COP26: Climate and environment experts

Engineering, Graduate Studies, Science, Humanities, Social Sciences, Fine Arts, Human and Social Development, Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

Cop26 takes place in Glasgow, Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, 2021

The following University of Victoria experts are available to media for comment in advance of, and during, the UN Climate Change Conference—COP26—in Glasgow, Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, on various topics organized around the conference’s four key goals:

Note: Experts who will be attending the conference (designated by an asterisk*) have varying levels of media availability due to activities and time difference.

  1. Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach

*Christina Hoicka (Geography/Engineering & Computer Science) studies how to accelerate the widespread adoption of low-carbon and renewable energy innovations to mitigate climate disruption. She combines the fields of energy, geography and sustainability transitions to understand the risks, benefits and socio-economic impacts to communities in a just renewable energy transition. (Contact:

Tamara Krawchenko (Public Administration) is an expert in comparative public policy and regional development. She can discuss recent comparative research on the types of policies that governments in advanced economies are currently adopting to manage a just transition. (Contact: 

Madeleine McPherson (Civil Engineering, Institute for Integrated Energy Systems) is an energy systems modeller applying an integrated approach to developing decarbonization pathways. McPherson can discuss the COP 26 goal of securing global net zero by mid-century as it relates to the integration of renewables and electric vehicles. (Contact:

Kate Moran (Ocean Networks Canada, an initiative of UVic) is an expert in innovative ocean technology that supports marine protection, aquaculture and fisheries, earthquake early-warning, coastal communities and ecosystem health. She can also speak about ocean technology, as well as ocean-based climate mitigation technologies and Canada’s role in a sustainable blue economy. (Contact:

Katya Rhodes (Public Administration/Institute for Integrated Energy Systems at UVic) is an expert in climate-policy design and low-carbon economy transitions. She can discuss her recent projects on energy-economy modelling in Canada, the results of an international comparative analysis of flexible climate regulations, as well as a new study on consumer motivations to adopt low-carbon heating technologies. (Contact:

Hansi Singh (Earth and Ocean Sciences) is a climate science expert in, with particular expertise in coupled climate dynamics, polar climate dynamics and Earth system modelling. She can discuss the physical science of climate change, climate projections for the 21st century and the types of uncertainties inherent in these projections. (Contact:

Andrew Weaver (Earth and Ocean Sciences) is an international leader in climate modelling and analysis. He was a lead author of four of the last five IPCC Assessments and former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Climate. As a climate scientist, former politician and one of the key architects of British Columbia's CleanBC climate-change economic strategy, Weaver can discuss many aspects of the federal government’s plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, as well as broader topics concerning the socio-economic and political challenges and opportunities associated with implementation of climate change solutions. Weaver can also speak to the contentious issue of border carbon tax adjustments, a proposal he hopes will be front and centre in COP26 deliberations. (To request an interview with Weaver, contact Jennifer Kwan at

  1. Adaptation to protect community and natural habitats

Natalie Ban (Environmental Studies) is a marine conservation scientist. Her research focuses on coastal and marine systems on topics such as marine protected areas, coastal governance and climate change. Much of her research is done in partnership with First Nations and others. With guidance of partners, her approach uplifts Indigenous knowledge holders and weaves traditional knowledge into biodiversity conservation. (Contact:

Amanda Bates (Biology) is an expert in climate change and biodiversity impacts. She can discuss climate resilience, marine protected areas and monitoring. (Contact:

Nicole Bates-Eamer (PhD candidate in Political Science/Centre for Global Studies) examines the policies and narratives regarding the complex intersections of climate change and human migration. As a Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions scholar, she worked on the project Climate Change Displacement—Mapping the BC Context. She has also conducted research on issues of international development, climate change governance, global governance and G8 and G20 reform. (Contact:

*Julia Baum (Biology) is an expert in climate change impacts in the ocean and ocean-based climate solutions. She can discuss impacts of climate change on tropical coral reefs, temperate kelp forests and fisheries, and can also speak to natural climate solutions and other ocean-based solutions. (Contact:

