February 28, 2019: IRES Student Seminar with Sahir Advani & Sean Smillie

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:30pm (every Thursday)

Location: AERL Theatre (room 120), 2202 Main Mall


*** CLICK HERE TO VIEW RECORDING (Sahir 5:31-30:30) (Sean 31:00-55:00)***

Using cross-cultural and locally-contextualized values to understand the priorities of fishing communities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India

Sahir Advani

IRES & IOF PhD Candidate


I am a PhD Candidate at IRES and the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries (IOF), University of British Columbia. I’m interested in determining sustainable solutions for small-scale fisheries through interdisciplinary research. My PhD research intends to understand how cultural differences, settlement history and involvement in fishing 1) affect the values that communities ascribe to marine resources, 2) influence resource sustainability, and 3) impact vulnerability of social-ecological systems to globalization and commoditization. I have worked with fishing communities in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands since 2012 while working with Dakshin Foundation, where I am a Junior Adjunct Research Fellow. This research was funded through a UBC Four-Year Fellowship, an International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Doctoral Fellowship, the Cecil and Kathleen Morrow Scholarship, and the Robin Rigby Trust.


Effective fisheries policies should incorporate the diversity of socio-cultural values of fishery stakeholders. This involves designing tools that identify diverse local needs and contexts and translating them into accessible formats. In this talk I will describe the creation of a set of 12 value cards to depict values associated with fishing in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India, using cross-cultural and locally-contextualised value phrases together with locally produced artwork. I will then describe communities’ value priorities, that were understood through ranking exercises amongst 101 respondents from four cultural groups, spanning various roles in the fishery value chain. I conclude with a discussion of how understanding the values of fishery stakeholders can lead to effective and equitable fisheries policy and management.


Assessing waste-heat-to-power potential in the natural gas transmission industry

Sean Smillie

IRES MSc Student


Sean is pursuing a MSc with Hadi Dowlatabadi. He is a professional engineer with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Alberta. After graduating, he worked in the pipeline industry in both technical and project management roles. Working in this industry during the various pipeline controversies fostered his interest in the relationship between our energy system and the environment. Sean strives to take an interdisciplinary approach to energy and environmental issues, engaging in practical, objective, and technically-informed energy policy analysis.


Natural gas transmission accounts for 1% to 2% of all CO2 emissions in Canada. To significantly improve the efficiency of this system, electricity can be generated from otherwise wasted heat energy. This electricity has an incremental emissions factor similar to wind and solar generation. The technical potential of this resource is approximately 1.2 GW, slightly larger than the Site C dam and over 10% of the Canadian coal capacity to be phased out by 2030. However, despite pilot installations in the 1990s and late 2000s, waste heat to power installations have not achieved significant market penetration. This study aims to reassess the technical, economic, and regulatory limitations of this option in light of improved technologies, market dynamics, energy prices and climate policies.


Photo Credit: Madison Stevens, IRES PhD Student