I am a professor and Canada Research Chair at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC (I use he/him pronouns). I am an interdisciplinary, problem-oriented sustainability scientist, trained in ecology, policy, and ethics from Princeton and Stanford Universities. My empirical and modeling research straddles the natural and social sciences to query how social-ecological systems can be transformed to be both better and wilder. Key themes include relational values, transformative change, and rewilding—from cities to agriculture to protected areas, and with species present elsewhere or those currently extinct.
My research on ecosystem services is situated at the intersection of marine and human ecology. I use a variety of methods to classify marine ecosystems and characterise the corresponding ecosystem services. I also explore how the abundance and distribution of these services are influenced by management, and how human impacts can be mitigated.
My research focuses on computational methods to explore how human activities and the resulting pressures change ecosystems. I’m especially interested in the limitations of predictive models, and how they can nevertheless provide valuable information for environmental management.
I am interested in understanding how urban and agricultural land-use impacts bat abundance and diversity across Metro Vancouver. I hope my research will be able to inform bat conservation with regards to land development.
I am an interdisciplinary doctoral student, combining anthropology, law, environmental studies, and economics. My research critically examines the shifting relationship between cultural and economic values, and explores how to safeguard intangible cultural heritage in an era of rapid economic change. My primary case study focuses on the Quechua textile tradition of the Peruvian Andes.
My research uses an interdisciplinary, qualitative approach to investigate connections between consumption, well-being, relational values, and social change. I have a background in cultural studies and literary theory.
My research seeks to understand the cascades triggered by defaunation — including species extinctions, local extirpations and severe population depletions — and their ecological consequences, in order to propose management and rewilding practices that could recover environmental services for the benefit of all beings.
My research explores urban rewilding, the multi-level governance of urban greening and habitat restoration efforts, and planning tools to build urban green spaces that meet the needs of both human and ecological communities.
I am interested in regional-scale spatial patterns and relationships of biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) and how these may change due to human activities and use. I hope to use insights gleaned from predictive models of biodiversity and ES to make conservation, management, and rewilding plans and policy recommendations.
I am interested in adopting a relational lens to understand the variety of factors that shape solutions to environmental issues. Because human-environment interactions are at the heart of social-ecological transformations, my research will aim to better understand how people relate to ecosystems and biodiversity, alongside the provision of ecosystem services.
I am interested in untangling what drives people to engage in nature conservation, mostly in the context of values, motivations, and socio-ecological dynamics. I am particularly focused on Latin America, as it is a highly biodiverse and socially unique region.
My research interests include human behavior and behavior change in conservation and land use in tropical landscapes, collaborative decision-making, avoided deforestation, biodiversity conservation, tropical fire ecology, and ecosystem services.
I am interested in understanding why and how people work together to achieve common objectives related to climate justice and ecosystem rewilding.
I am interested in systems thinking for sustainability as well as climate justice advocacy work. My research is focused on analyzing national progress on levers and leverage points for pathways to sustainability and the broader relationships between key elements of transformative change.
My background is in biology with a focus on environmental sustainability. I am interested in exploring how business systems and processes can mitigate environmental impact with an emphasis on a natural sciences approach.
I am interested in environmental policy domestically and internationally. My research has focused on the jurisdictional responsibilities of Canadian government and the legislation that concerns contamination mitigation for salmon in urban Vancouver streams.
I am interested in the material and social dimensions of the transition to a circular economy and how transformative change may be fostered to create a more sustainable, just world.
PhD thesis, 2021: Leveraging human–nature relationships towards sustainable pathways
Undergraudate researcher, 2020-21. “My research examines Metro Vancouver’s lichens and bryophytes as cryptic, yet city-wide testaments to the presence of urban biodiversity beyond designated greenspaces. I hope to better understand the potential anthropogenic and ecological drivers of epiphyte distributions and diversity on street trees.”
PhD thesis, 2020: Adaptation to Glacio-hydrological Change in High Mountains.
Matthew Mitchell (Postdoctoral research associate)
Elizabeth Williams (MSc)
Current position: Assistant Professor in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the University of California, Davis.
Sarah Klain (MSc, PhD)
Masters Thesis, 2010: Navigating marine ecosystem services and values
Ally Thompson (MSc)
Jordan Levine (PhD, 2008 – 2014)
Cathryn Clarke Murray (Postdoc 2012 – 2013)
I am a marine ecologist broadly interested in the interaction of human and natural systems. My research follows two major themes: ecosystem-based management and ecology of invasive species. Currently: Senior Aquatic Biologist, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Theraesa Coyle (RA, on and off 2009 – 2013)
I am interested in how uncertainty affects management decision-making and the role that ecosystem-based approaches can play in mitigating the impact of manager’s imperfect knowledge of natural resources.
Rebecca Goldman Martone (Postdoc, 2008 – 2012)
Currently: Marine and Coastal Resources, British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Russell Markel (Postdoc, 2010 – 2012)
Currently: Captain and Owner/Operator of OuterShores Expeditions
Megan Mach (PhD, 2007 – 2012)
Currently: Communication and Outreach Postdoctoral Research Fellow at DataONE
Maria Espinosa Romero (MSc, 2008 – 2010)
Espinosa-Romero, M. J., K. M. A. Chan, T. McDaniels and D. M. Dalmer (2011). “Structuring decision-making for ecosystem-based management.” Marine Policy 35(5): 575-583. url
Espinosa-Romero, M. J., E. J. Gregr, C. Walters, V. Christensen and K. M. A. Chan (2011). “Representing mediating effects and species reintroductions in Ecopath with Ecosim.” Ecological Modelling 222(9): 1569-1579. url
Currently: Coordinator of the Midriff Islands Program, Community and Biodiversity (COBI)
Lara Hoshizaki (MSc, 2006 – 2009)
Chan, K. M. A., L. Hoshizaki and B. Klinkenberg (2011) “Ecosystem Services in Conservation Planning: Targeted Benefits or Co-benefits/Costs?” PLoS ONE 6(9): e24378. url
Veronica Lo (MSc, 2006 – 2009)
Lo, V., C. Levings, K. M. A. Chan (2012). Quantifying potential propagule pressure of aquatic invasive species from the commercial shipping industry in Canada. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 64(2):295-302. url
Currently: Programme Assistant, Biodiversity and Climate Change Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme
Penny White (MSc, 2006 – 2009)
Currently: Project leader for the Metlakatla First Nations, consultant and photographer