Ivana Zelenika

PhD Candidate


I am a PhD Candidate working with co-supervision of Dr. Jiaying Zhao (Psychology/ IRES) and Dr. John Robinson (Munk School of Global Affairs/ IRES). My current research is focused on what motivates pro-environmental behaviour change, with the majority of projects focusing on recycling and composting participation and accuracy, as well as how learning in natural environments (like UBC botanical gardens) can help motivate willingness and ability for action.

Theoretically I am attempting to synthesize insights from environmental psychology, socio-cultural theories and complex systems thinking as to how various elements come together to form sustainability pathways over time. Key elements I focus on involve material artifacts, motivation and knowledge. My research is supported by the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and the UBC 4 Year Fellowship.

Prior to coming to UBC I completed a Master’s of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University (Kingston) and a B.A. from Carleton University (Ottawa) in Environmental Studies (minor in Political Science).

I love being involved in community/ campus sustainability: at UBC I served as a Zero Waste Coordinator with Campus Sustainability/ Community Planning for 2 years in a work-learn position providing me with valuable ‘hands-on’ experience with rolling out campus-wide zero waste strategy. Previously at Queen’s University I was a Sustainability Coordinator for the Graduate Society where working with many groups, I helped bring 11MW of electricity generating PV panels to Queen’s rooftops, established an AMS run community garden, organized a campus-wide Recyclemania and numerous Documentary Nights.

In my ‘off days’ you can find me at the Jericho beach, or playing soccer at UBC turf fields.

Featured Publications

Recent Publications

Consultant and Writing Services for the Report: Council of Canadian Academies, (2014). Enabling Sustainability in an Interconnected World. The Expert Panel on the Potential for New and Innovative Uses of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for Greening Canada. Council of Canadian Academies, Ottawa (ON).