Brock University alumna and PhD candidate, Kerrie Pickering, has been awarded the first-ever Sustainability Doctoral Scholarship through a partnership between Brock University and The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), Australia.
Pickering will be researching the impacts of climate change on Indigenous health with the supervision of both Prof. Ryan Plummer at Brock and Prof. Tristan Pearce at USC.
“Winning this prestigious scholarship is a testament to Kerrie’s strong academic record, outstanding scholarly accomplishments and impactful contributions of her planned research,” said Plummer, Director of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre (ESRC). “She will be catalyzing exciting new avenues of inquiry within the ESRC and will ultimately enhance our capacity for research excellence.”
Pickering is currently working on her PhD in Sustainability and she holds a BSc in Environment and a MA in Geography from Brock University. She is also a former registered nurse.
“Climate change is the greatest threat to human health for present and future generations,” said Pickering. “Remote Indigenous people in Canada and Australia are especially vulnerable as they are experiencing rapid environmental change and currently have the poorest health outcomes within each country. To reverse these health disparities and support adaptation for Indigenous people, we need to understand what health means to them, what their health concerns are and what adaptive measures they are already utilizing.”
Collaboration between Brock University and USC has been underway since 2012 and was formally consolidated in a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year.
This collaboration has seen the ESRC at Brock and the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC) at USC work together on a major international initiative on climate change and water governance.
The sustainability doctoral scholarship covers tuition, living and travel expenses and was created to strengthen the partnership between Brock University and USC under the Memorandum of Understanding.
“The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at Brock and the Sustainability Research Centre at USC are a perfect match to enhance the critical mass required to understand some of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Prof. Tim Smith, Director to the SRC.