Runa Das

Dr. Runa Das is an assistant professor and core faculty member in the Doctor of Social Sciences Program. Her work is motivated by real world issues such as climate change and sustainability. In particular, her interdisciplinary research explores the assessment and practice of environmental and social sustainability with a specific focus on energy-related issues. She examines the human dimensions and determinants of energy use, energy literacy, environmental and energy justice and pro-environmental behaviour change. She asks questions like: Why do we use energy the way we do? Does knowing more about the production and distribution of energy change how we use it? Is there fair and equal access to energy in society? And how can we best encourage pro-environmental behaviour change? As a quantitative methodologist, Runa is passionate about teaching social statistics and research design.

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Chelsey Barnett

Chelsey is a Masters student in the Royal Roads Environment and Management program. She has worked in health safety and environment for 15 years including a mixture of field work, policy / program development and implementation. Working for an electrical utility with renewable and non-renewable electricity generation and distribution, research interests include emissions reductions, decarbonization and electrification. Her thesis will examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on electricity usage and the associated environmental impacts.

She holds a Bachelor in Kinesiology from the University of Regina and a certificate in Health Safety and Environment from the University of Calgary. Always keen to learn and experience something new, when she’s not working or studying, Chelsey can be found adventuring with her partner and two young boys. That might include hiking or biking in the Rocky Mountains, or backpacking around the world.

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Ray Belmonte

Originally from the Philippines with an undergraduate degree in chemistry, Raymond hung up his lab coat for business cards, a name badge, and a career in environmental sustainability. Since arriving in Vancouver, he has been involved in research, community engagement and project coordination in the city, eventually making his way to both the Ocean Wise Conservation Organization and the GLOBE Series.

He has worn many hats; from running events for the Vancouver Aquarium’s members, to researching Environmental Management best practices, to helping convene North America’s largest conference in the clean economy. As part of his master’s research, Raymond is researching ways as to how education can influence pro-environmental behaviours among visitors to a conservation facility.

When not at work or studying for his Masters in Environment and Management at Royal Roads University, Ray can be found volunteering for sustainability and clean tech events in the city. He is also an unabashed science nerd, foodie by all accounts (though ironically can’t have crustaceans), and a fan of all things green.

Lindsey Bertrand

Lindsey’s work for the Behaviour, Energy & Environment Research Lab focuses on the scope and content of strategies, regulations and legislation, policies, and programs relating to energy poverty in Canadian cities. Her role is to critically examine available interventions, including their origins and purposes, to generate insights about the status quo of energy poverty mitigation in Canada.

Lindsey is an expert in policy communication and has worked with a number of policy- and law-focused NGOs including the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (BC FIPA), and OpenMedia. She is currently the Communications Advisor at BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner.

Lindsey holds an MA in Communication from Royal Roads University and a BA from Simon Fraser University, and has a Certificate in Advanced Project Management from Langara College.

Michael Davis

Michael Davis holds a Master of Arts in Professional Communication and has over 25 years experience in political campaigns, public relations and crisis communication. He has provided communication and government relations counsel to cities, NGOs, health authorities, airport authorities and mining companies. He was Director of Communications for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

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Shabnam Edalatnia

I was born and raised in Iran, where I completed my undergraduate and Master’s degrees in geology. My Master’s centered significantly on environmental issues specifically challenges resulted from fossil fuels, which led me to explore the environmental, economic, and social impacts of petroleum exploration throughout my thesis. I also have a variety of research related to the effects of the sustainable energy sector on the economy and society in Iran, which inspired my interest in the concept of energy retrofit and motivated me to continue my education at Royal Roads University.

The opportunity to work with Community Housing Canada is exciting for me, and I hope the outcome will result in more comfortable and energy-efficient community housing across the country.

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Robbi Humble

Robbi Humble (she/her) is a settler born and living in Treaty 4 territory in Regina. Robbi is an MA student in the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Royal Roads University, building on the Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Community Development which she completed in 2019.

My anticipated research area is environmental performance in the community housing sector, with a particular focus on relationships and the experiences of those most deeply impacted and working on the ground. Through my previous experience researching methods for uncovering and reconciling diverse values and visions for energy transition pathways as well as cross-scale sustainability knowledge networks, I have seen glimpses of the potential to support cultural transformation through scaling up energy efficient, safe, and healthy affordable housing. Approaching energy, housing and wellbeing as interrelated systems, I am particularly interested in understanding how centering equity and wellbeing within systems-thinking and social learning processes impacts our collective capacity to advance more just solutions across sectors and scales.

