Christian Abizaid Website
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geography and School of the Environment
Office: Dept. of Geography, Room 5055, 100 St. George St.
Living with environmental change in W. Amazonia: traditional peoples’ vulnerability and adaptation
For more than a decade now, Professor Christian Abizaid has been studying how rural populations adapt to rapid environmental change in the Peruvian Amazon. With its headwaters in the Andes, people living in this area face serious threats from climate change, yet little research has been done on how Amazonian riverine populations will be affected and their ability to respond.
The main objective of this project is to document river dynamics and their socioeconomic impacts on riverine populations, both in the short and long term. This research, which has been published in Ambio, The Geographical Review and Fisheries Management and Ecology, has helped to document some of the most salient short-term hardships endured by floodplain residents downstream, including higher flood levels that destroyed crops and farmland being washed away by increased riverbank erosion. His research showed very different short-term patterns upstream, where lower flood levels and a shorter river travel route, due to channel straightening, created significant opportunities for subsistence and commercial faming among smallholders.
Currently, Dr. Abizaid is working with some students on field data collected in 2013, with support from the Connaught New Researcher Award, to examine how short-term challenges and opportunities identified earlier play out in the long run to learn more about the dynamic nature of vulnerability and long-term prospects for adaptation. He plans to continue to document how livelihoods evolve in this setting and is planning on expanding this research with studies that examine the links between river dynamics and settlement and the importance of social networks for adaptation.
Abizaid, C., O.T. Coomes, Y. Takasaki, and S. Brisson. 2014. Social network analysis and peasant agriculture: cooperative labor as gendered relational networks. The Professional Geographer (In press)
Takasaki, Y., O.T. Coomes, C. Abizaid, and S. Brisson. 2014. An efficient nonmarket institution under imperfect markets: labor sharing for tropical forest clearing. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 96(3): 711-732.
Coomes, O., Y. Takasaki, C. Abizaid and B. Barham. 2010. Floodplain fisheries as natural insurance for the rural poor in tropical forest environments: evidence from Amazonia. Fisheries Management & Ecology. 17:513-521.
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, School of the Environment.
Office: School of the Environment, Room 2098, 33 Willcocks St.
Development of International Opportunities for School of the Environment undergraduate students
Karen Ing spent part of 2013-14 sabbatical working with the Centre for International Experience at the University to seek and develop international opportunities for the School’s undergraduate students, particularly with strategic universities to help the School further strengthen international partnerships. She visited eight universities to establish collaborations such as developing new summer course opportunities, internship/research opportunities, and more immersive and directed term abroad opportunities.
Incentive Mechanisms for the Provision of Ecosystem Services in Ontario
The provision of ecosystem services poses challenges similar to as those associated with the provision of public goods. These challenges become more serious when the providers are private landowners. In partnership with conservation authorities in Southern Ontario, this project is being undertaken to enable community organizations to implement the most appropriate incentive mechanisms by enhancing their capacities, and to facilitate relevant policy changes related to the provision of ecosystem services, at the national, provincial, and municipal levels.
Douglas MacDonald Website
Senior Lecturer, School of the Environment
Office: School of the Environment, Room 1049B (5 Bancroft Ave. entrance).
Creating a low-carbon future in Canada: how has resistance to a distributive effects approach impacted policy?
Funded by Carbon Management Canada from 2010 to 2014, this project was part of a larger project with Carleton University’s Dr. James Meadowcroft(Public Policy and Administration, and Political Science) on Governance Innovation and the Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy.
The U of T portion of the project was led by Dr. Douglas Macdonald, Senior Lecturer and Academic Associate Director at the School of the Environment. Graduate students included U of T Ph.D. candidates Jodi Adams, Political Science; Cristian Ches, Geography/Environmental Studies;David Houle, Political Science/Environmental Studies; Matthew Lesch, Political Science; and Carleton University PhD candidate Brendan Haley and York University MES candidate Madison Van West.
