This initiative is powered by exceptional York students, graduates, faculty, and associates:
As Dean, Dr Hovorka supports the initiative's growth and development within York and beyond through global partnerships and collaborations. The initiative draws upon many strengths of York's Faculty of Environmental Studies including its interests in sustainability informatics, as the application of computational methodologies to important problems regarding the human use of the planet's regenerative capacity. Dean Hovorka represents York University as a Director of the Footprint Data Foundation and joins with its champions to enhance the global impact of ecological footprint and biocapacity accounting.
As Director, Eric manages multiple projects and partnerships of the initiative including the production of the National Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity Accounts. He teaches the footprint-related courses, supports students and project staff, and supports the Footprint Data Foundation as its Secretary-Treasurer. His prior work as a consulting economist has informed governments, industry, think-tanks, and NGOs. His earlier career in public service had him leading the team of economists in the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, after he had worked for the Ontario Ministry of Environment and for Environment Canada.
As the founding Chair of the Science Advisory Committee, Dr Victor provides the Footprint Data Foundation with the committee's expert advice on the science underlying the definition and measurement of the Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity and their various components. Dr Victor is an economist who has worked on environmental issues for 50 years as an academic, consultant and public servant. He was Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environmental Sciences and Standards Division in the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, and principal of VHB Consulting and Victor and Burrell Research.
Ravi de Costa
As Chair of the President’s Sustainability Council at York University, Dr de Costa supports the initiative's recognition within York and abroad, and its application to enhancing the sustainability of York University and its broader communities. In his prior role as Interim Dean, Dr de Costa supported the creation of the Ecological Footprint Initiative, the negotiation of collaborations with external partners including Global Footprint Network, and the incorporation of the Footprint Data Foundation. His research and teaching interests are in comparative approaches to Indigenous and environmental politics.
Staff researchers and analysts
As Senior Development Officer for the Ecological Footprint Initiative, Katie defines new research directions, supports knowledge synthesis, and mobilization of the team’s research.
She has a Ph.D. in Social and Ecological Sustainability from the University of Waterloo and a background in complex systems thinking and ecological economics which she applies to research on production, labour, and open knowledge commons. She is also a lecturer of ecological economics at the Haida Gwaii Institute.
Flora’s research interests include human-nature complex relationships, food, and environmental arts and justice.
She is a Registered Dietitian back home, with an undergraduate in nutrition science, a diploma in holistic nutrition and experience in performance. She aspires to combine critical and technical skills with embodied learning to address the issues around nature protection and human well-being.
Syed Ahmed Abdul Aziz
Ahmed’s research interest is in the application of behavioral science and economics to urban planning and policy. He is particularly interested in using behavioral ideas to design and plan cities in such a way as to incentivize sustainable and environmentally friendly behavior, while simultaneously improving quality of life. Ahmed was a Fulbright scholar at Cornell University where he completed a Master of Public Administration, successfully publishing a thesis centered on behavioral science and policy. Currently he is pursuing a Master in Environmental Studies (Planning) at York University, and aspires to be a practicing urban planner after graduation.
As an undergraduate student, Summer is pursuing her interests in wildlife and habitat conservation through research on the impact of intensive urbanization and its concomitant ecological footprint. She is invested in determining the capacity to conserve in captivity with the perception of zoos as cultural landscapes of the urban. Her work with the Ecological Footprint Initiative enhances her knowledge of footprint accounting and inspires action for environmental sustainability as she becomes a future changemaker.
Chaya's research interests include using spatial data to improve footprint & biocapacity assessments and methodology.
Chaya has a background in environmental science and geoinformatics from York University. She gained professional work experience in public engagement and communications as an outreach assistant with York Region's Environmental Education and Promotion department. She is trained in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing and is interested in applying her analytical skills in future research.
Associates working on projects
Dr Bunch supports the initiative by developing new research capacity and competencies at York. His research falls in the areas of in environmental management, systems theory and methodology, and environment and health. The integrating theme among these is coupled human and natural systems, or social-ecological systems. He has methodological expertise in adaptive management, soft systems methodology, ecosystem approaches, and geographical information systems (GIS) and brings these together in the application of ecosystem approaches to human health and well-being (the ecohealth approach).
Alumni of this Ecological Footprint Initiative
Elizabeth's research interests include forestry for carbon sequestration and corporate social responsibility in Canada.
Elizabeth has a masters and undergraduate degree in environmental studies and has also studied visual art. She spent ten years working in reforestation in western Canada and this informs her interest in projects that keep people active and engaged in the outdoors.
Research interests include waste management and corporate social responsibility.
Sophie has an undergraduate degree in Psychology with a certificate in Law and Social Thought. She aspires to be in the ecotourism industry to educate on zero waste practices and minimize the footprint of tourism. She also aspires to live in a van, whichever comes first.
Mark’s research interests include coastal resource management and spatial marine planning in the Neotropics.
Mark has a background in Environmental Studies from York University and experience in agroforestry systems as well as marine and coastal conservation. He is interested the role of Integrated Coastal Zone Management and the economic importance of coastal areas in Climate Change.
Anuja's research interests include stakeholder conflict and marine spatial planning in Atlantic Canada.
Anuja has a background in Geography and International Relations from the University of Toronto. She is interested in environmental planning and policy associated with blue infrastructure and coastal and marine solutions.
Jason's research interests include alternative measures to GDP.
Jason has an undergraduate degree in Business and Society in the macroeconomics policy analysis and the environment streams. Jason is a recent graduate of the MES program. His research looked at the extent to which socio-ecological measures to wellbeing can address flaws in a GDP-based policymaking framework in Ontario.
Maria- Louise's research interests include modelling the diffusion of low-carbon innovations for clean energy transitions.
Maria-Louise has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Interdisciplinary Studies in Aquatic Resources from St. Francis Xavier University. She is interested in solving the problems associated with clean energy transitions and is motivated by cutting-edge technological and policy solutions to global climate issues.
Mary's research interests are in environmental geomorphology and sustainability. She has over 20 years of experience working in geography and environmental studies combined in higher education. As a researcher, Dr. Thornbush has more than 50 publications since 2004 and disseminated her work at some 35 conferences in North America and Europe since 2000. She is currently a member of the Environmental Studies Association of Canada and the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.