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EUC Research Updates - March 2024

Welcome to the March 2024 edition of the EUC Research Update  - bringing you highlights from research activities at York's Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change. We invite you to view our past updates on our Research News page.

Research Spotlights

P Sainath on telling the stories of climate, farm distress, inequality and justice.

Read the Research Spotlight

Melvin Chan on learning from “humanimals”: Exploring diverse rabbit-human relationships in animal care settings.

Read the Research Spotlight

Thaís Henriques Dias on geopolitics of mining and dispossession: Brazil and Canada.

Read the Research Spotlight

Accolades, Appointments and Acknowledgements

Bronwyn Bragg and Jennifer Hyndman

Congratulations to Bronwyn Bragg and Jennifer Hyndman on their SSHRC Insight Development Grant on Slaughterhouse geographies: Comparing the integration experiences of refugee workers in Canadian meatpacking towns. Their research addresses the intentional geographies of the Canadian meatpacking industry and the lives of former refugees, now Canadian permanent residents, who labour in this precarious sector. Expected outcomes of the study include recommendations to benefit provincial policy makers working on issues related to settlement and immigrant 'retention' in small centres, and policies related to diversity and inclusion, as well as other social supports such as health and education under provincial jurisdiction. At the federal level, policy recommendations will benefit policy makers working on refugee resettlement policy, settlement supports for refugees, and labour market integration.

Glen Norcliffe

Glen Norcliffe also received a SSHRC Insight Development Grant for his research on Velomobility for disability: The design, production, and distribution of cycles that assist the mobility of persons with a disability. The study aims to discover the source and efficiency of new improved designs for adaptive cycles, and the methods of manufacturing and distributing these bicycles, tricycles and quadricycles. These cycles are adapted to the special needs of their users who contribute directly and indirectly to their design.

In particular, the study will compare the design and production of adaptive cycles in Indonesia and advanced industrial countries (Canada, the United States, and Western Europe). With average incomes approximately one quarter of AICs, Indonesia appears to have developed low-cost solutions using recycled materials, with adaptive cycles mostly customized locally to meet user needs and affordability.

Andil Gosine

Andil Gosine has been awarded a Beinecke Fellowship by the Clark Art Institute based in Massachusetts, USA. The Clark is a small global institution that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Through its Research & Academic Program (RAP), the Clark hosts a residential fellowship program that welcomes top international scholars for periods ranging from two to nine months. The Beinecke Fellowships, endowed by the former chair of the Research and Academic Program Trustee Committee, Frederick W. Beinecke, are awarded to a senior scholar for periods of eight weeks up to an academic year. Gosine will undertake his fellowship while on sabbatical from summer-fall of 2024.

Guiliana Racco

Giuliana Racco, ES PhD candidate, won the first BMW Group Award for Social Sustainability at the 30th edition of the International Short Film Week Regensburg 2024.

High Roads, colour, single channel video, 19′ Year: 2023.

Her film HIGH ROADS is a Canadian-Spanish production about social sustainability and portrays the everyday lives of four women who use their bodies, their breath and their minds as tools for daily resistance against the military occupation. It is a journey through overlapping narrations concerning the paradoxical conditions of the search for well-being in Occupied Palestine. Filmed between Palestine and Barcelona, High Roads dialogues with physicist Dr. Wafaa Khater, Olympian swimmer Sabine Hazboun, marathon-runner Diala Isid, and yoga instructor Eilda Zaghmout. These four women generate well-being and wonder in defiance of a relentless oppression. Their diverse yet interconnected practices of SUMUD (steadfastness) across this fragmented non-state, provide a glimpse into the multiple ways in which Palestinians (refugees and non, alike) try to ‘live well’, using their bodies, breath, and minds as tools for everyday resistance to military occupation.

“The four Palestinian women featured in this film embody remarkable qualities – courage, resilience and a deep love for their communities – all essential to building a sustainable society,” said the jury. ​ Part of the prize will be donated to a mutual aid fund in Gaza.

