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Home » Research Updates » EUC Research Updates - April/May 2024

EUC Research Updates - April/May 2024

Welcome to the April/May 2024 edition of the EUC Research Update - bringing you highlights from research and other scholarly activities at York's Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change. We invite you to view our other recent updates on our Research News page.

Research Spotlights

Siobhan Speiran on potential for multispecies justice through care-full wildlife tourism.

Read the Research Spotlight

Saima Desai and Isaac Thornley on greenwashing the Ring of Fire: Indigenous jurisdiction and gaps in the EV battery supply chain.

Read the Research Spotlight

Ilan Kapoor on investigating the unconscious in the politics of development.

Read the Research Spotlight

Sarah Rotz on land assembly, financialization and agriculture in Canada’s North.

Read the Research Spotlight

Nikki Pagaling on examining the labour market transitions to Personal Support Worker roles among Filipina women.

Read the Research Spotlight

Wei Jiang on just transition for carbon neutrality and climate resilience in Tibetan Plateau.

Read the Research Spotlight

Accolades, Appointments and Acknowledgements

Mahtot Gebresselassie

Congratulations to Mahtot Gebresselassie on winning one of the Black Research Seed Grants supporting the research activities of Black scholars at York. Her research will focus on Race, Disability, Uber and Lyft Usage and will look into the matter of transportation equity in relation to people with disabilities and low-income earners.

Supported by the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) in collaboration with the Office of the Vice-President Equity, People and Culture (EP&C), the fund has been created to respond to and support the University’s commitment to addressing the systemic anti-Black racism and white supremacy that pervades academia. The funding is part of York’s Action Plan on Black Inclusion and Framework on Black Inclusion, which are intended to help address systemic anti-Black racism and white supremacy within academia.

Roger Keil

As part of his Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) fellowship under the Humanities Urban Future program, Roger Keil has been awarded funding for his research on "Living together in and beyond crisis urbanism: Towards an egalitarian politics and planning of the urban common-wealth." The program explores the question, what is a good city of the future? and is part of CIFAR's Impact Clusters: Building Thriving Societies and Nurturing a Resilient Earth.

An expert in global sub/urbanization with a particular interest in the urbanization of nature and the relationships of cities and infectious disease, Keil recently led an Urban Studies Foundation sponsored project, The city after COVID-19: Vulnerability and urban governance in Chicago, Toronto and Johannesburg.

Jennifer Korisi and Joshua Thienpont

Jennifer Korosi and Joshua Thienpont received a research grant from the Nuclear Innovation Institute for their project on paleolimnological tools to assess past lake conditions near the Bruce Power site. The project will use paleolimnological methods to reconstruct past environmental changes in Lake Huron using sediment cores retrieved near the Bruce Power site, as well as reference locations. The information gained from the study is expected to provide important context for addressing public and Indigenous concerns, as well as supporting a cumulative effects assessment that is required as part of Bruce Power’s Impact Assessment for Bruce C.

Flavien Joubert

Flavien Joubert (MES ‘03) has been awarded the Tentanda Via award at this year's York University Alumni Awards. The award goes to an alum who has demonstrated innovative, unconventional, and daring leadership and success, reflecting the University’s motto “The way must be tried.”

Since 2020, Flavien is the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment on the small nation island of Seychelles. He completed his Master of Environmental Studies (MES) at York and through his university studies, he re-discovered one of the rarest bat species in the country. He has, throughout his time at the ministry, promoted research and conservation on the bat species and has also played instrumental roles in several initiatives on chemical safety in Seychelles.

Christian Vignale

Christian Costanzo Vignale received the Fall/Winter 2023-2024 Paul Simpson-Housley Award, which is given annually to a graduate student in Geography with an outstanding dissertation, thesis, or major paper.

Christian is an M.A. graduate in the Critical Human Geography program, supervised by Professor Liette Gilbert. His research interests include political extremism, disinformation, intelligence, and public safety. His M.A. thesis examined the Canadian far-right through a case-study approach of a leading White ethnonationalist virtual community where members discuss and mobilize around key contemporary political issues. His research highlights how far-right groups can use conspiracies and disinformation to promote and justify intolerance in all its forms and contributes to ongoing efforts by the Canadian intelligence community to respond to public security threats online. He is now working as a KYC analyst at KPMG Canada.

