SPEAKERS AND CHAIRS | BIOGRAPHIES DES CONFÉRENCIERS
Listed in alphabetical order | Par ordre alphabétique
Julia Baird is a Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience and an Assistant Professor at Brock University. Her research focuses on resilience and the human side of water management and governance, including the structure and function of networks and how they influence perceptions and actions. Julia has an educational background in crop science (B.Sc.) and soil science (M.Sc.) and, accordingly, a strong interest in applying her research lens to the agricultural sector.
Kara Beckles is the Director General of Research and Analysis Directorate (RAD) and Data Lead at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), a role to which she is no stranger but officially took on in November 2017. Early in her career Kara held a wide range of policy roles across the Government of Canada, including: 5 years with Finance Canada working on immigration and homelessness issues; the negotiation of free trade agreements at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; as well as various roles at the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Privy Council Office, and Statistics Canada. Kara first joined AAFC in 2007, first as a Regulatory Policy Analyst, then as Chief of Bioeconomy Policy, where she developed broad, collaborative departmental strategies. She joined RAD in 2014 when she took on the position of Director, Economic and Industry Analysis where she re-discovered her academic roots in economics before becoming Director General in 2017. Kara holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in economics and business from the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Arts from Dalhousie University.
Ken Belcher is a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan. His research interests are in the area of environmental, resource and ecological economics with a primary focus on the interactions between economic systems and the environment. Much of his work has examined these interactions within agricultural landscapes in the Canadian Prairie Provinces. In recent years his research has addressed questions related to the value of ecosystem goods and services in agricultural systems, including wetland and native grasslands, the development of agri-environmental policy to address water quality, wetland conservation and climate change challenges and the value of parks and protected areas.
Peter Boxall is Professor and Chair of the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, at the University of Alberta. His research focuses on the valuation of environmental amenities and ecosystem services and their incorporation into resource management and policy. His research also involves the integration of social and natural sciences to generate cost effective environmental improvements as well as more effective policy design in agricultural systems. This has recently led to the development, design and implementation of conservation auctions for wetland restoration. He is past Leader of the Linking Environment and Agriculture Research Network (LEARN) a national research network funded by AAFC.
Kelly Bronson is a Canada Research Chair in Science and Society at University of Ottawa. She is a social scientist studying science-society tensions that erupt around controversial technologies (GMOs, fracking, big data) and their governance. Her research aims to bring community values into conversation with technical knowledge in the production of evidence-based decision-making. She has published her work in regional (Journal of New Brunswick Studies), national (Canadian Journal of Communication) and international journals (Journal of Responsible Innovation, Big Data and Society).
Christopher Bryant has a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science (1970) and has been Professor at the Universities of Waterloo (1079-1990) and Montréal (1990-2014) and is currently Adjunct Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph (1912 onwards), and he is also Adjunct Professor, Geography Department, University of Montreal (2014 onwards). Christopher has published 118 articles in different journals, 173 book chapters, 32 books and monographs; 27 Reports to different governments and agencies; 64 other publications; and 25 book reviews; and he has made over 560 presentations during his career. His fields of research are: agriculture in and around cities and metropolitan centers; community development; land use planning; strategic development planning for communities, organizations and agriculture; resilience building for communities exposed to flooding and climate variability; adaptation of agriculture and tourism development to climate change and variability. He is placed in the top 5% of the approximately 15 million researchers on Research Gate.
Shari Clare is a professional biologist and one of the co-founders of Fiera Biological Consulting Ltd., a small environmental consulting firm based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Shari has 20 years of vegetation and wildlife research and management experience in western Canada, and she specializes in watershed and wetland management, systematic conservation planning, and wetland ecology and management. In addition, Shari is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta where her research interests include water policy, design standards for constructing and restoring wetlands, and the use of market-based instruments to improve environmental policy outcomes. Over the last decade, Shari has focused a great deal of her professional and academic work on creating better tools and policies for managing wetlands, including more accurate inventories and standardized methods for assessing wetland and riparian habitat condition using GIS and remote sensing technology. Her work as an environmental consultant gives here considerable insight into how government law and policy influence the decision-making of both the regulators and the regulated, and has a number of publications examining the successes, barriers, and unintended outcomes of wetland policy in the province of Alberta.
