Graduate Programs

The ESRC’s graduate programs are committed to facilitating society’s transition towards sustainability by offering high-quality education at both the Masters and the Doctoral level.

Master of Sustainability

Learn more about the Sustainability Science and Society (SSAS) Master’s program.

PhD in Sustainability Science

Learn more about the Sustainability Science (SSCI) doctoral program.

Our Community

The Master of Sustainability and PhD in Sustainability Science graduate programs at Brock University are supported by our dedicated faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

Graduate Program Director

Marilyne Jollineau
Graduate Program Director
Email: mjollineau@brocku.ca

Centre Administrator

Amanda Smits
Centre Administrator
Email: asmits@brocku.ca

ESRC Coordinator

Erin Daly
ESRC Coordinator
Email: edaly@brocku.ca 

Julia Baird

CRC (Tier II) in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience
Associate Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
Research Interests: water resources governance; resilience; social-ecological systems; social networks; agriculture

Dr. Baird is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Meet the ESRC Faculty: Dr. Julia Baird

Jessica Blythe

Associate Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
Research Interests: resilience; adaptation; transformation; coastal communities; social-ecological systems

Dr. Blythe is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Meet the ESRC Faculty: Dr. Jessica Blythe

Christine Daigle

Professor, Philosophy
Research Interests: anthropocene; posthumanist ontology; posthumanist ethics
Keywords: existential phenomenology; feminist theory; posthumanism

Dr. Daigle is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Diane Dupont

Professor, Economics
Research Interests: water; non-market valuation; behaviour; fisheries
Keywords: regulatory impacts on decisions; ecosystem services; GIS; surveying

Dr. Dupont is unavailable to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Xavier Fazio

Professor, Department of Educational Studies
Research Interests: environmental and sustainability education; complexity and systems theory; communities; public understanding of science
Keywords: science education; environmental sustainability education; teacher cognition and practices; complexity and systems theory

Dr. Fazio is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Presentation: Teaching and Learning for Environmental Sustainability

David Fennell

Professor, Department of Geography and Tourism
Research Interests: Ecotourism, nature-based tourism, tourism ethics, ecotourism policy and planning

Dr. Fennell is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Todd Green

Associate Professor, Marketing, International Business & Strategy
Research Interests: consumer response to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); the role of CSR in marketing communications; consumer response to environmentally friendly marketing; the role of CSR and Ethics in the Arts and Entertainment industries; the influence of retailer size on the consumer response to both socially responsible and irresponsible behaviour; the research-practice gap in CSR-related advertising.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility (CSR); advertising; consumer behaviour

Dr. Green is available to support Master’s candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Meet the ESRC Faculty Affiliates: Dr. Todd Green

Timothy Heinmiller

Associate Professor, Political Science
Research Interests: water policy in developed countries; politics of water in irrigation economies; politics of water allocation in irrigation areas
Keywords: politics; water; irrigation; Alberta; Great Lakes

Dr. Heinmiller is unavailable to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Magnus Hultman

Associate Professor, Marketing, International Business & Strategy
Research Interests: Green/sustainable marketing strategy; consumer responses to sustainable marketing; brand activism; green/CSR branding; sustainability and marketing communications; international differences in green marketing; internationalization of sustainable strategies; green/sustainable destination branding; authenticity and skepticism about corporate environmental claims.
Keywords: marketing strategy; marketing communications; branding; consumer behaviour.

Dr. Hultman is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Marilyne Jollineau

Associate Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
Research Interests: inventorying, mapping, and assessing the urban tree canopy; urban forest management plans; wetland ecosystem management; evaluating land-use/land-cover changes in the context of a changing climate; use of geospatial technologies to assess and monitor vegetation condition and change over time
Keywords: urban tree canopy assessment; wetland and forested ecosystems; water resources; geospatial technologies

Dr. Jollineau is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Francine McCarthy

Professor and Graduate Program Director, Earth Sciences, Brock University
Core Member: Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
Associate Member, Biological Sciences, Brock University

Research Interests: limnology and paleoliminology; micropaleontology/palynology; Anthropocene(s)
Keywords: lacustrine ecosystems; water resources; climate change; conservation studies; public engagement with sustainability initiatives

Dr. McCarthy is available to support Master’s candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Meet the ESRC Faculty Affiliates: Dr. Francine McCarthy

Tim O’Connell

Professor, Applied Health Sciences – Recreation and Leisure Studies
Research Interests: psychological sense of community of people engaged in outdoor pursuits; sense of place; impacts of participating in outdoor activities on mental health; outdoor orientation programs; reflective practice; outdoor leadership; outdoor education; experiential education
Keywords: outdoor education; experiential education; sense of place; outdoor pursuits; outdoor orientation programs; reflective practice