Sarah Rotz

Sarah Rotz is part of a successful project that aims to cultivate a research network that will work to reduce emissions in Canadian agriculture.

Led by Karen Foster, Dalhousie’s Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Rural Futures for Atlantic Canada, the project has been selected to lead a $1.9-million initiative supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to develop a new national research network that supports an equitable transition to net-zero in Canadian agriculture and its periphery industries.

Anetta Proskurovs'ka

Anetta Proskurovs'ka is a new postdoctoral visitor working with Kean Birch in his SSHRC project on Digital Data Paradox: An empirical investigation of personal data valuation.

Anetta finished her PhD degree in Social Sciences (Geography) from the University of Luxembourg with a thesis on Geographies of property(zation) infrastructure: Exploring the re-making of residential property and mortgage markets with blockchain. Her research integrates insights from economic and urban geography, critical financial studies, and Science and Technology Studies to better understand the interplay between these shifts, their role in shaping geographically specific market orders, and the impact on socio-economic relations.

Sunetro Ghosal

Sunetro Ghosal, editor of the inter-disciplinary journal Ladakh Studies and Stawa Magazine, was a recent visitor at EUC. An independent scholar with a PhD in Environment and Development Studies from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Sunetro has expertise in human-wildlife interactions with a special focus on large carnivores in urban and rural settings. He is Principal Investigator for the Maharashtra Forest Department's Mumbaikars for Sanjay Gandhi National Park "Living with Leopards" project in Mumbai, which focuses on understanding human-leopard interactions and facilitating their co-existence. He is also Senior Consultant for a project with the Department of Wildlife Protection in Leh, the largest city and joint capital of Ladakh, where he is developing a management plan for free-ranging dogs. He joined Patricia Wood in a discussion of Eduardo Kohn's book How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human and is working with Leesa Fawcett in a potential comparative and collaborative studies on wildlife conservation in the future.

Thomas van Laake

Thomas van Laake, doctoral researcher at the University of Manchester, visited EUC and talked about his comparative research on cycling infrastructure implementation in Manchester, Mexico City, and Toronto. Originally from the Netherlands, he lived for four years in Bogotá, where he worked on projects related to cycling infrastructure and sustainable mobility policy in Latin America.

He presented his research on "Problematising cycling equity: City-wide networks and differentiated infrastructures in Mexico City and Toronto.” His talk brought attention to the characteristics of infrastructures and the spatial contexts they operate in, calling for further qualitative attention to the characteristics of infrastructures, differences in urban context, and the needs of local communities to inform the growing interest in measuring and addressing cycling inequalities. The event was organized by The City Institute.

Publications and Reports

Birch, K. (2024). Assetization as a mode of techno-economic governance: Knowledge, education and personal data in the UN’s System of National Accounts. Economy and Society, 53(1), 15–38.

Dastgheib-Beheshti, S., Long, Z.G., Takahashi, G.R., and Martin, R.W. (2024). How Scientific Illustration Impacts Presentation and Understanding of Plant Adaptations at Multiple Scales in Art in the Botanical Sciences (Part 2). Plant Science Bulletin of the Botanical Society of America, Spring, Vol 70, No.1.

Gebresselassie, M., Alavi, M., Hong, A. (2024). How and Where Did Older People Travel Before and After COVID? Insights from WMATA’s SmartTrip Card Data in DC. Transport Findings.

Hillson, P., and Winfield, M. (2024). Understanding the political durability of Doug Ford’s market populismStudies in Political Economy105(1), 69–93.

Kandilige, L., Yaro, J. and Mensah, J. (2024). Chapter 4: Exploring the Lived Experiences of Ghanaian Migrants along the Ghana-China Migration Corridor, in African perspectives on South-South immigration edited by Meren Zeleke and Lahra Smith.

Kelly, P. F., and Ducusin, R. J. (2024). Social reproduction, migration and labour control regimes: understanding Filipino crew experiences in the UK fishing fleet. Work in the Global Economy (published online ahead of print 2024).

Kipfer, S. and Sotomayor, L (2024). Housing beyond land rent? A critique of market housing solutionism. Radical Housing Journal, Vol 6(1): 33-61.

