Summer of Smoke

During the summer of 2014, the Northwest Territories (NWT) experienced its worst wildfire season on record. Between June-September 2014, 385 separate fires burned 3,400,000 hectares of land costing $CAD 56.1 million in firefighting expenses. Additionally, communities throughout the NWT were exposed to dense smoke throughout the summer. Our team is exploring the experiences of residents of four communities in the NWT (Yellowknife, N'Dilo, Dettah, and Kakisa) with the 'summer of smoke' using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Role: Qualitative Team Lead

Funding: Health Canada


Food Security and Rural Livelihoods in Honduras

In rural Honduras, changing rainfall patterns, prolonged droughts, and the increased incidence of natural disasters (e.g. Hurricane Mitch of 1998) combined with poor growing conditions and soil quality makes subsistence agriculture challenging.  Over the past 20 years, the Foundation for Participatory Research with Honduran Farmers (FIPAH) has supported farmer research teams (CIALs) to address local agricultural challenges and food insecurity among small-scale farming families. In partnership with FIPAH and the CIALs, this project examines the relationships among demographic, socio-economic, environmental, agri-food, and health variables at the individual-, household-, and community-levels to evaluate the ongoing role of CIALs in enhancing rural livelihoods.

Role: Co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Sally Humphries (University of Guelph)


Climate Change and Indigenous Food Systems, Food Security, and Food Safety

A changing climate will affect food through a range of effects on agriculture, livestock, water systems, and wildlife, which have implications for food security, foodborne disease, and malnutrition. Indigenous populations who rely on the environment for livelihoods are considered highly sensitive to these impacts. The Climate Change and Indigenous Food System, Food Security, & Food Safety (Climate Change IFS3) research program addresses a significant deficit in understanding the food-related health (agri-health) dimensions of climate change among Indigenous populations globally. The research program has created a multinational intersectoral team to characterize the vulnerability and resilience of Indigenous food systems to climate change to inform, enhance, and expand climate change adaptation interventions and adaptation planning. The program responds to needs identified by communities, public health units, Indigenous organizations, governments, and the United Nations through ongoing partnerships with Inuit (Canada), Batwa (Uganda), and Shawi (Peru) populations. Working within these regions, the program has 3 research pillars: 1) Community-driven environment and health surveillance, 2) Projecting climate change impacts on agri-health outcomes, and 3) Developing place-based adaptation pathways.

Role: Co-Investigator

Funding: Canadian Institutes of Health Research Team Grant: Environments and Health: Intersectoral Prevention Research