Students: Climate Justice Cohort

Cohort 3 began in Fall 2016

Alison Adams (UVM)

Alison 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.
Keywords: nonmaterial benefits from nature, spatial analysis, land cover and land use change, equity and justice
Twitter: @albabs

Douglas Baxter (York)

Douglas 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 a changing ecological system. 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.
Keywords: consumerism, business, corporate-responsibility, economics, profit

Sam Bliss (UVM)

Sam’s doctoral research focuses on the ecological economics of food systems based on mutual aid. Markets and states have proven unable to sustainably feed humanity, but little economics research has explored existing or possible gift-based food systems, especially not in industrialized societies. With Professor Josh Farley, Sam is making a novel case for studying, experimenting with, and thinking about the possibilities of non-market, non-state food economies. Prior to beginning his doctorate, he spent a one-year Fulbright fellowship at the Autonomous University of Barcelona working with Professor Giorgos Kallis to examine the scientific validity of the claims made in the Ecomodernist Manifesto, a document that elaborates the post-environmentalist vision of a techno-utopian future of densely packed cities fed by factory farms, powered by nuclear reactors, and surrounded by pristine wilderness. Sam and Giorgos are currently finishing up the book that resulted from that project.
Twitter: @samcbliss

Natália Britto dos Santos (York)

Natália 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 the 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 benefits to human well-being, environmental values and connectedness with nature. During her PhD, Natalia aims to investigate human perceptions of nature, especially non-material values, and how positive connections with nature may contribute to both human well-being and stewardship behaviours towards nature. She believes that humans are part of nature, and that we are connected with all living-beings and mother Earth in a complex, interdependent system.
Keywords: environmental values, socio-ecological systems, ecosystem services, environmental behaviour, well-being, humans and nature
LinkedIn: natalia-britto-dos-santos

Timothy Crownshaw (McGill)

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.
Keywords: energy transition, degrowth, systems modelling, energy return on energy invested (EROEI), societal metabolism

Alice Damiano (McGill)

Alice is pursuing a PhD 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 Master’s studies.
Alice is interested in interdisciplinary research, and in her PhD she is working on the idea of learning from the Indigenous peoples — with respectful recognition and not unfair appropriation — how to establish a better relationship with the environment, especially in a context of natural and environmental disasters. She is passionate about climate change, natural catastrophes and the idea of going beyond the concept of homo oeconomicus through both Behavioural and Ecological Economics. Beside being an E4A fellow, Alice is a blogger for GradLife McGill. Her GradLife blog posts are available here
Keywords: indigenous, paradigm, worldview, disaster, decision making
Twitter: aellis_29
LinkedIn: alice-damiano
Blog: aliceintheanthropocene

Molly Fremes (York)

Molly is pursuing a Masters of Environmental Studies at York University. Her research is an intersectional approach to supporting socially and ecologically sustainable food systems. She will be tying in themes of ecological economics, political agroecology, privilege/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.
Keywords: political agroecology, ecological economics, food sovereignty, community resilience, power & privilege

Laura Gilbert (McGill)

I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Economics for the Anthropocene Project (E4A) in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University. After completing my bachelor’s at McGill University in Bioresource Engineering, I worked as a quality control technician and project coordinator for a mechanical contractor in Montreal. I returned to school for a master’s degree in Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) to focus my work on the socio-political aspects of water governance. During my degree, I worked as a research assistant on two projects: the application of variable rate irrigation (VRI) to potato farming in Southern Alberta to reduce irrigation water, and the use of serious games to promote social learning and collaboration among stakeholders in transboundary water management. My current research focuses on incorporating ethics for a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship at different levels of water governance in Canada: from governance structures to creating community tools that help shape policy, projects, and curriculum. To complete my research, I am partnering with the Department of Bioresource Engineering and the Faculty of Law at McGill University, as well as the non-profit organization The Great Lakes Commons.
Keywords: water governance, ethics for a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship, ecological virtue ethics, serious games, stakeholder engagement, community tools
Twitter: @loloki89
LinkedIn: lauragilbert2

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)

Daniel is a PhD student at Concordia University, studying under the supervision of climate scientist Damon Matthews in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. Born and raised in Montreal, he returned home after completing a BSc in physics from the University of Edinburgh. Daniel holds an MSc from his previous work in the Matthews Climate Lab. His master’s thesis proposed an equitable way to allocate greenhouse gases embodied in trade and revised national emissions inventories accordingly. Daniel continues his research in the same vein, aiming to define and quantify responsibility for climate change. 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. His current efforts are focused on showing Canadians the dual nature of decarbonisation — not only ending our dependence on fossil fuels for energy, but also our dependence on the wealth and jobs they provide — which is arguably the more pressing concern here at home. Daniel enjoys hiking and canoeing in wild places, music, food, and of course climate justice.
Keywords: climate justice, responsibility, effort sharing, input-output, just transition
Twitter: @horengreenford

Gabriel Yahya Haage (McGill)

Gabriel 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 the Department of Natural Resource Sciences. He is part of the Neo-tropical concentration and has received funding from BESS to do research in Panama. He is also currently funded by an FRQNT doctoral scholarship geared at multidisciplinary research. His research interests focus on freshwater systems and the methods of understanding water demands in the ecological, social and economic spheres. By considering water systems in both the Neartic (particularly Canada) and the Neotropics (particularly Panama), he seeks to develop a reliable method of partitioning water while maintaining a functioning ecosystem. He is particularly interested in the impacts freshwater use has had on indigenous communities in both regions.
Keywords: lake ecosystems, habitat conservation, water stress, water use modeling, ecosystem services

Kelly Hamshaw (UVM)

Kelly 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.
Keywords: community, resilience, vulnerable communities, climate justice

David Mallery (York)

David is a PhD 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)

Caitlin 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.
Keywords: justice and sustainability in food systems

Alicia Richins (York)

Hailing 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. Her work has sought to apply the theoretical foundations of ecological economics to the practice of international development planning, with a regional focus on the Caribbean and Latin America. For her final Major Research Paper, Alicia will be developing a system-dynamics model using STELLA software, and informed by GIS mapping, to model what a blue circular economy might look like on a Caribbean island. Her other research and non-research interests include systems-thinking, renewable energy, co-operative business, postcoloniality, culture and the arts.

Martin Sers (York)

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, time-series analysis, Post-Keynesian approaches to macroeconomics, and energy analysis. His current research interests lie primarily in developing mathematical models of the energy transition as well as working on the theory of production functions from an ecological economics point of view. 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.
Twitter: @svenjatelle