About

I am a PhD Candidate  in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia, and a Research Associate with the Cawthron Institute (New Zealand).

I came to Vancouver from Auckland, New Zealand, where I have lived most of my life.  I completed my BA in Economics and Media Studies  (2010), my BSc in Geography (2010), and my MSc in Geography (2012) all at the University of Auckland.

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Substantively, I am interested in questions arising from the intersection of environmental science and governance. How does environmental science help us make decisions about who gets what and why? Which kinds of decision-making subjectivities (with their attendant values, ideologies, cosmologies) are reproduced through applications of environmental science? How do the practices of environmental science involve political propositions about how the world should be?

From this, we can begin to think about alternatives – how can the practices of environmental science contribute to deliberative democratic projects? As specific examples, recently I have been interested in unpacking 1) environmental valuation methods, 2) river classification and monitoring practices, 3) the politics of categorizing ecosystem services. I am also interested in questions about environmental governance frameworks – what are the merits, costs and consequences of different approaches to decision making, and how can we do things inclusively and reflexively?

Theoretically, I identify as a critical environmental geographer, looking to draw on insights from critical theory to understand how political ends and means are enacted through scientific and governance frameworks. However, I do not think of the role of political critique as belonging solely to the ‘social’ sciences – I also feel that environmental science can and should inform a political project of environmental transformation. As such, a significant theoretical interest of mine lies in working through what and how an inclusive ‘critical’ project for science might be imagined and pursued.

The main purpose of this site is to provide a way to share my work with collaborators and others (but with apologies for not updating it as often as I should!).

 

[The photo on the right I call ‘relational geomorphology’, taken at Iao Needle on Maui (where I was born/raised) , holding a copy of Charles Cotton’s 1958 book Geomorphology. Cotton was an eminent New Zealand geomorphologist who we learned about in physical geography courses at Auckland University. One day I found this book in a second-hand bookstore (Arty-Bees) in Wellington and was amazed that it featured Iao Needle on its cover. So I bought it.  As Doreen Massey has argued, landscapes connect us across space and time – in my case, connecting my two homes together through a relational geomorphology.]

[The video below is one of my favourite pieces of music – Morricone’s score to The Mission]

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