Featured Researchers

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    Nathalie Chalifour   

Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, uOttawa
Co-Director, Centre for Environmental Law & Global Sustainability
Graduate Program Director, Institute of the Environment, uOttawa

 The complex, multi-dimensional environmental sustainability challenges we face today require transforming our current economic, legal and social systems in a way that aligns their objectives with those of sustainability. Researchers play a key role in the development of the novel market and policy solutions needed to do this.

Research Interests

  • International and national environmental law and policy
  • Market-based approaches to environmental challenges and the legal rules and institutions needed to support them
  • Fairness and equity in environmental policy-making
  • Specific areas include climate change, biodiversity conservation, environmental assessment, environmental health and toxics, environmental taxes, environmental rights and brownfields redevelopment.

Current Projects
Nathalie is leading the development of an interdisciplinary Master’s in Environmental Sustainability at the Institute of the Environment, which is aimed to launch in September 2013. From a research perspective, Nathalie is currently completing a series of paper on social justice, including ones on how women are impacted by climate change policies in industrialized countries, the equity implications of carbon taxes from an individual perspective (with a focus on women and Aboriginal communities) and an analysis of whether the equality guarantee of the Charter offers a recourse for environmental justice claimants. She is also completing a joint project with uOttawa colleague (and SP Network member) Scott Findlay on the development of a Science Manual for judges in association with the National Judicial Institute.
Upcoming Projects
In addition to continuing her current projects, Nathalie is working with uOttawa colleague Prof. McLeod-Kilmurray and research assistant Andrew Mason. Together, this team is reviewing the use of market-based instruments in sustainable food policies. She is also preparing a retrospective paper on the green economy theme at the Rio +20 conference, and working on a paper on children’s health and the environment.

    Corinne Gendron   

Professor, Strategy, Social & Environmental Responsibility, University of Quebec in Montreal
Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Research Chair

Research Interests
  • Corporate social responsibility and business ethics
  • Regulation and governance in the context of globalization, environmental management, fair trade, sustainable development, economic sociology of the environment, sociology of the enterprise, responsible investment, new social economic movements

Current Projects
Corinne Gendron is actually leading three research projects. In the first one, Corinne and her research team seek to problematize corporate social responsibility as a symptom of a redefinition of the firm as a social institution of advanced modern societies. In the second research project, Corinne and her team are interested in politicians’ social representations about Québec development. Finally, her team is studying post-ecological societies’ socio-political and economic organization’ scenarios.
Upcoming Projects
Soon, Corinne will devote some time to analysing economic governance of post-ecological societies, and organic markets’ regulation.

    David Gordon   

PhD Candidate
Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

Research Interests

  • Global, transnational, and national climate governance
  • Cities as agents of global environmental, climate, and sustainability governance
  • Networked governance
  • City-networks
  • Coordination of climate governance in federated and multilevel political systems

Current Projects
David is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, writing a dissertation that looks at the role of global cities in the governance of climate change. More specifically, the project identifies patterns of climate governance in the C40 Climate Leadership Group (a network of 63 cities) and focuses on understanding how power and influence operate within the voluntary network setting to shape the ways that member cities understand, and act upon, the problem of climate change. David has also published research on the role of cities as innovative climate governors, and the issue of coordinating climate governance in federated political systems that compares the experiences of Canada and Australia.
Upcoming Projects
David plans to extend his current research focus on cities and transnational city-networks to consider how rhetorical commitments are being translated into action on the ground, and with what effect in terms of reducing emissions, increasing resilience, and producing desired behavioral and social changes. David is also working on the issue of legitimacy and city-networks, as well as a paper that compares the evolution of local climate policy in New York City, Sao Paulo, and Johannesburg. David is also preparing a conference paper that will extend prior work on the issue of climate governance coordination in federated political systems, and is participating in two ongoing research projects. One looks at the development and evolution of carbon markets as a mechanism of climate governance, while the other explores the potential of employing multiple pathways to decarbonization to achieve meaningful global results.

    Erick Lachapelle   

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Montreal

Getting policy-relevant research to decision-makers is important, but so too is an understanding of how this information is used and interpreted. The limits of our ‘bounded rationalities’ and the incentives created by our institutions make it imperative that we better understand the opportunities and barriers to the implementation of effective public policy.

