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.

Faculty & Students

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

Jessica Blythe
Graduate Program Director
Email: jblythe2@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 2024/25.

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 unavailable to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2024/25.

Meet the ESRC Faculty: Dr. Jessica Blythe

Marilyne Carrey (Nee 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. Carrey is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2024/25.

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 2024/25.

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 2024/25.

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’s candidate supervision in 2024/25.

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 2024/25.

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 2024/25.

Meet the ESRC Faculty Affiliates: Dr. Todd Green

Sylvia Grewatsch

Assistant Professor, Marketing, International Business & Strategy
Research Interests: grand challenges, innovation for sustainability, corporate sustainability, systems perspective

Dr. Grewatsch is available to support Master’s candidate supervision in 2024/25.

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 available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2024/25.

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 2024/25.

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 and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2024/25.

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 2024/25.

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 available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2024/25.

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 available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2024/25.

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 2024/25.

Meet the ESRC Faculty: Dr. Ryan Plummer

Narongsak (Tek) Thongpapanl [ณรงค์ศักดิ์ (เต็ก) ทองประพาฬ]

Professor, Marketing and Product Innovation (Marketing, International Business & Strategy)
Research Interests: new product development, innovation and technology management, digital marketing, wine marketing and business management, strategic marketing management in high-tech environments, marketing knowledge creation and management in highly dynamic and multi-stakeholder settings, and the integration of marketing and technology competences in preservation and promotion of social, environmental, and economical advancement.

Dr. Thongpapanl is available to support Master and/or PhD candidate supervision in 2024/25.

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 2024/25.

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’s candidate supervision in 2024/25.

Meet the ESRC Faculty Affiliates: Dr. Liette Vasseur

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

Rebecca Anderson

Cohort: 2023/24
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Francine McCarthy
Previous degree and institution attended: Biological Sciences (BSc.), Brock University

Kassie Burns

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Marilyne Carrey
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

Allegra Caballero

Cohort: 2023/24
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Christine Daigle
Research: Sustainability Discourse, Cultural and Philosophical understandings of the Anthropocene, Literature and the Environment, Climate Ethics
Previous degree and institution attended: Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse studies (BA), Minor in Environmental Sustainability, Brock University
Hometown: Hamilton, ON

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

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

Rebecca Grundy

Cohort: 2023/24
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Liette Vasseur
Research: Nature-based solutions to food insecurity in the Niagara Region
Previous degree and institution attended: Sociology (BA), Minor in Criminal Justice and Public Policy, University of Guelph
Hometown: Sheffield, 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

Sahar Heidariasl

Cohort: 2023/24
Scheme B: Thesis
Supervisor: Dr. David Fennell
Research: Tourism and Animal Ethics
Previous degree and institution attended: Computer Engineering (BSc.), Azad University
Hometown: Ardebil City, Iran

Erin Isaac

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Marilyne Carrey
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

Alison Laurie

Cohort: 2023/24
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Blythe
Research: Climate change adaptation & mitigation strategies, urban planning/sustainable city designs
Previous degree and institution attended: Environment and Society (Hons. BA), Minors in Sustainability and Community Engagement, McMaster University
Hometown: Georgetown, 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

Bridget Matthews

Cohort: 2023/24
Scheme A: MRP & Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Blythe
Research:The impact of large-scale fisheries on marine life and coastal regions; sustainable ocean economy.
Previous degree and institution attended:Biology (BA), Wilfrid Laurier University
Hometown: Markham, 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

Jordan McNeillie

Cohort: 2023/24
Scheme C: MRP
Supervisor: Dr. David Fennell
Previous degree and institution attended: Tourism (BA), Brock University

Zaara Momin

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

Zeal Pandya

Cohort: 2022/23
Scheme A: MRP and Co-op
Supervisor: Dr. Marilyne Carrey
Research: Impact assessment of Climate Change Adaptation on Vulnerability Scores of the community of the Town of Lincoln.
Previous degree and institution attended: Bachelor, Planning (Nirma University)
Hometown: Ahmedabad, India

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

Natalie Seniuk

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

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

Kamal Krishnapillai

Cohort: 2023/24
Supervisor: Dr. Magnus Hultman
Research: Corporate Sustainability
Previous degrees and institutions attended: Master of Business Administration, University of Ottawa
Hometown: Oakville, ON

Hannah Lubker

Hannah Lübker

Cohort: 2023/24
Supervisor: Dr. Julia Baird
Research: Human dimensions of water resilience, knowledge co-production, art-science collaborations, empathy
Previous degrees and institutions attended: Environmental Sciences (BSc.), Leuphana Universität Lüneburg; Social-ecological Resilience for Sustainable Development (MSc.), Stockholm Resilience Centre
Hometown: Fehmarn, Germany

Editrudith Lukanga

Cohort: 2023/24
Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Blythe
Research: Community participation in Policy/Local Governance processes and their contribution to sustainability
Previous degrees and institutions attended: Marine Biology & Micro Biology (BSc.); Environmental Sciences (MSc.), University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Hometown: Morogoro, Tanzania

Visit our People page to learn more about our Participating Faculty and Adjunct Faculty.

Graduate Program Alumni

The ESRC Graduate Programs have a strong and active network of alumni. Click below to learn more about our alumni and hear about their time in their respective programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

We are no longer accepting applications for the Master of Sustainability or the PhD in Sustainability Science programs.

The application portal for the Fall 2025 cohort will open in October 2024.

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!

The Faculty of Graduate Studies does not accommodate requests to waive application fees. Application fee payment options are outlined on the OUAC website at: https://www.ouac.on.ca/fees/#payment  

International Payments (Flywire) allows you to pay Canadian dollar fees in the currency of your choice. It provides a simple and secure way of initiating a payment electronically. Please note that due to international and domestic banking regulations, some currencies are unavailable. If your currency is unavailable, select an alternative currency (including US dollars) to ensure your application payment is processed. 

Please feel welcome to contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies if you require further assistance at graduatestudies@brocku.ca 

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