The research sought to grapple with a significant barrier to the transition to a low-carbon economy — the distributive effects of climate change policy which inevitably creates “winners” and “losers,” in terms of both economic and psychological impacts. The basic research question was: how has political activity by such losers and winners influenced development of Canadian climate-change policy to date?
We examined eight case studies:
1. the failure of efforts by Canadian governments to develop national climate change and energy programs;
2. differing cost and benefit associated with interprovincial hydro-electricity transmission;
3. local citizen perceptions of distributive fairness as a factor influencing wind-turbine siting in BC, Ontario and Quebec;
4. resistance to the inherently distributive activity of wind-turbine siting in Ontario;
5. coal industry and the end of coal-fired electricity generation in Ontario, compared to expanded use in Alberta;
6. influence of the wind and solar industries on electricity policy in Ontario;
7. comparison of Ontario and BC experience in managing resistance to green electricity policy; and
8. successful experience of BC in designing its 2008 carbon tax.
We found that political resistance to climate-change policy motivated by distributive effects currently exists in Canada and is to some extent weakening policy effectiveness. Governments to date have done a poor job (with the exception of the BC carbon tax, from which lessons can be learned) in managing distributive effects resistance. Counter-vailing pressure from renewable energy winners is not yet strong enough to influence Ontario electricity policy, although it has that potential. Results will be published in the academic literature and as a report to Canadian governments.
Macdonald, D. 2013. Allocating Canadian Greenhouse Emission Reductions Amongst Sources and Provinces: Learning from the EU and Germany. Availablehere.
Macdonald, D. and M. Lesch. 2013. Competing visions and inequitable costs: the national energy strategy and regional distributive conflicts. Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 25: 1-17.
Macdonald, D. 2012. State interest as an explanatory factor in the failure of the soft-path energy vision. Energy Policy 43 (April 2012): 92-101.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Political Science and School of the Environment
Office: Dept. of Political Science, Room 3103, 100 St. George St.
Kate Neville Joins the School of the Environment in July 2015
Assistant Professor researches global politics of energy & water resource development
The School of the Environment is pleased to announce that Dr. Kate Neville has been appointed to a tenure-track assistant professorship, starting on July 1, 2015. This is a joint position: 51% in the Dept of Political Science and 49% in the School.
Kate’s research interests lie in the geographic, sociological, and historical context of energy and water resource developments in the global political economy. She completed her PhD in Political Science at the University of British Columbia, with a dissertation on the political economy of biofuels, focussing on eastern Africa. She also has a Master’s of Environmental Science from Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a BSc (honours) in Biology from Queen’s. Kate was a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, where she studied unconventional oil and gas developments, with particular attention to debates over hydraulic fracturing in the Canadian north.
Kate brings a range of disciplinary perspectives to her research, enabling her to engage in discussions on questions of sustainability and governance from multiple angles. She examines strategies of activism, shifting models of corporate governance, changing relationships between humans and the natural world, and the interactions between claim-makers and power-holders in historically grounded cycles of contention. Her work has attracted interest from policy-makers, practitioners, activists, indigenous communities, and industry. She brings a much-needed scholarly lens and a critical perspective to contentious and polarizing issues.
With her impressive publications and success in interdisciplinary studies, working with both natural and social scientists, Kate will be a great addition to the School!
Neville, K.J. The Contentious Political Economy of Biofuels Global Environmental Politics February 2015, 15(1): 21-40. doi:10.1162/GLEP_a_00270
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Chemistry and School of the Environment
Office: Lash Miller Room 512, 80 St. George Street
Dr. Peng received his BSc and PhD in Environmental Science from Peking University in Beijing, China. After graduating with his PhD in 2013, he went on to complete postdoctoral fellowships at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto and in the Toxicology Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. He has an impressive publication record, with 38 papers, 13 as first author, in top journals in his field.
