PhD Candidate

Jonathan Taggart is a PhD candidate studying with Drs. Terre Satterfield and Kai Chan whose research looks at the challenges in representing the traditional knowledge and land use of BC First Nations. Working closely with communities, he is interesting in the ways First Nations and allies might continue to express vibrant cultural practices in rights & title processes in ways that are both politically powerful and inclusive of diverse and dynamic human-nature interactions. Jonathan has taught visual-ethnographic methods at Emily Carr University and is Associate Faculty at Royal Roads University’s School of Communication & Culture. His feature-length ethnographic film,”Life Off Grid“, has screened at festivals and conferences internationally.

Jonathan is a UBC Public Scholar, a member of the Google Earth Outreach Trainers Network, and a founder of the Boreal Collective of Documentary Photographers. His research is supported by a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship and a UBC Four-Year Fellowship.

PhD Candidate

Nicole’s research focuses on the role of Indigenous peoples in water governance in the transboundary context of the Yukon River Basin, which spans Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia. Her work examines the socio-cultural impacts of hydrologic change and the how adaptive responses to environmental change employed by Indigenous peoples, are constrained or facilitated by the broader water governance context. Her dissertation research builds on existing partnerships with the Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council – a grassroots Indigenous organization comprised of 70 Alaska Native and Canadian First Nations (partner since 2010).

Nicole is both a Vanier and Killam scholar. She is working under the supervision of Terre Satterfield and committee members including Leila Harris, Jordi Honey-Roses (SCARP) and Glen Coulthard (First Nations and Indigenous Studies/Political Science). She is a member of both the EDGES research group and Program on Water Governance. Prior to coming to UBC, she completed her Master’s of Science in Natural Resources at Cornell University. Her MS research examined the impacts of climate change on the subsistence livelihoods of the Koyukon Athapaskan people of Ruby, Alaska. She also holds a BA in Development Studies from the University of Calgary.


Wilson, N.J., Walter, M.T., Waterhouse, J., 2015. Indigenous Knowledge of Hydrologic Change in the Yukon River Basin: A Case Study of Ruby, Alaska. ARCTIC 68, 93–106. doi:10.14430/arctic4459

Wilson, N.J., 2014. Indigenous water governance: Insights from the hydrosocial relations of the Koyukon Athabascan village of Ruby, Alaska. Geoforum 57, 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.08.005

Wilson, N.J., 2014. The Politics of Adaptation: Subsistence Livelihoods and Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Koyukon Athabascan Village of Ruby, Alaska. Hum Ecol 42, 87–101. doi:10.1007/s10745-013-9619-3

Kassam, Karim-Aly S., Michelle Baumflek, Morgan Ruelle, and Nicole Wilson. 2011. “Human Ecology of Vulnerability, Resilience, and Adaptation: Case Studies of Climate Change from High Latitudes and Altitudes.” In Climate Change – Socioeconomic Effects, edited by Juan Blanco and Houshang Kheradmand, 217–236. Intech.


Follow Nicole J. Wilson at or Research Gate or visit her personal website


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. 

PhD Student
Public Scholar |Liu Scholar | Nehru Humanitarian Graduate Fellow | Olav Slaymaker Awardee

Helina is a PhD student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. Her doctoral study at RES will be supervised by Dr.Terre Satterfield and Dr.Milind Kandlikar.She will be working on gender perceptions and valuation of ecosystem services among the Adivasi (indigenous communities of India) of Wayanad, Kerala, India. Her studies are supported by UBC Four Year Doctoral Fellowship, Olav Slaymaker Award, Nehru Humanitarian Graduate Award, International Tuition Award and Entrance Scholarship.

She is also founder of the project ‘The Everyday Nature‘ which aims to understand the perceptions of people towards nature. Prior to joining RES, Helina worked in India for nearly 6 years with Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, Government of India (Link),Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) (Link), Centre for Science and Environment (Link), Clinton Climate Initiative and Ennovent on various environment and development projects. At GIZ she supported TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity) India Initiative (Link).She volunteers at Boond (, which works to provide clean solar energy access to some of the poorest communities in India. At Boond she helps organize workshops and develop strategies for understanding the social and environmental impact of their projects.

