Joséphine Gantois

Incoming IRES faculty, July 2023

Research Interests


Joséphine Gantois is a Postdoctoral Fellow in IRES, working under the supervision of Claire Kremen in the Working to Restore Connectivity and Sustainability (WoRCS) research group. She is an interdisciplinary researcher, who studies the ecological relevance and economic feasibility of different farming strategies, in order to understand how to feed the world while minimizing our environmental footprint.

She pursued her PhD at the University of Columbia in the Sustainable Development program. There, she used her combined training in environmental economics and ecology, to study plant physiology, phenology, and ecology processes, which matter for sustainable development: tree growth response to high temperatures, annual fluctuations in the timing of plant flowering, and the ecological benefits of crop diversity. She also explored methodological questions at the intersection of remote sensing, machine learning and causal inference. In particular, she worked on monitoring flower phenology from space, on modeling plant-pollinator interactions under a changing climate, and on reconstructing past temperature extremes using tree ring data.

Prior to her PhD, she graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique with a multidisciplinary bachelor in Science and Engineering, and a masters in Economics and Public Policy, as well as from the London School of Economics, with an MPA in International Development. She has worked with the Social Protection Unit and Human Development Network of the World Bank, and with development and trade economists at the Columbia Business School.

Current Openings

I am looking for a graduate (MSc) student to join my lab group in Fall 2023, to work on a project around marginal farmland naturalization in Southern Ontario. This project is joint with Dr Claire Kremen and Dr Hannah Wittman in IRES, and partner Dr Carolyn Callaghan from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. The goal of the project is to assess the ecological potential and economic feasibility of converting marginal farmland to natural habitat on Southern Ontario's intensive grain farms. It is a multidisciplinary project, which involves: remote sensing-based detection of marginal cropland; simulation modeling, to estimate the ecological and economic impacts of marginal cropland conversion; and interview-based work and engagement with the farming community.

Strong applicants will have some experience conducting research along one of the project dimensions, some coursework or training in ecology, economics, remote sensing, data science, and/or sociology, and interest in several components of the project.

Applicants can choose between applying through the RES or ISLFS graduate programs. The deadlines for the MSc in RES and ISLFS is mid-December and early January, respectively, but interested students should contact me before they apply. If interested, please fill out this google form.

Note: You can find more information on funding in the RES application FAQ and ISLFS application information. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to apply for NSERC fellowships, and I am happy to assist with applications for these programs and other relevant external funding programs.