Meet the 2019 Master's of Environmental Sustainability students!

Publié le mardi 17 septembre 2019

Billet de blogue

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 2019 Master's of Environmental Sustainability students!

Andrew Linton

I received my undergraduate degree from Mount Allison University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Chemistry, and a minor in Environmental Studies. Informed by this scientific background and concern about the urgency of the climate crisis, I worked to improve sustainability practices on campus as the student union sustainability coordinator. In this role, I managed a funding program for community projects aiming to reduce carbon emissions, and collaborated with local schools in organizing youth-led climate actions. In my final year at Mount Allison, I received the Gill Latter Memorial Award for my contributions to the community. In addition to taking interest in environmentally-focused action, I have developed a passion for working to improve food sovereignty and sustainability of local food systems. I have worked as manager of a farmer's market, led a charitable community gardening project, and worked with peers to organize community meals made from produce that would otherwise be discarded. I am an avid runner, and in my free time, enjoys exploring the outdoors no matter the weather.



Anthony Siegrist

I bring a background in religious studies and theology to the conversation about environmental sustainability. I have worked as a wilderness guide, taught theology at the post-secondary level and, most recently, provided pastoral leadership to a congregation here in Ottawa. I hold a master’s degree in religion (Eastern Mennonite University) and a doctorate in Christian thought (Wycliffe College, University of Toronto). Most of my writing and speaking relate to religious ethics and the vitality of faith communities. I have published extensively in a variety of venues.

Research Interests:

Faith communities and climate change, green economy, ecotheology and forest conservation.




Ayushi Shah

I love spending time in nature, which led me to pursue a career in environmental sustainability and policy. I graduated from Western University with a HBSc in environmental science and biology. After graduating, I worked at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as a Land Use Planning Assistant. Following this position, I worked as a policy and program development intern (then coordinator) at the Invasive Species Centre, a non-profit organization that aims to prevent the spread of invasive species. In my free time, you can find me volunteering at the Food Bank Farm, planning my next vacation or spending time with family and friends.

Research Interests:

Species at risk, biodiversity, green economy, climate change and invasive species.



Beverly Hinterhoeller

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree (High Honours) in French Literature from Carleton University, and a Graduate Certificate from Algonquin College’s Event Management program. For the last six years I have worked in event planning, primarily with not-for-profit think-tank’s. I enjoy being immersed in public policy issues, such as environment, climate change, transportation, infrastructure, energy, and natural resources. My pastimes include growing a vegetable garden, sailing, and running. I am looking forward to this program and the opportunity to work in environmental sustainability, a topic I have cherished since my childhood.

Research Interests:

Sustainable urban planning, circular economy and clean/renewable energy.



Bridget McLaughlin

I recently graduated from a Bachelor of Science with honours in biology and a specialization in ecology, evolution, and behaviour at the University of Ottawa. During my undergraduate degree, I have been fortunate to participate in many hands-on research-based courses, including two Ontario University Field Courses in Biology, and an Honours thesis project under the supervision of Professor Risa Sargent. While working on these various research projects, I gained a respect for and understanding of the importance of species diversity in ecosystem functioning as well as the intense efforts needed for successful species conservation. I look forward to researching sustainable agriculture and plant species conservation during my masters.

Research Interests: Biodiversity, sustainable agriculture and ecology.



Brittany Poisson

I completed my Bachelor degree with honours in Environmental Studies at University of Windsor.  During my undergrad, I participated in two field studies courses, one in North Bay, Ontario and the other in Northern Territory, Australia. These experiences strengthened my love for the outdoors, which has lead me down this path of sustainability.  I hope to hone my research skills and knowledge of policy through the MES program so I can help protect our environment but also empower people to do better.

Research Interests: Transition to a Circular Economy, Waste Management Solutions, Financial Instruments to Improve Sustainability Initiatives and Policies to Decouple Economic Growth from Environmental Harm. 




Cassandre Roy Drainville

I completed a Bachelor's degree in History at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR) and a Master's degree in Indigenous History at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). Thanks to financial assistance from the Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Quebec Research Fund - Society and Culture, I was able to put my efforts almost exclusively on the writing of my thesis, which focuses on Indigenous political organizations in Canada. In parallel with my studies, the environment has always occupied a particularly important place in my life. Whether it's through my vegetarian and zero-waste lifestyle, using the bike as a means of transportation or through my responsible consumption, I pay a lot of attention to the protection of the environment. As part of this Master's degree, I hope to make connections between my academic interests (Indigenous communities) and my personal interests (environmental protection).