Krishendeholl, A., Sotomayor, L., and Keil, R. (2024). Demanding participation and transparent policymaking in urban Ontario. Policy Options. May.

Olusola, A., Castelli, G., and Ceperley, N. (2024). HELPING: Co-creating and communicating water solutions in a globally changing world, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4773.

Quintero, R. J. (2024). Looking for Safe Haven in a City Torn Apart by War: Narratives of agency from internally displaced persons in the southern Philippines. Anti Trafficking Review No. 22: Special Issue on Armed Conflicts: Migration, Trafficking, and Labour Markets.

Rotz, S. and Ruck, D. (2024). Agriculture in the North: A New Strategy of Indigenous Land Dispossession? Yellowhead Institute.

Talukder, B., Schubert, J., Tofighi, M., Likongwe, P., Choi, E., Mphepo, G., Ali Asgary, A., Bunch, M. et. al. (2024). Complex adaptive systems-based framework for modeling the health impacts of climate change, The Journal of Climate Change and Health, Volume 15, 100292.

Walker, P., Preston, P., Scantlebury, T., Hynie, M., Phonepraseuth, J., Borras, J., and Belkhodja, C. Lessons in Partnering: Three BMRC-IRMU Case Studies on the Challenges and Benefits of Community-Academic Research Partnerships: Policy Preview. April.

EUC Events and Media Coverage

EUC end-of-year celebration recognizing the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students for their teaching, research and service!

EUC held a Dean's Welcome Reception as well as Alumni Panel on May 4 to welcome new students and connect with alumni as an opportunity to network, learn, and establish continuing presence in the community.

The Faculty also held its End-of-Year Celebration on May 15 recognizing the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students for their teaching, research and service over the past year. Congratulations to all the award winners and thank you to everyone for going above and beyond your service to the university community and beyond!

We will feature the award winners in the next issue of our newsletter!

Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) presents Carbon Pricing, Federalism and the Future of Canadian Climate Policy webinar on Friday, May 24, from 12:30 to 2:00 PM (ET).

Notably, despite the growing evidence of the impacts of a changing climate, including last summer’s record wildfires, Canadian climate policy, and especially carbon pricing, has becomes a focal point for intensifying federal-provincial conflicts, and political challenges at the federal and provincial levels.

The webinar will discuss the state of Canadian climate policy, featuring leading researchers from across Canada, namely Angela Carter (Memorial Univesity), Pierre Olivier Pineau (HEC Montreal), Mark Winfield (EUC), Keith Brownsey (Mount Royal), George Hoberg (UBC), and Runa Das (Royal Roads). All are welcome but registration is required.

Ecological Footprint Initiative will launch new data about Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity, for the world in total and for all countries, from 1961 to 2023.  Ecological Footprint for all countries is measured on a production basis, and on a consumption basis after subtracting the Ecological Footprint embodied within exports, and adding the Ecological Footprint embodied within imports.

To announce the release of the new edition of the national accounts, the Ecological Footprint Initiative is hosting a virtual launch webinar on May 29 at 1 p.m. Register here.

On May 30 from 3-5pm at HNES 140, join us in a special presentation by Drs. Columba González-Duarte and Juanita Sundberg about possibilities for new forms of multispecies flourishing across three settler colonial states: Mexico, USA & Canada. From the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve in central México to Leamington, Ontario, the Point Pelee’s Caldwell band, and Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, they illustrate how conservation projects and agribusiness across North America displace nodes of multispecies reciprocity and care, exposing monarch butterflies, Indigenous communities, Mexican migrant workers, and Sonoran Desert soils to violence. Register here.

Dr. Columba Gonzalez-Duarte is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and Dr. Juanita Sundberg is Associate Professor at the UBC Department of Geography whose research brings the sensibilities of ethnography and the insights of feminist political ecology to bear on the politics of nature. Sundberg is also delivering the International Political Economy and Ecology Summer School on Politics, Ethics, More-Than-Human Methodologies from May 21-31 at York University.

EUC resumes its Dialogues on Degrowth seminar series with Session 5 on Degrowth and the State on May 31, 12-1pm. This session will discuss the role of the state in a degrowth future tackling the question: What is the balance that degrowth proposes between localism and other levels of governance, including nation States and the international level? Speakers include Milena Buchs, Professor of Sustainable Welfare at the Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds, UK and Max Koch, Professor of Social Policy and Sustainability at Lund University with Professor Stefan Kipfer serving as moderator. Register here.