Research Interests

  • Experiments
  • Public opinion
  • Policy expertise
  • Political economy
  • Comparative public policy

Current Projects
Erick is conducting research on the political economy of carbon pricing policy in North American jurisdictions and across OECD countries, examining the role of competing interests, democratic institutions, media, and public opinion.
Upcoming Projects
Erick will be developing experiments to test the cultural salience of various risks in energy, environment and health policy while examining how political orientations bias perceptions in a range of concrete policy areas, including unconventional natural gas drilling and climate change.

    Dana Letitia Mara Medianu   

Master of Economics Candidate, University of Western Ontario
Research Assistant for Professor John Whalley, Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations

 Evaluating potential impacts of environmental policy with explicit incorporation of the externalities involved is essential for designing and implementing environmental policy that achieves efficient outcomes

Research Interests

  • Natural capital and productivity
  • Sustainable growth
  • Environmental quality

Current Projects
Dana is a Research Assistant for Professor John Whalley at the University of Western Ontario. She is doing research which evaluates whether growth can be considered sustainable or not in the presence of environmental considerations. She is also working on research focusing on water availability and economic growth.
Upcoming Projects
Dana’s work will focus on computable general equilibrium techniques and environmental issues. She will be investigating potential impacts of environmental policy on welfare, emissions, trade, production and consumption.

    Jonathan Holmes   

Masters of Economics Candidate, Queen's University

Good research is not merely clever – it should also address relevant and important questions. Given the scale of environmental issues such as global warming or biodiversity loss, it is critical that we understand how to create markets and institutions which mitigate human impacts.

Jonathan Holmes on LinkedIn

Research Interests

  • Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Methods
  • Environmental Economics
  • Applied Microeconomics

Current Projects
Jonathan is completing a Masters of Arts in Economics at Queen’s University where he is developing a theoretical model of water markets in Alberta, and is using a natural experiment to evaluate a program to help struggling university students.
Upcoming Projects
Starting in September, Jonathan will be working for Professors Rema Hanna and Amitabh Chandra of the Harvard Kennedy School as a Research Assistant. He will be doing empirical research on a number of topics, including a project on the long-run impact of improved cooking stoves in India.

    Arlene Kwasniak   

Professor, Associate Dean & Graduate Program Director
Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

 Technological and scientific developments to advance environmental sustainability are for naught unless prevailing legal and policy frameworks enable, facilitate, and properly oversee their implementation. That said, law and policy must not rush in keeping up with technology and science. In providing for environmental sustainability, law and policy must concomitantly pursue its duty and goal to protect and realize social justice values including global and intergenerational equity.

Website Blog

Research Interests

  • Public lands and resources law and policy, in particular water
  • Environmental law and policy, in particular environmental assessment
  • Land use planning, inter-jurisdictional and ecosystem approaches, and apt use of economic instruments.

Current Projects
Arlene is developing legal and economic tools for restoring and protecting riparian areas in municipalities and in agricultural environments. She is also doing research on legal and policy disincentives to water reuse.
Upcoming Projects
Arlene will be working on the pluses and pitfalls of incorporating ecological goods and services into environmental management.

    Nicholas Rivers   

Professor, School of Public & International Affairs, uOttawa
Chairholder, Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy

Achieving transformative environmental improvement at an acceptable cost will require finely tuned policies based on a body of careful environment-economy research.


Research Interests

  • Climate Change
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environmental Policy
  • Computable General Equilibrium Models

Current Projects
Nicholas is developing and using economic models to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of various environmental policies. His focus is on estimating the costs associated with Canada’s emissions reduction policies and with programs that promote renewable sources of electricity.
Upcoming Projects
Nicholas is in the process of examining equity implications of climate change policy, both from an individual’s perspective and from a regional perspective. He is also beginning some work on the “social cost of carbon” concept and how it is used in regulatory decision-making. Other projects involve estimating how environmental policies affect individual vehicle choice, and examining the consequence of overlapping environmental policies in a federation.
SP Publications and Presentations
Distributional incidence of climate change policy in Canada | December 2010
Climate policy & competitiveness: A North American perspective from CGE models | June 2010

    Peter Victor   

Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University

Research Interests
  • Ecological Economics
  • Environmental Policy

Current Projects
Peter is continuing research on 'managing without growth’ that challenges the priority that rich countries continue to give to economic growth as an over-arching objective of economic policy. He is also collaborating on a new macroeconomic model, and working on the ethical foundations of ecological economics.

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