Meet the 2018 Master's of Environmental Sustainability students!

Publié le jeudi 11 octobre 2018

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Photo credit : Master's of Environmental Sustainability, uOttawa

Students in the Master's of Environmental Sustainability (MES) program come from all walks of life. Some have a bachelor degree in the natural sciences, in the social sciences, in arts, engineering or law, while others have decided to enter the program after having spent a number of years working in the private and / or public sectors. We love this diversity as it adds to the interdisciplinary nature of the program!

Meet the 2018 Master's of Environmental Sustainability students!

Nyemah Ahmad has completed her Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering at the University of Ottawa and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Environmental Sustainability at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of Environment. Nyemah has always been passionate about nature and the environment and has used that drive to promote sound environmental practices within her community, family and schools through volunteer work, presentations and awareness campaigns. Her work experience with Health Canada’s Environmental Assessment Division provided Nyemah with valuable insight into Canadian resource development and infrastructure construction projects, especially their effects on the environment and human health. Through her post-graduate studies, Nyemah intends to further analyse the impacts of major industrial projects and identify effective sustainable solutions for mitigating their effects on the environment. 

Research interests: Nyemah’s research interests include studying the environmental effects of major industrial projects on surface waters in Canada. In order to bridge the gap between government approval of large-scale industrial projects and the associated public concerns, Nyemah wants to study the potential impacts of such projects on the environment.

Daniel Arteaga Bastidas became a licensed naturalist of the Galapagos National Park. In 2013 he joined Silversea Expeditions as the first expedition leader of their vessel in the Galapagos Islands. During his time with Silversea he contributed to build an award-winning expedition cruising product. 

Daniel also developed a great interest in whale ecology during these years. During his last year at Dalhousie University, he participated in research expedition  off the Scotian Shelf with Dr. Hal Whitehead. Their intent was to increase the understanding of the ecology of the endangered Northern Bottlenose Whale. 

Daniel is an advocate of children empowerment through education. This year he has joined the L.A.V.A project in his home island: San Cristobal, Galapagos. Together with a group of naturalist guides they coordinate and lead educational workshops for children and young adults where they learn about the scientific method more about their home the Galapagos Islands. 

Research Interests: Daniels goal is to be able to  work with companies and public institutions in order to help them improve their environmental stewardship. He is interested in commercial shipping and the design of mitigation strategies to reduce human impacts on marine ecosystems and biodiversity.




Angela Barakat graduated from the honours biology program at Carleton University in June of 2018. During her time at Carleton, Angela worked as a teaching assistant and volunteered in several labs. Angela wrote her honours thesis examining invasive lion fish predation on fish assemblages in The Bahamas. Angela’s passion for the environment and her desire to study how the environment impacts species and their habitats strengthened throughout her time at Carleton and she hopes the environmental sustainability program will help her to learn more about the very important environmental issues and sustainability practices that can benefit species at risk. Outside of school, Angela can be found hiking and discovering new trails and canoeing whenever possible

Research Interests: Passionate about anthropogenic impact on biological diversity, Angela is interested in researching the importance of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and the strategies it is putting in place to sustain diversity and protect endangered species from human - caused environmental factors.



Christina Bell is entering the MES program with a background in Political Science and Liberal Arts. She has worked for several years developing a Bachelor of Arts program for Concordia University, focused on giving students the tools to be leaders in creating solutions for interdisciplinary, sustainability related issues. 
Christina was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of the Sustainability Action Fund, an organization that funds diverse sustainability-oriented student-lead projects on campus at Concordia. In this role she established a scholarship to reward students working on unique sustainability initiatives, organized community events and participated in many ecological and social-justice based projects in the community. In her Masters, Christina will focus on legal and policy issues that interact at the intersection of ecology and social justice. Christina is a musician, and is a member of several bands based in Montreal. She is also an avid softball player. 

Research Interests: How do community organizations and rejuvenation projects interact with policy and law when communities have been effected by environmental pollutants at the hands of corporations and industry? She is interested in the studying processes and best practices in pursuing accountability for cases of environmental pollution and degradation that specifically affect communities as a whole.



