Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

McGill University
AC-9: Research and Scholarship

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 12.00 / 12.00 Lesley Johnson
Sustainability Monitoring & Reporting Intern
McGill Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff that are engaged in research (headcount):

Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff that are engaged in sustainability research (headcount):

Percentage of the institution's faculty and staff researchers that are engaged in sustainability research :

Total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts research:

Number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that include at least one faculty or staff member that conducts sustainability research:

Percentage of research-producing departments that are engaged in sustainability research:

A copy of the institution’s inventory of its sustainability research that includes names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
The institution’s inventory of its sustainability research that includes names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:

Below is a list of researchers conducting sustainability research that are included, but not limited to, the full list of researchers identified as conducting sustainability research (see uploaded file for full list):

Dr. David M. Green (Redpath Museum), Director of the Redpath Museum, is past Chair of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada and science advisor to DFO Science. This experience affords him outstanding expertise in effective science advice to government as well as the development of policy for species at risk. He studies landscape ecology, conservation biology, and range dynamics, primarily of amphibians. Dr. Green is the recipient of the Pimlott Award for 2006 from Nature Canada for outstanding service in the cause of conservation in Canada.

Dr. Lauren Chapman (Dept. Biology), Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Respiratory Ecology and Aquatic Conservation, studies the selective pressures and evolutionary forces underlying patterns of distribution and movement of animals, integrating ecology, evolution, physiology, and morphology with natural history in field and laboratory experiments. Dr. Chapman is known for her work on the ecology and evolution of respiratory strategies in fishes related to oxygen gradients, and its application to conservation concerns.

Dr. Colin Chapman (Dept. Anthropology/MSE), Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Primate Ecology and Conservation, investigates how ecological factors determine primate abundance and social organization. His most recent work examines how dietary stress may adversely affect resistance to parasitic infection. Under these conditions, poor nutritional status and high parasitism occurring together could amplify each other into stronger synergistic effects. Working with gastrointestinal parasites and a model E. coli system, he is quantifying the conditions under which diseases are transmitted between monkeys and humans.

Dr. Andrew Hendry (Redpath Museum/ Dept. Biology), investigates evolutionary forces that influence the evolution of biological diversity, focusing specifically on how differences in natural selection lead to dynamic adaptive divergence and speciation. His empirical work focuses on salmon, Trinidadian guppies, three-spine stickleback, and Darwin’s finches of the Galapagos. He is particularly well known for having shown how species can evolve rapidly when they colonize new environments.

Dr. Anthony Ricciardi (Redpath Museum/MSE), FQRNT Strategic professor, is a leader in studies of biological invasions. His research uses empirical modeling, meta-analysis, and field experiments to predict the ecological impacts of invasive aquatic species. In particular, his work links the rate of invasion to human activities, native species richness, and the physico-chemical environment.

Dr. Irene Gregory-Eaves (Dept. Biology) holder of a CFI New Opportunities Fund grant, studies the impact of climatic and anthropogenic change on species dynamics. As a paleolimnologist, she is particularly well known for her work on sockeye salmon, in which she demonstrated that populations have been highly dynamic over the past 2,000 years.

Other Science Faculty researchers involved in studies of biodiversity include Profs. Martin Lechowicz, and Andrew Gonzalez.

The community ecologists are A. Gonzalez (CRC Biodiversity; Science 281, 2045), Irene Gregory-Eaves (CRC Tier 2, nominee), F. Guichard, and M. Lechowicz (Prix Michel-Jurdant de l’ACFAS, Director of Gault Estate).

Conservation biology is represented by L. Chapman (CRC Aquatic Conservation, D. Green (formerly Chair of COSEWIC www.cosewic.gc.ca, Director of Redpath Museum), and A. Ricciardi (FQRNT Strategic Professor; Science 313,298).

Several members of the Faculty of Arts contribute to the McGill School of Environment to provide expertise on issues related to socio-cultural and political and economical aspects of biodiversity. More specifically, Professors John G. Galaty and Colin Scott from the Department of Anthropology are lead SSHRC funded research teams which examine resource stewardship, the role of institutions and partnership building in determining resource conservation, land reform and environment protection. From the Department of Economics, professor Robert Cairns examines Microeconomic foundations of environmental accounting and Technological and economic foundations for climate policy.

Dr. Nathalie Tufenkji (Dept. Chemical engineering), Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) studies microbial or particle transport and attachment to surfaces to understand how colloid or biocolloid attachment to sediment grains predict the contamination potential of waterborne microbial pathogens or anthropogenic materials in the natural aquatic environment. In collaboration with Prof. Gaetan Faubert (McGill, Institute of Parasitology) and Prof. Chandra Madramootoo (McGill, Bioresource Engineering) she is examining the migration of selected microbial pathogens in different agricultural soils of Quebec in an effort to better understand the contamination potential of these organisms (funded by FQRNT and NSERC). In collaboration with Prof. Subhasis Goshal (McGill, Civil Engineering) she is studying the interactions between bacteria and hydrocarbons in an effort to develop improved remediation strategies for oil contaminated sites (funded by CBB and NSERC).

Dr Viviane Yargeau (Dept. Chemical engineering) examines the fate of pharmaceuticals which are released into the environment and in particular into the water system. She has provided the first data on the level of contamination by pharmaceuticals of rivers located in Quebec and studied the variations of concentrations along the river with respect to types of municipal wastewater treatment used and volume of wastewater discharged. She has also conducted a critical review of the effect of ozonation on the degradation of antibiotics. Her work has made advances in the detection limits of several important man-made chemicals in the environment. In a second research stream she is investigating techniques to produce hydrogen as a fuel from biodegradation of waste.

