Meet the Chairholder

Liette Vasseur: UNESCO Chairholder

Liette Vasseur is a full professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University, where she is also a member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, one of the five transdisciplinary spaces at the university.

She has held the UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability: from Local to Global at Brock since 2014.

  • Vice-Chair (North America and Caribbean) of the Commission for Ecosystem Management of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and lead of the thematic group on Ecosystem Governance. (2016-2020)
  • Member of the Science and Stewardship committee of the Niagara Land Trust. (March 2012—Present)
  • Associate Editor, Botany (since 1998); Associate Editor in Chief, Journal of Biosafety (since 2011).
  • As the topic of women has also been a point of focus in her international research, she is involved in some women organizations. She is the Past-President of the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology (CCWESTT).
  • Member of the Transitional Leadership Committee of the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Reserve (since 2019).

Liette Vasseur’s research program is highly interdisciplinary and links issues such as community-based ecosystem management, climate change adaptation and resilience and sustainable agriculture, and rural and coastal communities.

In Canada, it includes impacts of extreme events on ecosystems and coastal communities, use of alternative technologies and climate change in sustainable agriculture, and ecosystem/landscape sustainable development, climate change adaptation and resilience in Niagara rural communities and Canadian coastal communities.

In China, her work is located at the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou. It focuses on sustainable agriculture, examining issues such as pest and habitat management, diversification of agroecosystems, genetics of pest and crop species, and alternative technologies.

In Ecuador, the research is being conducted with two universities. With the University of the Amazonian State, Puyo, it pertains to biodiversity conservation, sustainable development and climate change. With ESPOCH (Escuela Superior Politécnica de Chimborazo), Riobamba, the research targets the rural communities living in the Chimborazo and that are climate change to develop sustainable solutions in agriculture and economic activities as well as contribute to the conservation of the paramos.

Vasseur has produced more than 100 publications and more than 200 presentations as a researcher. Read more here.

  • Brock University Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award, October 12, 2018.
  • Nominated for the Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Award, Brock University, April 2017.
  • UNESCO Chair – Community sustainability: from local to global. April, 2014. (Renewed: 2018).
  • Minjian Scholar, Fujian Agricultural and Forestry University, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China. January 1st, 2011 (tenure 3 years), Renewed March 2014 (for 3 years).
  • Volunteer Recognition – Southern Gulf of St-Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability. June 15, 2012, Shippagan, NB.
  • Recipient of the Latornell Pioneers Award, Ontario Conservation. November 2011.
  • The Patricia Roberts-Pichette Award (Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network of Environment Canada; “presented to those who have demonstrated enthusiastic leadership and commitment to advancing ecological monitoring and research in Canada). January 2000.

As part of her role of UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability: From Local to Global, Liette Vasseur has key leadership positions in two global organizations:

International Union for Conservation of Nature

  • Based in Switzerland, the IUCN is considered to be the leading authority on the natural environment, providing scientific research and expertise to governments and civic groups.Vasseur is vice-chair for North America of IUCN’s 14-member steering committee of the Commission for Ecosystem Management. She oversees a portfolio of six of the 30 thematic and specialist groups of this Commission.

    Lead of the ecoysystem governance Thematic Group of the Commission on Ecosystem Management.

    Within the ecosystem governance group, she is currently collecting case studies of ecosystem governance in different countries to better understand specific environmental protection measures that can help other communities in the world create their management plans. The group is now doing a survey to gradually develop a more stringent definition of ecosystem governance and its principles.


My Chair in 3 Minutes/ Ma chaire en 3 minutes

My Chair in Three Minutes

Telephone: 905 688 5550 x4023
Fax: 905 688 1855