Lauren Crumley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) and double majored in Environmental Studies and International Relations at Mount Allison University. During her final year of her undergrad she combined her passion for human rights and the environment and wrote her thesis on the extent to which Canadian laws and policies protect Indigenous environmental and cultural rights. While completing her undergraduate degree, Lauren was involved with Divest campaigns on campus as well as her school’s environmental sustainability committee, which worked with the school administration as well as the local community to promote sustainable initiatives on and off of campus. For the summer, Lauren is in Vancouver working with the City of Richmond Finance Department and spending her free time volunteering with the West Coast Environmental Law Group.

Research Interests: Lauren intends to continue studying the intersection between Indigenous and environmental law while pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Ottawa. In particular, she is interested in looking at the extent to which Canadian law and policy takes into consideration Indigenous environmental knowledge and how both scientific data and traditional knowledge can be combined to create adequate and effective adaptation measures and policies in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Louis Ferracuti received his undergraduate degree from McMaster University, graduating with an Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science with a Minor in Philosophy. His undergraduate thesis focused on issues raised by environmental concerns in contemporary political philosophical thought, specifically the clash between 20th century liberal philosopher John Rawls’ theorizing of political pluralism and what some ecological thinkers have expressed as the pressing need to override aspects of this pluralism in order to address the possibility of ecological catastrophe. After graduating in June of 2017, Louis spent the next year abroad, teaching English in rural Thailand. Returning to Canada after many months overseas, he is excited to come home and begin a new chapter in his academic life.

Research Interests: One of Louis’ tentative areas of interest in the field of environmental policy is the relationship between food production, consumption, and environmental outcomes. This includes investigations into public policy supporting transitions to local, sustainable, and equitable food production and consumption.


Claudia Gaudreault recently completed a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering at Carleton University, graduating in April 2018 with High Distinction and a Senate Medal. As part of the co-operative education program Claudia gained experience as a research assistant, exploring the reuse of demolition waste for concrete production. She also spent 16 months at Environment and Climate Change Canada, gaining valuable experience and knowledge of the Canadian electricity sector. In her final year at Carleton, Claudia led an engineering capstone project looking to develop a technical solution to oceanic plastic pollution. The challenges of this project solidified Claudia’s desire to further explore the social, political, and economic aspects of environmental issues. Claudia is also working towards a low-waste and fully plant-based lifestyle. She is eager to bring her passion and engineering background to the Institute of the Environment in order to contribute to interdisciplinary solutions towards environmental sustainability. 

Research Interests: Claudia is interested in exploring the systemic discrimination of marginalized groups resulting from global atmospheric pollution and the externalities of a high quality of life. She hopes that identifying the origin and details of this environmental injustice will help to accelerate cooperative and cohesive global environmental action.






Holly Gordon recently completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Ottawa in the Joint Honours in Environmental Studies and Geography. During her degree, Holly co-authored a chapter in the Routledge Handbook on Health Geography and a community report for Aklavik, Northwest Territories focused on marine transportation in the Canadian Arctic. She completed several co-operative work terms at Environment and Climate Change Canada, Department of National Defence and the University of Ottawa. She completed work on topics such as species at risk, invasive species, green energy alternatives, youth environmental awareness and youth education. Additionally, she was a research assistant for Dr. Eric Crighton and Dr. Jackie Dawson. She has also worked for Ecosource, an environmental education not-for-profit. 

Research Interests: Holly has significant interest in researching “last chance tourism” in the territory of Nunavut. The specific scope is focused on the national parks, and the interrelation that climate change (e.g. the increasingly accessible Northwest Passage) and a potential heightened rate of tourism could have on these parks.



Kate Hanly
is an ambitious graduate from the University of Calgary and a former national team long track speed skater. The demands of high level sport taught her to be unrelenting about her passions and this has translated into her academic endeavours. Upon her retirement from sport, Kate completed an Honours Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography. Throughout her undergraduate degree, Kate chose to focus her studies on water regulation and use within the context of climate change. With this focus, Kate has become a 2018 Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship for Science and Technology recipient as well as a recipient of a University of Ottawa Excellence Scholarship. 