Dr. Peng’s research is in the area of environmental chemistry and toxicology, with a focus on identifying the occurrence of environmental pollutants and determining their potential health and ecological risks. He has developed chemical analysis methods to detect pollutants in environmental mixtures, and was the first to discover thousands of previously unknown halogenated compounds in the environment.
His discovery of a new class of chemicals of emerging concern, brominated azo dyes, which are organic compounds used in dyeing textiles, has received wide attention. In environmental toxicology, he has developed proteomics assays that provide an invaluable opportunity to determine how environmental chemicals interact with proteins to cause toxicity.
At the University of Toronto, Dr. Peng plans to focus on the development of novel chemistry and biology techniques to pursue three research directions: untargeted identification of novel environmental chemicals, investigation of the sources and behaviors of environmental chemicals, and unbiased identification of their physical protein targets.
W. Scott Prudham
Professor, Dept. of Geography and School of the Environment
Office: Dept. of Geography, Room 5007, 100 St. George St.
Prudham, S. 2013. Men and things: Karl Polanyi, primitive accumulation, and their relevance to a radical green political economy. Environment and Planning A 45(7) :1569-1587.
Abstract: Now is an important moment to be thinking and talking about a critical and normative green political economy. Whether via attempts to develop effective and socially just climate policies at multiple scales of governance [including REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation) schemes], or to develop proliferating and controversial neoliberal instruments for dealing with undesirable environmental change, environmental governance, and environmental change in the context of contemporary global capitalism are on the agenda. What would a critical and normative green political economy for the current moment look like? This paper draws on Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation as a resource for answering that question. In particular, Polanyi’s discussion of problematic and dualistic notions of nature and society in early political economy and the role he accords social struggles over land in developing his theory of fictitious commodities, embeddedness and the double movement are revisited. The paper stresses how Polanyi’s ideas, at once conceptual and polemical, draw centrally on Marx’s theorization of primitive accumulation as an inherent, ‘extra-economic’ facet of historical–geographical capitalism, a differentiated unity linking the commodification and objectification of human and nonhuman natures as exchange-values. In this respect, Polanyi offers (or seems to offer) a potential reconciliation of a politics of nonhuman and human nature through his emphasis on primitive accumulation as a site of both political struggle and epistemic transformation.
Prudham, S. 2012. Pimping climate change: Richard Branson, global warming and the performance of green capitalism. In: S. Eldon et al (eds.) Environment and Planning: Five Volume Set. Volume 1: Cities and Regions.
Prudham, W.S. 2012. The political economy of a crisis. In: N. Castree and D. Gregory (eds). Human Geography. Volume 4. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California.
Prudham, S. and W. Coleman. 2011. Introduction: Property, autonomy, territory, and globalization. In: W. Coleman (ed.) Property, Territory, Globalization: Struggles Over Autonomy. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver. Pages 1-28.
Prudham, S. 2011. Making forests “normal”: Sustained yield, improvement, and the establishment of globalist forestry in British Columbia. In: W. Coleman (ed.) (See above.) Pages 80-100.
Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs and School of the Environment
Office: Munk School of Global Affairs, Room 202, 315 Bloor St. West.
John Robinson, leading scholar in sustainability studies, joins the School of the Environment as a Full Professor in a joint appointment with the Munk School of Global Affairs
We are pleased to announce that Dr. John Robinson joined the School of the Environment as a Full Professor on January 1, 2016. This is a joint position with the Munk School of Global Affairs: 51% Global Affairs, 49% Environment.
Professor Robinson has a global reputation in the areas of urban sustainability, building sustainability, community engagement processes, and university sustainability programming. He will be developing regenerative sustainability and living lab programs at U of T. He is also very actively involved in trying to establish such programs at the Copenhagen Business School (where he is an Adjunct Professor), and Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, while there are other discussions starting in several other locations.
