School of the Environment

School of the Environment Students

   Graduate Students

Cintia Gillam
PhD Applied Science Candidate

The topic of Cintia Gillam’s PhD research is "Assessing and Managing Coastal Ecosystems and Livelihoods in Timor Leste".  Cintia has an MA in International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University. She was awarded the Robin Rigby Trust grant for her MA-IDS field research conducted at Vila dos Pescadores community in Brazil (2014 and 2015). At Saint Mary’s University, her International Development Studies masters thesis research focused on the factors that affect fishers’ and community members’ wellbeing at the community of Vila dos Pescadores.   

While enrolled as an undergraduate student at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Southern Brazil, her major was Agronomy with research on mussel farming as a livelihood option for fishers due to the decline of fisheries in the area.

Cintia is a member of the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists, Lusophone Studies Association (LSA) and the Society for Conservation Biology.

Kirsten Ellis
MSc Applied Science Candidate
Supervisor Dr. Jeremy Lundholm (ENVS, Biology)

Kirsten is a plant ecologist with a BSc. from Dalhousie University. She is also the Operations Manager at Helping Nature Heal Inc., an ecological landscaping company, where she specializes in coastal erosion management. The topic of her Masters research is evaluating the effectiveness of plant-based coastal erosion management techniques, also known as Living Shorelines. This research is funded through a partnership between Helping Nature Heal Inc. and NSERC in the form of an Industrial Post-graduate Scholarship (IPS). The Living Shoreline techniques studied for this project were developed by Helping Nature Heal Inc. The objectives of this research are to quantify erosion reduction by the Living Shoreline techniques and assess their stability and resilience in coastal applications. The information obtained from this research will fill gaps the the scientific knowledge about how Living Shorelines function in Nova Scotia. This research will also improve the design and maintenance of future Living Shoreline projects and aid in the promotion of Living Shorelines as an effective and sustainable alternative to ecologically damaging 'hard' coastal protection structures, such as rock walls and bulkheads.

Amy Heim
PhD Applied Science Candidate

Amy Heim is an ecologist who studies plant communities. Amy’s previous work has focused on improving the survival, diversity, and growth of the plant species used on shallow extensive green roofs. In order to achieve this, she has applied the examples observed in the natural environment (i.e. species complementarity, spatial heterogeneity, and facilitation) to the green roof environment. Recently, she has started experimenting with designing green roofs based on differences in plant traits. Amy’s goal is to improve the ecosystem services that the green roof provides by creating species combinations containing specific plant traits. 

Michael A. Land
MSc Applied Science Candidate
Supervisor, Dr. Jason Clyburne (Environmental Science, Chemistry)

Michael is a Master of Applied Science candidate, under the supervision of Dr. Jason A. C. Clyburne. JACC is cross-appointed between the Departments of Environmental Science and Chemistry. Michael’s research focuses primarily on the chemistry of unsaturated small molecules and their solid state interactions with halogens. He is also looking into the synthesis of conjugated, iodine-containing, cyclic molecules to act as a new synthon in cross-coupling with possible applications to drug discovery. His research relies heavily on the ability to grow crystals for further study by single crystal X-ray diffraction. During his undergraduate degree (BSc Honours Chemistry, SMU 2016), Michael investigated the chemistry of 1,3-diketiminate ligands and computationally studied main-group analogues of NHCs. He was awarded “Best Undergraduate Presentation in Inorganic Chemistry” by the Canadian Society of Chemistry for this work.

Shawn McEachern
MA Geography Candidate

Shawn McEachern is pursuing a Master of Arts in Geography. The topic of his research is the decline of agricultural activity in the Maritime Provinces of Canada. He currently holds a First Class Honours with Distinction Degree in Geography with a Minor in Environmental Studies from Mount Allison University located in Sackville, New Brunswick and was also awarded a SSHRC grant for his honours thesis work.

Dan Mombourquette
MSc Applied Science Candidate

Dan Mombourquette is a Master of Applied Science (MSc.) candidate at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. Funded by the Canadian Fisheries Research Network (CFRN) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), his research involves collaboratively developing and testing fisheries indicators to measure the distribution of benefits within an Atlantic Canadian fishing community, over time. This work provides feedback to Canada’s Evaluation Framework for Sustainable
Fisheries developed by the CFRN.

