Faculty & Staff

Peter G. Brown, Principal Investigator (McGill)
Peter preferred pic

Peter G. Brown is a Professor at McGill University where he holds appointments at the School of Environment, and the Departments of Geography and Natural Resource Sciences.  He holds a BA from Haverford College; an MA from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary in the philosophy of religion; and a PhD from Columbia University in philosophy.  His career has concentrated on the practical uses of philosophy to think critically about the goals of society.  Since the 1980s this work has centered on the deterioration of Earth’s life support capacity and the thought systems that facilitate and legitimate this decline.

He is the author of Restoring the Public Trust: A Fresh Vision for Progressive Government in America, and The Commonwealth of Life: Economics for a Flourishing Earth.  He is a co-author of a book on macro-economics and global governance entitled Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy; and co-edited/authored Water Ethics: Foundational Readings for Students and Professionals. His Ethics for Economics in the Anthropocene is in the Teilhard Series.  He has co-editor/authored Ecological Economics for the Anthropocene: An Emerging Paradigm. He has edited numerous books, written many articles and chapters; and is a frequent speaker. Before coming to McGill he taught at St. John’s College, the University of Maryland (where he founded the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, the School of Public Policy, and the School’s Environmental Program), and Princeton University.

He is currently the Principal Investigator of Economics for the Anthropocene: Re-grounding the human/Earth relationship, a partnership between McGill, the University of Vermont, and York University in Toronto.  With a budget of over five million dollars it aims to educate up to 60 PhDs in the foundations of ecological economics. It offers critical perspectives on the foundations of neo-classical economics, finance, law, governance and ethics; and first hand experiences in responding the pressing issues relating to water, energy, and climate justice. Professor Brown is Project Director of E4A’s follow-on project, Leadership for the Ecozoic.

He is involved in tree farming and conservation efforts in Maryland, Maine, and Quebec–in all three locations his land is under permanent conservation easements (“servitudes”); totally nearly 1000 acres.  He is a Certified Quebec Forest Producer; was named “Tree Farmer of the Year” in Garrett County, Maryland; has served as the “Steward” of Walker Pond in Hancock County, Maine; and helped to found major conservation initiatives in Maryland and Quebec. In 2012 he established a brook trout sanctuary on a threatened stretch of the upper Savage River in the mountains in Maryland, in cooperation with Trout Unlimited and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.   His property in Quebec contains healthy examples of species at risk such as elm, butternut, and American beech; and offers protection to four rare species of salamanders.

He is a dual Citizen of Canada and the United States; a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Club of Rome, and a Facilitator for the discipline of Ecological Economics for the Harmony with Nature Initiative of the Secretary General of the United Nations.


Jon Erickson (UVM)

Jon ProfileJon Erickson is Professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and Fellow of the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at the University of Vermont (UVM). He has published widely on energy & climate change policy, land conservation, watershed planning, environmental public health, and the theory and practice of ecological economics. His books include The Great Experiment in Conservation: Voices from the Adirondack Park (2009), Frontiers in Ecological Economic Theory and Application (2007), Ecological Economics of Sustainable Watershed Management (2007), and Ecological Economics: a Workbook for Problem-Based Learning (2005). Jon is also an Emmy award-winning producer of films such as the four-part PBS series Bloom on sources and solutions to nutrient pollution in Lake Champlain. He was the Managing Director of UVM’s Gund Institute for Ecological Economics from 2009-2012 and is past President of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, past editor of the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, and serves on the board or advisory committee of numerous nongovernmental organizations. He has been a Fulbright Scholar at the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania; Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, and Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra; and was on the economics faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute before joining the University of Vermont in 2002. Jon completed his Ph.D. at Cornell University in Natural Resource Economics in 1997.


Joshua Farley (UVM)

Josh ProfileJoshua Farley is an Ecological Economist who holds degrees in biology, international affairs and economics. Josh Farley is a Professor in the Community Development and Applied Economics department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at University of Vermont. At the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont, Josh is researching and writing on monetary and fiscal policy for a steady state economy; working on a project on the relationship between bicycles, transportation sustainability, and quality of life; and researching interconnections between agroecology, ecosystem services, economic institutions and human welfare in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Past projects include Vermont’s common asset trust, integrating agroecology and payments for ecosystem services in Santa Catarina, Brazil, and Gund Ateliers in Ecological Economics. He has previously served as Program Director at the School for Field Studies, Centre for Rainforest Studies, as the Executive Director of the University of Maryland International Institute for Ecological Economics, and as adjunct faculty and licensed examiner at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. Josh served as a visiting professor at the Federal Universities of Santa Catarina (UFSC) and Bahia (UFBA) on a Fulbright Fellowship in Brazil. Josh is co-author with Herman Daly of Ecological Economics, Principles and Applications, 2 ed. Island Press (2010).


