issues and experts

Updated: SFU experts available for Earth Day April 22

April 16, 2020


Melissa Shaw; Communications and Marketing, 236.880.3297,

Shradhha Sharma; Communications and Marketing, 604.202.2504,

April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, with its theme of climate action and a developing focus on environmental resilience-focused recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Simon Fraser University has a number of experts focused on topics related to the environment, global sustainability and our world in the midst of this ongoing pandemic.


Nancy Olewiler, economist,

  • Carbon taxes
  • Policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • How valuing ecosystem services can improve both the environment and the economy

*Mark Jaccard, director of resource and environmental management, (fluent in French)

  • Impact of falling oil prices on Canadian climate policy and clean energy sector


Maya Gislason, health sciences,

  • The social and ecological drivers of COVID-19
  • Climate change, mental health and children
  • Climate change communication
  •  The public health impacts of intensive resource extraction on Canadian populations
  • How equity, diversity and inclusion can be applied to thinking about community and environmental health

Deborah Harford, executive director, adaptation to climate change team (ACT),

  • Impact of COVID-19 on environmental resilience, equity and sustainability

Kirsten Zickfeld, geography,

  • Parallels between COVID-19 and climate change
  • The effects of the slowdown of many activities on greenhouse gas emissions and climate

A member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Zickfeld was an author of its 2018 special report on global warming.


David Zandvliet, education,, 604-219-0362

  • Environmental education
  • Experiential learning
  • Sustainability
  • Ecological literacy
  • Science and technology


Ryan Allen, health sciences,

  • Health effects of air pollution and air pollution assessments in a changing world

Tim Takaro, health sciences,

  • Health effects of climate change, links between human exposures and disease
  • Determining public health based preventive solutions to such risks


Meg Holden, urban studies and geography,, 604-839-9794

  • Urban resilience and social sustainability
  • Optimal urban density and diversity
  • Opportunities for climate change policy in an emergency

Andreanne Doyon, resource & environmental management,, 403-707-7141

  • Urban density and sustainable housing
  • Urban planning and urban resilience

Sean Markey, resource & environmental management,

  • Sustainable planning and infrastructure
  • Sustainable rural communities and resource regions

Tammara Soma, resource & environmental management, 604-655-5434,

  • Food waste, food loss, food security
  • Food access, food system planning, food resiliency
  • Waste management, youth and food

Birute Galdikas, archaeology,

  • Galdikas can talk about her life’s work among the world’s orangutans and the challenges faced by the species in today’s world

A documentary film about the work and lives of Galdikas, Diane Fossey and Jane Goodall, She Walks with Apes, will be screened on Earth Day at 9 p.m. on BBC America.

Ken Lertzman, resource & environmental

  • Forest fires, fire ecology and climate
  • Forest ecology, conservation and management
  • Climate change and the impacts on forest ecosystems
  •  Resilience of forests to disturbances
  • Temperate rainforests of B.C.

*Anil Hira, political science,

  • Climate change in a global context
  • The move to a clean energy economy and promotion of renewable energy sources
  • Promoting renewable energy sources for First Nations’ communities

*Indicates added

View details of Simon Fraser University's recently released five-year sustainability plan.