Melissa Nevin
MA Geography Candidate

Melissa Nevin is a Mi’kmaw woman from Sipekne'katik First Nation, and she has worked at Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office/Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative  as a Consultation Researcher since 2007.  Prior to working for the Kwilmu'kw Maw-Klusuaqn Negotiation Office,  Melissa has worked for First Nation, Provincial and Federal governments, including: Indian Brook Health Centre, Healing Our Nations, Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, British Columbia Ministry of Children & Families, and Department of National Defense.  Melissa graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with an Advanced Major in Geography from Saint Mary’s University in 2005, and she is currently attending Saint Mary’s University to completed a Master of Arts in Geography.  In 2004 and 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) handed down three landmark decisions that found the Crown (provincial and federal) has a duty to consult with Aboriginal peoples regarding decisions or taking actions that might adversely affect their established or potential Aboriginal rights and Treaty rights (Haida and Taku, 2004, Mikisew Cree,2005).  The Crown is required to accommodate the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia for any impacts to Aboriginal rights and Treaty rights.  As a graduate student, Melissa will be conducting research for her thesis on defining cultural accommodation and exploring opportunities for culturally relevant accommodation in the Mi’kmaq landscape in Nova Scotia.  

Shelley Price
PhD Business Administration Candidate

Shelley Price is carrying out research based on an ecologically embedded approach to the sustainable management of the natural environment. Her objective is to understand whether actor-networks are better able to mobilize toward sustainable preservation of the land when ecologically embedded actors are socially embedded within the activist networks.  Methodologically, this involves studying the stories of the pasts, presents and futures in the context of the Churchill River hydroelectricity development projects in Labrador, Canada, using storytelling to question the past, create the present and imagine a future. This provides a current and relevant context for exploring the research questions: who are the main players and what are the actions that have been enrolled in the activist networks surrounding the Churchill River?


Keane Tobin
MSc Applied Science Candidate
Supervisor, Dr. Aldona Wiacek (Environmental Science, Astronomy and Physics)

Keane is working with Dr. Aldona Wiacek at the Tropospheric Remote Sensing Lab (TRSL) to implement a ground-based atmospheric trace gas observatory using an open-path Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (OP-FTIR). He is studying carbon monoxide variability in Halifax and applying the methodology to the environmental and engineering challenges associated with creating a permanent first of its kind observatory.

Annika Voltan
PhD Management Candidate

Annika Voltan is a PhD Management student interested in the field of social entrepreneurship. In her thesis, she plans to develop a definition for the various elements that make up a social entrepreneurial orientation at the organization level and link it to social impact. At a broad level, socially entrepreneurial organizations can be for-profit or not-for-profit, and aim to address social issues. These social issues can include environmental problems that
affect health and well-being, and the sustainability of ecosystems. Annika's other research interests include social innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). She is currently working on several research initiatives related to social innovation in the context of Cuban non-state enterprises; community-supported agriculture in Nova Scotia; and, the notion of shared value in terms of the role of business in society. 

Emily Walker
MSc Applied Science

Emily is an ecologist and a research associate in the Ecology of Plants in Communities Lab, directed by Dr. Jeremy Lundholm. Her graduate research focused on the habitat value of Halifax green roofs to native plant seedlings and wild bees. As a result, Emily identified optimized green roof designs that promoted native seedling survival and plant diversity, and characterized the bee communities and bumblebee pollen foraging habits of green roof, urban, and coastal barrens habitat in Halifax. As a research associate, Emily will be quantifying bee community composition and floral host relationships in multiple heathland habitat types in Nova Scotia.

Undergraduate Students

Makeala MacIntyre
Honours ENVS student

Under the supervision of Environmental Science Professor Tony Bowron and John Brazner at the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources, Makeala's honours research involves comparing shallow groundwater hydrodynamics in reference peatlands to those in the central Big Meadow Bog complex on Brier Island, NS. This work will help determine if historic ditching in the Big Meadow Bog complex has altered the hydrodynamics in important ways and may be related to recent observations that populations of the critically endangered Eastern Mountain Avens (Geum peckii) are declining on the Big Meadow Bog.

Dan Lv, DipEng

Dan Lv is pursuing a B.Eng (Co-op) in Environmental Engineering from Dalhousie University. She is interested in air quality and for her summer co-op term she is working in the lab of Saint Mary’s University Environmental Science Professor Aldona Wiacek. She is analyzing the sources of airborne pollutants that influence Halifax, Sable Island and the Annapolis Valley. Her results will help interpret the ground-based remote sensing measurements of air pollution made by Dr. Wiacek’s group. Dan Lv obtained a Dipl. in Engineering from Dalhousie University in 2013.

Julia Purcell

Julia Purcell is pursuing a Bachelor of Science with a Double Major in Physics and Environmental Science. Her summer research topic, under the supervision of Environmental Science Professor Aldona Wiacek, involves simulating infrared spectra of atmospheric trace gases such as ozone and carbon monoxide, which are related to air quality and climate change. This work will help to optimize the ground-based remote sensing measurements of air pollutants made by Dr. Wiacek’s group, around Halifax and further afield using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy.

Christine Vincent

Christine Vincent is completing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Environmental Science. She is currently working for Dr. Cristian Suteanu as a summer research member for the Environmental Variability and Natural Hazards Research Group.