about the group

The Climate Change Adaptation Research Group is based in the department of geography at McGill University. Led by Dr James Ford, the group’s research takes place at the interface between science and policy, with a strong focus on adaptation to climate change among Indigenous populations, vulnerability assessment, stakeholder engagement for adaptation planning, novel approaches for tracking adaptation at global to regional levels, and knowledge synthesis.

Dr. James Ford

Welcome! My name is Dr James Ford and I am a CIHR Chair and associate professor in the department of geography at McGill University where I lead the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group. I am originally from Manchester, England, and did my BA and MSc at Oxford, PhD at Guelph, before moving to Montreal in 2006. My work takes place at the interface between climate and society, and I am particularly interested in climate change vulnerability and adaptation. I lead a diversity of initiatives in this area, including projects focusing on Indigenous peoples and climate change (with a major focus on the Arctic), developing adaptation plans with communities and industry, and examining ways to create ‘usable’ science. Resource management, natural hazards, and health, are overarching topics within these themes. Along with my colleagues, I am also developing novel approaches to tracking climate change adaptation at global and regional levels, developing systematic review approaches in an environmental change context, and I am involved in adaptation monitoring and evaluation debates. I am currently an editor at the journal Regional Environmental Change, and have contributed widely to the human dimensions scholarship. You can read more about my academic work and contributions in my cv.

Key Collaborators

Current Lab Members

Dr.EpuleDr. Terence Epule
Ashley Dawn Bach PhotoAshley Dawn Bach

Ella Belfer HeadshotElla Belfer
Frances Wang HeadshotFrances Wang
Cheenar Shah Cheenar Shah
Dr. Nathan Debortoli

Former Lab Members

Key Collaborators

Dr. Tristan PearceEmail
Website
Dr. Pearce is a CRN Fellow in Geography with the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph, Canada. His research focuses on the human dimensions of global environmental change, in particular the vulnerability and adaptation of communities and socio-ecological systems to climate change. He is currently working on these issues in partnership with communities in the Canadian Arctic, Pacific Islands, and Australia. He is the author of numerous publications in high-ranking peer-reviewed academic journals (e.g. Human Ecology, Global Environmental Change, Regional Environmental Change), several book chapters, and government and industry reports including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report. Prior to joining the Sustainability Research Centre at USC he completed his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Guelph, and holds an M.A. in Geography collaborative International Development from the University of Guelph and a B.A.(Hons) International Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia. Tristan is from Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.

Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo WilloxPersonal Website
Email
Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo Willox is a Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Healthy Communities and an Assistant Professor in Community Health at Cape Breton University, working in the Department of Nursing, Cross-Appointed with Indigenous Studies. Broadly, Ashlee has been working at the intersection of environment, culture, health, and place. She has a particular interest in the connections between the environment and mental health, and has worked collaboratively with Inuit colleagues in Nunatsiavut examining the climatic determinants of mental health and well-being since 2009. Building on this work and these interests, Ashlee is establishing a Centre for Community-Engaged Health Research at Cape Breton University, bringing together researchers, health practitioners, and communities to work in within the themes of environmental health, Indigenous peoples’ health, and health justice, all from community-based and community-led perspectives. Before working at Cape Breton University, Ashlee completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Climate Change and Adaptation Research Group, where she coordinated the IK-ADAPT project, a multi-year, Canada-wide project that combines scientific research and Inuit traditional knowledge to develop an evidentiary base to inform policy and programming needed to assist Inuit communities in adapting to the health effects of climate change. She received her PhD and BAH from the University of Guelph, and taught within the International Development Studies program. She also works and researches in capacity development, community-engaged health research, environmental philosophy and ethics, and the social justice implications of health inequality.

Dr. Lea Berrang-FordEmail
Website
Dr. Lea Berrang Ford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at McGill University. With academic degrees in Geography, Environmental Change, and Epidemiology, her research focuses on the environmental determinants of global health and infectious disease. She has worked extensively on the social and environmental determinants of sleeping sickness in Uganda, and more recently on the health impacts of climate change. Her interests focus on infectious, vectorborne and zoonotic diseases, particularly using spatial analysis and mixed-methodologies. She has published extensively and is the co-editor of the recently published Springer book, “Adaptation in Developed Nations: from theory to practice.” Dr. Berrang Ford currently coleads an international, interdisciplinary research team investigating vulnerability and adaptation to the health effects of climate change among remote Indigenous populations in Peru, Uganda, and the Canadian Arctic, funded by the IDRC/Tri-Council IRIACC program. Her current research also explores global determinants of emerging disease, and development of innovative methodologies for climate change adaptation tracking.

