Resilience Collaborative

Mountain River At Sunset

The resilience collaborative is an initiative of the ESRC. It aims to develop insights about resilience and build the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities to navigate complexity and change. The collaborative brings together scholars from the ESRC and beyond who share a deep commitment to resilience as essential for sustainable futures and are passionate about enhancing the collective capacity for adaptation and transformation.

Resilience Collaborative - June 2019

Resilience, in the context of social-ecological systems, is the ability to maintain and persist, to adapt when needed to changing conditions, and to transform when persistence and adaptation are no longer feasible for desirable trajectories for the future. Resilience is a way of thinking that recognizes the complex interactions between society and our ecosystems. It embraces the idea of change and acknowledges uncertainty. We will inevitably deal with changes and disturbances that we know are coming, as well as some that will surprise us. Resilience is an approach that encourages broad and meaningful participation by stakeholders, learning from feedbacks, and taking action for biosphere stewardship.

Scholars in the Resilience Collaborative have diverse, but complementary, areas of expertise associated with resilience. These span the social and natural sciences, with resilience providing a focusing device for integrative and transdisciplinary inquiry. Ultimately, the collaborative seeks to advance resilience thinking and practice for sustainability.

Collaborative Members

Julia Baird


CRC (Tier II) in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience
Assistant Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

Julia Baird is an Assistant Professor at Brock University. Julia’s research focuses on the human dimensions of water resources. She is particularly interested in water resilience, improving outcomes of water governance by improving processes, and agricultural impacts on water.

Ph.D. University of Saskatchewan (Environment and Sustainability)
M.Sc. University of Saskatchewan (Soil Science)
B.Sc. (Distinction) University of Alberta (Crop Science)

Dr. Jessica Blythe

Assistant Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre

Ph.D. University of Victoria (Geography)
M.A. York University (Geography)
B.Sc. (Honours) Memorial University (Marine Biology)

About Jessica
Jessica Blythe is an Assistant Professor at Brock University. Jessica’s research focuses on how communities experience environmental change and what explains their differential capacities for adaptation and transformation. She is particularly interested in building the resilience of coastal communities, securing sustainable small-scale fisheries, and collaborative forms of marine resource governance.  Her empirical work has been based in Eastern Africa, Melanesia, Australia, and most recently in southern Ontario.

Catherine Febria

Assistant Professor in Freshwater Restoration Ecology, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER), University of Windsor
Director, Healthy Headwaters Lab Group and Research Facility, GLIER, University of Windsor
Project Co-Leader (2017-2019), New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge
IPBES Fellow (2015-2018), Intergovernmental science-policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services, Asia-Pacific Regional Assessment

PhD Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and, Collaborative Certificate in Environmental Studies, University of Toronto
MSc Geography, Simon Fraser University
BSc Environmental Science, University of Toronto Scarborough

About Catherine
Dr. Febria and her research team conduct interdisciplinary, collaborative research on headwater streams and across watersheds to help solve socio-environmental problems.  Her research is committed to generating actionable, use-inspired research at the interface of science, practice and policy.  She works closely alongside interdisciplinary experts/scholars, local communities, traditional knowledge holders and decision-makers to drive and inform the science.  Her synthetic and empirical work have been conducted across Canada (Great Lakes headwaters, Mackenzie Basin, Northwest Territories), Chesapeake Bay in mid-Atlantic USA, and Canterbury New Zealand.  She is committed to inclusion, diversity and kindness as part of our commitment to science excellence and environmental sustainability.

Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University
Member of the Social and Participatory Action Research Group, Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain)

Ph.D. Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Environment and Society)
M.A. Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Social Research Applied to the Environment)
B.Sc. (Highest Distinction) Allameh Tabatabai University (Economics)

About Sherman
Sherman in interested in human-environment relationships from complex systems perspective. Her research focuses on environmental governance (specially on water governance) and social-ecological resilience. She is particularly interested in how people connect with the environment, how social systems perceive, interpret and deal with environmental changes and uncertainties, and how diverse stakeholders (resource users, government actors and researchers) can co-create knowledge and co-manage natural resources. Her empirical work has been based in Spain, Iran, and most recently in southern Ontario.

Darby McGrath

Twitter: @McGrathGreen

Research Scientist, Nursery and Landscape and Program Lead Greening the Canadian Landscape, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

Ph.D. University of Waterloo (Social and Ecological Sustainability)
M.E.S. University of Waterloo (Environmental Studies)
Graduate Diploma, Niagara College, Ecological Restoration
B.A. (Hons) Lake Forest College

About Darby
Darby McGrath’s work integrates tree production research with ecological restoration principles to address challenges of tree establishment and longevity in the built infrastructure. Current work in her lab is concerned with improving soil structure and function for tree establishment. Developing tools for land managers to plan for and restore soils to grow the urban canopy are key outputs for her program.

Ryan Plummer


Director, ESRC, Brock University
Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University
Adjunct Professor, Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo

Ryan’s multi-faceted program of research broadly concerns the governance of social-ecological systems. In striving to advance knowledge of collaboration and adaptation within complex systems, he has focused on the exploring their theoretical underpinnings and ethical implications, modeling their processes, examining the roles of social capital, and investigating the influences of social learning. Water resources are the context in which his research mainly occurs and he is a Faculty Investigator in the Water Policy and Governance Group.

Findings from his research have been published in leading international journals such as Ecological Economics, Ecology and Society, Environmental Management, Frontiers in Ecology and Society, Global Environmental Change, Journal of Environmental Management, Society and Natural Resources and the UN journal, Natural Resources Forum. In addition, he is the author of Outdoor Recreation (Routledge, 2010), and co-editor of Adaptive Capacity and the Making of Environmental Governance (with D. Armitage, Springer, 2010) and Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems: the Role of Learning and Education (with M.E. Krasny and C. Lundholm, Routledge, 2011). He serves as a Subject Editor for Ecology and Society. The scholarly quality of his research program was formally recognized in 2008 with the awarding of a Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence. In 2004 he received the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence and in 2008 he was selected as one of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) Excellence in Education Award winners for Promotion of Sustainable Practices.

PhD, University of Guelph (Rural Studies)
MA, University of New Brunswick (Sport and Recreation Administration)
BOR (Hons), Lakehead University (Outdoor Recreation)
BA, Lakehead University (History)

Marilyn Jollineau

Ph.D in Geography, University of Waterloo

About Marilyne
Dr. Marilyne Jollineau holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Waterloo. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Brock University. Since her arrival at Brock in 2003, Marilyne has taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in geomatics; she also participates in the collaborative post-graduate program in Geographic Information Systems – Geospatial Management with Niagara College.

Her research program is largely focused on wetland ecosystems and the use of geospatial technologies, including global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS), to: 1) map and monitor wetland ecosystems and adjacent upland environs in order to better understand their type, structure, and composition, for improved wetland management; 2) measure spatial heterogeneity as a means of quantifying species diversity within wetlands for improved management; and 3) quantify wetland change to better understand the effect of fluctuating climate and water levels on shoreline wetlands, and as a means of assessing management strategies, and their effectiveness, over time.

In the News

July 7, 2020: Radio interview with Darby McGrath, Janani Sivarajah, and Ryan Plummer on 106.5 elmnt fm.

June 30, 2020: The Environmental Urbantist episode 2020-06-30. Radio interview on CFMU.

June 12, 2020: How cities can enhance their greenspace in a post COVID world – Radio interview on 900 CHML

June 11, 2020: How cities can add accessible green space in a post-coronavirus world (The Conversation)