Dr. O’Connell is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Gary Pickering

Research Interests: psychological barriers that prevent individuals from being proactive on sustainability and climate change issues and strategies for addressing those barriers (including optimizing communication); climate change adaptation in the grape and wine industry
Keywords: climate change mitigation; climate change adaptation; psychological barriers; wine

Dr. Pickering is unavailable to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Michael Pisaric

Professor, Geography and Tourism Studies
Research Interests: impacts of climate and environmental change on northern ecosystems; climate and environmental change across a variety of timescales
Keywords: climate change; biogeography; physical geography; Arctic

Dr. Pisaric is unavailable to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Ryan Plummer

Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
Research Interests: novel governance strategies and social-ecological systems; adaptive co-management; adaptation and adaptive capacity; community-based natural resource management; integrated resource management; social capital and social learning; resilience and vulnerability

Dr. Plummer is unavailable to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Meet the ESRC Faculty: Dr. Ryan Plummer

Kevin Turner

Associate Professor, Geography and Tourism Studies
Research Interests: hydrology; hydroecology; GIS; spatial analysis and remote sensing; water isotope tracers; biogeochemical cycling; paleolimnological reconstruction of past lake conditions; linkages among lakes, rivers, land cover, and climate

Dr. Turner is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Meet the ESRC Faculty Affiliates: Dr. Kevin Turner

Liette Vasseur

Professor, Biological Sciences
Research Interests: sustainable agriculture; community-based natural resource management, with special emphasis on empowering women; integrating issues of biodiversity conservation; how ecosystem-based adaptation and other such approaches can help enhance resilience and sustainability of rural communities.
Keywords: sustainable agriculture; ecosystem; biodiversity; adaptation; gender issues

Dr. Vasseur is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2023/24.

Meet the ESRC Faculty Affiliates: Dr. Liette Vasseur

Kamran Abbasov

Cohort: 2020/21
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. David Fennell
Research: Sustainability and resilience of the tourism industry
Previous degree and institution attended: International Studies (BA), ADA University
Hometown: Ganja, Azerbaijan

Sanjida Amin

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Todd Green
Previous degree and institution attended: Marketing (BA), University of Dhaka; Marketing (MA), University of Dhaka
Hometown: Bangladesh, India

Kassie Burns

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Marilyne Jollineau
Research: Aquatic ecosystems and how they contribute to building sustainable communities.
Previous degree and institution attended: Biological Sciences (BSc.), Brock University
Hometown: Waterloo, ON

Anmol Burmy

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Diane Dupont
Research: Sustainable buildings, sustainable planning and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Previous degree and institution attended: Environmental Studies (BA), Toronto Metropolitan University
Hometown: Brampton, ON

Kelly Bute

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Todd Green
Research: Corporate sustainability and the role of the public and private sector in creating sustainable societies while achieving a competitive edge.
Previous degree and institution attended: Zoology and Biochemistry (BSc.), University of the West Indies; International MBA, University of the West Indies; Sustainable Business (Postgraduate Certificate), University of Cambridge
Hometown: Trinidad and Tobago

Kaitlyn Carr

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Julia Baird and Dr. Amy Lemay
Research: Knowledge transfer and translation of best management practices for viruses affecting grapes in Niagara
Previous degree and institution attended: Environmental Management (BSc.), University of Guelph
Hometown: Guelph, ON

Allison Clark

Cohort: 2020/21
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: 
Dr. Michael Pisaric
Research:
Using paleo ecological methods to reconstruct long-term changes in plant biodiversity in the Canadian Arctic
Previous degree and institution attended: 
Biology (BSc.), Mount Allison University
Hometown: 
Mahone Bay, NS

Alexandra Cotrufo

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Todd Green
Research: The role of communication in effective sustainable solutions, how to bridge the gap between sustainable knowledge and sustainable application, corporate social responsibility
Previous degree and institution attended: Professional Communication with a Minor in Public Relations (Hons. BA), Ryerson University
Hometown: Niagara Falls, ON

Alexa Dolsky

Cohort: 2020/21
Scheme C: MRP
Supervisor: Dr. Ryan Plummer
Research: The intersection of socioeconomics and climate change, sustainability on a community level
Previous degree and institution attended: Political Science (BA), University of British Columbia Vancouver; Public Relations Certificate, MacEwan University
Hometown: Edmonton, AB