Dr. Sherilee HarperEmail
Website
Sherilee Harper is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph. Her research investigates associations between weather, water, and Indigenous health in the context of climate change, and she collaborates with Indigenous partners to prioritise climate-related health actions, planning, interventions, and research.She is currently a collaborator in an international research initiative called the “Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change” (IHACC) project, which works closely with Indigenous peoples and their organizations in the Canadian Arctic, Ugandan Impenetrable Forest, and the Peruvian Amazon. The project aims to combine science and traditional knowledge to strengthen health systems in light of a rapidly changing climate, within three areas of foci: food security, malaria, and waterborne disease. Sherilee is also a co-investigator on the “Indigenous Peoples Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change” (IK-ADAPT) project, which works with Indigenous communities and knowledge users in the Canadian Arctic to develop and apply a framework for adaptation assessment, and develop and evaluate pilot interventions for adaptation to the health impacts of climate change.

Dr. Robbert BiesbroekEmail
Dr. Robbert Biesbroek is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Wageningen University (Netherlands). His research focusses on emerging boundary spanning policy problems that crosscut spatial, temporal and administrative systems, particularly in the fields of climate change adaptation and food security. His research includes topics on measuring and evaluating policy progress and change, theorising policy integration and policy innovation, and the role of State in boundary spanning problems. He has been involved in several comparative studies including the PEER study on National Adaptation Strategies across Europe (2008-2010) and the EEA report on national adaptation progress in Europe (2014). Dr. Biesbroek holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in public policy and environmental science from Wageningen University. He is co-founder of TRAC3 (www.trac3.ca), member of the international Climate Policy Innovation network and the Dutch Association of Public Administration.

Current Lab Members

Anna
Bunce
Email
Having recently completed her Master’s research examining the impact of climate change on women in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Anna Bunce now works as a project manager with the CCARG. In this role she is managing three projects, two located in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, and the third focused on Iqaluit, Nunavut. These community based research projects examine food borne and waterborne pathogens in Canada’s north, environment-health monitoring, and land use change as a result of climate change. Anna began working for Dr. Ford in 2011 while completing her International Development Studies Honours undergraduate degree at McGill and has been involved with a variety of project with the CCARG surrounding food security and acute gastro-intestinal illness in Iqaluit, Nunavut. For her masters research Anna is looked at the intersectionality of gender and climate change with a particular focus on the experiences of Inuit women in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Please feel free to contact her if you have any questions regarding her past or present work.

Alexandra Lesnikowski
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Alexandra is a project lead with the Tracking Research on Adaptation to Climate Change Consortium (TRAC3) and will begin a PhD with Dr. Ford in Fall 2015. Her research interests include adaptation governance, spatial planning, and comparative policy analysis. Prior to joining TRAC3 she worked as a research assistant with Dr. Ford and Dr. Lea Berrang Ford and worked on the development of innovative methodologies for tracking adaptation to climate change at the national level. In 2014 Alexandra completed a Master of Arts (Planning) from the School of Community and Regional Planning at The University of British Columbia with a focus on sustainability planning and urban design. Her research examined opportunities in land use planning for adaptation to urban heat island effect in Vancouver, BC. She also holds a B.A. (Hons.) in Political Science from McGill University.