This term at the School of the Environment, he will be teaching a graduate course on The Development of Sustainability Thought (ENV 2002)
From 1992-2015, he was Professor with the Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, and the Department of Geography at The University of British Columbia (UBC). From 2012-15, he was Associate Provost, Sustainability, at UBC, responsible for leading the integration of academic and operational sustainability on the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus. Prof. Robinson’s own research focuses on the intersection of climate change mitigation, adaptation and sustainability; the use of visualization, modeling, and citizen engagement to explore sustainable futures; sustainable buildings and urban design; creating partnerships for sustainability with non-academic partners; and, generally, the intersection of sustainability, social and technological change, behaviour change, and community engagement processes.
In 2012 Dr. Robinson received the Metro Vancouver Architecture Canada Architecture Advocacy Award and was named Environmental Scientist of the Year by Canadian Geographic magazine. In 2011, he received the Canada Green Building Council Education Leadership Award, and in 2010 he was given BC Hydro’s Larry Bell Award for advancing energy conservation in British Columbia. He was a Fellow of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation from 2008-11, and, as a Lead Author, he contributed to the 1995, 2001 and 2007 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Al Gore. At the Munk School, Prof. Robinson will be a member of the Environmental Governance Lab and he will teach in the MGA program.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and School of the Environment
Office: Earth Sciences Building, 25 Willcocks St.
Dr. Rollinson’s current research explores the evolutionary ecology and life-history of reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. He has a strong background in field ecology and an interest in the ecological and political factors involved in population declines, including the impact of road networks and climate change on population persistence. He is taking over responsibility for maintaining a long-term turtle life-history study based in Algonquin Park, which is the one of the world’s longest-running studies on any reptile.
Njal completed his PhD in Biology at Dalhousie University in 2013, with a dissertation on the ecology and evolution of offspring size in Atlantic salmon. He has an MSc in integrative biology from the University of Guelph, and a Bachelor of Applied Technology in environmental biology from Nipissing University. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at U of T. Njal has an impressive publication record, with numerous papers in leading ecological journals. He will be a terrific addition to the School, particularly for our new Environmental Science program.
He also recently received a NSERC Discovery Grant for his project on “Life-history trade-offs, seasonal time constraints, and the optimization of body size”. The Discovery Grants Program supports ongoing long-term programs of research. His research program aims to understand how life histories are influenced by the environment, and to apply this understanding to the conservation of exploited populations and species at risk. Life-history traits have a direct and context-specific effect on fitness, and understanding the trade-offs and ecological context under which life-histories have evolved is central to understanding local adaptation, demographic rates, and extinction risk. Body size is central to many models of life-history evolution, yet there is no consensus on how body size itself is optimized. His goal in the next few years is to develop a better understanding of how size is optimized, and to explore how optimization is influenced by the physical environment.
Partnership with Toronto cycling community hopes to encourage more cycling
By Trudy Ledsham
The Toronto Cycling Think & Do Tank is funded by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant administered at the School of the Environment since 2012. It combines expert practitioners and academics to address important gaps in knowledge about creating more sustainable cities. Partners are Cycle Toronto, Spacing, dandyhorse magazine, Heart & Stroke Foundation, Charlie’s Freewheels, Evergreen, Fourth Floor, Toronto Centre for Active Transportation, Metcalf Foundation, CultureLink Settlement Services, McGill University and Simon Fraser University.
Active transportation has been identified as one of the solutions increasing sustainability and reducing congestion in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Cycling increases the range of easily accessible trips from 2km for walking to 5-7km for riding. Typically researchers and policy makers focus on physical infrastructure and, while important, it is not the sole driver of cycling participation. Early results have been very promising. Two behaviour change pilot projects were undertaken in the summer of 2013. These projects incorporate sophisticated behavior change strategies including: identification and mapping of cycling behaviour; demographic parameters affecting cycling readiness; and an evidence-based behaviour change toolkit. The Tool Kit to Accelerate the Adoption of Cycling for Transportation; Mapping Cycling Behaviour in Toronto was developed from a comprehensive literature review aligning outcomes of documented cycling interventions with specific strategies to increase uptake. The result is an adaptable toolkit that outlines a sequence of steps, with optional activities at each step adaptable to varying circumstances.