Debra J. Davidson is Professor of Environmental Sociology in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta, having received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin (1998). Her key areas of teaching and research include impacts and adaptation to climate change, and crises and transitions in food and energy systems. Dr. Davidson is President of the Research Committee on Environment and Society in the International Sociological Association, and she was a Lead Author in Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report. Her work is featured in several journals, including Science, Nature, Global Environmental Change, British Journal of Sociology, and International Sociology, among others. She is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Energy and Society (2018) and Environment and Society: Concepts and Challenges (Palgrave 2018), and co-author of Challenging Legitimacy at the Precipice of Energy Calamity (Springer, 2011).
Brady Deaton is Professor and McCain Family Chair in Food Security in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph. His research focuses on natural resources in food production, rural development, and environmental quality. Property rights and ownership of natural resources figure prominently in his research and teaching efforts. He has examined the relationships between natural resources and economic development in a number of different settings including: Canada, First Nations, the United States, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Haiti. In 2017 he gave testimony before sub-committees of both the Canadian Senate and the House of Commons on issues related to farmland and farmland ownership. In 2010, he founded a podcast series called FARE Talk. The podcasts address important contemporary issues in food, agricultural, and resource economics. He has served as an editor of the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics and is currently president of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.
Lara Ellis is Vice-President of Policy and Partnerships of ALUS Canada. She is eager to scale the conservation work of ALUS Canada by finding effective ways to strengthen environmental protection and grow community sustainability and resilience. She is currently focused on the development of new regulated and unregulated ecosystem services markets and growing support for natural infrastructure on agricultural lands. Prior to joining ALUS in August 2015, Lara was Program Director at the Ivey Foundation, where she helped develop the Economy and Environment Program, and worked on the Conserving Canada’s Forests Program in her earlier capacity as Program Officer. Lara is former Chair and current Board Member of Upstream, an organization that seeks to improve the health of Canadians by addressing the greatest influences on our health, including education, early childhood development, housing, nutrition and the wider environment. Lara was recognized with a Clean 50 award for her contribution to developing innovative environmental solutions in 2017. She is proud to have previously served as a Board Member of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, and as a Steering Committee Member of the Natural Capital Accounting Lab.
Getu Hailu is a Professor in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (FARE) at the University of Guelph, Editor for the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics and Associate Editor for the Journal of Agribusiness in Developing & Emerging Economies. Getu relocated to the University of Guelph in May 2005 following his Ph.D. studies at the University of Alberta. His research interest includes agricultural and food production economics, competitiveness and food security, as well as consumer demand for food.
Pat Kehoe is currently the Director of International Partnerships for Ducks Unlimited Canada. He co-Chairs both, the Canadian Wetland Roundtable, and the North American Wetlands Conservation Council-Canada. He has been employed with DUC for 20 years. For 10 years he was Manager of Conservation Programs for the Canadian Prairies. Prior to working with DUC Pat spent 11 years with the Province of New Brunswick as manager of the Wetlands and Coastal Habitat Program in the Department of Natural Resources. He has a BSC in Ecology and Evolution from UWO and an MSC in Zoology from the University of Guelph.
Chad Lawley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics at the University of Manitoba. His research has focussed on evaluation of various aspects of environmental and agricultural policy, including recent research on habitat conservation in western Canada, the impact of BC’s carbon tax on fuel consumption, and supply management of dairy and poultry in Canada. Chad has served as a Councillor with the CAES and is currently on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics.
Kent Messer is the S. Hallock DuPont Professor of Applied Economics at the University of Delaware. Messer co-directs the USDA-funded national Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR). Messer’s research interests are in the nexus of agriculture and the environment. Messer received a BA from Grinnell College, a MS from the University of Michigan, and a PhD from Cornell University. He had published over 75 publications and two textbooks. He has been an investigator on interdisciplinary proposals worth over $70 million. Messer has served as editor of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Review and is an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.
