MA/MSc Students

MA Students

MA Student

Maery is a Master of Arts student working under the direction of Drs. Terre Satterfield and Nathan Bennett. She entered the interdisciplinary environment of IRES after completing a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Victoria where her coursework focused on human geography, natural resource management, and environmental sustainability. Her primary research interests include natural resource governance & management and the intersections of perception, livelihoods, and change processes within social-ecological systems.

Marine protected areas (MPAs), increasingly implemented, have produced both positive and negative consequences for adjacent communities. Maery’s current work contributes to research on the human dimensions of conservation by situating MPA governance within a context of broader social-ecological changes affecting coastal communities. Her research is grounded through a qualitative investigation of changes, impacts and adaptations in a fishing village located within a Mexican biosphere reserve and is supported by both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Mitacs.

She can be reached at:

MA Student

Michaela joined IRES after six years of professional work experience as a commercial project manager in the construction industry in England, Germany, and France. This valuable experience has helped her understand the challenges and operations of a multinational business, as well as corporate roles in advancing social innovation and sustainability. For two years she led a project on energy efficiency obligations, a policy instrument aimed at reducing the energy consumption of buildings. She recently completed the Association of Project Management qualification, a recognized and transferable certification, rounding off her project management experience. With a background in economics, Michaela has long been interested in environmental studies and sustainability and volunteered to support ENERGIES 2050, a French NGO in the energy sector, in 2013. Her involvement included editorial work and translations of reports, aimed at enhancing citizen engagement. Energies 2050 believes that the impending energy transition also requires an evolution of our society. Not only will political, economic, and technological solutions be necessary, but active citizen engagement at the local scale. 

Through her Master’s degree Michaela aims to gain additional competencies in the fields of energy and materials management and policy, and climate change. At IRES, she is working under the supervision of Dr. Hadi Dowlatabadi. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and French at the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2009. Her primary research interests include energy, public policy, and the built environment.

MA Student

Alida is a MA student in Resource Management and Environmental Studies working under the supervision of Dr. Terre Satterfield. Alida graduated with a double major in International Development Studies and Environment, Sustainability and Society from Dalhousie University.  Upon completing her undergraduate thesis on the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area and a placement at a conservation project in Zimbabwe, her interest in what constitutes effective conservation deepened. Her current research is in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund Namibia, identifying wellbeing indicators in the communal conservancies of the Zambezi region. 


MSc Students

Masters Student

Selina Agbayani began her career while pursuing a B.Sc. in Forest Sciences from the University of British Columbia (UBC). After graduation, she gained experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through the Landscape Ecology and Water Tracer Labs at UBC. She then continued her professional development with the Advanced Diploma GIS Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Selina has combined a passion for natural systems and conservation issues with a specialization in landscape-scale ecological data and spatial analysis. This has led her to become involved in various projects with non-profit organizations such as the Community Mapping Network and World Wildlife Fund – Canada. In recent years, she has become interested in marine ecosystems and has joined the Marine Mammal Research Unit (MMRU) in the Institute of Oceans and Fisheries (IOF) at UBC to study the migration patterns and foraging ecology of Eastern Pacific grey whales (Eschrichtius robustus).

Melanie is a MSc student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. She graduated with a BSc in Marine Biology from UBC in 2014. Subsequently, she worked as a Research Assistant with the Sea Around Us (at UBC’s Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries), assessing the impacts of fisheries on global marine ecosystems through catch reconstructions. Her master’s research, supervised by Dr. William Cheung, will focus on the adaptability of small-scale fisheries to climate change.

Harold Eyster is a first-year graduate student supervised by Professor Kai Chan. He is interested in examining biodiversity and nature conservation in the context of ecosystem function, services, and human values.

Harold received his undergraduate degree in environmental science and public policy at Harvard, Magna Cum Laude. While at Harvard, he conducted research on climate change and invasive plant ecology with Dr. Elizabeth Wolkovich, and on ornithology with Dr. Mary Caswell Stoddard.  He also co-founded and edited the Harvard College Review of Environment & Society to foment cross-disciplinary discussion of environmental issues. He has conducted field research throughout Europe and North and South America. Harold enjoys ultramarathon trail running, birding, bouldering, atlatl, painting, and, of course, research.

MSc Student

Teddy is a first year MSc student in the Ecohydro Lab with an interest in water as a link between humans and the natural systems.

Teddy graduated with a BSE in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Princeton University in 2013, with a focus on urban stream restoration.  After graduation, Teddy pursued environmental engineering with an environmental consulting firm in the California Bay Area where he was involved in environmental site assessments, contaminant mapping, and groundwater monitoring.  He went on to join The Center for Watershed Sciences at UC Davis where he researched how hydrology drives montane meadow ecosystems in the Sierra and the amphibians living there.

When he’s not digging wells or monitoring streams, Teddy enjoys trail running, playing banjo, woodworking, or throwing the atlatl.

