Conference Organizers


Dr. Katja Neves, Principal Conference Organizer

Katja Neves-Graca pic

Katja Neves initiated her career as Invited Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Institute of Anthropology, University of Heidelberg, Germany, after receiving her PhD degree in Anthropology from York University, Ontario, with distinction. She is currently Associate Professor of Sociology of the Environment and Social Sustainability at Concordia University, Montreal, a Fellow at the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, and a Researcher with the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science (QCBS). The Junta Nacional de Ciencia e Tecnologia (Portugal), the Fonds Quebecois de Reserche Sur la Societe et La Culture (Quebec – Canada), and Concordia University, financed Dr. Neves’ early research. She currently holds 2 research grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to investigate the contemporary reinvention of botanical gardens as agents of social and ecological biodiversity conservation. This research builds on her research on neoliberal conservation and on socio-ecological sustainability, which has been published in top-rated journals. Some of these articles are now considered top-cited articles within the scholarly literature.

Dr. Neves has served on numerous scholarly committees. She has been senior member at large of the executive board of the Environment and Society Section of the American Anthropological Association, executive board member of the Canadian Association of Sociology, and Associate Editor of the Environment and Society Journal. She served as a regular committee member of a SSHRC Insight Development Grant Committee in 2012, and chaired SSHRC Insight Development Grant Committees in 2013 and in 2014. 

Dr. Peter J. Stoett, Conference Co-organizer and Director of the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre

Peter Stoett pic Peter Stoett is a Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre at Concordia University in Montréal. His main areas of expertise include international relations and law, global environmental politics, human rights, and Canadian foreign policy. Recent books include Global Ecopolitics: Crisis, Governance, and Justice (University of Toronto Press, 2012); Environmental Challenges and Opportunities: Local-Global Perspectives on Canadian Issues(Emond Montgomery, 2009); Bilateral Ecopolitics: Canadian-American Environmental Relations(Ashgate, 2006); International Ecopolitical Theory: Critical Reflections (UBC Press, 2006); and Global Politics: Origins, Currents, Directions, Fifth Edition (ITP Nelson, 2013). Professor Stoett has conducted research in Europe (including the Balkans), eastern, southern and western Africa, Central America, and Asia, and healso teaches at the United Nations’ University for Peace in San Jose, Costa Rica; and the IMT Institute for Advanced Studies in Lucca, Italy. He was the 2012 Fulbright Research Chair for Canadian-American Relations at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.; and the 2013 Erasmus Scholar at the International Institute for Social Studies at The Hague, Netherlands.

Dr. Jill Didur, Chair, Department of English, Concordia University, Conference Academic Committee  Jill Didur photo

Dr. Jill Didur is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Concordia where she teaches courses in postcolonial studies and the environmental humanities. She is a Research Fellow at the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, a member of Figura: Centre de la Texte et Imaginaire, the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science, and the Digital Environmental Humanities Network. She is co-editor (with Elizabeth DeLoughrey and Anthony Carrigan) of Global Ecologies and the Environmental Humanities: Postcolonial Approaches (Routledge Press, forthcoming 2015), author of Unsettling Partition: Literature, Gender, Memory (U of T Press, 2006), as well as numerous articles on postcolonial studies, historical memory, and literature and the environment. Her current research focuses on the history of colonial plant-hunting and botanical gardens, and explores how writing about these things (travel accounts, garden manuals, and colonial and postcolonial fiction), has shaped contemporary perceptions of landscape, conservation, and the environment. She has recently been awarded a five year SSHRC Insight Grant, 2014-2019 ($390 000), to investigate how locative media (mobile apps, locative narratives, and critical/creative GPS installations) can be used by scholars and artists to defamiliarize assumptions about location, landscape, conservation, and the environment in parks, gardens, and nature preserves.  She has also developed a pilot locative media project, A (Mis)Guide to Alpine Plants (with support from le laboratoire NT2 Concordia, the TAG Research Centre, and GRAND NCE), which she is currently testing in partnership with the Montreal Botanical Garden, and has plans to further develop and extend this project to other public parks and gardens.

Dr. Selvadurai Dayanandan, Graduate Program Director, Department of Biology, Concordia University, Conference Academic Committedayanandan_selvadurai

Selvadurai Dayanandan is an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director in the Biology Department at Concordia University. He received his PhD in Biology from Boston University and joined Concordia University after completing postdoctoral training at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Alberta. He was a recipient of Man and Biosphere young scientists award from UNESCO, Deland Award from Harvard University and Killam postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Alberta. He was a member of the ITTO Borneo Biodiversity Expedition team to establish a trans-boundary nature reserve in the island of Borneo. His biodiversity research work ranges from socio-economic factors and tropical deforestation through population, conservation and evolutionary genetics of tropical and temperate plants covering numerous countries including Canada, China, Costa Rica, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and USA. He has served as the Vice-President, member of the Board of Directors and Webmaster of the Canadian Botanical Association. He is a member of the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Sciences, Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics at Concordia, and the Loyola Center for Sustainability Research.

Marian Pinsky, M.A. Sociology, Conference Coordinator                                                                                      Marian

This is Marian Pinsky‘s second conference with the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, having coordinated the recent Partnerships for the Living City: Promoting Urban Biodiversity Conference which highlighted cities’ achievements in biodiversity and showcased the research talents of the Centre. Previously working in Aboriginal youth leadership programming at Canada World Youth, a leader in international education programs, Marian was directly involved in programs focused on international development and Aboriginal youth empowerment in Peru, Tanzania and South Africa. Having recently completed a Masters in Sociology focusing on root causes and community responses to food insecurity, Marian has been published several times on her work on the World Social Forum, the global food crisis, and development in Kerala, India.  She is also involved in numerous ventures ranging from being on the board of the Montreal Social Justice Connexion, to Theme Team Researcher for the Montreal World Health Organization (MonWHO) Simulation on Access to Global Health. Marian enjoys hiking, swing dancing, and is a key member of the Jade Dragons dragon boat team.

Adan E. Suazo, MSc, Politics and International Studies, Coordinator of the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre

AdanE_SuazoAdan E. Suazo is the Coordinator of the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre at Concordia Univesrity. Previously he served as Research Fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and as Research Consultant for Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education. His research interests include the relationship between inclusion patterns in peace processes and how they influence the existence, duration and quality of post-conflict political and social institutions, and patterns of environmental degradation and their effects on peace processes. His work has been published in academic journals, policy magazines and newspapers in Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, South Africa, U.K and the U.S.


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