Michelle MailletEmail
Michelle is the Geography Undergraduate Program Advisor at McGill University, and currently Project Manager of the IHACC project. She obtained her M.A. in Geography from McGill in 2014, her thesis focusing on climate change adaptation policy discourses in the UNFCCC and implications for indigenous peoples’ meaningful participation and access to adaptation funding. She joined the CCARG team in 2010 as a Research Assistant after finishing her B.A. at McGill, majoring in International Development Studies, with double minors in Geography and Environment. She contributed as an editorial assistant to the development of the book “Climate Change Adaptation in Developed Nations: From Theory to Practice”, edited by Dr. Ford and Dr. Berrang-Ford (2011), provided support in the IHACC project, and has represented the CCARG team at four UNFCCC COP meetings. Michelle was acting IHACC project manager from January to September 2013 while she was working on her Master’s, and has now returned to the position since January 2015 after graduating. She is passionate about issues relative to international relations and diplomacy, climate change impacts and adaptation, policy discourses, social justice, indigenous peoples, and science communication.

Knut Tjensvoll KitchingEmail
Knut Tjensvoll Kitching is a final-year graduate student pursuing an M.A. in Geography. Knut obtained a B.A. in Geography with Honours from the University of British Columbia in 2012, having worked on projects in the fields of Arctic ecology, climate change mapping and biogeography, and resource conflicts. He is interested in climate change adaptation amongst Indigenous populations, and works on issues relating to vulnerability, community mapping and engagement, wildlife management and country food. For his Masters research, Knut is involved in tracing the movements of Inuit hunters through the Iqaluit Land-Use Mapping Project, and assessing changing hunting patterns, particularly with respect to Caribou populations on southern Baffin Island.

Malcolm Araos
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Malcolm is a first-year M.A. student in Geography. His research seeks to develop innovative methods to monitor and evaluate climate change adaptation in large cities. His project analyzes urban municipal policy to find metrics of adaptation success. Malcolm graduated with an Honours B.A. in Geography (Urban Systems) in 2013. During his undergrad he focused on the relationship between cities and the environment. Specifically, he is interested in how urban policy and design can improve the interactions between humans and the natural world. The fields of architecture, transportation and land-use planning are of great interest in this regard.Malcolm has done additional database design, statistical analysis, and cartography work for faculty and graduate students in the departments of Political Science, Biology, and Geography at McGill and Concordia.

Lewis Archer
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Lewis is a first-year graduate student pursuing an M.A. in Geography at McGill University. Lewis completed his undergraduate studies in 2010 with a B.A. in International Development from the University of East London. His undergraduate research examined the role of community-led initiatives in contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Small Island Developing States. Lewis then went on to work in various non-profit organisations where he managed climate and development projects that would use innovative finance and technology to deliver a variety of social and environmental results – from cutting carbon and protecting forests to providing safe water, education, jobs and improving health.Lewis is interested in climate change adaptation amongst Indigenous populations in Canada and is looking at longitudinal methodologies to assess changing levels of vulnerability and adaptive capacity in Nunavut.

Stephanie Austin
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Stephanie Austin is an MA student in the Department of Geography, supervised by Dr. James Ford and collaborating with Dr. Lea Berrang Ford. She is also a project lead in the Tracking Adaptation to Climate Change Consortium (TRAC3). Stephanie has been researching aspects of public health adaptation to climate change since 2014, principally tracking public health adaptation at national and urban levels, but also examining M&E of adaptation and monitoring and surveillance of the health indicators of climate change. Stephanie strives to bridge the gap between research and policy in her work, and has worked extensively with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada on public health adaptation projects. Stephanie holds a BA (joint hons) in Geography and International Development Studies from McGill University.

Sarah Acker
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Sarah is a first-year MSc student in Geography at McGill University. She completed an undergraduate in 2012 at the University of Waterloo, achieving a BES in International Development. During her undergraduate, she had the opportunity to act as an intern at a grassroots-level environmental organization in Northern Vietnam focusing in part on the impacts of climate change on food security and the aquaculture industry crucial to areas of the Mekong River Delta. Sarah is interested in pursuing research in Canada’s Arctic and the role climate change plays on food security for Indigenous populations, as well as the overall resilience of Arctic ecosystems to climate change. She believes in the importance of traditional knowledge in achieving successful scientific results, and looks forward to the potential of pursuing this ever-emerging approach to her research.