Research Interests:

Indigenous people and the Environment, Climate Change, Waste Management and Circular Economy.


Catherine Christofferson

I graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in environment and resource studies. During my time at uWaterloo, I interned at Natural Resources Canada in the Indigenous Forestry Initiative and at the Halton Environmental Network. I also volunteered for the Federation of Students' Sustainable Campus Initiative, managing communications and social media. In 2017, I moved to Ottawa to work for Engineers Canada as a coordinator for the Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board. Having an interest in urban sustainability, I volunteer for Bike Ottawa, a non-profit organization that advocates for cycling infrastructure.

Research Interests: Urban Sustainability, Green Economy, Environmental Politics and Restoration Ecology.



Christopher Seguin

I did my undergraduate degree double majoring in Environmental Studies and Philosophy (Ethics) at uOttawa and completed it with Magna Cum Laude distinction. I received a merit scholarship every year of my undergraduate degree, and had the great honour of being published in the undergraduate philosophy journal as well as having research I did for the Canadian Science and Technology on an artifact called the Batfish added to the museum archives.  I have a great interest in the reasons that people make life changes to live more sustainably.  During my undergraduate I served on the Geography and Environmental Student Association and had the honour of being president during my last year.

Research Interests: Circular Economy, Green Economy, Environmental Ethics, Park Management and Resource Management.



Elizabeth Blenkarn

I recently graduated from the University of Ottawa with an Honours BSc in Biology. It was there I discovered her passion for the environment, botany and science communication. During my studies, I first volunteered, then worked, in the office of a Member of Parliament. This governmental experience has allowed me to gain a thorough understanding of the decision-making process for law creation in Canada. I hope to expand upon the environmental and political knowledge I already have to become instrumental in the future of Canada's environmental policy.

Research Interests: Science Communication, Botany and Climate Change



Geneviève Donin

I am entering the MES program with a background in International Development and Globalization. After graduation, I worked on the Afghanistan program at Global Affairs Canada, with a specific focus on the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, as well as Health and Education programming. In my Masters, I hope to explore opportunities for sustainable resource management practices, from a grass-roots perspective, within the Canadian context. My personal project for 2019/2020 is to learn to identify native bird, flower and plant species in Ottawa and the surrounding areas.

Research Interests: Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Biodiversity and Sustainable Resource Management.


Geniffer Emmanuel

I graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Arts for a double major in Environmental Studies and Political Science with a minor in Public Law. I was on the Dean's List all four years of my undergrad and in 2019 I was the recipient of a University of Toronto Excellence Award for research in the Social Sciences and Humanities. The last two years of my undergrad have been spent working with Professor Nicole Klenk and her lab, in order to conduct a literature review and write a report on the topic of the science-policy interface. Throughout my undergrad, I also got the opportunity to work part-time as a legislative usher at the legislative assembly of Ontario, where I got to observe the nuances of the policy making process.

Research Interests: Environmental Policy, Environmental Law, Science-Policy Interface and Environmental Justice. 



Joshua Sahota

Graduated Honours Bachelor of Arts in Geography, Cum Laude. Completed several reports based on field research performed throughout undergraduate studies. Projects included a report on vegatation change with altitude in the Gaspé Peninsula, and a report on the impact of seawalls on coastal erosion in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Interests include impacts of climate change on wildlife populations, and anthropogenic effects on environments and their inhabitants. Aspirations to pursue a career in wildlife and ecological conservation.

Research Interests: Biodiversity, Climate Change and Sustainability.





Kevin Tayles

I recently graduated BBRM. honours from the Univ. of Guelph’s Bio-Resource Management program.  During my summer work terms, I have worked; in landscape architecture, as a field/lab tech at an Environmental Engineering firm and most recently for Environment and Climate Change Canada as a GIS technician in the Canadian Wildlife Service branch.  My passion for the environment grew from my youth while enjoying all four seasons in the outdoors as a camper, hiker, and snowboarder.  I am excited to turn this passion into a career through the University of Ottawa’s Masters of Environmental Sustainability program.

Research Interests: Ecology, Corporate Social Responsibility, Life Cycle Pricing and Environmental Remediation



Lauren Sweet

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Acadia University in 2018. During my time at Acadia I worked as a teaching assistant and was involved with my program's student executive society, which organizes and facilitates student-led sustainability initiatives on campus such as Sustainability Week, Fair Trade Week, and the Wolfville Climate Action March. In the year after completing my undergraduate degree, I worked for FarmWorks Investment Co-operative, which is a Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) that invests in food related businesses across Nova Scotia. I worked directly with businesses who have a significant impact on community development, economic development, and sustainability efforts in the province and beyond. In my free time you can find me at the beach with my dog, in the yoga studio, or fully absorbed in a book.