EUC is the featured Faculty in this month's Innovatus, a special issue of YFile, that explores how York University community members are expanding experiential learning, enhancing the student experience, internationalizing curriculum, and inspiring innovation in technology-enhanced learning.

In his message, EUC Interim Dean Philip Kelly notes: "As York’s newest Faculty, EUC takes pride in bringing innovative approaches to our teaching and learning environment. Less than four years into its existence, with a suite of newly designed programs, the Faculty is building a reputation for pedagogy that is inclusive, experiential, and interdisciplinary, as well as being oriented towards shaping active citizens and changemakers." The feature showcases EUC's efforts to advance the creativity, learning, wellbeing, and careers of its students.

EUC faculty, staff and students at the UNESCO Schools Network Conference from April 9-11, 2024.

The Faculty also recently participated in the Learning for a Sustainable Future and Canadian Commission for UNESCO's Schools Network National Conference 2024.

The 3-day event aimed to engage students in local climate and sustainability issues, equip them with knowledge and skills needed to make change, and empower them to take action. The UNESCO Schools Network includes students and teachers from over 11,500 schools in more than 182 countries. The network acts as a laboratory of ideas by experimenting with innovative teaching and learning approaches to address global challenges.

Mahtot Gebresselassie contributed an article titled A B.C. class action may prompt Uber and Lyft to ensure accessible services for wheelchair users in The Conversation. In March, a class action was announced against Uber and Lyft in British Columbia for allegedly not providing service to a wheelchair user. The class action draws attention to issues of accessibility in the transportation service hailed via Uber and Lyft for people with disabilities, in particular wheelchair users. Gebresselassie notes that “For wheelchair users, travelling by using ride-hailing apps, like Uber and Lyft, can be complicated." Her research underscores disparities in service availability, with a specific focus on the limitations faced by those using fixed-frame wheelchairs or requiring wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs). By advocating systemic change through legal action and highlighting the necessity for improved services, her research highlights the ongoing struggle for equitable transportation options for individuals with disabilities.

Andil Gosine's book Nature's Wild: Love, Sex, and Law in the Caribbean has been featured in the New Books in Caribbean Studies podcast hosted by Zachary Myers. In this book, Gosine engages with questions of humanism, queer theory, and animality to examine and revise understandings of queer desire in the Caribbean. Surveying colonial law, visual art practices, and contemporary activism, Gosine shows how the very concept of homosexuality in the Caribbean (and in the Americas more broadly) has been overdetermined by a colonially influenced human/animal divide. Gosine refutes this presupposed binary and embraces animality through a series of case studies noting the ways in which individual and collective anxieties about “wild natures” have shaped the existence of Caribbean people while calling for a reassessment of what political liberation might look like.

Honor Ford-Smith served as guest speaker in a Spotify Podcast on Participatory Action Research - Feminist Trailblazers & Good Troublemakers by Patricia Maguire. In Season 2, Episode 7, Ford-Smith talked about collaborative theater and performance for social justice with communities affected by violence, particularly in Jamaica and beyond.

A scholar, theatre worker, and poet, she is the co-founder and artistic director of Sistren (Sisters), a theatre collective of mainly working-class Jamaican women working in community theatre and popular education. A trailblazer in gender relations training, Sistren has creatively responded to changing needs within communities across Jamaica and particularly Kingston, which is plagued by violence, high unemployment, and low occupational skills, to help empower residents to change their situations.

Calvin Lakhan released the results of their study on Consumer perspectives towards sustainability labeling on product packaging. The study identifies gaps between consumer attitudes and behaviours. While demand exists for trusted sustainability marketing, progress requires reducing barriers through awareness building, financial incentives, and simplification. The authors note that there are opportunities for companies, policymakers and consumers to play constructive roles in realizing incremental labelling improvements over time. Enzo Casal and William Anthony are co-authors of the study.

