Isa Elegbede

Isa was a member of the Community Engaged Co-Lab and a visiting scholar being hosted by Prof Melanie Zurba at the School for Resources and Environmental Studies (SRES) at Dalhousie University, Halifax. He is presently at the last stage of a doctorate degree at the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU), Cottbus-Senftenberg, Germany. His research investigated the impact of Voluntary Sustainability Standards (VSS) and certifications on industrial marine shrimp fisheries using sustainability and holistic approaches to analyze the fish stock and the community involved in the fisheries. Due to his interdisciplinary background in fisheries, environmental studies, socio-ecological systems and certifications coupled with an interest in participatory and collaborative research with Indigenous communities. He works in partnership with the Mi’kmaw Conservation Group (MCG) on policy research focused on supporting Mi’kmaw leadership in the development of Indigenous certification for the American lobster commercial fishery of Nova Scotia. The project was supported by Ocean Frontier Institute, Robin Rigby Trust, MCG and Dalhousie University. He has also committed to knowledge dissemination in Africa as a diaspora expert under the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM), which is a joint initiative of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the German Federal Employment Agency. Several awards, grants have been awarded to his credits. Isa has participated, contributed and volunteered in several international capacities and collaborative initiatives in many of the SGDs goals across the globe. His interest includes environmental sciences; Indigenous studies; qualitative and quantitative research methods; social and ecological systems; blue economy; sustainability certifications; fisheries and food security; bioeconomy; climate change impact; data analysis and management.

Ashley Gibson

Ashley completed her Masters of Environmental Studies with the Community Engaged Co-Lab. Previously, she did her B.A at the University of Guelph in International Development, with an independent project partnered with a land based agrarian movement in Brazil. She is interested in questions around sovereignty and equity through a land-based lens. As a member of the “First Nation-University Partnership for Capacity Enhancement in Forest Land Governance” project team, Ashley worked under the supervision of Dr. Melanie Zurba and Dr. Ryan Bullock in partnership with Eagle Lake First Nation to explore how the community can increase their capacity for forest governance rooted in their own capacities and definition of sovereignty

Carly Madge

Carly completed her Masters of Environmental Studies with the Community-Engaged Co-Lab. She completed her undergraduate degree in environmental science at Lakehead University, focusing on hydrogeology. Carly worked on her thesis under the supervision of Dr. Melanie Zurba and Dr. Ryan Bullock, working with Sakaw Askiy Management in northern Saskatchewan and the stakeholders of the Prince Albert Forest Management Area as they begin to incorporate community-informed and supported wildfire risk reduction strategies into their forest harvesting plans. Carly researched the social learning aspects that are involved in the development of these strategies. Carly has a background in forestry and wildfire and hopes to pursue a career in this area.

Anastasia Papadopoulos

Anastasia pursued a Master of Environmental Studies through the Community-Engaged Co-Lab. Her project was conducted in partnership with the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq and the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources and centered around efforts to advance Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) in Nova Scotia. Anastasia completed a Bachelor’s of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo where she specialized in environmental assessment, restoration/conservation ecology, and environmental governance. Anastasia also worked as a Research Assistant under Dr. Melanie Zurba working on projects focused on environmental governance in different contexts. Anastasia is particularly interested in ways that conservation practice and approaches can contribute to addressing environmental and social justice issues. Anastasia is a first-generation Canadian with Greek heritage and was born and raised in Treaty 3 territory in a city called Waterloo. Whenever she can, Anastasia seeks out opportunities to explore new (and old) hiking spot, to cook, eat and share foods from different places, and listen to podcasts.

Abena Dwumfour

Abena is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies with the Community Engaged Co-Lab. She has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Management from York University, Toronto. Abena is interested in the role of gender in environmental and natural resource management in rural communities in developing countries. Under the supervision of Dr. Melanie Zurba, Abena’s research focuses on the localization of international gender policy to assist women farmers to achieve food security in West and East Africa. While pursuing her Masters, Abena interned at the Climate Change Directorate at Forestry Commission, Ghana. She participated and prepared a report on a REDD+ Safeguard Training Workshop at Juabeso-Bia, in Ghana. 

Sara Boyd

Sara is a member of the Community Engaged Co-Lab and is pursuing a Masters of Resource and Environmental Management. She has a B.Sc. in Zoology with a minor in Studio Art and a minor in Hispanic Studies from the University of Guelph. Her master’s project, supervised by Dr. Melanie Zurba, is focused on developing a multi-disciplinary typology of rituals and vocabularies for expressing and processing grief associated with climate change in Canada. She has worked in student community engagement and aspires to work alongside Indigenous and local communities to develop climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Madeleine Chauvin

Madeleine holds a Master of Resource and Environmental Management (MREM) at Dalhousie University completed December 2020. Prior to this, she completed a BA at the University of Guelph in International Development, with an area of emphasis in human environment and development. She has experience with sustainable agri-food research, community focused food security projects, and energy efficiency policy research and advocacy. In her independent MREM project, Madeline conducted a media analysis of how energy poverty is discussed in Canadian news media and looked at how this shapes public opinion and discourse about the issue.

Megan Fuller

Megan Fuller completed her Masters in Resource and Environmental Management at Dalhousie University in 2020. Her work focused on facilitating the development of community-led water safety plans to support the Atlantic First Nations Water Authority (AFNWA). Water safety planning is a risk mitigation management strategy that relies on local knowledge and context to ensure safe drinking water for communities.

Mary Kelly

Mary is a graduate of Dalhousie University where she completed a Bachelor of Management, Major in Environment Sustainability. Mary completed her Honour’s Thesis under Dr. Melanie Zurba’s supervision, she partnered with The University of Winnipeg’s Access Education Department to deliver a review of its programs. Mary is currently working in Whitehorse, Yukon with the Northern Council for Global Cooperation where she is developing a map of the Northern organizations implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Sophie Boardman (she/her)

Sophie Boardman completed her Combined Honours Degree in Environment, Sustainability, Society (ESS) and Environmental Science at Dalhousie University graduating in May of 2020. Dr. Melanie Zurba supervised her Honours Thesis which explored the Indigenous Circle of Experts (ICE) governance outcomes of social learning through their work with Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs). Sophie is currently back home in Maine serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with HealthReach in Waterville, Maine (Traditional Abenaki and Penobscot lands). She has been developing outreach materials and will be supporting a variety of health equity initiatives. After her year serving with AmeriCorps, Sophie hopes to pursue further schooling exploring conservation, reconciliation, and resource management. In her free time, Sophie loves to spend time outdoors or creating education content for her Instagram.