Graduate student opportunities:

I have an open position for a PhD student to examine the ‘green recovery’ from the COVID-19 pandemic (see PDF below). Deadline for applications is 1 February 2021.

I am not currently accepting PhD applications on any other topics. I may consider Master of Environmental Studies (MES) and MA (Global Development Studies) applications on relevant topic areas (see below). Please note that I receive a large volume of requests and unfortunately I cannot respond to them all. Please do not contact me unless you are planning to do qualitative social science research. I do not have a ‘lab’ and I am not an appropriate advisor for environmental engineers, chemists, biologists etc. Please also note that there are very limited funding opportunities for international students and I do not have funding to cover international student fees.

Examples of relevant topic areas:

  • The role of the state in a transition to a green economy
  • Critical examinations of green economy/green growth policies and projects
  • Explorations of alternative economic and development paradigms such as Buen Vivir and degrowth
  • Understanding employment in the green economy, including initiatives that would be needed to maintain full employment without growth (e.g. shorter working week, job sharing)
  • Just transitions
  • Fossil fuel subsidies and divestment
  • The role of global economic institutions (e.g. G20, OECD) in environmental governance
  • Trade and foreign investment agreements and the environment
  • Corporate power in global environmental politics

Current Teaching:

ENSC 430: Honours Projects in Environmental Sustainability

Synopsis: This course is intended to be a “capstone” experience for ENSC majors. It incorporates many of the issues and concepts you have been exposed to in Environmental Studies and requires you to apply knowledge and methods you have learned in other courses toward a ‘real world’ case study. The course is interdisciplinary in nature, and we will explore scientific, socio-political and economic aspects of the environment in an integrative fashion. A central goal of the course is to help prepare you for the type of interdisciplinary, collaborative, team-based environmental projects you will inevitably find yourself involved in after you graduate.



DEVS 492/863 Development within Planetary Boundaries

Synopsis: The concept of sustainable development that first emerged over 30 years ago remains ambiguous and difficult to operationalize. In the past decade, a number of possibly competing concepts of have risen to prominence in international discourse such as ‘green growth’. In this course, we will explore differences between sustainable development and green growth and consider whether either offers a viable path for economic development within planetary boundaries. Additionally, we will compare these mainstream models with some of the more radical proposals for development in the ‘Anthropocene’.


ENSC 483: Special Topics – Trade and Environment

Synopsis: This course examines debates in law, economics and political science about the impacts of trade on the natural environment. The relationship between trade and the environment is complex. The movement of goods obviously creates a carbon footprint, but is consuming local products always more environmentally friendly than buying imports? Do countries lower their environmental standards to gain competitive advantage, creating a ‘race to the bottom’, or does a liberal trading regime allow for the spread of environmentally friendly goods and technologies? Do trade agreements like NAFTA protect the ‘right to regulate’ or create ‘regulatory chill’? We will examine all of these questions, with a particular focus on trade and investment disputes that have arisen over environment policy.