Adeyemi Olusola

Adeyemi Olusola has been appointed as Regional Thematic Coordinator for the FRIEND-Water Program in West Africa. The FRIEND-Water Program is a cross-cutting initiative that interacts with five core International Hydrological Program (IHP-VI) themes in its objective of easing the problems of water resources assessment and management through applied research targeted at regionally identified problems. FRIEND-Water consists of over 162 participating countries in 7 regional groups to foster and strengthen international scientific cooperation. Theme leaders will coordinate between working groups, help formulate science questions and community papers, and when necessary coach or inspire the program's activities. The role also includes reporting on progress and keeping the dialogue with the HELPING leader and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) management team.

Sébastien Lambelet

Sébastien Lambelet is a new EUC postdoctoral fellow who will be working with Roger Keil on his research project titled "The capacity to act and to ignore: investigating preemptive power and its socio-spatial consequences through transatlantic research," funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Over the next two years, he will investigate the power dynamics and the governance modalities of the cities of Toronto and Ottawa-Gatineau to draw comparisons with an earlier research he conducted in Zurich and Geneva, Switzerland.

Passionate about the analysis of power, Sébastien defended his PhD thesis in Social Sciences with a mention in Political Science in December 2019 after obtaining a bachelor's and a master's degree at the University of Geneva in the same discipline. He worked as an assistant professor in Political Science and International relations and as a post-doctoral fellow at the Environmental Governance and Territorial Development Institute, also at the University of Geneva. His research focuses on the governance of Swiss cities and towns, regional planning, and cross-border cooperation.

Wei Jiang

Wei Jiang is our new visiting scholar at EUC. She will be working with Philip Kelly for six months on her research on “Just Transition for Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience in the Tibetan Plateau.” An Alexander von Humboldt fellow on Global Climate Protection, she works at the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences . Her research interests include climate change policy (focusing on renewable energy), just transition for carbon neutrality, Tibetan Buddhism psychology and Indigenous behaviour in the building of climate resilience in the Tibetan Plateau.

In Beijing, she is engaged with pushing forward laws and policies for climate justice and eco-environmental protection in China’s ethnic minority regions. She has held back mining in the Tibetan Plateau and other eco-environmentally vulnerable areas. She also plans to further explore feasible policies for a just transition in China’s practice of carbon neutrality.

Robert Murdie

The EUC community mourns the passing of Professor Emeritus Robert (Bob) Murdie. Bob spent his almost his entire career with the Department of Geography at York, and was a leading figure in Canadian urban and social geography, focusing especially on housing and immigration studies. He was also a dedicated teacher and graduate supervisor, and a thoughtful and conscientious colleague. Mentoring and encouraging his graduate students was something he especially enjoyed.

During his retirement, he spent time travelling and at the family cottage at Point Clark. Making good friends around the world, he was well respected and appreciated by both colleagues and students. Bob's obituary is in the Globe and Mail along with some tributes and reflections.

Publications and Reports

Aguiar, R., Keil, R., and Wiktorowicz, M. (2024). The urban political ecology of antimicrobial resistance: A critical lens on integrative governance, Social Science & Medicine, 116689.

Calvert, A.M., S. E. Gutowsky, D. A. Fifield, N. M. Burgess, R. Bryant, G.S. Fraser et al. (2024). Inter-colony variation in predation, mercury burden and adult survival in a declining seabird. Science of the Total Environment 911: 168549.

Das, R. (2024). Intellectual and political lessons of ‘The Communist Manifesto’ for our time. International Journal of Socialist Renewal. March.

Foster, J. (2024). Engaged research: Timely, challenging and unavoidable. Dialogues in Urban Research, 2(1), 32-35.

Fraser, G.S. (2024). Post-fledging parental care in tree-nesting double-crested cormorants. Waterbirds 46(3): 1-7.

Gebresselassie, M., Alavi, S. and Hong, A. (2024). How and Where Did Older People Travel Before and After COVID? Insights from Washington, DC’s Smart Card Data. Findings. February.