Dr. Susan Gaskin (Dept. Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics) - Professor Gaskin’s research concerns fluid flow in the environment and more specifically the modelling of pollutants released from a point source into surface waters. Research is aimed at increasing our understanding of the turbulent mixing processes and developing models to improve the prediction of the dilution and transport of the pollutants. Studies also aim to improve understanding for flow dynamics to reintroduce and maintain riverine habitat requirements for fish. Her work also extends to water resources modelling in the closed Basin of Mexico to predict water use subject to constraints (such as climate change) and demands (such as increased population).

Dr. Patrick Selvadurai (Dept. Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics), James McGill Professor, has participated in research activities sponsored by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in the study of engineered and natural barrier systems being proposed for the deep geological disposal of heat emitting radioactive wastes. He has developed models for the thermo-hydro-mechanical response of engineered and natural barriers, and their computational implementation, and is conducting large-scale laboratory experimental simulations of heat and moisture movement. He recently introduced the concepts ‘stationary damage’ and ‘transient damage’ to computational modelling of geologic materials to examine the effects that fluid transport and deformability characteristics can have on the time-scales for the transient phenomena to reach a steady state. His work extends to geomechanics problems in the Arctic, using analytical and computational modelling of pipelines embedded in soil media to examine their behaviour during ground subsidence and frost heave development. Other investigations include the mechanics of interaction between moving ice masses and stationary structures.

Several members of the department and Earth and Planetary Sciences (Faculty of Science) also are major contributor to this area of research:

Dr. A. Mucci, (Dept. Earth and Planetary Sciences), is holder of a strategic NSERC fund examines ocean geochemistry and the sources and fate of contaminants in aquatic systems.

Dr. J. Stix, (Dept. Earth and Planetary Sciences) is holder of a large NSERC
strategic grant to examine transfer of gases from Earth's interior to the surface and the atmosphere and is also the author of a book entitled "The Encyclopedia of Volcanoes" which was award Best reference work (2000) by the Geological Society of America and the Association of American Publishers, Geography and Earth Science Division (1999).

Dr. J. McKenzie(Dept. Earth and Planetary Sciences) applies numerical modeling, hydrochemistry, and field methods to study northern peatlands and pro-glacial systems.

Dr. B. Wing (Dept. Earth and Planetary Sciences), Canada Research Chair , Tier 2) and holder of NSERC CFI CRC-Leaders Opportunity Fund (2006) uses high-precision stable isotope geochemistry to examine recovery of the geochemical memory of large-scale Earth system processes and global evolution of microbial ecology with isotopic tracers.

Dr. Frédéric Fabry (Dept. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences) has received the President’s Prize of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS; June 2005) for his very innovative and important contributions to radar meteorology. His research examines the microphysical and dynamical conditions that result in the formation and the maintenance of large amounts of supercooled liquid water in the atmosphere.

Dr. P, Kollias is a NSERC- CRC Tier 2. Nominee) will soon be joining the Dept. Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. He will bring additional expertise into the area of numerical simulations of climate and weather to examine the atmospheric components of the hydrologic cycle.

Dr. G. Chmura is Past-President of the Canadian Quaternary Association and current Canadian delegate to the International Union for Quaternary Research Congress.

Dr. N. Roulet, (Dept. Geography), James McGill Professor, is PI on the Canadian Global Coupled Climate Carbon Model (CGC3M) network (CFCAS funded ~$1,800,000 over 5 years), a five university collaboration across 4 provinces with three government agencies (Environment Canada; Department of Fisheries and Oceans NRCan. Roulet is also CI on the Fluxnet Canada Research Network (NSERC/CFCAS/ BIOCAP Canada funded ~$12,000,000 over 5 years) which has now lead into a new CFCAS funded (~$4,000,000) network, Canadian Carbon Project (CCP); and has just started a CFCAS funded (~$330,000 for 3 years) partnership with HydroQuebec to examine the affect of reservoirs of GHG exchange in collaboration with I. Strachan.

Dr. N. Ramankutty, (Dept Geography) Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) is a member of the Committee on "Scientific Accomplishments of Earth Observations from Space" of the National Research Council of the US National Academies who contributed to writing the new science plan as Member of the transition Team of the Global Land Project (GLP) of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme. Ramankutty is also lead author of the Cultivated Systems chapter in the Conditions and Trends report of the Millennium Assessment.

Coomes, Oliver T. (Dept Geography), leads a SSHRC funded research team to examine the linkages and implications for conservation and development, with a particular emphasis on Western Amazonia rain-forest livelihood and conservatism. Dr. O Coomes is editor-in-chief of “World Development" which is the leading development studies journal in the field. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Geographical Union's "Commission on Land Use and Land Cover Change" and of the Poverty and Environment Network (PEN) which is sponsored by CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia).

Dr. S. Turner, along with colleagues at U de M, UBC, Toronto and York is a member of the Steering Committee of a Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MRCI) with $2.5 million SSHRC funding: ‘The Challenges of the Agrarian Transition in Southeast Asia’. This major initiative involves 23 co-investigators and collaborators, 3 partners (Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam) and multiple stakeholders.

Dr. J. Unruh is part of a large USAID funded US$900,000 research and policy application project on biodiversity conservation in postwar and fragile states in Africa as well as a US $200,000 NSF grant to study "Migration, deforestation, and land tenure in Southern Zambia".

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory (including the types of faculty and staff included as researchers):

A list of keywords relating to sustainability and sustainability research was compiled and run against McGill's database of research conducted on across all departments campus in 2014-2015. If two or more keywords were present in a researcher's project title, than that researcher's name was included on the list of researchers conducting sustainability research. Only individual names of faculty and staff were included in the total headcount, even if they had multiple sustainability projects being done in 2014-2015.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.