Tasha Gunasinghe

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Liette Vasseur
Research: Ecosystem-based adaptation, Indigenous engagement and space within sustainability and conservation
Previous degree and institution attended: Biology (Hons. BSc), Queens University
Hometown: Acton, ON

Dana Harris

Dana Harris

Cohort: 2016/17
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Michael Pisaric
Research: Using dendrochronology to explore the factors that affect the growth and cellular development of Pinus banksiana in Yellowknife, NWT, to assess how this species will respond to climatic variables now and in the future
Previous degree and institutions attended: BSc (Honours) Biology, Brock University
Hometown: Yellowknife, NWT

Shannon Heaney

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Ryan Plummer
Research: Community engagement in sustainability, attachment to place, sustainability science translation to communities
Previous degree and institution attended: Bachelor of Social Work, Social Work Diploma, Grant MacEwan University
Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta

Erin Isaac

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Marilyne Jollineau
Research: Restoration ecology, urban biodiversity and conservation
Previous degree and institution attended: Bachelor of Environmental Studies (York University); Certificate in Environmental Studies (York University)
Hometown: Toronto, ON

Madison Lepp

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Blythe
Research: Climate change adaptation and resilience in social-ecological systems
Previous degree and institution attended: Business administration (BBA), Brock University
Hometown: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Sydney McIntyre

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Blythe
Research: Negative impacts of society on native flora and fauna populations; accessibility in sustainability research
Previous degree and institution attended: Biology (BSc), Brock University
Hometown: Smithville, ON

Zaara Momin

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Julia Baird
Previous degree and institution attended: Bachelor of Environmental Engineering, Kolhapur Institute of Technology
Hometown: Kolhapur, India

Kristin Palilionis

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Julia Baird
Research: Water resilience, climate change and water governance
Previous degree and institution attended: Environmental Science (Hons. BSc.), University of Ottawa
Hometown: Kingston, ON

Zeal Pandya

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Marilyne Jollineau
Previous degree and institution attended: Bachelor, Planning (Nirma University)
Hometown: Ahmedabad, India

Lauren Patterson

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Blythe
Research: Municipal climate change response, community engagement
Previous degrees and institutions attended: Climate Risk Management (Graduate Diploma), University of Waterloo; Anthropology (BA), Western University
Hometown: Burlington, ON

Sebastián Roa

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Gary Pickering
Research: Customer perception of youth to adopt a sustainable diet
Previous degree and institution attended: Finance and International Trade, Universidad de La Salle
Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Evan RodenBurg

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Julia Baird
Research: Climate change adaptation and communication
Previous degree and institution attended: Earth Sciences (Bachelor), University of Waterloo
Hometown: Cambridge, ON

Shannon Ruzgys

Cohort: 2020/21
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Gary Pickering
Research: Psychological barriers towards climate change
Previous degree and institution attended: Psychology (Hons. BA), Brock University
Hometown: Niagara, ON

Tannaz Sattar

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Ryan Plummer
Research: Human and built environment, social sustainability in urban environment and human life, sustainable urban development, green transportation, green cities
Previous degrees and institutions attended: Architectural engineering (BSc.), Azad University of Iran; Architecture (MSc.), Politecnico di Milano University
Hometown: Esfahan, Iran

Natalie Seniuk

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Julia Baird
Research: Sustainable practices in general populations and barriers to adoption; policy and governance; educational levers and opportunities
Previous degrees and institutions attended: General Studies (BA), Guelph University; Planning (BA), Dalhousie University; Landscape Architecture (Diploma), Niagara College
Hometown: Pelham, ON

Savannah Stuart

Cohort: 2020/21
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. Ryan Plummer
Research: Outdoor education, environmental and human health, environmental psychology
Previous degree and institution attended: Environmental Science majoring in Ecology (BSc.), University of Guelph
Hometown: St. Catharines, ON

Tyler Thomson

Cohort: 2021/22
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Marilyne Jollineau
Research: Government policy and its effectiveness in protecting Canada’s ecosystems
Previous degree and institution attended: Bachelor of Management and Organizational studies, Western University
Hometown: Niagara Falls, ON

Norievill España

Cohort: 2022/23
Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Blythe
Research interests: Understanding impacts of climate change to coral reefs and coastal communities, and contribute in crafting institutional stragegies and policies to build resilience and enhance adaptive capacity
Previous degrees and institutions attended: Marine Science (MS), Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines Diliman
Hometown: Davao City, Philippines

Shannon Fernandes

Cohort: 2022/23
Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Blythe
Previous degrees and institutions attended: Environmental Studies (MS), University of Waterloo; Marketing (Certificate), Wilfred Laurier University
Hometown: Stoney Creek, ON

Visit our People page to learn more about our Participating Faculty and Adjunct Faculty, and click here to learn more about our Graduate Program Alumni.