In our first pilot project, we partnered with BikeChain, a do-it-yourself educational bike repair shop on the U of campus (http://bikechain.utoronto.ca) and with the Charles Street Graduate Residence. For the second pilot, we partnered with CultureLink Settlement Services and focused on newcomers to Canada. Results were startling. Traditional social marketing for behaviour change was used with the Charles St. residents: rates of cycling barely budged. The second project was a mentorship project focused on new Canadians in which bikes were simply the tool used to facilitate social activity and transport. Most participants were motivated by their interest in meeting more established Canadians. These participants increased their cycling by about 500%.
As a result of these early interventions, we were successful in securing funding from the Metcalf Foundation to expand the CultureLink Bike Host program to a new neighbourhood (St. Jamestown) in order to both document and capture the work for replication by other agencies and to understand whether the success rate of 2013 could be replicated in 2014 with more sophisticated and rigorous measurement methods. The summer 2014 project has close to 60 mentees and 22 mentors (two of whom are former M.Sc. Planning students from the project).
In order to gain a fuller understanding of how Canadian Communities can increase cycling for transportation, we are undertaking a new five-year study (2014-2019) funded by a recently awarded SSHRC Insight Grant. Dr. Beth Savan, Senior Lecturer Emeritus at the School of the Environment and former Director of the U of T Sustainability Office has partnered with Dr. Meghan Winters (Simon Fraser University) and Dr. Ray Tomalty (McGill University) to examine the intersection of policy, infrastructure and behaviour change. Dr. Paul Hess (Geography, U of T) and Nancy Smith Lea (Toronto Centre for Active Transportation) as well as Dr. Kevin Manaugh (Geography, McGill University) are also collaborating on the project. The intent is to provide guidance to interested communities on the most effective suites of interventions. Today, municipalities are eager for the opportunities active transportation offers, but are often unsure of where scarce funds should be most effectively applied. Cycling behaviour generally correlates with infrastructure, but underlying urban form and social and demographic contexts are also contributors (e.g. In Toronto, cycling mode share increased dramatically between 2006 and 2011 while infrastructure for cycling did not). To date, research has not identified reasons for the uneven growth of cycling nor the interaction of policy, infrastructure and social/behavioural factors contributing to it. Our project hopes to change that.
Research work on cycling economies has also been undertaken and the resulting report Cyclists, Bike Lanes, and On-Street Parking: Economic Impacts by M.Sc. Planning student Daniel Arancibia was a pivotal influence on the Eglinton Crosstown Project: bike lanes are now part of all proposed designs. This work has also been recognized with supportive funding by the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation through a Sparks Grant. In partnership with Cycle Toronto the research will be used as a foundation to train cycling advocates to educate Business Improvement Associations regarding the economic benefits cycling infrastructure and participation can bring to main streets.
Cycling is an important solution to a wide range of urban issues. Research in the area is eagerly anticipated by municipal transportation and planning departments, health departments and advocates, environmental organizations, cycling advocates and the media, who frequently interview our researchers. It is an exciting time to be working in the field of active transportation.
Trudy Ledsham is Project Manager of the Toronto Cycling Think & Do Tank. For more information, please visit www.torontocycling.org or contact her at email@example.com or Dr. Beth Savan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, U of T Mississauga and School of the Environment
Office: School of the Environment, Room 2103, 33 Willcocks St.
Scharper, S. B. 2014. Option for the poor and option for the Earth: toward a sustainable solidarity. In G. Gutierrez and D. Groody (eds.) Option for the Poor: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. University of Notre Dame Press. Page 97-120.
Scharper, S. B. and H. Cunningham. Lifeform, livelihood and lifeway: reflections on urban and planetary futures. In D. Nonini (ed). The Future of Cities, Blackwell Publishers. (Forthcoming.)
Stefanovic, I.L. and S.B. Scharper (eds.) 2012. The Natural City: Re-Envisioning the Built Environment. University of Toronto Press. 356 pages.
