Nicolas Brunet

Assistant Professor (Latornell Professor in Environmental Stewardship)
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 ext. 54414
Landscape Architecture, Room 114
Rural Planning and Development; Rural Studies PhD

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  • PhD (McGill)
  • M.Sc. Planning (Guelph)
  • B.Sc. (McGill)


Dr. Nicolas Brunet is an Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph, where he holds the Latornell Professorship in Environmental Stewardship. His research program uses social ecological systems thinking to propose innovative approaches to community and regional planning and development. In particular, he is interested in the diverse knowledge systems and paradigms, and approaches (citizen science, community-based monitoring (CBM), environmental guardians, etc.) that support environmental decision-making. Much of his research is co-developed with Indigenous and northern agencies and governments in Canada and focuses upon the governance of wildlife and plants of cultural and economic significance. His research emphasizes the critical role of effective partnerships in achieving beneficial outcomes from research. His work has been influential in formulating research policy and understanding the development potential of environmental science and technology on local development. He is also current seeking opportunities to apply these approaches in southern Ontario.

Current active research activities includes a SSHRC-funded project exploring the role of environmental researchers in Inuit youth land-based learning through collaborative science literacy activities (2017-2019). This work is conducted in partnership with and partially funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Nunavut Research Institute. He is also currently working with the Government of Alberta, several First Nations leaders and land managers, as well as a multidisciplinary team of collaborators in establishing community-based fish monitoring initiatives (2017-2019). The co-design of these CBM programs is currently underway in three regions impacted by oil developments in Northern Alberta. He is particularly interested in furthering scientific understanding of the governance processes that lead to successful CBM programs in resource dependant and Indigenous communities.

Post-Doctoral Opportunity: 

Position:  Post-Doctoral Fellow, Human Dimensions of Community-Based Monitoring
Duration:  2 years with a possible 1-year extension.
Salary:  $50,000 per year.
Closing Date:   Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is identified.
Start date:   As soon as position is filled.

The Oil Sands region of Alberta offers an acute example of the growing challenges in Canada regarding the role of different levels of government, First Nations, Métis and stakeholders in environmental governance. We are offering a unique opportunity to join a multidisciplinary and multi-sectorial research group that is focusing on the challenges and opportunities of developing community-based monitoring programs in the Oil Sands region of Alberta. We anticipate that 30% of the research time will be embedded within the Government of Alberta’s Environment and Parks Environmental Monitoring and Science Division in Edmonton and 70% of the research time devoted to collaboration with Indigenous communities and organizations in the oil sands region in Alberta.

The Government of Alberta is seeking to ensure that the design, implementation, evaluation and reporting of environmental monitoring programs are firmly rooted in the needs and priorities of the First Nations and Métis communities. The post-doctoral position will support the development of community-based monitoring projects, based on the application of the Multiple Evidence Based (MEB) approach supporting knowledge co-production between Indigenous, local and scientific knowledge systems.

Desired Skills:

  • Experience working in both Indigenous community contexts and the public sector (federal or provincial government).
  • Expertise in social science approaches and methods with proven track record of publications, work experience in an academic context (conferences, active in networks, etc.) and service to Indigenous communities.
  • Strong understanding of policy design and implementation processes that drive environmental planning.
  • Understanding of the complex nature of environmental governance in multi-stakeholder contexts (northern Alberta preferred) involving resource intensive industries, government agencies, First Nation and/or Métis governments and organizations, associations, non-government associations, etc.
  • Experience in co-designing research programs, developing participatory research and monitoring in Indigenous contexts is an asset.
  • Experience communicating results of research and scientific information to Indigenous partners in a clear, accessible and respectful ways.
  • Knowledge of policies, guidelines, codes of conduct related to ethical conduct in research with Indigenous peoples.
  • Knowledge of fish ecology and management, biocultural diversity, social-ecological systems and/or resilience an asset.

Job Duties: 

  • (25%) Facilitate the co-design and implementation of Indigenous community-based fish monitoring projects.
  • (25%) Facilitate communication, collaboration, and networking among members of the research team.
  • (25%) Collect, coordinate, and analyze social-ecological data.
  • (25%) Participate in preparing and presenting data to study investigators and Indigenous communities. Author\co-author research papers, reports, conference papers and publications.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. The University of Saskatchewan is committed to the principles of employment equity. The University encourages applications from qualified Aboriginal people, persons with a disability, racially visible persons and women.

Interested applicants should send by email a cover letter, CV and contact information for 2 references to: Drs. David Natcher, University of Saskatchewan, and Nicolas Brunet, University of Guelph