Students: Climate Justice Cohort

Cohort 3 began in Fall 2016


Alison Adams (UVM)

Alison AdamsAlison is a PhD student at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School, working with Professor Rachelle Gould. She studies the nonmaterial benefits human receive from nature, looking particularly at how the biophysical effects of climate change impact individuals’ subjective well-being and cultural practices, and the justice and equity implications of these effects. She’s also interested in the ways ecological economics can reshape how people view and actualize their relationship(s) with nature. With a background in spatial modelling and land cover change, Alison explores how spatial patterns affect and emerge from people’s interactions with nature and climate change, and often considers the most effective way to visually represent these patterns. Prior to graduate school, Alison worked in community organizing and environmental advocacy. She has a BA from Yale and received her MS in Natural Resources from UVM.

Douglas Baxter (York)

douglas-baxterDouglas is pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Studies at York University. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies also from York. His area of interest revolves around relationships between firm efficiency, profitability and sustainability in small enterprises. Douglas was born and raised on the beautiful island of Jamaica where he lived until the age of 14 before moving to Canada. Unsure of what he wanted to study, he dabbled in anthropology and economics, eventually settling on environmental studies. He enjoys learning about human interaction with the environment, and challenges himself to think of ways to improve our grim environmental situation worldwide. His second area of study would have been anthropology as he is interested in human life and culture. In his spare time, Douglas enjoys playing sports, reading, and attending basketball games and concerts.

Sam Bliss (UVM)

samblissSam studies ecological economics with the intention of envisioning and catalyzing a societal transformation that justly and democratically reduces the physical scale of the economy to fit comfortably within the biosphere through consuming less and sharing more. Sam would like to contribute to the academic body of knowledge on the macroeconomics of degrowth. His other research and non-research interests include inequality, food systems, cycling, recycling, and anarchism. He is currently finishing up a book, coauthored with professor Giorgos Kallis of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, about the undesirability and impossibility of the ecomodernists’ proposal for decoupling economic growth from increasing environmental impacts while physically decoupling humanity from the rest of nature.

Natália Britto dos Santos (York)

Natalia BdSNatália is a PhD student in Environmental Studies at York University. She holds a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Ecology, Conservation and Wildlife Management, both from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG – Federal University of Minas Gerais), Brazil. She has experience as an environmental analyst at a conservation institute in her home state in Brazil, where she worked with protected areas management for two years.

Her research interests include ecosystem services, protected areas benefits, and the relations between nature conservation and human well-being. During her PhD, Natalia aims to investigate the social and economic benefits of protected areas in climate regulation and climate change mitigation. She looks forward to the opportunities at E4A to develop her connections and knowledge, so that she may contribute positively to our planet, and bring humans into harmony with the natural environment.

Albena Bukurova (York)


Stephen Clare (McGill)

Stephen ClareStephen is pursuing an M.Sc. in Renewable Resources with a Neotropical Environment specialization. Born and raised a mountain child in rural British Columbia, Stephen was tamed and educated (in that order) in McMaster University’s Arts & Science program. Following that, he braved the big, bad city of Toronto as a Studio Y Fellow at the MaRS Discovery District, where he worked to apply social innovation practices to Canada’s thorniest environmental policy challenges. Now he’s heading both north and south, to Montreal and Panama and then Montreal again, to figure out how to develop resource economies to be both prosperous and sustainable. While now well-travelled and tolerably-cultured, Stephen remains wildly enamoured with his montane homeland and it’s only a matter of time before he returns from whence he came. You’re liable to find him with a book or a beer, and most likely both.

Timothy Crownshaw (McGill)

Tim Crownshaw

Tim is a PhD student in the department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill. Prior to this he worked in the electricity industry as an operations analyst at Transpower, the national transmission system operator in New Zealand. He has collaborated in a variety of research projects related to renewable energy and emerging technologies, including distribution network impacts of solar PV and the integration of distributed generation into power system operations. Tim holds a Master of Energy degree and a Graduate Diploma in Engineering from the University of Auckland, and a Bachelor of Science in physics and mathematics from the University of Otago. His primary research interests involve non-renewable energy dependency in industrial societies, global transition pathways from non-renewable to renewable energy resources, and quantitative modelling approaches including system dynamics and stochastic optimization.


