Cohort 2 was accepted in Fall 2015
Joe Ament (UVM)
Joe Ament graduated from The Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan, focusing on Economics and Finance. After spending 7 years in corporate strategy in both the for- and non-profit sectors, he spent 3 years writing about the ecological and economic problems we now face. In the Rubenstein School, Joe’s research examines Monetary Theory in the context of socioecological stability. His interests lie in how economic rent and modern monetary systems affect social justice and environmental degradation; and how a socioecologically-resilient society will use money and distribute wealth. Outside of reading and writing, Joe loves to surf (taking a few years off!), bike slowly, paint, and listen to Stevie Wonder.
Keywords: monetary theory, rent theory, monetary policy, public money, ecological economics
Janica Anderzèn (UVM)
Janica is pursuing a PhD in Agroecology at UVM. Her research is linked to a three-year, collaborative and participatory research project, Assessment of Diversification Strategies in Smallholder Coffee Systems of Mesoamerica. The project explores economic, ecological and social impacts of selected diversification strategies in smallholder coffee communities in Mexico and Nicaragua. As a proponent of inclusive and action-oriented processes of knowledge building, she is applying the Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach to her research. Janica holds a BA and a MA in Latin American Studies, and an M.Soc.Sc. in Development Studies from the University of Helsinki. Her Master’s thesis in Development Studies explored social and economic impacts of coffee rust on small-scale coffee farmers’ livelihoods in Chiapas, Mexico. Between and during her studies, she has worked in several environmental, cultural and human rights NGOs in Finland and abroad. Janica enjoys hiking, walking, biking, foraging mushrooms and picking berries, growing vegetables, preserving food, reading, photography, and arts & crafts. Coming from a country of forests and lakes, she feels home around trees and water, and is excited about exploring the nature of Vermont.
Keywords: smallholder coffee systems, rural livelihoods, climate change resilience, livelihood
diversification, participatory action research
Benjamin Dube (UVM)
Ben is pursuing a PhD in Natural Resources at the University of Vermont. He has an undergraduate degree in Agriculture and Food Systems from Green Mountain College. He continued working there after graduation as a farmer, educator & researcher on energy issues in small scale farming systems. His research investigates the multifunctionality of agricultural landscapes in both producing food and ecosystem services and implications for government policy in supporting farmers.
María Juncos (York)
María is a PhD student at York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. Her research interests are in ecological economics, system thinking and urban sustainability, especially locally-based and small-scale urban agriculture and economics in small island development states (SIDS). She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Management (MSEM) from Universidad Metropolitana (UMET) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and a BA from University of Massachusetts. Since 2002, María has worked as the Director of the Center for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS), a division of the School of Environmental Affairs at UMET. She initiated the CSDS after she finished her MSEM and, since then, she has developed and implemented outreach education and research projects on sustainable development and Smart Growth through grantsmanship and fundraising. Some of these initiatives included technical trips with stakeholders from Puerto Rico to cities well-known for their sustainable initiatives around the world and educational publications that have influenced local public policy. Through her PhD, she wants to increase her knowledge in key sustainable development topics to be better prepared as a university professor and researcher. She also wants to help SIDS governments to vanguard the cohesive development of urban farming ventures for the resilience of local communities. She believes that as the interest in land devoted to urban agriculture grows, strategies and policies that could support it while maximizing its socioeconomic returns are indispensable for the challenges of the 21st century.
Alia Karim (York)
Alia is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. She has a Master of Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University and Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Mount Allison University. Her research interests include the sociology of food and social movements, food labour; food sovereignty; colonialism; Marxist political economy; socialism; and urban agriculture, particularly organopónicos (i.e. intensive urban gardens) and cooperatives in Cuba where she recently completed a Permaculture Design Course. She is currently a member of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council, Accessibility, Community and Equity student group, as well as the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign at York.
Stefano Menegat (McGill)
Stefano is a PhD candidate in Renewable Resources at McGill University. He received his master degree in Cooperation and Development (specialization in Environmental Economics) from the University of Turin in 2014, with a thesis on Alternative Food Networks in urban contexts. His research interests focus on the relationship between agri-food and socio-economic systems. Through the E4A program he aims to develop a new approach for the design of food policy for the Anthropocene.
Keywords: agri-food system, social metabolism, complexity sciences, ecological economics, modeling
Romain Svartzman (McGill)
Romain Svartzman is a Ph.D. Candidate at McGill University, Canada. His research aims to develop the field of ecological macroeconomics, at the crossroad between ecological economics, endogenous money approaches, and world-ecology perspectives. His work mostly revolves around the following topics: Assessing the connections between declining energy returned on energy invested (EROI), financialization and the expansion of commodity frontiers; Revisiting the concept of global liquidity for a finite planet with limited substitutability. Prior to starting his Ph.D., Romain worked for the International Finance Corporation (IFC, World Bank Group) as an environmental and social consultant (2012-2015), and as an investor in clean technologies for a French venture-capital firm (2007-2011). He also has experience in asset management, in corporate social responsibility for the banking sector, and in the assessment of business regulations for small businesses (World Bank). Romain holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business (2007) and an Undergraduate degree in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), as well as a degree in Economics and Law of Climate Change from FLACSO Argentina (2015).
Keywords: monetary systems, financial instability, socio-ecological systems, commons, institutions