Selected Current Projects

Advancing Impact Assessment for Socio-ecological Systems in Canada

In this new Partnership Development Project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, with support from the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, a team of researchers and partner organizations from across Canada will be engaged in a number of research and relationship-building activities designed to create openings for innovative thinking on impact assessment processes in Canada to support socio-ecological system resilience, by generating creative approaches to address a cluster of challenges: disciplinary boundaries across natural and social sciences; governance across jurisdictional and Indigenous/non-Indigenous boundaries; and inter-institutional collaborations.

REES Investigators: Dr. Debra J. Davidson, Dr. Kevin Jones, Dr. John Parkins


Alberta's Living Laboratory Project is part of an interdisciplinary research program that involves researchers from the University of Alberta and Western University. Here at the UofA we are examining the best ways to secure drained wetland basins in rural landscapes in Alberta. Our team, in partnership with municipalities, counties and Ducks Unlimited Canada, is utilizing reverse auction mechanisms to examine the costs of basin securement. This information will be critical in the successful implementation of the new Alberta Wetland Policy.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Peter Boxall


The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – One Health Consortium

This is a pan-Alberta collaborative platform focused on antimicrobial use and resistance research, policy, training, outreach, and commercialization. The AMR – One Health Consortium uses a transdisciplinary, multisectoral One Health approach, to promote self-sustaining clinical, epidemiologic, basic and social sciences, and translational research on AMR in Alberta that will be scalable to all of Canada.

REES Investigators: Dr. Xiaoli Fan, Dr. Ellen Goddard


Conserve Project

CONSERVE - (COordinating Nontraditional Sustainable watER Use in Variable climatEs): A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food, and Health

Climate variability is placing severe stress on high-quality agricultural irrigation sources such as groundwater. As a result, water reuse and exploring nontraditional irrigation water sources (e.g., reclaimed water) have become national priorities for agricultural water security and the sustainable production of our food supply. At the same time, the recent Food Safety Modernization Act is shifting the focus of food safety from responding to foodborne contamination to preventing it. This places great responsibility on agricultural producers, who must meet stricter guidelines for the quality of irrigation water used on food crops. This presents a significant new gap: new sustainable on-farm solutions are needed so that agricultural producers can conserve groundwater through the safe use of nontraditional irrigation water sources." CONSERVE is an international collaborative effort including researchers from the University of Maryland (lead), the University of Delaware, the University of Arizona, New Mexico State University, the USDA, the Arava Institute and the University of Alberta.



Tracking Change is a multi-year social science research network of Indigenous communities, universities, governments and other organizations funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and other partners including the Mackenzie River Basin Board (Parlee, Principal Investigator).

The project is focused on building capacity for documenting and sharing local and traditional knowledge about changes in the Mackenzie River Basin through community-based research projects, research networking activities, symposiums and multidisciplinary publications. The Mackenzie River Basin, like other major freshwater ecosystems globally is under significant stress from resource development as well as the effects of climate change. Graduate students and community partners are working together to document observations and experience of disturbances to fish, fish habitat, water levels and water quality.


Principal Investigator: Dr. Brenda Parlee