Helina is a Commonwealth Scholar and graduate from London School of Economics and Political Science as well as a University First Rank holder from University of Delhi. She is native of Kerala (a beautiful coastal state in India) and loves Monsoon season. Mother of an extremely mischievous little boy and a strong advocate of women empowerment. Helina is a huge foodie and loves to paint in her spare time.

Contact:  |  | LinkedIn

PhD Student

Rocío López de la Lama is a PhD student exploring people’s motivations for setting up Private Conservation Areas in Peru (her home country). Although the government does not provide economic incentives (i.e. tax reductions, property rights) for their implementation, their coverage continues to expand and currently protect ~300,000 ha of the Peruvian territory. Therefore, Rocio’s research seeks to identify what motivates people to set up these areas and how effectively they are contributing to nature conservation and human well-being. Rocio is working under the supervision of Kai Chan, and is part of the CHANS Lab. She has an MPhil in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge (UK), and a BSc in Biology from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Peru). Her previous work has focused on sustainable seafood, small-scale fisheries, gender studies and exploring people’s relationship with nature.

PhD Student, Liu Scholar

Rumi is a Ph.D. student in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), focusing on behavioral psychology applied to conservation and natural resource management in tropical landscapes. She is also a Liu Scholar at the Liu Institute for Global Issues and a UBC’s Four Year Doctoral Fellowship recipient. Drawing on insights from cognitive psychology, her doctoral studies will investigate: 1) how land-users perceive conservation challenges differently and make subsequent land-use decisions; and 2) what interventions might facilitate desired behavioral change for sustainability.

Prior to starting her doctoral studies at UBC, Rumi worked with an Indonesia-based consulting firm, Starling Resources, as a senior project manager on a number of projects concerning collaborative land-use planning, forestry policies, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), ecosystem restoration, sustainable peatland management, agroecology, and community-based economic development. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University in New York, with a focus on Environmental Policy Studies for Southeast Asia.

In her spare time, she enjoys training capoeira, traveling, hiking, and pottery.

PhD Student

I am a Peruvian researcher that has been studying the ecological and human dimensions of the Humboldt Current in Peru, with emphasis on fisheries economics and governance. Before joining the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia as a graduate student, I worked  as associate researcher at Centre for Environmental Sustainability of the Cayetano Heredia University in Peru (2010-2015), and at Inteligencia Financiera SAC (2014-2015); as consultant for OCEANA-Peru (2016), the GEF-UNDP Project: “Towards the ecosystem based management of the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem” (2013-2015), the Peruvian Ministry of Production (2014), the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment (2013), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2013); and, as fisheries advisor to the Vice-Minister of Fisheries at the Peruvian Ministry of Production (2012).

My research interests include: (i) seafood value chains, (ii) ecological modelling, (iii) marine and fisheries governance, (iv) ecosystem-based fisheries management, (v) economic valuation of ecosystem services, (vi) small-scale fisheries, (vii) fisheries economics, (viii) fisheries law, (ix) reduction fisheries, (x) rights-based management.

MA Student
phone: 4065481582

Madison Stevens is currently an MA student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC. She was raised on a farm in Bozeman, Montana, where she grew up with a passion for exploring the natural world. Madison holds a BA in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, with minors in Political Science and Environmental Science from Franklin University, Switzerland, in 2015, and has published research on indigenous land rights in Uganda through the School for International Training. Since 2012, she has worked for the conservation nonprofit organization Polar Bears International, holding various roles related to communication, education and outreach. She has also worked and volunteered for environmental initiatives all over the world, including an international conference on climate change in Antarctica with 2041, and research on sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. She started pursuing her degree at IRES in September, 2017 and is interested in studying the intersection of indigenous rights and environmental issues. Madison’s current research focuses on connecting traditional ecological knowledge with biodiversity conservation and community resilience in Arunachal Pradesh, North Eastern India, under the supervision of Profs. David Boyd in IRES and Janette Bulkan in the Faculty of Forestry.