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know before you apply to the ESRC Graduate Programs.

Applications to the PhD in Sustainability Science program are due on January 13, 2023.

Applications to the Master of Sustainability program are due on February 3, 2023.

Master of Sustainability

In keeping with its transdisciplinary character, the program welcomes students from a variety of academic backgrounds including, but not limited to:

  • Applied Health
  • Biological Sciences
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Geography
  • Planning
  • Tourism
  • Women and Gender Studies

PhD in Sustainability Science

Applicants to the PhD program are required to have completed a Masters-level degree (or equivalent) in environmental sciences, environmental studies, or a related field.

Brock University offers competitive guaranteed funding to individuals enrolled full-time in research-based graduate programs. Students in the SSAS and SSCI graduate programs are eligible for full-time funding from the University.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

There are several opportunities for students to receive additional financial support during their studies:

For more information about scholarships and awards at Brock, visit the Graduate Studies Website.

HOW MUCH WILL GRADUATE SCHOOL COST?

For information on graduate tuition and related fees at Brock University, visit: https://brocku.ca/finance/students/graduate.

Master of Sustainability Applicants

We do not require SSAS applicants to reach out to faculty members in regard to supervision. Instead, we ask applicants to consult the listing of core faculty and indicate their top three choices on the application (regardless of scheme).

PhD in Sustainability Science Applicants

Applicants to the PhD in Sustainability Science must secure a supervisor-in-principle prior to applying to the program. Please consult our listing of core faculty and reach out to core faculty members who are available to supervise PhD candidates, and whose research interests align with yours.

All graduate applicants who have not completed three or more years of post-secondary study at a Canadian institution or at an institution in one of the following exempt countries, will be required to provide proof of English language proficiency.

Applicants who have completed the required years of post-secondary work in English, at an institution where English was the only language of instruction, may request a waiver of the English Proficiency Test submission requirements.

For more information on English Proficiency requirements, including score requirements and requesting a waiver, visit the web page here: https://brocku.ca/graduate-studies/future-students/international/english-language-proficiency/

No. Due to the volume of applications we receive, it is not possible for us to pre-screen applications. Your application materials will only be reviewed when we receive your official application through OUAC.

Our graduate programs do not have a winter intake at this time. New cohorts of the SSAS and SSCI programs begin classes in the Fall.

The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre is continuing to closely monitor restrictions on in-person learning as determined by the Niagara Region Public Health Department.

As of the Fall 2022 Term, both of our graduate programs are offered in-person only and we are not able to accommodate for distance learning.

We do not currently offer a part-time option for our graduate programs. However, with permission, exceptions allow for part-time studies to be accommodated.

We invited alumni to participate in a panel discussion with us on this topic in 2021! You can learn more about what careers they pursued/obtained here. Some of our students are currently employed in the following positions in government, non-government, and the private sector (these are in no particular order): Sustainability Manager, Sustainability Specialist, Policy and Campaign Manager Conservation (Nature Canada), Policy and Planning Coordinator (Conservation Ontario), Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination, Policy Analyst, Ocean Conservation Coordinator with Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Researcher, College Instructor, Self-employed Consultant, High School Teacher, Senior Manager Voice and Collaboration (RBC), Social Media Marketing Manager, and Energy Sector.

We also have an ESRC YouTube channel with a lot of sessions led by our students. These are just some of the different ways we engage our students with our partners. We’ve also engaged co-op students in our partnerships. Here is another example for you from our Brock-Lincoln Living Lab partnership with the Town of Lincoln.

You may also find it interesting to read about one of our recent graduates who was featured in an article by co-op at Brock. This is evidence of students having jobs to move into as they graduate from our program. Other recent graduate students were also in this position, with one securing a position as an Assistant Conservation Coordinator (Ocean Program) at the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS).

We also encourage you to visit our alumni page to learn more about our recent graduates, read their publications, and hear more about their experiences in the program!

Master of Sustainability applicants should reach out to ssas@brocku.ca, and PhD in Sustainability Science applicants should reach out to ssci@brocku.ca if they have any additional questions after carefully reviewing the website for your desired program and this FAQ’s list.

Please note that we receive a high volume of emails, especially around admissions time, so please allow 3-5 business days for a response.

Contact us!

Master of Sustainability Enquiries

Questions and concerns relating to the Master of Sustainability program should be directed to ssas@brocku.ca

PhD in Sustainability Science Enquiries

Questions and concerns relating to the PhD in Sustainability Science program should be directed to ssci@brocku.ca