Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.86
Liaison Joseph Wasylycia-Leis
Submission Date March 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Winnipeg
AC-9: Academic Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 9.31 / 12.00 Heather Mowat
Program Officer, Research Implementation, Ethics and Contracts
Research and Innovation
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Number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

Total number of the institution’s faculty and/or staff engaged in research:

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

The total number of academic departments (or the equivalent) that conduct research:

A copy of the sustainability research inventory that includes the names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:
Names and department affiliations of faculty and staff engaged in sustainability research:


A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:

The Campus Sustainability Office made an inquiry to the Research and Innovation Office on campus for a catalogue of all current research projects conducted by faculty and staff on campus. This list was then reviewed and sustainability-related projects were identified.

A brief description of notable accomplishments during the previous three years by faculty and/or staff engaged in sustainability research:

Dr. Craig Willis is an Associate Professor in Biology studying the ecology, behaviour, and physiology of wild mammals. He and his students conduct research about mammalian ecology and evolution, as well as applied conservation research that is important for understanding the impacts of climate change, industrial development, and habitat loss on wildlife. Recently the Willis lab has been part of the major international effort to understand a disease called White Nose Syndrome (WNS). WNS was discovered in 2006; it has spread rapidly throughout eastern North America and recently into Ontario and Quebec. The disease is named for a white fungus (called Geomyces destructans) which grows on the exposed skin of the muzzles and wings of the bats. Little brown bats, one of the most common North American species, are the hardest hit. Current estimates predict local extinction for this species within 20 years of the arrival of WNS in an area. This is a crisis for bat conservation but also has wider consequences for ecosystems, forestry, and agriculture, given the role of bats as the primary consumers of night-flying insects. Recent estimates suggest that bats are worth billions of dollars annually for North American agriculture because of reduced crop damage and pesticide costs. Dr. Willis and his collaborators have recently received nearly US $400,000 over two years from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. These funds will support field and laboratory studies to better understand precisely how Geomyces destructans is killing bats and to determine the potential for natural selection to help bat populations rebound from WNS in the future. Also involved in the research are Dr. Jens Franck from Biology at the UWinnipeg, two post-doctoral fellows in Dr. Willis’ group, Dr. Lisa Warnecke and Dr. James Turner, and international collaborators from Europe and the U.S.

Dr. Shailesh Shukla's (Indigenous Studies) teaching and research interests range widely from indigenous knowledge systems, indigenous and traditional foods, food sovereignty, ethnoecology, participatory governance, community-based conservation, intergenerational transmission and learning within indigenous knowledge systems, critical social science and mixed research methods including indigenous worldviews, indigenous development and community-based development and resources management. He has collaborated with academic and research partners from Canada and South Asia on research projects on indigenous knowledge systems and community-based resources management funded by SSHRC, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, and IDRC Canada. He is now serving as co-Principal Investigator (2011-2014) and thematic leader for the Indigenous Knowledge component of an international interdisciplinary research project that involves three Canadian universities (MSC CMU, UM, Guelph) and multiple partners in South Asia (India, Nepal and Sri Lanka). The project is funded by the IDRC, Canada through its newly established funds on global food security. He also served as a consultant for International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organizations) and European Commission. He has recently completed Shastri-Institute funded international action-research project on exploring the value of traditional foods and wild crops in enhancing community food security in two indigenous communities – Juang from Odisha, India and Fisher River Cree Nations, Manitoba. His key geographic interest and experience is South Asia (India, Nepal and Sri Lanka) and Manitoba, Canada. His scholarly works appeared as Edited Book chapters and in journals such as Human Ecology, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine and Ethnobotany research and Application. He is also an International advisory committee member for the Biodiversity Watch Journal and peer reviewer for Human Ecology, Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine and Environment Management. He is co-editor (with Drs. R. N. Pati and Laurence Chanza) of Indigenous knowledge and Biodiversity (Sarup Book Publishers, 2014). He has presented and published research papers on indigenous knowledge systems, particularly traditional medicinal plant knowledge, food security in indigenous contexts, participatory research methods, community-based conservation, environmental education, sustainable agriculture and educational innovations. In an effort to strengthen Indigenous Science stream, Dr. Shukla has developed and taught new courses at University of Winnipeg including Ethnoecology, Indigenous Food Security, and Field course on Ethnobotany.

Dr. Ian Mauro (Geography) is a renowned academic and filmmaker whose projects focus on food security, sustainable agriculture and climate change. He co-directed the influential Inuktitut language film Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change with Zacharias Kunuk, the acclaimed Inuk filmmaker who made Atanarjuat The Fast Runner. Mauro’s films have been translated into numerous languages and screened globally at academic conferences, film festivals and venues such as the United Nations, Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic and the Royal Ontario Museum. In his latest research documentary, Climate Change in Atlantic Canada, Mauro explores the impacts of extreme weather on coastal communities and local-level approaches to mitigation and adaptation. He recently toured the film across Atlantic Canada with David Suzuki, award-winning scientist and broadcaster, as a fundraiser for environmental groups in the region. Mauro is known to use participatory video to collect digital stories to help communicate and conserve local and indigenous knowledge. This approach allows people who live on the land to tell their own stories, in their own language, and within the landscapes where their knowledge has been generated. He was awarded an “Apple Distinguished Educator” award for his approach in 2011. Given Mauro’s diverse background – dealing with climate science, food security, energy issues, environmental management, community engagement and indigenous knowledge – he has been asked to serve a number of expert panels.

The website URL where information about sustainability research is available:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.