Ilyniak, S. (2024). Decentralization in Ukraine: Reorganizing Core–Periphery Relations?. Urban Planning, 9(2).

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).

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

Komljenovic, J., Sam Sellar, S., Birch, K. and Morten Hansen, M. (2024). Assetisation of higher education's digital disruption in World Yearbook of Education: Digitalisation of Education in the Era of Algorithms, Automation and Artificial Intelligence edited by Ben Williamson, Janja Komljenovic and Kalervo Gulson. 1st Ed. London, Routledge.

Mensah, J. (2024). Global migration beyond limits: ecology, economics, and political economy, African Geographical Review, 43:2, 427-429.

Molot, L. and Dillon, P. (2024). Chapter 10 - Water as a Chemical Environment, Editor(s): Ian D. Jones, John P. Smol, Wetzel's Limnology (Fourth Edition), Academic Press, .229-235,

Olusola, A., Ogunjo, S., Olusegun, C. (2024). Predicting Rainfall Onset and Cessation Within the West African Sahel Region Using Echo State Network. In: Chenchouni, H., et al. Recent Advancements from Aquifers to Skies in Hydrogeology, Geoecology, and Atmospheric Sciences. MedGU 2022. Advances in Science, Technology & Innovation. Springer, Cham.

Preston, V., Shields, J. and D’Souza, J. (2024) Transforming settlement and integration services during a pandemic. International Migration, 00, 1–16.

Rady, F. and Sotomayor, L. (2024), Barred and Banished: Encampment Evictions, Public Space, and Permanent Displaceability in Toronto. Antipode.

Reed, G, Fox, S, Littlechild, D, McGregor, D., Lewis, D., Popp, J., Wray, K, Kassi, N, Ruben, R, Morales, S and Lonsdale, S (2024). For our future: Indigenous resilience report. GEOSCAN.

Rotz, S. (2024). Land Assembly, Financialization and Agriculture in Canada’s North, Institutional Landscapes. March.

Winfield, M. (2024). Assessing Ottawa's Paths to Net-Zero through an Energy Sustainabilty Lens in Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics: Moving the Green Transition Forward, edited by Debora L. VanNijnatten. Fifth Edition. Oxford University Press.

EUC Events and Media Coverage

Line of servers in a communication data room in New Delhi, India. Photo: Manish Swarup/AP. The Globe and Mail.

Kean Birch penned an op-ed article in The Globe and Mail titled Canada needs a sovereign wealth fund – built by monetizing our personal data.

In his opinion: "We need to start treating our personal data as a collective and not a private asset: it's aggregated from Canadian citizens and only has a value as a result of its social and relational nature...We should therefore manage and govern our personal data as a collective asset, like we do with natural resources such as oil. We should have a say in how our data are used and we should derive a share of the ever-growing revenues generated from it."

Sheila Colla was quoted in the Carolinian Canada Coalition report on The Economy of Hope.

"When we fill landscapes with introduced, non-native plants, we are severing crucial, dependent relationships between native plants and wildlife that have evolved over millennia. These partnerships and interdependencies support all life on earth, including us." -- Lorraine Johnson and Sheila Colla in A Garden for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee.

Andil Gosine's new exhibit The Plural of He, exploring the life and works of a Trinidadian American poet and social justice advocate, Colin Robinson (1961-2021), was featured in YFile News. The exhibit launched on March 15 and will run until July 21 at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in New York City, the world’s only dedicated 2SLGBTQIA+ art museum. It features five newly commissioned works in which artists – Llanor Alleyne, Leasho Johnson, Ada M. Patterson, Devan Shimoyama and EUC doctoral student Natalie Wood – drew inspiration from materials encountered in Robinson’s archives.