Research Interests: Food Systems, Land and Resource Management, Community Development, Environmental Policy and Circular Economy.


Leigh Gustafson

I graduated with Honours in Biology with a specialization in Environmental Biology from the University of Prince Edward Island (PEI). My research surveyed shrew species and distributions across PEI, which led to the discovery of a species that was thought to be extirpated from the Island. I have since gone on to become a greenhouse manager for a local tree nursery, as well as a project manager for the National Healing Forest Project, which aims to develop green spaces where individuals that have experienced traumas from the Residential School legacy, and all Canadians, can heal in a natural setting.

Research Interests: Biodiversity, Conservation, Indigenous Knowledge, Environmental Policy and Resource Management. 



Lisa Glutting

I am a University of Waterloo graduate of the Environment & Business co-op program. I also have a German minor and has a certification in Environmental Assessment. I have previously held co-ops at BlackBerry, BASF (in the US!) and Nestle, as well as working for a Communitech start-up called I am a German-Canadian and an avid soccer fan-waiting every year for the next FIFA Cup. I also loves giraffes & llamas!

Research Interests: Marine Protected Areas, Conservation, Forestry and Biodiversity






Mackenzie Finkbeiner

I am a graduate of the Honours Bachelor of Arts Major in Communication and Minor in Global Studies undergraduate degree from the University of Ottawa. I was team co-captain of the Gee-Gees Varsity Swim Team and will be swimming my last season as a Gee-Gee next year. I have always been passionate about the environment and sustainable practices – choosing courses and projects related to this field. I am excited to begin this program in order to effectively disseminate important information, provide guidance regarding environmental sustainability and modify human practices.

Research Interests: Climate Change, Conservation, Biodiversity, Green Economy and Pollution



Matthew McCambley

I graduated from the University of Ottawa in Biomedical Science in 2014. This past year has been a gap year, but I am excited to return to school, and to see where this program might lead. I have research experience through UROP, NSERC, and my Honour’s Thesis, where I researched biomechanics and neurogenesis. Notable work experiences include Medical Assistant, Pharmacy Assistant, Referee for hockey, and Treeplanting. I was previously involved in the Science Student Association’s student government as well as various clubs at uOttawa, such as Relay for Life. I love to go camping, play sports, and hang with friends.

Research Interests: Climate Change, Green Economy, Green Energy and Policy Implementation.


Michael Hosken

I am a Queen’s University graduate with a BAh (distinction) in Geography.  My interest in Earth Science and Global Relations has brought me to the University of Ottawa’s MSc in Environmental Sustainability.  I had served in the Canadian Forces as a Combat Engineer for about nine years, and am interested in researching the integration of defence policy with climate action strategies.

Research Interests: Climate Change, Global Relations, GIS, Defence Policy and Cloud Computing. 





Nabeeha Salman

I recently completed my undergraduate studies at the University of Ottawa in Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology (Physiology option). I achieved Dean’s list status, received merit scholarships and graduated with cum laude. I worked under the supervision of Dr. Jack Cornett and Dr. Jules Blais on my honours thesis project which focused on the sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and C-14 in the urban and rural air within the Ottawa region. In 2017, I got an amazing opportunity to present my research findings at the 14th International Accelerated Mass Spectrometry Conference. These experiences have definitely made me more passionate to work towards a sustainable environment and I hope that this program will help me determine the impacts of anthropogenic activities on environmental sustainability and its implications on human health. I am also a henna artist and I love to sing; and on my days off, I like to explore the city and enjoy the view as much as I can.

Research Interests: Impacts of anthropogenic activities on the environment, biodiversity and human health and the physiological responses of aquatic species to contaminants introduced in their habitats. 


Natalie Sutt Wiebe

I am a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, having obtained a B.A. with a double major in Environmental Ethics and Environmental Studies as well as a minor in Human Geography. While much of the earlier portion of my undergraduate research focused on climate change public policy, this slowly began to evolve into how nascent technologies could impact anthropogenic climate change from a public policy perspective. When not puzzling over how to meet the needs of the present without jeopardizing those of the future, I can be found playing video games or studying to be a Jeopardy! contestant.

