a Centre for Ecosystem Reclamation, will launch an innovative program of applied reclamation research that will work with industry, industry associations, regulators, and FNs to improve efficiency and effectiveness by developing whole-ecosystem reclamation targets and driving associated restoration practices.

The research program is grouped according to three principal and complementary research themes. The first theme explores the use of soil amendments and the land application of biosolids for soil development and ecosystem reclamation in post-mining, mine closure environments. The second studies biodiversity and ecosystem function as it relates to restoration ecology and ecosystem development. The third studies climate change impacts on ecosystem reclamation.

Overall, the integrated research program will bring together knowledge in whole ecosystem-level land reclamation after mine closure in order to:

  • test hypotheses about soil development, food web complexity and trophic interactions, and ecosystem stability and resilience in the face of climate change;
  • optimize successional pathways for rapid and successful ecosystem reclamation in environments impacted by mining.

This program will develop better-adapted ecosystem recovery strategies in collaboration with industry, FN and regulators for socially acceptable and environmentally responsible mining practices.


  • Greater Vancouver Sewerage and Drainage District
  • Genome BC
  • New Afton mine
  • Highland Valley Copper mine
  • Real Estate Foundation of BC
  • Geoscience BC
  • Arrow Transportation Systems Inc.
  • Kinder Morgan Canada
  • BC Cattlemen’s Association

Contact information

Natural Resource Science
Thompson Rivers University



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