Graduate Research Opportunities

Food Waste and Food Insecurity

Dr. Kate Parizeau is accepting applications from prospective graduate students interested in the following research topics:

  1. The dynamics of food waste in Canadian households, or at diverse points of the food value chain (e.g. farms, processing, retail, food service, food recovery organizations);
  2. The relationship between food waste and food insecurity in the Canadian context;
  3. The (paid or unpaid) labour implications of food waste in Canada;
  4. The governance of food waste management in Canada.

Canadian Conservation Governance

I am interesting in speaking with any outstanding MA or PhD students interested in Indigenous conservation governance in Canada or the political ecology of conservation more broadly. Inquires from prospective students who identify as Indigenous are particularly welcome.

Environmental Governance, Oceans & Fisheries, and Environmental Politics in the Digital Realm

I have funded graduate student positions available and welcome inquiries from talented students! Projects will be scoped to contribute to my research program, so ideal candidates will have interests and skill sets that overlap with one or more of: political ecology, oceans, fisheries and governance, and/or digital technology and society. For updates and the latest opportunities, follow me on Twitter (@JJSilvs), subscribe to the listserv of the Canadian Association of Geographers, or contact me via email.

I am fortunate to be working currently with several graduate students on projects investigating a variety of issues and opportunities relating to the production, exchange, and systematic organizing of local food systems and short supply chains.  Work to date has focused on farm-community linkages, on the increasing structural diversification of organics, on the phenomenon of direct marketing at the farmers' market, on rural transformations attributable to wine and related amenity production and on the prospects for "mainstreaming" local food through stronger engagement with the conventional food retail sector -- the grocery store.

At present  I am hoping to pursue one or more projects  that cast a view to the ways and degree to which rural communities and regions are experiencing an alteration of their “identity” because of new and shifting perceptions of “place” associated with innovation and promotion in the farm and food sector,  Such food-related rural transitions have the capacity to both galvanize and polarize rural interests and actors.  Such projects could be envisioned at either the Masters or PhD levels.

GIS and Watershed Management

I am recruiting one Ph.D. and two MSc or MA students to join my research program on examining cost effectiveness of agricultural conservation programs. The funding will be provided at domestic student fee rates. I welcome students from all related disciplines such as geography, hydrology, ecology, economics, and forestry. Students will have flexibility in choosing a range of research topics from two streams corresponding to NSERC or SSHRC mandates.

For NSERC stream, students may choose research topics related to GIS-based watershed hydrologic and integrated economic-hydrologic modelling. Sample projects may include watershed modelling to identify critical source areas in agricultural landscapes for water quality protection, and to examine economic and environmental tradeoffs of conservation practices in agricultural watersheds. 

For SSHRC stream, students may choose research topics related to institutional, economic, and social issues of agricultural conservation programs. Sample projects may include examining governance of agricultural conservation programs for improving Great Lakes water quality, and evaluating economic, social, and environmental implications of precision agriculture and conservation.

Students will receive well rounded training in GIS, watershed modelling, economic analysis, and policy evaluation related to various aspects of agricultural conservation programs. Previous graduate students have gained employment in government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and consulting firms. Interested candidates are encouraged to contacts Dr. Wanhong Yang ( (email address)) to discuss further.