April 6, 2023: IRES Professional Development Seminar with Tugce Conger, Ivana Zelenika, and Erika Luna

IRES Alumni Panel on Public Service

Time: 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Location: Michael Smith Labs Theatre (Room 102, 2185 East Mall)

Click here to register in advance to receive a Zoom link.

Zoom Rule: If we encounter technical difficulties during the first 5 to 10 mins of the seminar, Zoom will be terminated.

Note: This seminar will not be recorded.

No food or drinks allowed in the Theatre.

Talk summary:

This week’s IRES Professional Development Alumni Panel will focus on career pathways related to Public Service. We invite Dr. Tugce Conger, Dr. Ivana Zelenika and Erika Luna to talk about their professional journeys, from IRES graduate students to policy experts. Join us for this conversation with IRES alumni and find out more about their experience in this career option!

Dr. Tugce Conger, Senior One Water Planner at City of Vancouver’s Urban Watersheds, Sewers & Drainage division


Tugce is a Senior One Water Planner with the City of Vancouver’s Urban Watersheds, Sewers & Drainage division working on the strategic short and long-term planning of and collaboration for the Green Rainwater Infrastructure and other Integrated Rain and Stormwater Management solutions across the city. Tugce completed her Ph.D. in Resources Management and Environmental Studies at UBC in 2018, and her dissertation work focused on the use of coastal green infrastructure as a climate change adaptation tool, particularly for sea level rise induced flood and erosion issues.

Dr. Ivana Zelenika, Recycling Coordinator for City of Vancouver’s Engineering Department


Ivana completed a PhD at IRES in 2018 under supervision of Jiaying Zhao and John Robinson, finishing a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Zhao in 2020. Majority of her thesis and research examined strategies to motivate sustainable behaviour. Ivana has been with City of Vancouver Solid Waste Programs since 2019 and is currently a Recycling Coordinator for the City’s Engineering Department. Main focus of her work is to develop and implement promotional and educational programs to increase public participation in zero waste goals, recycling and green bin programs.

Erika Luna, Junior Policy Analyst at the International Institute for Sustainable Development


Erika Luna is a Junior Policy Analyst at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) with the Economic Law and Policy Program, focusing specifically on the state of sustainability initiatives at the value chain level. Erika holds a BSc. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and an MSc. from the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia (UBC). While her master’s program strongly focused on identifying agricultural production trends using data science methods, Erika also worked as a research assistant on a Gender Data & Development project and collaborated on a project looking to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion in the sciences. Erika is originally from Mexico City, and in her spare time, she likes to play Ultimate Frisbee and go for runs along Vancouver’s seaside.