How can we design better institutions for rapidly changing environments? How can we translate social-ecological resilience into legal doctrine? And what impact do our world views have on the institutions that we do end up putting in place? These are some of the questions that I examine in my research. More specifically, though, my doctoral work draws on complex systems theory, environmental law, and global governance to understand what a legalized international governance structure that could account for the complexity and rapid change of the Arctic could look like and how we can get there. I am extremely grateful to be working with and supported by a talented group of advisors: Neil Craik, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Whitney Lackenbauer (in alphabetical order).
A 2015 Trudeau Scholar and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar, I explore these topics at the Balsillie School of International Affairs at the University of Waterloo, where I'm a PhD Candidate and Doctoral Fellow. I hold a Master of Arts in Global Governance and Bachelor of Arts in International Relations (major), Economics and Germanic Studies (minors) from Franklin University Switzerland.
Currently, I'm a Visiting Researcher with the Arctic Futures Initiative at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. I'm also a team member of an Academy of Finland research project on Human Security as a Promotional Tool for Societal Security in the Arctic, where I focus on gender in the Circumpolar North. And, I'm a contributing author to the Arctic Resilience Report, the findings of which were featured in the Guardian and Scientific American, among others.
Together with funding from Nordforsk and many wonderful women, Gosia Smieszek and I are co-hosting a non-academic event titled "Women of the Arctic" at the 2018 UArctic Congress, to be hosted at the University of Helsinki. Together with the help of What Took You So Long, I will use this opportunity to build out PLAN A, a digital storytelling platform on women and gender in the Circumpolar North.
In my spare time, I co-build global communities, like the Sandbox Network, a family of young change makers on five continents who excel in and collaborate across their respective fields, from opera singing to engineering bionic eyes. In 2016, I was humbled to land on Corporate Knight's #30under30 list of Sustainability Leaders in Canada, in partnership with IMPACT! Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership. And in 2018, I participated in the Climate Leader's Summit "Women Kicking it on Climate", hosted by Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna.
Previously, I was a research assistant to a SSHRC-funded project on 'Understanding Sovereignty and Security in the Circumpolar Arctic', to Dr. Suzanne Lalonde and Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer on EU-Canada Arctic Strategies; to Dr. John McLevey on 'Challenges and Opportunities for the Governance of Socio-Ecological Systems in a Comparative Perspective'; and to Dr. Audra Mitchell on indigenous visions of the global extinction crisis.
I have collaborated with Dr. Bessma Momani and Jillian Stirk on their The Pluralism Project, funded by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation; the Danish Alternative Party on their #wearebiggerthanthis campaign; and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Alternative Federal Budget 2017. I have also written opinion pieces for Nunatsiaq News and Open Canada.
Prior to my doctoral work, I was the lead researcher of a project on climate change and human rights at the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, in Rovaniemi, Finland. This project was commissioned by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs with the aim of identifying how Finnish foreign policy can help address the climate vulnerability of indigenous peoples and women. It specifically focused on the climate change regime, development cooperation, and the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation (REDD). During my time at the Arctic Centre, I was also an editorial assistant to Dr. Timo Koivurova and Nigel Bankes during the final editorial stages of The Proposed Nordic Sami Convention, a book that builds on the legal chapter of the Arctic Human Development Report and aims to strengthen the recognition of indigenous property regimes in Arctic states.
During my Masters in Global Governance at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, I was a CIGI Junior Fellow and research assistant at the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise and Development. My Masters’ thesis, focused on polycentricity in the governance of Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Arctic, was published in the Yearbook of Polar Law (2013) and presented at the 2011 Falling Walls LAB (100 scholars under 30) at the International Conference on Future Breakthroughs In Science and Society.
I am a member of the Tromsø-Umeå-Arkhangelsk-Rovaniemi-Kingston Network on Gender and Law, the University of Waterloo Complexity Working Group, the Balsillie School of International Affairs Environment and Resources Research Cluster, the Nordic Research Network for Sami and Indigenous Peoples’ Law, the Arctic Social Sciences Association, the Association of Early Polar Career Scientists, the Arctic Disaster Early Career Association, Gender CC - Women for Climate Justice, Sandbox Network, and The Collective. I am also an alumn of the Falling Walls Lab. In a past life, I was the Global Head of Community Engagement at the Sandbox Network.