He also served as guest speaker in Packaging Europe podcast titled Out of sight, out of mind? Waste management with Calvin Lakhan and will be one of the keynote speakers at drupa cube, which presents the latest developments in the print and packaging industry. His presentation, entitled "Sustainability is Not a Universal Language," will provide an overview and a vision for the effective methods business can use to measure, quantify, and communicate the impacts of sustainability programs in a way that resonates with their customers

Deena Kara Shaffer penned an article titled Teaching university students how to learn matters for retaining them in The Conversation. In this article, Shaffer emphasizes the importance of prioritizing student retention and helping learners stay who want to stay as the centre of her career.

In her professional career doing consulting work supporting students and in publications, Shaffer has focused on how learning interventions can support students. She highlights that "whether students feel they belong affects retention. Feeling welcome, experiencing affinity and healthy relationships with peers and professionals on campus are essential to a student staying."

Mark Winfield and Susan O'Donnell wrote an op-ed special to The Energy Mix on ‘Nuclear dinosaurs’ roam New Brunswick, Ontario as ‘Jurassic’ partnership looms. In this article, the authors analyzed the planned partnership between NB Power and Ontario Power Generation, the only two utilities left in Canada operating nuclear power reactors. The two public utilities plan to bring forth a revitalized New Brunswick Point Lepreau reactor. However, the authors highlight the financial and infrastructural challenges faced by NB Power and explore the motives behind OPG's involvement in assuming liabilities from this partnership raising concerns about potential impacts on Ontario taxpayers and underscoring missed opportunities for embracing modern energy technologies.

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant - May 22, 2024

NFRF NordForsk-led International Joint Initiative on Sustainable Development of the Arctic - Registration deadline: May 30, 2024

US National Science Foundation Global Centres - Call for proposals: Bioeconomy - June 11, 2024

CIHR Team Grant : HIV/AIDS and STBBI Community-Based Research - June 13, 2024 (LOI)

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant - June 15, 2024

Killam NRC Paul Corkum Fellowship - June 20, 2024

SSHRC Connection Grant - June 20, 2024

NSERC Discovery Grant - August 1, 2024 (NOI)

Catalyst Grant : Community Based Research in Climate Change Priority Areas - August 14, 2024 (LOI)

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship - September 12, 2024

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship - September 17, 2024

SSHRC Partnership Grants - Stage 2 - October 29, 2024

NSERC Discovery Grant - November 1, 2024

SSHRC Connection Grant - November 1, 2024

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant - November 15, 2024

SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant - December 15, 2024

CANSSI Ontario Data Access Grants - Rolling deadline

NSERC Alliance Grants - No deadline

NSERC Alliance International - No deadline

NSERC Alliance - MITACS Accelerate - No deadline

NSERC Alliance Quantum Grants - Strengthening Canada's quantum research and innovation capacity - applications accepted until October 2023.

Quebec Research Support Program - Applications must be submitted at least 60 business days before the project or activity is scheduled to begin.

For more info, do check the integrated calendar of agency and interagency funding opportunities from all three federal research funding agencies and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, including agency-specific and jointly administered programs.

Important note: Please check eligibility criteria and requirements before you apply. Also note that these are agency deadlines which vary from your respective institutional deadlines for internal review, endorsement, and approval.

CIHR News  - Government of Canada invests in research to transform health systems

NSERC News  - The use of generative artificial intelligence in the development and review of research proposals

SSHRC News -  Government of Canada partners with civil society organizations to create new sustainable agriculture research network

GoC News - New Tri-agency guidance on research security

University Affairs – Leveraging our research excellence

University World News - Report highlights strategies to accelerate AI in research

YFile News - President presents Jane Goodall with honorary degree at special convocation ceremony

Contact Us

The EUC Research Update is compiled by the Research Office at EUC: Associate Dean Research, Graduate & Global Affairs (Interim) Carlota McAllister, Research Officer Rhoda Reyes, and Work-Study Students Xinyu Mei and Lorraine Wong. Thanks to Paul Tran for the web design and development.

We welcome the opportunity to pass along research-related information and achievements from our whole community - faculty, postdocs, visiting scholars, students, and retirees.

News for future updates can be submitted using the EUC Kudos and News form, circulated monthly. Or, send your news directly to:

If you are not on the EUC community listserves, but would like to receive this Research Update each month, send an email to

Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC)

4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario,  Canada M3J 1P3

(416) 736-5252