Ellie Perkins (York)

ElliePerkins_pictureEllie Perkins is an economist concerned with the relationship between international trade, the environment, and local economies. She is interested in globalization, and how local economies may grow as an antidote to international trade. She also looks at international means of controlling air pollution in the Arctic, and at the metals and minerals resource industries.

Ellie has been involved in ongoing work with the South Riverdale Community Health Centre related to lead pollution in downtown Toronto. At York, she teaches courses in Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics, and Community Economic Development. Ellie often works with students pursuing research themes related to community economic development, trade and the environment, and feminist economics. Ellie is currently editing a book on feminist ecological economics.


Dina Spigelski, Project Manager (McGill)

Dina ProfileDina’s research and teaching focus is in nutrition, foodsystems and Indigenous Peoples. She was Project Coordinator of the “Indigenous Peoples’ Food Systems for Health” program at the Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Environment (CINE) at McGill University. She co-edited two books that described project results and were published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (see here and here).

Dina taught in the Department of Human Nutrition at St. Francis Xavier University, where she continued to focus on themes of food / climate justice and foodsystems. Her degrees include Bachelor of Nutritional Sciences (Dietetics) and Master of Nutritional Sciences.


Ursula Georgeoglou, L4E Research Assistant and Coordinator (UVM)

Dina ProfileUrsula Georgeoglou is a research assistant and coordinator for the Leadership for the Ecozoic (L4E) project at UVM. She has a background in tropical forest ecology and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and a Master’s degree in Botany, with a specialization in Ecology. Her thesis research focused on the ecology and forest dynamics of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. Her past experiences include working with the Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative at UVM, where she co-authored two book chapters and a guide. She has taught at the college level courses in Ecology, Scientific Research Methodology and Spanish. She has experience coordinating academic events and fundraising events. She is especially interested in the process of paradigm change, specifically the way humans see themselves in the environment and their interpretation of the living world.


Leah Temper, L4E Research Associate (McGill)

Dina Profile

Dr. Leah Temper is an ecological economist, scholar activist and filmmaker based at McGill University, Montreal and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She is the founder and co-director of the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice, an initiative mapping ecological conflicts and spaces of resistance around the world, and Research Associate for the Leadership for the Ecozoic project. She is currently Principal Investigator of the ACKnowl-EJ project (Activist-academic Co-production of Knowledge for Environmental Justice) which examines how transformative alternatives are born from resistance against extractivism. Previously, she was the Director of USC Canada’s Seeds of Survival Program International, which supports farmer-led research in plant genetic resources, agro-biodiversity and agro-ecology in 10 countries; and the scientific coordinator of the EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations Liabilities and Trade) project. She has published over 20 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and is the co-editor of the book “Ecological Economics from the Ground Up”.

Katie Kish, E4A Postdoctoral Fellow (McGill)

Dina Profile

Katie Kish is a postdoctoral fellow for the Economics for the Anthropocene project at McGill University and Vice-President Communications for the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics. She is also a Fellow for the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience and for the Waterloo Institute of Complexity and Innovation. Her background is in systems thinking and complexity science which she applies to her current research on exploring radical and disruptive political economies and possible pathways to alternative futures. She also does extensive work in relation to experiential and long-view teaching such as founding the University of Waterloo Environmental Experiential Learning Group, held the position of Teaching and Learning Associate for the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment, and founded an annual Environment Festival to showcase research and encourage hands-on learning throughout the Faculty. Katie is currently co-editing a book titled Freedom on a Finite Planet: Rethinking Liberty and the Politics of the Anthropocene and co-editing two special issues on a research agenda for Ecological Economics in the Journal of Sustainability and the Journal for Ecological Economics. When she can get away from her computer, Katie hikes with her dog, builds/colours/writes/sings/dances with her daughter, and cuddles with her newborn son.

Student Representatives

Alison Adams (UVM), Alice Damiano (McGill), David Mallery (York).