Dylan is a Program Manager for the CCARG, leading research and initiatives on Arctic search and rescue as well as emergency management and response. His research interests include disasters risk reduction, community-based adaptation, and health equity. Dylan completed his M.Sc. in Geography under the supervision of Dr. James Ford in 2016 and was a Rotary Global Scholar and National Geographic Young Explorer. He completed his B.Sc. in 2014 in Global Resource Systems and Environmental Studies at Iowa State University. He is also a Critical Care Paramedic, (CCP-Iowa, NREM-P). Dylan’s goals include not losing any appendages to frostbite in the Arctic and taking a selfie with Catherine McKenna. He loves long walks on the beach and curling up with a good book on a rainy day.

Eranga Galappaththi
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Eranga is starting his PhD with Dr. James Ford in the winter of 2016. His research interests include: vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, and the theoretical elements of the commons, with an emphasis on community-based management, (adaptive) co-management, complex systems/resilience, and indigenous knowledge. He is also interested in trans-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research. Before starting his PhD, Eranga graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Master’s in Natural Resource Management, with a focus on community-based shrimp aquaculture in Sri Lanka. Eranga also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Peradeniya, with a focus on cultured prawn supply chains in Sri Lanka. He completed his BSc in Fisheries and Marine Science at Ocean University, Sri Lanka. From shrimp farming to his current research, Eranga has gained knowledge and experience from more than ten years of work in diverse managerial and public administrative positions.

Dr. Jesse Sayles
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Dr. Jesse Sayles is a postdoctoral fellow at the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group at McGill. His research is guided by the fundamental, “big” sustainability question: how do we improve human wellbeing while preserving earth system functions? He focuses on coastal watersheds and marine systems from which societies derive myriad benefits, but also place under substantial pressure. He works at the research nexus of human dimensions of global change, restoration and landscape ecologies, environmental governance, resilience, and sustainability science. He uses quantitative social network analysis (SNA), geographic information science/systems (GIS), and qualitative analysis in his research.

Jesse completed his PhD in geography at Arizona State University (ASU). His dissertation focused on the misalignment of governance boundaries with the natural resources systems they seek to govern (i.e., social-ecological scale mismatch). The specific case focused on salmon and shellfish habitat restoration in Puget Sound, USA. During his M.Sc. (Concordia University, Geography) and B.Sc. (McGill University, School of Environment), Jesse worked with the Wemindji Cree Canadian First Nations community in sub-arctic James Bay on topics of adaptation to environmental change and protected area co-management. He has also worked for New York State’s Hudson River Estuary Program, giving him professional experience in “the real world.” He strives to do research that links theory and practice, focusing on the challenges of coordinating and implementing regional level programs through multi-level governance arrangements. While focused on large scale dynamics, he links his research to local community issues because that is where people live and experience the world.

Melanie Flynn
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Melanie holds a B.A in Geography with Honours, from the University of Leeds, UK. She is in the final year of her M.Sc. at The United Nations University and The University of Bonn in Germany, studying “Geography of Environmental Risk and Human Security”. Melanie’s key research interests are in climate change adaptation and resilient livelihoods in the Arctic. This summer, she attended the ‘ACCESS (Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society) and ARR (Arctic Resilience Report) Summer School’, where she worked on a case study related to metal mining in Finnish Lapland. She also worked as a research associate for the United Nations University, editing research papers created at ‘The Resilience Academy: Exploring Livelihood Resilience’. Melanie is currently in the CCARG lab as a Research Graduate Trainee, and is about to conduct her M.Sc. thesis fieldwork evaluating a community adaptation project in Arviat, Nunavut.

Formerly a student at McGill University studying computer science and geography, Edward now studies environmental design at the University of British Columbia. He currently works for Dr. James Ford as a web designer and communications consultant. Edward is particularly interested in how the design of spaces, natural or constructed, influences the people that interact with those spaces.