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Grace Li

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at University of Victoria. My research encompasses various areas of quantitative methodology and family demography. It aims to understand the production of inequality in the changing family system by adopting a longitudinal perspective, one that highlights the roles of long-term life trajectories. I received M.Sc. in Statistics from the University of Victoria and B.Sc. in Mathematics from the Xi’an Jiaotong University, China.

Through my participation in Energy Poverty Project led by Professor Das, I worked on measuring multi-dimensional concept energy poverty and building models to explore complex factors contributing to energy poverty situation in Canada. Under the guidance of Professor Das, I am striving to produce innovative and high-quality quantitative research in this project.

Morgan Mackie

Morgan is from Calgary, Alberta. After spending over ten years working on geophysical projects in North America, Australasia, Africa, and the Middle East, Morgan transitioned away from the oil and gas industry in 2011, upgrading high school and completing his undergraduate degree in Geology with a focus in environmental geoscience and hydrogeology.

Morgan is a current student in the Master of Arts in Environment and Management program at Royal Roads University. His research is focused on finding ways for the province of Alberta to provide a just transition for oil, gas, and mining workers into less carbon intensive sectors such as hydrogen.

Morgan spends his free time playing guitar, learning new languages, and enjoying the outdoors with his wife, young son, and dog.

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Past Team Members

Timo Schaefer

Dr. Timo Schaefer is a researcher who holds a Ph.D. in history from Indiana University Bloomington. His articles on nineteenth-century Mexico have been published in several historical journals and his book Liberalism as Utopia: The Rise and Fall of Legal Rule in Post-Colonial Mexico, 1820-1900 (Cambridge University Press, 2017) was awarded the Best Social-Science Book Prize from the Mexico Section as well as an Honorable Mention in the Best-Book Competition from the Nineteenth-Century Section of the Latin American Studies Association. Dr. Schaefer continues to work and publish on nineteenth-century Mexican history, but his major new research project is a life history of an indigenous democracy activist from Southern Mexico who came to Canada as a political refugee

While working for the Behaviour, Energy, & Environment Research Lab during the 2018-19 academic year, Dr. Schaefer drew on his qualitative-research experience to assist with the gathering and analysis of interview data for the Energy Poverty in Canada Project. He also conducted a literature review and contributed to the drafting of grant proposals.

Devyani Singh

I am a Post-Doctoral Fellow working on various projects under the umbrella of Energy and Climate policy. My inter-disciplinary research includes energy access & transitions in the Global South, air-quality (GHG emissions accounting) modeling, evaluating climate impacts of national policies, natural resource economics, environmental [carbon] finance, forest sustainability, and most recently, methane emissions from oil and gas production. As a result, I have coordinated multiple research projects across sectors (industry, academia, government, Indigenous communities, and non-profits) and countries (India, Canada, US), where I led research design, research execution, and communication (via peer-reviewed papers, reports, presentations, social media etc.).

Outside of academia, I consult on carbon markets and policy for New Forests Inc., and have worked with the First Nations on non-timber forest products. In the past (until 2010), I also worked as a Senior Financial Analyst for various Fortune 200 companies after obtaining an MBA in Finance. However, inspired by the magnitude and importance of global climate change, I changed career paths and obtained an M.Sc. in Environmental Science, and a Ph.D. in Energy & Climate Policy. I actively promote engagement with policy makers and the public for evidence-based decision-making. I look forward to collaborating on exciting research enabling a just transition to a low carbon future.

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Annet Tugaine

I am a graduate student at Royal Roads University, pursuing a MA in Environment and Management. My master’s thesis centres on energy efficiency adoption at the household level and my research question is: What are the determinants of adopting energy efficient light bulbs in Kiwatule, Uganda, by households? Beyond my thesis, I am an environmental advocate who is interested in leading sustainable transformational change in my community and beyond. I engage with communities and policy makers to promote pro-environmental practices that enhance sustainability in an effort to mitigate the global complex challenge of climate change.

I also hold a Masters in Science in Procurement and Supply Chain Management from Makerere University, an advanced diploma in CIPS from the UK, and a BA in economics from Makerere University. I have worked for over 5 years in procurement and supply chain management with both private and public organizations. From this business-related background, I realized that maximizing profits at the expense of the natural environment is not sustainable. This has motivated me to focus more on community engagement to promote pro- environmental behaviours.

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