Research Interests: Water scarcity is a condition that currently impacts millions of people around the world and she hopes to investigate water pricing as a mitigation technique to reduce the impact of water stress in Alberta. Specifically, she would like to examine the efficacy of assigning a price of water based on its projected availability on a per-watershed basis to align consumer use with supply. This would involve increasing the cost of water during shortages and decreasing the cost during times of abundance.





C. Ryan Haynes graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in Environmental Studies. While earning a Bachelors in Environmental Studies from Carleton University and Masters of Education from University of Ottawa, Ryan also worked for the City of Ottawa as an Engineering Student. Through research papers, developed a greater understanding of electronic waste, water treatment, water-energy nexus, and environmental education issues and policies. 

Ryan will be pursuing a Masters of Environmental Sustainability to hopefully help solve the challenges of environmental issues; to be able to help communities and the environment towards a more sustainable future. Ryan believes this is possible with increased focus on environmental education, creating a foundation for students and teachers to be able to relate their decisions and actualize environmental knowledge in day-to-day life. 

Research Interests: The aim of the research is to analyze current environmental education policies and teaching practices to determine their effectiveness. In addition, it will consider the impact of current government university policies on the ability of universities to introduce environmental education to pre-service programs, along with the effectiveness of these courses.  



Serge Latino began his post secondary education as a student in the University of Ottawa’s Human Kinetics program. During this time, Serge had been playing soccer at a relatively competitive level and pursuing an education focused on health sciences seemed like a good direction for him to take. However, as Serge’s research interests began to mature, he realized that he had a stronger interest and motivation to examine issues related to climate change. After completing his first undergraduate degree in Human Kinetics, Serge decided to enroll in the University of Ottawa`s Geography program. As a Geography student, Serge chose courses in both physical and social geography. He was particularly interested in the application of GIS and programming languages for analyzing data and facilitating solutions. This interest led Serge to recently pursue and complete a graduate certificate in GIS at Fleming College.

Research Interests: What is the process that guides how conservation organizations and/or local governments make decisions that involve the environment? How can this process be improved upon here in Canada and can these improvements be applied in other regions of the world? Is GIS commonly used and how so? How can GIS-related tools be better integrated into decision and policy making processes? Can community participation be further encouraged by using open source tools/applications?






Erica Louter first fell in love with the environment and sustainability while camping all over Canada with her parents. Her continuous flow of questions about the surrounding environment led to an interest in biology. Since then this interest has flourished into a real passion which she is excited to continue to explore in the Master’s of Environmental Sustainability program at the University of Ottawa. She graduated from Dalhousie University in 2014 with a double major in Biology and Sustainability. 

Her science background proved very useful in the multidisciplinary sustainability classes where she enjoyed both leadership and support roles. She completed several projects during this time, including working with the Dalhousie University campus cafeteria to reduce food waste and working with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to find barriers impeding clients from obtaining the eco-label.

Research Interests: She would be happy doing research in several broad areas. The first being agriculture and urban gardening.She also has a strong interest in aquaculture and eco-labels.




Tino Maosa graduated from Trent University with a B.A.H in International Development Studies and Minor in Environmental Studies. During his years at Trent, Tino became interested in climate change adaptation and policy. He began to build on his interests by taking various classes at Trent on the topics that aligned with environmental policy and climate change adaptation. In an attempt to further pursue his interests in climate change adaptation and policy, he applied for the MES program at Ottawa University.

During his gap-year, Tino volunteered with ADRA where he analyzed possible environmental impacts on development projects for Kenya. He also volunteered with one of Home Depot’s store’s in Hamilton Ontario as an advisor on reducing store waste through initiating recycle and reuse practices.

Research Interests: He is interested in analyzing carbon emission reduction measures in the energy sector. He is particularly interested in researching the adoption of renewable energy and the implications that come with such a transition. He is also interested in analyzing the effectiveness of current carbon mitigation policies in Canada and Southern Africa.







