RESEARCH

My research highlights the ecological and political-economic risks of fossil fuel dependence while exploring new policies to create an equitable transition from fossil fuels to a low carbon society.

Working alongside a community of scholars and policy advocates, I aim to reimagine Canadian and international climate policy.

My research has both a Canadian and transnational comparative focus, with two major lines of inquire:  

 

  • Analyzing environmental policy and politics surrounding oil extraction, particularly in Canada’s major oil producing provinces: Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland & Labrador. My research explores how environmental policy is developed and contested, attending to tensions between environmental/community impacts and economic imperatives. I am also tracing the rise of “just transition” movements in Eastern Canada. How can these provinces shift, in an equitable way, from oil dependence to low carbon energy?

  • Explaining—and amplifying—the recent wave of national bans on fossil fuel extraction. I have developed an international and interdisciplinary comparative project that seeks to understand how countries like France, Ireland, New Zealand, Denmark, and more have implemented "supply side" climate policy in response to the intensifying climate crisis. How can these bans be leveraged globally? See here for a quick description of the project.

CURRENT FUNDED PROJECTS

Mapping Policy Pathways to Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground: A Comparative Study of Rising National Bans on Fossil Fuel Extraction

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Insight Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada
2021-2026       

 

In collaboration with co-investigator Imre Szeman (University of Waterloo University Research Chair in Communication Arts and fellow of the Canadian International Council)

This project seeks to explain—and to amplify—fossil fuel extraction bans that numerous countries (Belize, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, and more) have recently announced as part of the effort to reduce global emissions. This building wave of bans is opening new avenues in climate policy. We aim to produce a multifaceted account of the interacting environmental, political-economic, and socio-cultural conditions that have fostered these bans and to identify common conditions for replicating them elsewhere.  

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Décarbonisation, transition écologique et verrou carbone : discours et organisation sociale des mouvements pour la transition et de l'élite anti-transition dans l'est canadien

CO-INVESTIGATOR

Insight Grant, SSHRC
2021-2025        

Project led by principal investigator Jean-Philippe Sapinski (Université de Moncton), with fellow co-investigators Darin Brooks (College of the North Atlantic), Sophie Del Fa (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi), Emily Eaton (University of Regina), Audrey Laurin-Lamothe (York University), and Éric Pineault (Université du Québec à Montréal). 

This project provides a comparative analysis of "carbon lock in” and the growing mobilization for an equitable transition away from fossil fuel dependence in Eastern Canadian (Québec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland & Labrador), a region often neglected in Canadian research on these issues. Our team seeks to understand the strategies that are currently being developed across these cases to “unlock” fossil fuel dominance and spark a just transition. The aim is also to foster collaboration among policy advocates across the region.

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Offshore Oil Exploratory Drilling and Marine Protected Areas: Assessing 
Decision-Making Processes and Outcomes in Comparative Developed State Cases

CO-INVESTIGATOR

Insight Grant, SSHRC
2019-2025        

Project led by principal investigator Gail Fraser (York University), with co-investigator Joanne Ellis (University of Waikato, New Zealand)           

The aim of this research is to understand how regulators of offshore marine environments identify parcels of the ocean floor for exploratory drilling and oil and gas production, the related consultation processes undertaken with stakeholders, and the tendencies and constraints of each regulator around these leasing decisions. The project focuses on marine protected areas and how larger marine planning exercises inform proposed offshore leases. We study five cases: Australia, the UK (Scotland), New Zealand, and Canada (both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador).

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Mapping the Power of the Carbon-Extractive Corporate Resource Sector

CO-INVESTIGATOR

Partnership Grant, SSHRC 

2015-2022        

Project led by principal investigators William Carroll (University of Victoria) and Shannon Daub (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, BC), with a team of Canadian and international co-investigators and collaborators.


The Corporate Mapping Project investigates how the fossil fuel industry organizes and applies its power in Canada. The initiative is a partnership of academic and community-based researchers and advisors who share a commitment to advancing reliable knowledge that supports citizen action and transparent public policy making. The team of researchers is “mapping” how power and influence play out in the oil, gas, and coal industries of BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. We also examine the wider connections that link Western Canada’s fossil fuel sector to other sectors of the economy (both national and global) and to other parts of society (governments and other public institutions, think tanks, lobby groups, and so forth).

Project website: https://www.corporatemapping.ca

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