Dr. Terence EpulePersonal Website
Email
Dr. Terence Epule Epule is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Climate Change and Adaptation Research Group at the Department of Geography, McGill University. His current research at McGill University has the following objectives: 1.Verify the roles of climatic and non-climatic drivers in contributing to the current trends in arable production in Uganda 2. Develop a ‘’driver-policy’’ framework (systematic approach) that will help to guide arable production policies in Uganda 3. Use population perceptions or indigenous knowledge of respondents in North Eastern Uganda to assess the adoption of different adaptation options in the midst of climate change and in the context of small-scale farming and assessing population decisions and resilience establishment and livelihood development options through agroforestry and agroecology etc 4. Assess the vulnerability of maize production systems to droughts in most of East Africa and suggest a framework for the development of climate change adaptations in most of sub-Saharan Africa as evidenced by the existing primary literature. In a nutshell, Dr. Epule’s research interests are at the interface of the interactions between climate change, agriculture and forest area. He uses field based participatory approaches as well as desk studies and socio-ecological systems modeling approaches.
Prior to moving to McGill University, Dr. Epule worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Geography at University of Montreal (May 2014 to April 2016). His research at University of Montreal was based on assessing the extent of adoption and differential effects on yields of agroecology and conventional farming systems in Cameroon and the contributions of organic and inorganic fertilizers on African crop yields. Between September 2010 and April 2014, Dr. Epule studied and obtained a PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Quebec in Montreal. His first master was obtained in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Sciences in 2009 from Lund University in Sweden. His second master and bachelors degrees were in Geography from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Dr. Epule is author of two books and 19 peer review papers.

Ashley is a summer intern for the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group and is a recent graduate of McGill University, with a BSc in Environmental Science. She is interested in Indigenous health, environmental impacts on health, policy, and resource management. For her senior group research, Ashley completed a project on environmental impact assessment in Akwesasne using the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Environment Department’s assessment framework, which incorporates traditional knowledge and values into their environmental assessments and decision-making. This project further developed her interests in environmental management and policy.
Ashley is a member of the Mishkeegogamang First Nation and will complete a project with the band this summer, producing usable research and strategies to manage environmental issues near and on the reservation. Furthermore, she will incorporate Indigenous knowledge and the band’s priorities into the project and resulting strategies. In the future, Ashley plans to work with Indigenous communities to solve environmental and health issues and complete a Master’s degree in environment or geography.

Ella Belfer
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Ella Belfer is a summer intern for the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group at McGill. She is in the final year of her BA in Honours Economics and Environmental Studies, completing a thesis on the dynamics of water resource appropriation through a study on multiple forms of “water grabbing.” She is particularly interested in economic frameworks that center ecological integrity, the importance of community-based sustainability initiatives, and the critical role of public discourse in shaping political action. Similarly, her work and organizing experience has centred on fostering alternative economic systems, and communicating about the plurality of solutions to climate change in an accessible manner. This summer, Ella will be conducting research on the media’s portrayal of climate change adaptation in indigenous communities, with an aim to understand how public discourse characterizes ongoing responses. In the future, she hopes to complete a Master’s degree in Ecological Economics, and to center local autonomy while working to foster a plurality of solutions to climate change.

Frances Wang
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Frances is a full-time Research Assistance for the Adaptation Tracking Collaborative (ATC). She holds a M.Sc in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University and a B.A. in Economics from McGill University. With previous experience in designing urban-level metrics around climate change, her research will focus on developing and strengthening the methodological aspects of Adaptation Tracking through an interdisciplinary approach.

Cheenar Shah
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As an avid traveler and environmental scientist, Cheenar is thrilled to align her interests with a research assistantship at Dr. Ford’s lab.

Her focus on sustainability, biodiversity conservation, food security and combating climate change is derived from a diverse array of experiences: having witnessed firsthand the challenges of climate induced food insecurity as a third generation Kenyan; pursuing a BSc. in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences in Montreal Canada; canvassing for environmental groups; working on organic farms in India; interning with the UN in D.C. and in Kenya; and studying Small Island Developing States in Barbados

Over the next few months with CCARG, Cheenar will be assisting with the creation of an adaptation baseline for Nunavik. Collaborating with Ouranos, this project aims to characterize the current status of adaptation in Nunavik and evaluate readiness to adapt.

Dr. Nathan Debortoli
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Dr. Nathan S. Debortoli is a postdoctoral fellow at the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group at McGill. His research focuses in developing national and regional integrative climatic change approaches and vulnerability indexes to assess natural hazards such as floods, landslides and drought in large scale. In his indexes, he uses the IPCC vulnerability triad encompassing exposure, susceptibility and adaptive capacity indicators considering different climatic change scenarios and weather extreme indexes with the use of qualitative and quantitative indicators. In Brazil, he has worked as a consultant for the Brazilian National Plan on Adaptation to CC and in Third National Communication on CC helping to build research methods to improve adaptation policies for Brazilian most vulnerable populations.