Kevin Mclean graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan State University in 1999. He has worked as both a web developer and graphic designer for various companies, organizations and clients throughout Canada and the United States. In 2012, he completed an online graduate course in Energy Science and Technology through the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the IEEE Power and Energy Society and the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology. In 2005, when he was lucky enough to be living in Hawaii, he finished the Honolulu Marathon. Originally from Southwestern Ontario, he is returning to the province after a 14-year absence and is looking forward to the many opportunities for running, biking and hiking in and around Ottawa.

Research Interests: Investigating policy options that work towards closing the energy efficiency gap in multi-family residential housing, including the use of an informational label or rating system that communicates data on estimated energy use and associated utility expenses to potential tenants.




Isha Mistry graduated from the Environment, Resources and Sustainability program at the University of Waterloo last year. She was a Junior Environmental Officer at Environment Canada for her first co-op term where she worked on a project regarding road salt usage. For her second term, she worked in Shanghai for a sustainability consulting firm called Collective Responsibility where she conducted research on issues regarding education, healthcare and food safety in China. Through literature research, surveys, and analysis of results her team developed a final report and infographic, which was presented to the CEO of the firm. For her final 8-month co-op term, she worked as a Student Environmental Policy Analyst for Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Her key role was to aid in policy development for environmental assessment, land use planning and conservation efforts in the northern Territories. Currently, she is working at an organic, CSA farm in Caledon, Ontario.

Research Interests: Interdisciplinary research has been a popular topic and way to approach complex issues such as sustainability. However, knowledge on how to balance interests of multiple stakeholders is lacking in our current education and professional systems. Therefore, her research focuses on exploring the concept of social learning and its role in decision-making.




An Nguyen has been working as a licensed architect in Vietnam and involved himself in a broad range of architectural design and construction projects in various capacities and levels with both governmental and international engineering firms. 

The realization of the speed at which the Earth is burdened with human development, especially of the built environment, and the world changing power of policy affecting paths leads him to the Institute of the Environment, University of Ottawa, to leverage his professional background in contribution to the sustainability of our shared world. 

Research Interests: An environmental sustainability assessment and asset management recommendations on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, this research paper looks at Rideau Canal in the regulatory landscape of Ontario and qualitatively explores opportunities and challenges of the municipal natural asset and suggests recommendations to the next revision of its asset management plan.




Joshua Nguyen received his Hons. B. Sc. from the University of Toronto with Majors in Geosciences and Neuroscience. At the University of Toronto, he organized and led an academic field trip to Montserrat and Antigua. Furthermore, he was the Vice-President of the Women in Mining, U of T Chapter. Joshua was a recipient of the James P. Nowlan Explorer’s Fund Scholarship from the Department of Earth Sciences for his academic merit. Having previously worked for the Ontario Geological Survey and Pleiades Exploration, he has a strong passion for the earth sciences. Moreover, Joshua is a registered Geoscientist in Training (G.I.T) with the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario. His goal is to integrate the skills from the M. Sc. in Environmental Sustainability with his technical background. Joshua aims to research sustainable guidance practices for natural resources.

Research interests: Joshua’s research is interested in the potential long-term risks and consequent environmental implications of Rare Earth Elements (REEs). He aims to determine the proportion of REEs found in the colloidal phase and the sorption and complex formation patterns of leached metals onto electronegatively charged surfaces and with inorganic and organic ligands.





Gia Paola recently graduated my undergraduate degree specializing in Conflict Studies and Human Rights with a minor in Geography from the University of Ottawa. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she held a strong interest in environmental topics, where she focused on Natural Resource Management and Conflicts. She participated in volunteer opportunities through the Community Service Learning Program at the University, which matched her with ACORN Canada’s Healthy Homes Campaign, the Council of Canadians International Water Campaign, and provided her the opportunity to be hired as a research assistant with the FoodLab on campus, where she focused on Food Sovereignty. In summer 2017, she completed a Field Research Course to Australia focussing on the management of a significant water resource, the Murray-Darling Water Basin. In May 2017, I was hired by Parks Canada to work with their Species Conservation and Management team in the Protected Areas Establishment and Conservation Directorate. 