Scharper, S. B. 2013. For Earth’s Sake: Toward a Compassionate Ecology. Toronto: Novalis. 224 pages.
Summary: Each of the three sections consists of short articles written for theToronto Star (with one interview which is the exception) and longer essays as chapters. The shorter articles are interspersed intentionally throughout the section to emphasize certain themes and/or to draw the reader’s attention to complementary issues not touched upon in the articles.
Each section represents one of a three-pronged approach, “revealing-reflecting-redeeming”, which Dr. Scharper employs to address our ecological challenge and the deepening economic disparity we face. While this cluster broadly resembles the liberation theology methodology of “see, judge, act”, his approach is recast here to emphasize an undulating motion in time and in space to capture the realities of historical and geographical disparities in economic developments that besmirch our planet, and to highlight the dialectic between past wisdoms – some worthy of upholding, other deleterious to the planet’s well-being. It also underlines the challenging task of defining a new ontology and ethic which are still indistinct in nature. This methodology is aptly captured by the prefix ‘re’, which he incorporates in many of his writings.
Professor, Department of Physics and Director, School of the Environment
Office: School of the Environment, Room 1020, 33 Willcocks St., Toronto
Arctic Atmospheric Science: Our group has been making measurements at Eureka, Nunavut since 1999 and we were involved in establishing the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) in 2005. In 2013, the PEARL team was awarded funding from NSERC’s Climate Change and Atmospheric Research program for the project “Probing the Atmosphere of the High Arctic (PAHA)” to support our activities for another five years. PEARL houses about 20 instruments, four of which are run by students and postdocs in my group. I am leader of the Composition Measurements theme, which is acquiring trace gas time series to improve our understanding of processes and trends related to the carbon cycle; ozone depletion; biomass burning; and clouds, aerosols, and precipitation.
The Canadian FTIR Observing Network (CAFTON): With support from the Canadian Space Agency, we are running a network of Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometers for atmospheric measurements over Canada. Measurements of a suite of chemical species are integrated with models to characterize atmospheric composition, determine transport pathways, and identify pollution sources. In 2013, we signed a ten-year loan agreement with Environment Canada for four new instruments.
Satellite Remote Sounding: We are involved in the Odin/OSIRIS and ACE satellite missions, both of which have been making global observations of the atmosphere for over a decade. We have contributed to the development of new methods for deriving, validating, and interpreting geophysical data from these missions, particularly for a suite of reactive nitrogen trace gases.
P.E. Sheese, E.J. Lewellyn, R.L. Gattinger, and K. Strong. OH Meinel band nightglow profiles from OSIRIS observations. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119 (19), 11417–11428, 2014.
C. Viatte, K. Strong, et al., Identifying fire plumes in the Arctic with tropospheric FTIR measurements and transport models, Atmos. Chem. Phys, 15, 2227-2246, 2015.
Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Environment and Health Collaborative Graduate Program, School of the Environment
Office: School of the Environment, Room 2097, 33 Willcocks St.
Assessing Metal Solubility in Airborne Particulate Matter as a Proxy for Bio-Accessibility: This research examines the solubility of metals associated with airborne particulate matter fractions of human health concern as a proxy for bioaccessibility, using in vitro techniques with simulated human lung fluids. The overall goal is to identify best practices in using physiologically-based extraction experiments. Current research examines commonly used leaching solutions to determine metal solubility and their suitably to assess bioaccessibility in the human lung.
Gardening & Airborne Particulate Matter: Exploring the Fate of Traffic-Related Emissions and the Effectiveness of Risk Reduction Measures: This examines the fate of traffic-related metal emissions in the urban environment, their uptake by commonly cultivated plants and the effectiveness of soil remediation measures. From 2010 to 2013, different plant species were cultivated at several soil remediated locations in Toronto, with variable traffic densities to assess the soil accumulation of metal emissions over time, their uptake by plants and potential health risks of consumption.