Alice Damiano (McGill)

Alice Damiano picture

Alice is a PhD student in Renewable Resources at McGill University. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics and a Master’s Degree in International Development, Cooperation and Environmental Studies, Major in Environmental Economics and Policies, both from the University of Turin, Italy. She worked as consultant in the data warehouse field for four years, during and after her studies. Alice is interested in interdisciplinary research on human-environment relationships, and in her PhD she intends to focus on the economic, political, social and information mechanisms that affect them. In particular, she would like to study people’s and stakeholders’ knowledge and awareness of environmental issues, and to explore the mechanisms that affect the diffusion of correct information about the environmental problems and policies. She is passionate about finding solutions to climate change and natural catastrophes.


Molly Fremes (York)

Version 2Molly is a first year Masters of Environmental Studies student at York University. Her research is an intersectional, cultural and historical analysis of alternative economic models, grounded in food sovereignty and security. She will be tying in themes of privilege and positionality, grassroot action, and indigenous resource management. Her past experiences have included urban agriculture in Shanghai, “open-knowledge” research in Ecuador and cooperative farming in Cuba. She is an active participant in several Toronto sharing economies and food-based community development projects. In her natural habitat, Molly is most often found at the center of epic dance parties, surrounded by books she aspires to read, or in the garden.

Laura Gilbert (McGill)

Laura Gilbert

Laura is a PhD candidate in the department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Bioresource Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Integrated Water Resource Management, both from McGill University. After completing her undergraduate degree, Laura stayed close to home working for a mechanical contractor in Montreal. Having spent two years on quality monitoring of their plumbing, heating, and medical gases installations at the Research Institute of the MUHC – Glen Site, she went on to manage a water meter project in the City of Longueuil. Returning to school for a Master’s degree offered Laura the opportunity to focus on the socio-political aspects of water management. Her research interests focus on ways that policy can alter environmental values, perceptions, and attitudes to facilitate the implementation of environmental initiatives to lower water consumption.

Claire-Helene Heese-Boutin (York)

Claire is pursuing a master’s degree of Environmental Studies at York University.  She holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Caribbean Studies from the University of Toronto.  Over the last three years, she has been working in personal financial services with a focus on responsible investment management and household financial planning.  She has passed the first level of the Chartered Financial Analyst Program and holds the Financial Planning Standard Council Financial Planning Certificate. Her objective is to develop the skills and knowledge to utilize the long-term financial advisory relationship to support households with social and environmental values to align their finances with their values.  Her research interests are to use an ecological economic framework to evaluate the utility of financial markets to households and responsible household consumption.

Daniel Horen Greenford (McGill/Concordia)

Dan-riviere-noire-thumbnailDaniel is a PhD student at Concordia University under the supervision of climate scientist Damon Matthews in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. A native Montrealer, he returned home after completing a BSc in physics from the University of Edinburgh. Daniel is presently completing his MSc work in the Matthews lab ( Daniel’s research aims to to define and quantify responsibility for climate change. His master’s thesis proposes a novel way to equitably allocate greenhouse gases embodied in trade and revise national emissions inventories. He is actively engaged in organizing efforts to decarbonize Canada, be it through the opposition of new fossil fuel infrastructure like pipelines or by the adoption of ambitious reduction pathways demanded by scientific evidence. Daniel enjoys hiking and canoeing in wild places, music, food, and climate justice.


Gabriel Yahya Haage (McGill)

Gabriel_YahyaHaageGabriel completed a BSc in Biology and a Diploma in Environment at McGill.  His Honours research dealt with species distribution in benthic ecosystems in the Canadian Arctic. The focus of his Diploma was the intersection between environmental issues and religious/ethical views.  He is currently pursuing a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences (Renewable Resources).  He is part of the Neo-tropical concentration and has received funding from BESS to do research in Panama.  His research interests focus on methods to equitably partition water resources between various human needs, such as agriculture, industry, and human health, while seeking to maintain a functional ecosystem.

Kelly Hamshaw (UVM)

kelly hamshawKelly is a PhD student in UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. Working with Vermont’s mobile home park communities during Tropical Storm Irene recovery efforts in 2011, both as a researcher and as a volunteer, Kelly has witnessed firsthand the impacts of climate change on rural communities. Those experiences serve as her motivation for pursuing transdisciplinary research as part of E4A that offers tangible outcomes for increasing disaster resilience of rural communities in the face of climate change. She is a full-time Lecturer of Community Development in UVM’s Department of Community Development and Applied Economics. She also supports a variety of community-based research and evaluation projects in the UVM Center for Rural Studies on topics important for vital rural communities such as workforce development and affordable housing. Kelly has a BS in Natural Resources and received her MS in Community Development and Applied Economics from UVM.