Dave Poulton has authored several studies of biodiversity and wetland offsetting across North America. Dave is Director of the Alberta Land Institute, an independent research institute based at the University of Alberta, with a mandate to connect research with policy for better land management. He is also Executive Director of the Alberta Association for Conservation Offsets, a forum to advance understanding respecting the use of conservation offsets and the development of offset policy. Dave is the Principal of Poulton Environmental Strategies Inc., a consultant to organizations, businesses, and governments with a special interest in fostering cross-sectoral collaborations. He is also Past President of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, and member of the Advisory Group of the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme (BBOP), based in Washington D.C., and has served on a number of advisory panels to both the federal and provincial governments. Dave served as Executive Director of the Calgary/Banff (now Southern Alberta) Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society from 2000 to 2008, and Conservation Director of that organization from 1999 to 2000. Prior to joining CPAWS Dave practiced law in Calgary for 11 years.
Gregory Thompson has dedicated his professional career to the management of natural resources with emphasis on sustainable wildlife use, habitat conservation, species at risk and stewardship. His consulting experience with provincial, federal and national organizations includes: Fisheries and Oceans; Canadian Arctic Resources Committee; Inuit Tapirisat of Canada; Pollution Probe; Ontario Royal Commission on the Northern; the Fur Institute of Canada; North America Fur Auctions; and, Ducks Unlimited Canada. Gregory joined the federal government in 1982, as a policy advisor with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (DIAND) Northern Affairs Program, and later as the Senior Planning Coordinator with DIAND’s Northern Oil and Gas Action Program. Gregory joined Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service in 1989 where he was employed in a variety of senior executive roles from policy and regulation development to program design and delivery. His subject-matter expertise at the national and international level includes migratory birds and habitat conservation, international wildlife trade and biodiversity, enforcement and protection of species at risk. In 2012 Gregory retired after a distinguished career with the federal public service and is currently the Principal of a very successful private consulting business consulting company – Thompson and Mortimer Consulting Inc.
John Thompson is a resource economist and Principal of Watrecon Consulting. With more than 40 years of experience, he specializes in assessing the economic, social and human impacts of resource development projects, plans, programs, and policies in western and northern Canada. Although he has spent the majority of his time working as a consultant, he was Senior Economist for Alberta Environment for seven years, spent another seven years as Senior Economist/Social Scientist for the Natural Resources Conservation Board (an Alberta regulatory boards), and also was a policy analyst researcher for the Alberta Water Research Institute. Over the years, Mr. Thompson has undertaken numerous studies that have involved valuing the changes in environmental conditions in economic terms, sometimes as part of benefit/cost analyses of proposed development projects, and sometimes to demonstrate the economic importance of ecological goods and services. He completed his first assessment of wetland values in 1990 and has since assessed the value of ecological goods and services and economic development in the North Saskatchewan and Battle River watersheds in Alberta, and the value of land conservation for Ducks Unlimited.
Paul Thoroughgood completed his undergraduate degree in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan with a major in Agronomy. He is currently the Regional Agrologist for the Western Region of Canada with Ducks Unlimited Canada. In this role Paul works with the agriculture industry to develop and promote agricultural production systems that are economically viable and provide improved habitat. Paul and his wife Leanne also own and operate a grain farm near Moose Jaw.
Alfons Weersink has been a faculty member at the University of Guelph since obtaining his PhD at Cornell University in 1989. He had completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Guelph in 1982 before attending Montana State University to complete his Master’s in Applied Economics. His research efforts are often interdisciplinary due to the nature of agricultural economics. The impact of Alfons’ research is well recognized and has earned him several awards including the OAC Alumni Foundation Distinguished Researcher Award in 2006 and fellow of the Canadian Agricultural Economics Society (CAES) in 2014. He also received the OAC Alumni Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award in 2016.
Dr. Marian Weber is Principal Researcher with InnoTech Alberta and Adjunct Professor in Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at University of Alberta. She has spent the past 20 years working with partners in government, academia and the private sector conducting applied research on agricultural and forest policy. Her current research is focused on evaluating the costs and benefits of agricultural beneficial management practices and business case analysis of ecosystem service market opportunities.