Ilan Kapoor and Gavin Fridell were guest speakers in The Global Development Primer (GDP) spotify podcast by Dalhousie University professor Robert Huish. The podcast covers a wide range of issues in International Development, while featuring the work of researchers and practitioners from around the world. Kapoor and Fridell have written a provocative book, Rethinking Development Politics (2024), where they confront an often invisible, but active unconscious fetish for perfection and simple solutions in Global Development. Whereas mainstream development politics is organized around stability and rationality, psychoanalysis points to disharmony and irrationality, helping to explain the development subject’s often self-defeating behaviour — for example being seduced by growth and shopping, despite being aware of the inherent perils of inequality and climate crisis.

Joseph Mensah was interviewed in Addis Dialogue, Ethiopian National Television about his insights about the historic victory of the Battle of Adwa as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the freedom of African colonized nations and beyond. In this talk, Mensah mentioned that pan-Africanism or the bond of solidarity among Africans to resist and defend themselves against foreign invasion contributed to the success of the freedom movement. Accordingly this goes true for the Scramble for Africa and the fulcrum of the pan-African Congress meetings that aim to end oppression and racism and fight against neocolonialism.

On the Ecological Footprint Initiative (EFI) team, Eric Miller and Peri Dworatzek presented to the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome on Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity in a Canadian and Global Context

Kiona Lo presented at EnviroCon on the current and best practices for higher education institutions to quantify and reduce Scope 3 procurement emissions, a category of GHG emissions that has been neglected despite its significance. 

This research is being integrated into an updated and enhanced assessment of York’s emissions and Ecological Footprint, underway for York’s Office of Sustainability.

Labour minister tables bill to ban replacement workers in strikes, lockouts (The Canadian Press).

Steven Tufts was cited in a Toronto Star article titled 'Bad news for Canada': Businesses decry 'anti-scab' bill — but unions say not so fast.' The “anti-scab” bill, known as Bill C-58 in the House of Commons bans replacement workers from being used during strikes at federally regulated workplaces. Business groups have come out against the legislation saying it would reduce productivity amid an already sluggish Canadian economy.

Labour experts say that’s the whole point — strikes create necessary disruptions to push both employers and workers to find a solution at the bargaining table. “When replacement workers can't be used, it levels the playing field,” said York University associate professor of labour geography Steven Tufts. “It takes away a tool that employers have to try to reduce the power of workers in a labour stoppage.”

Mark Winfield was cited in a CBC News article about 'A facility in Kirkland Lake that proposes to transform wood waste into natural gas'.

Winfield noted that technologies like high-temperature pyrolysis are still relatively unproven, and tend to be very energy intensive. He remarked that while governments tend to be hungry for technologies that can create energy out of renewable resources like biomass, the math does not always add up.

"One needs to look very, very carefully at how much energy is going into those types of processes and where that's coming from versus what are you getting back out," he warns.

SSHRC Impact Awards - April 1, 2024

NSERC Idea to Innovation Grant - April 2, 2024

CBRCanada 2024 Award for Excellence in Community-Campus Research Partnership - April 3, 2024

CBRCanada 2024 Award for Emerging Community-Based Researcher - April 3, 2024

CIHR Operating Grant : Network Environment for Indigenous Health Research Centre - Development Grant - April 3, 2024

KIX call for concept notes: Knowledge and innovation for education in emergencies and fragile, conflict and violence-affected contexts - April 25, 2024

NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) - May 1, 2024 (LOI)

SSHRC Connection Grant - May 1, 2024

CIHR Fellowship : Human Frontier Science Program - May 14, 2024

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

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)

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  - GoC and partners invest over $28 million to support underrepresented early career health researchers

NSERC News  - GoC invests in 7,700 world-class researchers and projects across the country

SSHRC News -  Dialogue E-Newsletter

GoC News - Government of Canada supports interdisciplinary research centres to address global challenges through the bioeconomy

University Affairs – Testing limits: navigating the complex web of national security, research and diversity

University World News - Qualification recognition treaty: A ‘game changer’ for higher education

YFile News - York prof’s exhibit explores life, work of social justice advocate

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)

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