Graduate award winners excel in global field observations, social policy, and cutting-edge technology development

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 7:25:57 AM



2016-17 Graduate student award

(L-R) Labatt Fellowship recipients Alissa Saieva, Mark Hathaway, Cadhla Gray, Esmerelda Bukuroshi, and Guanyu Song (photo: N. Taylor)

The School of the Environment announced the winners of its Graduate Student Awards for the academic year 2016-17 at our annual Research Day on April 19, 2017 and at the Eric Krause Memorial Lecture, held on April 5, 2017. Many of our graduate students are already excelling in research in science, social policy, global development, and law - from designing molecular solar cell technology, formulating solutions to climate-change induced displacement and mass migration, assessing the impact of the environment on psychological health, studying air quality, to cultivating meaningful responses to the ecological crisis and environmental denialism. Here are some of our students who clearly stood out this past year.


Beatrice and Arthur Minden Graduate Research Fellowship

• JOAQUIN BARDALLO BANDERA, a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Political Science and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization, whose research examines relationships between natural resource extraction, and the protection of social and environmental rights in Latin America.

• ELLEN GUTE, a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Environmental and Physical Sciences at University of Toronto at Scarborough, and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization. Ellen's research focusses on atmospheric processes involved in cloud formation using cutting-edge measurements and experiments at the High Altitude Research Station at Jungfraujoch, Switzerland.

• NICOLE SPIEGELAAR, a 4th year PhD student in Environment and Health is engaged in multi-disciplinary research on mental health in indigenous communities in Northern Ontario through the lens of environmental psychology in collaboration with the James Bay Cree.

• MALCOLM RAMSAY, a 1st year PhD student in the Department of Anthropology and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization is looking at the effects of forest fragmentation on endangered mouse lemurs in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar.

Alan H. Weatherley Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Leadership

• DAN WEAVER, a senior PhD student in the Department of Physics and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization, uses infrared spectroscopy to measure atmospheric composition to improve our understanding of the processes controlling the Arctic atmosphere and its evolution, and has led an international team in the assessment of water vapour products in the Canadian High Arctic. He is a leader in scientific research, in academics, and in bringing about awareness of social issues related to the environment.

Alexander B. Leman Memorial Award

• JIELAN XU, a 4th year PhD student in the Department of Geography's Program in Planning and School of the Environment's Collaborative Specialization in Environment and Health. Her research looks at how the built-environment can potentially affect active lifestyles and the health and well-being of the aging population.

Arthur and Sonia Labatt Graduate Fellowships

• ESMERELDA BUKUROSHI, a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization is designing new kinds of complex organic molecules that can be incorporated into solar cells.

• CADHLA GRAY, a 2nd year Masters student at the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization is formulating policy solutions to environmental issues, with a focus on climate-induced displacement and mass migration.

• MARK HATHAWAY, a senior PhD student and published author in Adult Education at OISE and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization, is developing a pedagogical methodology for promoting meaningful responses to the ecological crisis and ending environmental denial.

• ALISSA SAIEVA, a 3rd year law student in the Faculty of Law enrolled in the JD/Certificate in Environmental Studies and the Certificate in Indigenous Studies is focusing on the Crown's obligation to Indigenous people and is developing a powerful legal case for climate change action.

• GUANYU SONG, a 2nd year Masters student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry and the Environment and Health Collaborative Specialization, is developing new strategies for particulate matter detection based on Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), and on product commercialization for enhanced breathing masks.

• SAMANTHA STEAD, a 1st year Masters student in the Department of Anthropology and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization, is focusing on primate social behavior in response to ecological changes, in Uganda, where oil extraction activities have led to declines in environmental and social wellbeing.

George Burwash Langford Prize

• BRIANNA BOTCHWEY, a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Political Science and the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization, is advancing theory and policy around building local adaptive capacity to respond to a changing climate in two of the most vulnerable East African countries: Tanzania and Ethiopia.

John R. Brown Award

• ALISON TRAUB, a 1st year Masters student in Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry and the Collaborative Specialization in Environment and Health, focus on airborne particulate matter and associated impacts on air quality, and has already contributed to improving occupational and environmental health through her research.
Sperrin Chant Award in Toxicology

• ESMERELDA BUKUROSHI, a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, who holds an NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship and is enrolled in the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization is working to improve the efficiency and scalability of emerging solar energy technologies.

• FATIN TAWFIG, an MA student in the Department of Political Science, enrolled in the Environmental Studies Collaborative Specialization, is doing research on the role of the European Union in the international fight against climate change, and the effect of the rise of populist parties on the EU's leadership on climate action.

Read more about our Graduate Award winners