Platinum Group Element Emissions: Environmental Concentrations, Exposure Levels and Human Health Risks: (Ongoing collaboration with Fathi Zereini, University of Frankfurt.) Investigates platinum group element (PGE) emissions in automotive exhaust and their environmental fate and bioaccessibility. Current collaborative research examines the role of common environmental complexing agents in the transformation of PGE into more toxic species and the application of simulated biological fluids to assess PGE bioaccessibility in the human lung. In addition, PGE concentrations in Toronto soil and road dust samples are the present focus of a co-supervised graduate thesis.
Zereini, F and C.L.S. Wiseman (Eds.) 2015. Platinum Metals in the Environment. Springer, Berlin. 492 pages.
Wiseman C.L.S., and F. Zereini. 2014. Characterizing metal(loid) solubility in airborne PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 in Frankfurt, Germany using simulated lung fluids. Atmospheric Environment 89: 282-289.
Wiseman C.L.S., F. Zereini and W. Püttmann. 2014. Metal translocation patterns in Solanum melongena grown in close proximity to traffic.Environmental Science and Pollution Research 21: 1572-1581.
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Physics and School of the Environment
Office: McLennan Physical Labs, Room 707A, 60 St. George St.
Debra Wunch joins the School of the Environment: Assistant Professor studies the carbon cycle, a critical tool for understanding current and future climate
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Debra Wunch joined the School of the Environment as an Assistant Professor on January 1, 2016. This is a joint position with the Department of Physics: 51% Physics, 49% Environment.
Dr. Wunch is an experimental atmospheric physicist who has an exceptional record in hands-on development and construction of remote-sensing experiments to measure trace gas concentrations in the atmosphere. She obtained her PhD in 2007 at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Professor (now Emeritus) James Drummond. Since 2007 she has been at the California Institute of Technology, where she has played a key role in the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON), which monitors greenhouse gases with unprecedented precision and accuracy. Dr. Wunch has co-authored more than 60 papers in top journals in the field.
Her particular specialty is measuring the concentration of the greenhouse gases, including CO2, an area in which she is an acknowledged world-wide authority. Her current interests lie in understanding the Earth’s carbon cycle, both on urban and global scales. She has been actively involved in all aspects of the TCCON, which is a global network of ground-based, solar-viewing Fourier transform spectrometers that measure atmospheric trace gases, such as CO2, CO and CH4. She was responsible for the TCCON stations in Lamont, Oklahoma and Pasadena, California, and in her new position, she will be setting up a new TCCON station in western Canada to measure carbon uptake and release in the boreal forest, which is an important but little studied component of the Earth’s carbon system. With the TCCON data, she has been providing support for the evaluation of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) and Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite data. She also studies the carbon cycle and emissions within large urban areas (‘megacities’) and plans to extend this work to Toronto.
Assistant Professor, School of the Environment
Office: Earth Sciences Building, 5 Bancroft Ave.
Dr. Yoreh studies the intellectual history of religious-based environmental concepts and their modern application to human behaviour. He obtained his PhD in Humanities from York University in 2014. His dissertation focused on Religion and Environment, investigating the intellectual history of the Jewish prohibition against wastefulness. He has since expanded his research on wastefulness to include other Abrahamic faiths, namely Christianity and Islam. He was the recipient of a Spalding Trust Award in 2015 for post-doctoral interfaith research. Dr. Yoreh also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from McGill University’s School of Environment, and a Master’s degree in Geography specializing in Environmental Management, Planning and Policy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While studying for his MA, he hosted an award-winning radio program on Israeli and Middle Eastern environmental issues.
Dr. Yoreh has taught at Leo Baeck College in London, the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, and the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at U of T. He is interested in faith-based wisdom as it pertains to the environment and in understanding how this wisdom is translated from theory into practice. His current research focuses on the impact of religious values on environmental behavior in Toronto communities. He is also interested in religious legal approaches to environmental protection.