Jason M. Colby (History) is a specialist in marine environmental history with expertise in the history of whales and people on the Pacific Coast.  He can speak to the impact of climate change on species such as orcas and gray whales. (Contact: 250-721-7383 or

Maeva Gauthier (PhD candidate, Geography) is an expert in personalizing the issue of climate change. She uses participatory video as a tool to engage Arctic communities around issues such as plastics in the environment and climate change. Her research amplifies Indigenous youth voices from the North to address their concerns regarding social and environmental justice. (Contact:

Robert Gifford (Psychology/Environmental Studies) is an expert in environmental psychology and the barriers to sustainable behavior. He can discuss what it will take to change human behavior in relation to climate change—“the dragons of inaction”—the reasons why people don’t do more to prevent climate change. (Contact:

Chris Kennedy (Civil Engineering) is an expert in climate mitigation strategy. He can discuss how to secure global net-zero by mid-century. (Contact:

ann-elise lewallen (Pacific and Asian Studies) is an expert in energy policy and climate justice, with a focus on Indigenous communities in Asia and the Pacific. She can comment on the failed promise of nuclear energy as a “green” alternative, the impacts of uranium mining and nuclear waste on Asian Indigenous communities, and on Indigenous-led environmental movements in Japan and India. (Contact: 250-721-8707 or

Loren McClenachan (History/Environmental Studies) is an expert in historical ecology, marine fisheries management and conservation. She can discuss climate adaptation among fishing communities, responses of marine ecosystems to changing climates and long-term ecological change within east coast North American and tropical marine systems in particular. (Contact:

Nancy Shackelford (Environmental Studies) is an ecologist who examines ways to mitigate climate change through efforts to restore grasslands and reverse degradation. Her work is focused on combining large data syntheses with experimental and observational methods to enhance restoration outcomes. (Contact:

  1. Mobilize finance

Peter Dietsch (Philosophy) is an expert in economic ethics, including the assessment of fiscal and monetary policy in the context of climate change mitigation strategies. Among other topics, Dietsch can discuss the role of central banks in the green transition as well as issues around environmentally responsible investment. (Contact: 250-721-7411 or

Michael King (Business) and *Kevin Andrew (Business postdoctoral research fellow) are experts in climate finance and the role of investing to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. King, co-lead of The Climate Finance Project with Basma Majerbi (below), can speak to the importance of capital markets in investing for climate solutions, sustainable investing and how climate finance fits into the toolkit for investors, banks and other financial intermediaries. (Contact: michaelking@uvic.caAndrew can speak to economic and financial risks related to climate change. (Contact:

Basma Majerbi (Business) is co-lead of The Climate Finance Project (funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions and conducted in partnership with British Columbia Investment Management Corporation) that examines how institutional investors can use climate scenarios to assess the investing risks and opportunities. She can speak to climate-related financial risk and impact investing for driving climate solutions and social change. (Contact:

Felix Pretis (Economics) is an expert in climate economic research. His international research network develops methods to better understand the complex relationships between human actions and climate responses, and their associated economic effects. His most recent work studies the economic impacts of 1.5C versus 2C, to contribute to the IPCC special report. As co-director of the Climate Econometric Research Network, he brings together international researchers in the field of climate econometrics to study these issues. (Contact:

  1. Work together to deliver

Heather Castleden (Public Administration) is an expert in the socio-political dimensions of renewable energy, equitable energy transitions, the intersections of human health and climate change, and Indigenous perspectives on socio-ecological justice. She can discuss COP26 in relation to renewables, protecting and restoring ecosystems, and collaborative governance to respond to the climate crisis. (Contact:

Sean Holman (Writing) is an expert in media coverage of climate change. Holman is focused on the human issues of the climate crisis. He can speak to the ways the news media covers climate change, and how the media is a powerful determinant in society’s ability to adapt to it—both in making more informed decisions and in creating more equitable and resilient communities to better withstand the chain of emergencies that will define the rest of our lives. (Cell: 403-397-4751 or

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Keywords: sustainability, administrative, climate

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