Furthermore, he has worked for Canadian’s IDRC VACEA’s Project that assessed the vulnerability of watersheds and farmers to extreme weather events in five countries in the Americas. For the European Union, Nathan has worked in LUPIS Project building an integrative framework towards sustainable development policies and land use in the Amazon region using indicators, land use modeling and multi-criteria analysis. For the French Project DURAMAZ he has developed research using rain gauges, satellites images, and remote sensing techniques to detect the impact of deforestation in rainfall in Southern Amazonia. Nathan holds a PhD from the Center for Sustainable Development in the University of Brasília in co-tutelle with Laboratoire COSTEL in Université Rennes 2 – France (Upper Brittany). His master’s degree in Sustainable Development – also from the University of Brasília – and his undergraduate degree was majored in Geography, Wildlife and Tourism Management in Brazil, USA and Guatemala institutions.

Antonia Sohns
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Antonia is a first-year PhD in the Geography Department under the supervision of Dr. Ford. Her research interests include community response to natural hazards, water security, and comparative policy analysis. Before coming to McGill, Antonia worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on the Thirsty Energy Initiative. She completed an M.Sc. in Water Science, Policy and Management at the University of Oxford, where she focused on the water-energy nexus and the water requirements of hydraulic fracturing operations in Pinedale, Wyoming. She also holds a B.S. in Earth Systems, Oceans track from Stanford University.

Darya Anderson
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Website

Darya Anderson is thankful and motivated to begin her first year of graduate studies in Geography at McGill University. Darya’s research interests include environmental justice, climate change, and microbial ecology. As an undergraduate, Darya studied at the University of Arizona receiving her BS in Soil, Water and Environmental Science. With the guidance of Dr. Virginia Rich, she studied the microbial ecology of permafrost thawing systems in Arctic Sweden. This is when she started to consider how the communities living in these permafrost rich environments would be impacted by permafrost thaw. Now, in the lab of Dr. James Ford, she will consider the current and future vulnerability of a Canadian Arctic community that is experiencing climate changes, specifically permafrost thaw. She hopes to bring a unique perspective to the social issues of her graduate research via her strong biophysical background.

Former Lab Members

Amanda
Caron
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Amanda worked with communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region on adaptation planning for climate change. She is particularly interested in the potential for traditional knowledge to enrich non-traditional institutions in the North, such as compulsory schooling, environmental management, and political decision- making bodies.

KC
Bolton
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In June, 2010, KC joined the research group to work on a systematic review of both academic and non-academic literature related to climate change in the Eastern Arctic. The review seeks to identify gaps in knowledge specific to human vulnerabilities that are associated with climate change, and its development incorporates input from a range of stakeholders.

Jaclyn PatersonEmail
From 2010 to 2011, Jaclyn was Project Manager for the Climate Change and Health System Adaptations in Canada project, led by Dr. James Ford and Dr. Lea Berrang-Ford. Since February 2012, Jaclyn has been working as an Environmental Health Scientist at Health Canada’s Climate Change and Health Office in Ottawa, where she continues to work in close collaboration on joint projects with the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group.

Maggie
Knight
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Maggie’s research focused on Canadian climate policy, policy-relevant climate research, science communication, and food security policy. Maggie is passionate about changing policy and politics to address climate change and social inequality. Born and raised in Victoria, BC, she now lives in Halifax, NS and works as Leadnow.ca’s Operations Manager.

Carolyn PoutiainenEmail
Carolyn, B.C.L./LL.B (McGill University Faculty of Law), B.A. & Sc. Dean’s Honour List (McGill School of Environment), has contributed to several projects with the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group. She was an editorial assistant on the book “Climate Change Adaptation in Developed Nations,” edited by Dr. James Ford and Dr. Lea Berrang Ford. She also (1) profiled actions taken by Canadian civil society organizations to adapt to the health effects of climate change; and (2) documented adaptations made by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Carolyn is completing her articles at Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (2014-2015). She is excited to continue exploring the legal dimensions of climate change adaptation and other environmental issues.