Research Interests: Renewable energy grids, AI, Blockchain, Climate change policy and Decarbonization.



Olivia Sliwa

I recently completed my BSc in Environmental science and biology at Trent University where I was the recipient of the William Allan Newell Scholarship and Trent National Renewable Scholarship, graduating on the Dean’s List in June 2019. During my undergrad, I had the opportunity to participate in a field course with Watersheds Canada where I surveyed shorelines in Haliburton, ON and delivered public environmental outreach presentations. During my final year at Trent, I partnered with the HKPR District Health Unit to complete a research project on municipal climate change legislation and its connections to community health.

Research Interests: Climate Change and Human Health, Communication of Environmental Issues to the Public and Benefits and Management of Urban Green Spaces.


Patrick Fournier

Graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Honours BSc in Biomedical Science from the University of Ottawa. Was admitted into the Undergraduate Research Opportunity program and spent a year working in a chemical and biological engineering lab working on a method to improve the recovery of stroke patients. I've been the MVP for the university's fencing team for 3 straight years and was awarded the competitive clubs Male Athlete of the Year after winning the Ontario University Championships and was previously ranked in the top 4 in Canada. Winner of the Scinapse Science Case Competition in my freshman year.

Research Interests: Renewable Energy, Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Sustainable/Renewable Agriculture.



Ryan Tougas-Cooke

I completed my undergraduate degree in Business with a minor in Psychology. I have always been passionate about the impact of capitalism on the environment and believe that the knowledge imparted upon me by this masters program will allow me to assist in making a difference for future generations. My career goal is to become an environmental business consultant or work for the MOECP in the policy or research departments.

Research Interests: Carbon Pricing, Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture, Green Business Practices and Green Economy. 





Sahar Seif

I completed an Integrated science degree with a double minor in Biology and Film studies at Carleton University. I published my undergraduate thesis concerning the effects of anthropogenic debris in gull species. I have involvement with creating, writing and translating film and documentary. I am passionate about sustainability and environmental outreach and awareness.

Research Interests: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Sustainable Practices, Environmental Activism and Sustainable Design.






Samantha Beesley

In May 2017, I graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Science, with a Major in Biology and Minors in International Development Studies and Business. During my time at Saint Mary’s I had the opportunity to explore a diverse and interconnected set of courses focused on ecology, policy, and economics, which fuelled my interest in environmental sustainability. Upon graduation, I had the opportunity to work as a Field Assistant in an environmental science lab studying various factors affecting coastal barrens in Nova Scotia. Most recently, I have been working as a Program Coordinator at a provincial disability non-profit. Outside of school, I enjoy crafting, running, and exploring the outdoors.

Research Interests: Biodiversity, Science Communication and Climate Change.


Sara Dubé

I became inspired to undertake an Honours B.A. in Environmental Studies after stepping completely out of my comfort zone into the Canadian back-country. As part of my undergrad, I produced an honours essay about plastic waste reduction at the University of Ottawa and I complimented my studies with work and volunteer experience in public outreach and government as well as community projects focused on social and environmental well-being. Having graduated with Magna Cum Laude distinction, I look forward to deepening my understanding of and expanding my contribution to sustainable ways of life as a Master’s candidate at the Institute of the Environment.

Research Interests: Waste Reduction/Circular Economy, Sustainable Food Systems and Transition to Renewable Energy/Low-Carbon Economy.


Sophie Donoghue

During my undergrad at McGill University, I completed a First Class Honours degree in Environment and Development, with a minor in Political Science. In my final year, I participated in the Barbados Field Study Semester, which is an interdisciplinary program that is primarily directed towards urban planning and sustainable development. Throughout the field study, I was a student intern with the United Nations Development Programs’ Global Environment Fund, where I partnered with a local aquaponics association to promote and raise awareness about food security and sustainable development on the island. This experience led me to complete an undergraduate thesis on Small Island Developing States in the Latin America and the Caribbean region and their access to international public climate finance. When I am not studying, I appreciate spending time with family and friends, hiking, and travelling.

Research Interests: Sustainable Development, Environmental Policy, International Relations, Green Economy and Environmental Justice. 


Yasmin Sultan

I have an undergraduate degree in sustainable and renewable energy engineering. I was involved in a one-year research (design project) on using organic additives in solar cells. Currently, I am taking the professional energy management course offered by Schneider and will finish the certification by the end of the summer.

Research Interests: Climate Change. Carbon Pricing and green economy.






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