MSc Student

Emma is a Master of Science (MSc) student in Resource Management and Environmental Studies working under the supervisorship of Drs. Leila Harris and Mark Johnson. Emma graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Science (BA&Sc Hons.) in Environmental Studies and International Development from McGill University in 2014. Between her undergraduate and graduate degrees Emma worked in several different professional settings, such as a peace and conflict NGO in Colorado, U.S.A, and a renewable energy consulting company in Yokohama, Japan. She has been awarded an NSERC grant for her graduate research, which will focus on groundwater management and adaptive water governance in the face of drought in Cape Town, South Africa. Emma is currently a member of the EDGES research collaborative, the Program on Water Governance and the UBC Ecohydro Lab.

MSc Student

Jeff Scott began his Msc. program in Resource Management and Environmental Studies in the fall of 2014, under the supervision of Drs. Tony Pitcher and Mimi Lam. He received his BS in Biology and BA in Plan II Honors in 2007 and 2008, respectively, from the University of Texas at Austin. After college, Jeff worked as a fisheries observer for 6 years in a variety of US fisheries. He has spent 359 days at sea collecting fishery-dependent data aboard 38 vessels, including shrimp trawlers in the Gulf of Mexico, tuna and swordfish longliners in the mid-Atlantic, and a factory longline ship in the Bering Sea. His experiences sparked an interest in the men and women who routinely put their lives at risk to maintain their livelihoods and way of life. Understanding the values, beliefs, and motivations of the people who comprise a given fishery is necessary to manage that fishery effectively. It is Jeff’s goal to help advance this historically under-studied aspect of fisheries science.

MSc Student

Adrian is a M.Sc. student interested in why resource users adopt ‘best’ management practices and how these adoption rates might be increased. Under the supervision of Dr. Kai Chan he explores how social norms and regulations influence the adoption of land stewardship practices in agriculture. Adrian graduated from UBC with a dual degree in Environmental Sciences (Hons.) and Sociology. Previously, he worked in agriculture in South Africa and British Columbia. Adrian has also worked as a field assistant on research projects investigating bird song in the Pacific North West, and spider socialization in Ecuador. Most recently he has served as a research assistant on systematic reviews of environmental assessments and ecosystem services for the Connecting Humans and Natural Systems (CHANS) Lab.

MSc Student
Senior Associate, Ecolibrium Consulting Inc.

Ian Theaker’s engineering career has focused on greening North America’s buildings and communities.  As their technical problems are now largely solved, he is now studying systemic socio-economic policy that reduces climate impacts of the built environment.  His MSc thesis is assessing whether building energy and GHG emissions benchmarking data communicated through real estate multiple listing websites influence apartment buyers’ purchase criteria and behaviour.

As the Canada Green Building Council’s inaugural Program Manager, Ian lead adaptation of the LEED rating systems for Canada. Other signature efforts include Waterfront Toronto’s climate-positive Green Development Requirements, Infrastructure Ontario’s Building Sustainability Best Practices Manual, the OHSU River Campus (LEED-NC Platinum) and Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design (AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten winner) in Portland, Oregon, and Green Building Design Guidelines for the City of Santa Monica.

Ian has served with many volunteer organizations, most recently as a Director CaGBC’s Greater Toronto Chapter and founder of its Advocacy Committee.  He’s also served as Governor of the Association of Energy Engineers, BC Chapter, and co-founded Vancouver’s Designers for Social Responsibility and the Southeast False Creek Working Group.

MSc Student

Liz is a MSc student at IRES. Her diverse interests, skills, and experience give her a unique perspective for researching and addressing environmental challenges and sustainability. Liz has studied in Hungary, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia. She graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) in psychology. Living in a number of regions in Canada, Liz has gained a wide range of professional work and research experience in academic, health, business, and non-profit settings. With nearly five years experience as a research assistant in clinical psychology, and two years experience as a university instructor of statistics and research methods, she has a strong background in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Amongst other pursuits, she has also worked as a freelance journalist, trained and managed operations staff at a national historic site, led a research project with senior managers at Canada’s largest retail cooperative, and worked as a business analyst and communications officer for a national port authority. Most recently, Liz worked in the Sustainability Office at the University of Winnipeg, overseeing projects in operations, academics, and campus and community engagement. She has been extensively involved in sustainability initiatives including: pesticide reduction, waste diversion, fair trade, socially responsible investing, and energy policy. Liz has served on a number of committees, including Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba, and is an active community organizer for regional and national energy issues.

Liz’s academic interests lie in three broad areas: energy policy and politics in Canada; links between conservation and animal welfare; and environmental psychology. Her current research focus is on social-cognitive factors of environmentalism as they relate to environmental action. Specifically, Liz is interested in stereotypes and in-group/out-group bias pertaining to environmentalists.