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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Mike Flannigan

Dr. Mike Flannigan

BC Innovation Research Chair in Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science, Faculty of Science


Dr. Mike Flannigan's primary research interests include fire and weather/climate interactions, including the potential impact of climatic change, lightning-ignited forest fires, landscape fire modelling and interactions between vegetation, fire, and weather. He uses machine learning approaches to better model and predict wildfire activity to inform the development of a wildfire early warning system and improve fire management planning and operations.

Mike was the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Wildland Fire (2002-2008) and has taken on leadership roles with the US National Assessment on Global Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Fire Fast Track Initiative and Global Change Terrestrial Ecosystems (GCTE) efforts on the global impacts of fire. He is a regular media commentator on Canadian wildland fire science topics, including fire mitigation, fire weather and climate change.

Education and credentials

  • B.Sc. Physics, University of Manitoba
  • M.Sc. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University
  • Ph.D. Plant Sciences, Cambridge University
  • Meteorologist MT35, Environment Canada


  • 2021 - Present | Thompson Rivers University
    BC Innovation Research Chair in Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science, Department of Natural Resource Science
  • 2010 - Present | Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science (Canada Wildfire)
    Science Director
  • 2021 - Present | University of Alberta
    Professor Emeritus
  • 2012 - 2021 | University of Alberta
    Professor of Wildland Fire, Department of Renewable Resources
  • 1981 - 2012 | Natural Resources Canada
    Canadian Forest Services


This is a small sample of media publications and interviews. Please visit TRU’s Newsroom for additional media.

Academic publications

Flannigan, M.D., Krawchuk, M.A., de Groot, W.J., Wotton, B.M. and Gowman, L.M. 2009. Implications of changing climate for global wildland fire. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 18:483-507.

Weber, M.G. and Flannigan, M.D. 1997. Canadian boreal forest ecosystem structure and function in a changing climate: Impacts on fire regimes. Environmental Reviews. 5:145-166.

Jain, P., Castellanos-Acuna, D., Coogan, S.C.P. Abatzoglou, J.T., and Flannigan, M.D. 2021. Observed increases in extreme fire weather driven by atmospheric humidity and temperature. Nature Climate Change.

Flannigan, M.D., Cantin, A.S., de Groot, W.J. Wotton, M. Newbery, A. and Gowman, L.M. 2013. Global wildland fire season severity in the 21st century. Forest Ecology and Management. 294:64-71.


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