Irene HofmeijerEmail
Irene is passionate about plastics recycling and composting. She has worked for the Drs. Berrang-Ford and Ford on the Indigenous health and Adpatation to Climate Change (IHACC) project as a field researcher. Working in collaboration with the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, she has conducted the field research in the Peruvian Amazon using participatory methodologies, in particular PhotoVoice.

Maude BeaumierEmail
Maude has worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Ford since the summer 2008 on different projects looking at climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the Arctic regions. For these projects, she has conducted numerous interviews and focus groups with Inuit, health and educational professionals, researchers, and government representatives. Maude is currently still working in collaboration with Dr. Ford on peer-reviewed publications relating to her Master’s degree work.

Will VanderbiltPersonal Website
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Will has worked with the research group since the fall of 2009. He led a systematic review that will examine how adaptation is conceptualized in the popular press and scientific journals. As well, he assistsed the research group with its outreach activities to the general public, policymakers, and study communities through print design, web and multimedia development, and regular updates to this website.

Diego
Lindoso
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Diego is a research fellow in Rede Clima – the National Research Network on Climate Change, supported by the Brazilian Science and Technology Ministry and he is a contributing author in the first assessment report of the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change. From September 2011 to August 2012 he was a visiting student in Climate Change Adaptation Research Group at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr. Ford, as part of an internship program supported by Brazilian Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level (CAPES).

Pamela Tudge
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Pamela moved to McGill’s Geography department to coordinate a nation-wide project. She joined Dr. Ford’s lab to work with the project entitled “A systematic review of climate hazard-related mapping and vulnerability assessments of the built environment in Canada’s North to Inform Climate Change Adaptation”. She is very interested in Northern and Arctic studies.

Abhinav Sharma
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Abhinav undertook an academic visit at McGill University during the 2012-2103 academic year, and was hosted by Prof. James Ford. Abhinav is a PhD candidate in Economics at the University of Siena, Italy. He studied climate change adaptation among fishing communities in India. He conducted a series of field experiments at Chilika Lagoon in order to determine the extent to which uncertainty, risk-aversion and social relationships among local fishers affect adaption behavior.

Marie-Pierre LardeauEmail
Marie-Pierre’s main research interests focus on understanding the determinants of health of vulnerable populations, which has led her to work in Central America and the Canadian Arctic. She has also worked on the IHACC project, by advising on research design and methodology for the Peruvian case study.

Sara
Statham
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Research Page
Sara worked for Dr. Ford part-time, writing a chapter on food security for ArcticNet’s Integrated Regional Impact Studies Report for the Eastern Arctic (IRIS-2). Sara also worked for the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Health in Iqaluit. Working closely with the Nunavut Food Security Coalition, her role as Territorial Food Security Coordinator involves managing the development and implementation of the Nunavut Food Security Strategy.

Clara Champalle
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In November 2012, Clara joined the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group to work on a project reviewing research on climate change vulnerability assessment and hazard mapping in the Arctic in relation to the built environment.

Diana
King
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Diana joined the research group in May 2011 to develop an approach to track adaptation readiness to the effects of climate change in the Canadian North. Her research interests include the implications of climate change on human well-being, the use of participatory methods when conducting research and above all looking at climate change adaptations that are designed and implemented at the community level.

Ellie Stephenson
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Ellie joined the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group in March 2013 to work on the IK-ADAPT project, which combined scientific and Inuit traditional knowledge to inform adaptation policy, and the Indigenous Health and Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) project, which worked with Indigenous communities to develop adaptations that reduced health vulnerabilities related to climate change.

Joanna
Petrasek MacDonald
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Joanna completed her M.A. in Geography by the end of 2014 under the supervision of Dr. Ford. Her Masters research explores youth resilience within a changing climate and applications for climate change adaptation. More specifically, her work focuses on youth-identified protective factors that enhance mental health and well-being for Inuit youth in Nunatsiavut, Labrador.

