I am an Associate Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (SERS) and Associate Dean – Undergraduate Studies in the Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo.
My research concerns the challenge of conserving ‘nature’ at present given the extent to which it is interwoven with humans: we have modified habitats globally, we are changing the climate and the soils, and we are moving species around the planet, among many other effects. These changes are so dramatic that geologists now refer to this epoch as the Anthropocene (‘the era of humans’).
To address this challenging interdisciplinary problem, I balance my background as an ecologist and naturalist, which allows me to understand first-hand what we’re losing, with my current social scientific research, which allows me to take a critical perspective on scientific knowledge and which provides some awareness of the range of perspectives of contemporary change.
My current research, with my students, post-doctoral fellows, and diverse colleagues (from the natural and social sciences and the humanities), ranges from synthetic collaborative work, to investigation of the role of metaphors in conceptualizing and communicating ecological/environmental change, to empirical research into how people conceptualize these changes and the extent to which policy is adapting to them. We focus on case studies related to assisted colonization, invasive species, novel socio-ecological systems, and restoration ecology.
I am available to give keynote lectures on how to relate to change in the Anthropocene, especially the case of invasive species.
Please explore the site and let me know if you have any comments or questions.