Karan Kumar (McGill)
Karan Kumar

Karan is from the beautiful country of India. He has a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Delhi and a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Hyderabad. “Economics” derives from the Greek word “oikonomia” which means “household management”. Karan feels we need to consider Mother Earth as our house and we as residents need to manage it better, not only for the future but the present generation as well. He has chosen to be part of the E4A community as he feels there is an urgent need to study mankind and its impact on our planet using a transdisciplinary approach, where we can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Karan intends to enter the teaching profession as he feels it is a way to make the world a better place to live in. His motto: “learn and teach, teach and learn” … he looks to the E4A platform to help him achieve his goal. He is an avid sports lover; he loves being outdoors, discovering new places and interacting with new people. He is a social media buff.

David Mallery (York)

DavidMalleryDavid is a Ph.D. candidate at York University. He holds a BAH in Political Science from the University of Guelph, a Masters in Environmental Studies from York, and a graduate certificate in Environmental Security from the United Nations Mandated University in Costa Rica (UPEACE). His research interests include systems ecology, bioeconomic fund-flow accounting, and participatory methods for qualitative valuation of ecosystem services. Currently, David is working with the Credit Valley Conservation Authority to apply two systems-based methodologies, the EcoHealth Approach and multi-scale integrated analysis of societal and ecosystem metabolism (MuSIASEM), for scenario analysis and sustainability assessment in regional watersheds. A student of both ecological economics and systems science, David is interested in exploring the theoretical intersections between the two epistemological traditions, while operationalizing these insights for promoting both human and ecosystem health.


Caitlin Morgan (UVM)

morgan bio photoCaitlin is pursuing a PhD in Food Systems at the University of Vermont. She holds an MS in Food Systems from UVM and a BS in Food Literacy from the University of California at Berkeley. Her master’s thesis work focused on the daily experiences of food agency among low-income women of color. Previously, Caitlin worked as a community nutrition educator and freelance writer. She is interested in the intersection of ecological economics and food systems and plans to integrate the two transdisciplinary approaches with her research.

Alicia Richins (York)

aliciaHailing from the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Alicia is pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Studies with a Planning Concentration at York University. Coming from an undergraduate double major in Economics and Social Science, Alicia’s research interests consist of exploring and imagining concrete alternatives to capitalism and its enabler, neoclassical economics. She is most interested in finding ways to use the ecological economics framework to redefine and inform international development planning, with a regional focus on the Americas. Her other research and non-research interests include systems-thinking, renewable energy, co-operative business, postcoloniality, culture and the arts.

Martin Sers (York)

Martin Sers

Martin is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. He is keenly interested in new approaches to the study of macroeconomics that consider the physical and ecological dimensions of economic activity and the limiting role these play. His research interest is in ecological macroeconomic modelling using methodologies from systems dynamics and time-series analysis. As part of his PhD research he intends to examine both theoretical and econometric methods for linking aspects of conventional macroeconomics to environmental systems. Broadly he is motivated by the question of how to think about macroeconomics for a world defined by planetary boundaries. Martin has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Mount Allison University and a Master’s degree in Economics from Carleton University. He has previously worked as an applied-economist in Cambridge, UK on the large scale model E3ME exploring the environmental and economic impacts of various policy scenarios.


Svenja Telle (UVM)


Svenja was born and raised in Germany. At the age of 19, she moved to Costa Rica to support biodiversity conservation in several national parks. After returning to Europe, she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Sustainable Tourism in Germany, followed by a Master’s degree in Development Economics in Lisbon, Portugal. Upon graduation, she worked for the international organization “Transparency International”, which aims to enhance integrity and transparency in global climate finance governance. Her subsequent position as a Sustainable Development Policy Analyst at the United Nations Secretariat provided her with the opportunity to work at the heart of climate change policy and toward the implementation of the sustainable development agenda. Svenja is now pursuing a PhD in Natural Resources at the Rubenstein School at UVM, and is a fellow in the Gund Institute’s Economics for the Anthropocene project. Her research interests lie in environmental peacebuilding in transitioning economies, with a focus on democracy, political ecology and the link between post-war peacebuilding and environmental – as well as natural resource – governance.