Lesya
Nakoneczny
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Lesya worked with the research group from 2012-2015. While part of CCADAPT, she coordinated outreach activities to the general public, policymakers and study communities through print design, web and multimedia development. Lesya is interested in how multimedia projects, video and documentary film can be used as platforms for communicating climate change research to various audiences and as participatory research tools.

Emily Elsliger
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Emily joined the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group in Spring 2015 as a research assistant. The goal of her project was to gain a better understanding of the current planning processes for climate change adaptation in the north, as well as to provide recommendations for future plans.

Laura Cameron
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Laura joined CCADAPT as a summer intern in 2015. Over the year prior to joining CCADAPT, she conducted research as part of the Sustainable Canada Dialogues, an initiative aimed at developing and communicating solutions to climate change and sustainability-related issues. She worked under the supervision of Dr. James Ford to examine the ways in which meaningful Indigenous issues are addressed by the IPCC.

Simon Tilleard
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Simon’s work focused on climate change vulnerability and adaptation and water management.Simon’s research combined his strong interests in climate change and water management. He developed a framework to assess the institutional adaptation readiness of transboundary river basins that can be applied to a large set of basins from around the world.

Graham McDowellPersonal Website
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Graham is a global change researcher with an interest in the implications of environmental change for human and ecological systems in high mountain and Arctic regions. His work is focused on impacts and adaptation in coupled socio-ecological systems with a particular emphasis on governance strategies that promote human well-being and ecological resilience in the context of a changing cryosphere. He served the group as an expert adviser through his consultancy McDowell Environmental LLC.

Kaitlyn
Finner
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Kaitlyn’s research, under the supervision of Dr. James Ford, focusd on the cultural importance of food in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, and sought to develop an ethnography of the community’s food system. Building on past research and work in the Peruvian Andes, Central Mexico, and Northern Ghana, her work seeks to better understand the relationships that exist between food, culture, and the environment. She now works as a policy analyst with Nunatsiavut Secretariat

Mya
Sherman
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Mya is currently leading a 2-year project related to the monitoring and evaluation of climate change adaptation as part of the Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) research program. She graduated from McGill University in 2012 with a double major in Ecological Determinants of Health and Latin American and Caribbean Studies and completed her Master of Arts degree in Geography from McGill University in 2014. Mya has worked with the IHACC program since 2011. As an undergraduate, she carried out fieldwork with Shipibo and Shawi communities in the Peruvian Amazon to develop a bioethical framework to guide health research in remote Indigenous Amazonian communities. Mya continued her work with the Shipibo in Peru as a Master’s student under the supervision of Dr. James Ford. Her master’s thesis is titled “Vulnerability and adaptive capacity of community food systems in the Peruvian Amazon: A case study from Panaillo”. Mya is particularly interested in the social determinants of health, food security, research ethics, monitoring and evaluation, climate change adaptation, and Latin American issues.

Jolène Labbé
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Jolène Labbé holds a Bachelor of Arts & Science (BA.Sc Hons) degree, focusing on International Development Studies and Biology from the University of Guelph. She has recently returned to the Ford Lab as a CCARG and TRAC3 research assistant for Dr. Ford on the Evaluation of Adaptation to Climate Change in Nunavut project. The project focuses on a characterization and evaluation the adaptation landscape in Nunavut through a systematic review and adaptation baseline creation, as well as key informant interviews with Government of Nunavut and Canadian Federal Government focusing on inclusion of climate change and adaptation in government policies, decision-making, and actions in Nuanvut. Her previous research work with IHACC includes a qualitative assessment of the health vulnerabilities to climate change of Bakiga communities in rural southwestern Uganda under the supervision of both Dr. Ford and Dr. Berrang Ford. Prior to joining CCARG and TRAC3, Jolène has also worked for a Guelph based NGO Children of Bukati, co-facilitating a strategic planning process using a Participatory Learning and Action framework at a primary school in rural Kenya, and has experience in fundraising campaign facilitation and management, where she oversaw the University of Guelph student United Way Campaign from 2011-2013. Jolène is a 3M 2012 student fellow, Guelph Mercury Top 40 Under 40 recipient, and Guelph Young Women of Distinction. Her research interests include: relationships between human-health and the environment, adaptation to climate change, social dimensions of health, gender and feminist analyses, and participatory, community-based and community-driven methods for research.