Research Interests: Her first choice topic is on the human impacts and ecological integrity within Parks, more specifically regarding the effects going off trail has on the surrounding environments and species. A second topic of interest is related to Science Communications, more specifically with private landowners outside of park boundaries and researching how to motivate them to want to participate in conservation efforts on their own land.





Darren Quan
received his B.A. from McMaster University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Anthropology. At McMaster, Darren achieved Dean’s List status, received Senate Scholarships, and graduated with distinction. During his undergraduate degree, he attended a seminar that discussed the government’s role in influencing sustainability practices. This seminar would influence his undergraduate thesis, which explored the effects of government policy on the adoption of electric vehicles in federations. For this paper, he received the Political Science Honours Essay Prize. Darren would gain more practical experience by volunteering at Evergreen, a non-profit organization aimed at community building and sustainability. Together, Darren’s education and volunteer work have helped him realize his passion for politics and the environment. He hopes to focus this passion through the MES program at the University of Ottawa by further developing the tools necessary to tackle the complex challenges facing issues of sustainability. 

Research Interests: Darren is interested in examining issues surrounding the storage of electricity in Ontario. In particular, he would like to carry out research that explores ways efficient energy storage may improve sustainability within the province. Darren would also like to consider any residual effects these practices may have on the economy.







Katie Shapiro holds a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Ottawa. She has spent the last two years on Parliament Hill working as the research coordinator for the Member of Parliament from Saanich-Gulf Islands. In her spare time, Katie works as a freelance writer for local magazines, and loves to cook and travel. 

Research Interests: Tentatively, Katie hopes to research the sustainability of indoor cannabis production, and best practices to minimize its environmental impacts.








Shankari Sreetharan is a recent graduate of the Environment, Resources and Sustainability (B.E.S.) program at the University of Waterloo. She minored in Legal Studies and received a diploma in Environmental Assessment. Her past co-op work experience includes volunteering as a Teacher at the Esperanza Project in the Dominican Republic teaching geography, social studies and art to students ages 5-16. She also had the opportunity to work as an Outdoor Environmental Educator and Nature Camp Lead at Willowgrove in Stoufville, Ontario where she taught elementary students about various environmental topics including benthic organisms and tree identification. In Fall 2017, she received the Faculty of Environment Work Term Report Award for her report on “Analyzing the Relationship between Waste Management in Canada and the Consumer Society”. Currently, she is working as a Student Program Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada under the Waste Reduction and Management Division. 

Research interests: Genetically modified (GM) crops and biotechnology used in agriculture and the agri-food industry have been a topic of controversy. This research aims to analyze whether environmental assessments or similar policy instruments can be used to examine potential uncertain, long-term, and cumulative environmental impacts and improve the overall sustainability of the practice.




Kelsea Walker recently completed her B.A.H. in the Environmental Governance program at the University of Guelph. While there she directed her studies in geography, policy, and environmental economics towards future work in policy and program design. She is particularly interested in finding innovative ways to balance competing environmental management objectives, and foster stewardship and resilience at the community level.  

In the past, Kelsea has worked as a Communications Director for the University of Guelph’s Sustainability Office, as a tree planter in Northern Ontario and Alberta and, most recently, as an Environmental Technician performing shoreline assessments and naturalization with Watersheds Canada. She has conducted research, worked, farmed and explored throughout Canada, India and Costa Rica. 

Kelsea is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Ontario Graduate Scholarship. She has also been awarded the CSAHS Dean’s Scholarship, the Grant for Undergraduate Experiential Learning, and the Geography Alumni Scholarship at the University of Guelph.

Research Interests: Kelsea’s research aims to explore how nature-based environmental education can create pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours among participants. Her project hypothesizes that there are common elements between ‘successful’ programs, and she aims to create a framework for the development of environmental education programs that maximizes their potential to create behavioural change.



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