Core Team

The UNESCO Chair is a collaborative where research, education and outreach activities are not only done by the Chair, but also with other people who can be students, faculty, staff or community members. Dr. Vasseur has a few people who are part of the core group who help represent the Chair in meetings and contribute ideas and feedback on activities.

Christine Daigle
Professor of Philosophy, Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence, and Director of the Posthumanism Research Institute

Office: MCA 230
905-688-5550 x 3316

About Christine:

Christine Daigle is Professor of Philosophy, Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence, and Director of the Posthumanism Research Institute ( Her research has focused on Existentialism and Phenomenology, specifically the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir. Her current research focuses on feminist theory and posthumanist thinking. Specifically, she is working on an ontological reconceptualization of the human being that understands our entanglement in being and with all other beings in a novel way, focusing on vulnerability and its ethical potential. This research project has some ramifications in terms of environmental thinking and our collective and individual responsibility toward our individual, collective, and entangled selves. Her research in environmental posthumanities examines the Anthropocene and a reframed notion of sustainability.

Brock University and UNESCO Chair researcher Christopher Fullerton driving a bus

Christopher Fullerton
Department Chair, Geography and Tourism Studies,
Associate Professor

Office: MC C417
905-688-5550 x3487

About Christopher:

Christopher Fullerton is a Professor in Brock University’s Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, where he teaches introductory human geography and several courses in urban and rural community planning. His research work focuses primarily on rural community economic development, the development of Niagara’s rural and regional tourism economy, public transit planning, and Ottawa’s contemporary land use planning history. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Saskatchewan, and also holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Geography from Nipissing University. Before entering into an academic career Christopher worked in the rural community economic development field in northern Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan.

Diane Dupont

Professor of Economics
Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of Social Sciences

Office: PLZ 441
905-688-5550 x3129

About Diane:
Diane Dupont is a Professor in the Economics Department at Brock University where she held the Chancellor’s Chair for Research Excellence from 2006-2009. The Canadian Water Network, SSHRC, CIHR, Health Canada, Environment Canada, and the Donner Foundation have funded her work. She works with researchers in other fields, as well as researchers across Canada, in the United States, England, and Australia.

Her current research program concentrates upon examining ways to encourage more efficient and sustainable use of water resources both on the supply and demand side. On the supply side, she is looking at factors that help to identify which water utilities operate most efficiently and sustainably. On the demand side, she has undertaken a number of non-market valuation studies to determine the value of good quality water as it relates to individuals’ perceptions of the health effects of tap water.

Professor Dupont was the elected Researcher representative to the Canadian Water Network Board of Directors (2010-2012). She is also a Member of the Board of Directors for the North American Association of Fisheries Economists and served as a Member (and Chair for one year) of the Scientific Advisory Committee for WorldFish Centre, Penang, Malaysia. Prior to that, she served as a Member of the Executive Council of the Canadian Economics Association and as a Member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Adjudication Committee (Economics). She has served as an Associate Editor for the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Society and Natural Resources and is currently an Associate Editor for the Canadian Water Resources Journal, Water Resources Research, and Water Resources & Economics.

Heather VanVolkenburg
Research Manager/Contributor Department of Biological Sciences

Office: MCF213
Lab: Cairns 135
(905) 688-5550 x 3398 (office)
(905) 688-5550 x 3318 (lab)

About Heather:

Heather is a scientific research manager, contributor and teaching support in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University. She is both involved in and has worked on several ecological and social science initiatives of the Brock University UNCESO Chair on Community Sustainability: From Local to Global, some of which include the Organic Science Cluster 3, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO’s IdeaLab, and several species at risk here in Niagara. She recently graduated with a Masters of Biological Science (Ecology and Evolution), her research thesis focused on agroecology, specifically the ecological effects of agrominerals and cover crops in local vineyards. Her thesis project ran under the Ontario-China Research and Innovation Fund where she helped to initiate a continuation of the project in organic vineyards. Heather began at Brock as a mature undergraduate student after spending nearly two decades as a senior manager in the private sector. She successfully completed a Bachelor of Science Honors degree (double majoring in Biology and Geography) and graduated at the top of her class all while participating in extensive volunteering opportunities throughout her time at Brock.  Achieving these milestones while raising three children has made her keenly aware of the many existing social obstacles that challenge us globally today. Her passions include both understanding and teaching the complexity of ecological systems, mentoring youth, continuous learning, and anything that involves the natural world.

Jocelyn Baker

About Jocelyn:

Jocelyn is a research assistant with the UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability: From Local to Global. She holds an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and Geography, with a diploma in Water Resource Management and GIS. She recently completed a Masters in Sustainability Science at Brock, looking at governance and management in Canadian Ramsar sites. She has been working in integrated natural resource conservation at the local community level in Niagara for the past 30 years. Jocelyn’s early career focus was water quality improvement through the implementation of restoration Best Management Practices, her focus evolved to include Great Lakes remediation and restoration project management.  As a Project Management Professional (PMP), she is the Canadian Co-chair of the Niagara River Binational Ramsar Designation Steering Committee, working to secure a transboundary Ramsar designation for the Niagara River.