Issues and Experts

SFU experts available on climate change, sustainability and a changing environment

February 02, 2021

Climate change continues to impact the world on a global scale, despite our continued efforts focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canadian federal government announced in December its plan to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases by 2030, and drive toward net-zero by 2050. In the U.S., President Joe Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline project and rejoined the international Paris Agreement after the country pulled out under the Trump Administration. The Keystone decision results in an economic hit for Canada, particularly within the oil sands industry. 

The following SFU experts are available to speak on climate change, sustainability and other environmental issues.



Nancy Olewiler, professor, economics,

  • Economics and policy 
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Increasing resilience to climate impacts


John Clague, earth sciences, CRC Chair in Natural Hazard Science, 778.782.4924,

  • Science behind climate change and its impacts
  • Natural hazards and risks related to climate and environmental change

Taco Niet, assistant professor, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering,

  • Energy systems transitions
  • System interactions between climate, energy, land and water
  • Renewable energy integration, storage and energy systems challenges
  • System modelling to support sustainable development 

Brent Ward, professor, co-director of Centre for Natural Hazards Research,

  • Climate change and natural hazards, landslides and floods
  • Permafrost and glacier retreat
  • Geologic evidence for climate change


Deborah Harford, executive director of ACT (the Adaptation to Climate Change Team), 604.671.2449,

  • Climate risk and adaptation 
  • Climate risk and nature-based solutions, biodiversity, green infrastructure, equity, health
  • Integrating adaptation and emissions reduction through low carbon resilience 
  • Impact of COVID-19 on environmental resilience, equity and sustainability 

Kirsten Zickfeld, professor, geography,

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


David Zandvliet, professor, education, 604.219.0362,

  • Environmental literacy 
  • Ocean literacy and biodiversity
  • Climate change education


Zafar Adeel, professor, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering,

  • Climate change adaptation 
  • Responses to the Paris Agreement and sustainable development goals (SDGs) in relation to 2030 agenda for sustainable development
  • Policy ramifications as international attention is focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Jonn Axsen, associate professor, School of Resource and Environmental Management and director, Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team (START),

  • Electric mobility, automated vehicles and shared mobility 
  • Adoption of pro-environmental technology 
  • Quantitative modeling (simulation) of technology adoption and energy systems
  • Climate policy design and impacts

Alex Boston, executive director, Renewable Cities, 604.928.2347,

  • Greenhouse gas reductions 
  • Housing and transportation affordability 

Andy Hira, professor, political science,

  • Effects and challenges of climate change for third world countries
  • Energy resource management and energy policy
  • Clean Energy Research Group

Sami Khan, assistant professor, School of Sustainable Energy Engineering, 647.898.1511,

  • Systems to capture and convert carbon dioxide from power plant emissions and reduce overall carbon dioxide emissions 
  • Conversion technologies and ocean acidification 
  • Capture and convert carbon dioxide into useful products like automotive fuels, polymers and cement
  • In January 2021, published a study on carbon dioxide reduction supported by MIT -

Zoe Long, research manager, Sustainable Transportation Action Research Team (START), 778.980.7105, (unavailable Feb. 3) 

  • Sustainable transportation technologies and climate change policy 
  • Citizen support for climate change policy
  • Consumer acceptance of sustainable technologies 

Hendrik Wolff, associate professor, economics, 510.220.7961,

  • Carbon taxes and energy issues in the U.S. and Canada
  • Urban mobility and transportation issues



MELISSA SHAW, SFU  Communications & Marketing 
236.880.3297 |

MATT KIELTYKA, SFU Communications & Marketing
236.880.2187 |

Simon Fraser University 
Communications & Marketing | SFU Media Experts Directory 


As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey—SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students. The university now boasts more than 165,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.