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Assistant Professor

Amanda (she/her) is an assistant professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC. She is interested in how environmental assessment processes can better empower communities and inform policy decision-making. (CV here)


Rei Bertoldi

PhD student

Rei Bertoldi is a PhD student at UBC’s Institute of Resources, Environment, and Sustainability. Her research focuses on better estimating highly spatially and temporally complex environmental phenomena, like air pollution, for exposure assessment and policy decision making. She holds a MS in Public Policy from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and a BA in Science and Technology Studies from the University of California, Davis.


Manvi Bhalla

PhD student

Manvi (she/her) is an activist-scholar with extensive intersectional community organizing experience. She is recognized as one of Canada’s ‘Top 25 Under 25’ environmentalists, ‘Top 30 Under 30’ sustainability leaders and was honoured with the ‘Eco-Hero of the Year’ award in 2022. She co-founded Shake Up The Establishment, a national nonprofit dedicated to climate justice & political advocacy, alongside missINFORMED, a nonprofit focused on health promotion for women and gender-diverse peoples. She is on advisory committees for the Canadian Coalition for Environment and Climate Justice, The Harbour and Youth Climate Corps. Alongside her advocacy in environmental justice, Manvi is a published health researcher who works to centre decolonized approaches. During her MSc, her research investigated barriers towards climate action within the public health sector. Presently, she is a PhD student at University of British Columbia with SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship funding, alongside being a research mentor in the Climate Justice Research Collaborative.


Sahil Bhandari

Postdoctoral fellow

Sahil is a postdoctoral fellow in the LEAP team, and is currently working on the SmellVan project, linking odor reports to air quality and health indicators. He went to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur to pursue a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering. In the undergraduate program, Sahil explored multiple careers, such as sustainability in business (interned at ITC Limited), management (admitted to the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore), and research (added a year to the bachelor’s program to pursue a Master’s in Technology). Under the guidance of Dr. Y. M. Joshi, Sahil pursued challenging computational research on the rheology of complex fluids and moved to UT Austin to continue his tryst with research. At UT, Sahil jumped into the field of atmospheric science with the Delhi Aerosol Supersite (DAS) study–an unparalleled study collecting air pollution data in Delhi, India—the most polluted megacity in the world. As a part of DAS, Sahil helped to support the state-of-the-art instrumentation and collect high time resolution datasets on fine particulate matter in Delhi. Having built an expertise in receptor modeling, over the next few years at UBC, Sahil hopes to build an expertise in source-oriented modeling and attempt to combine citizen science reports (semi-qualitative data), with ground-based monitoring and satellite datasets. In the PhD program, Sahil interned at the South Coast Air Quality Management District in California, an experience that cemented his interest in research-in-policy positions in government application-focused settings. Eventually, Sahil hopes to actively shape environmental policy and contribute to organizations designing and implementing targeted solutions to tackle air pollution and climate change.


Mrinmoy Chakraborty

PhD Student

Mrinmoy is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering jointly supervised by Prof. Naomi Zimmerman. He has completed masters in environmental engineering and management from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at West Bengal University of Technology, Kolkata. He is interested in working with field observations of air pollutants using low cost sensors and evaluating the energy policies with the help of chemical transport models. His focus will be on the tools for assessing energy and health policies in developing countries like India using both numerical simulations and field studies.


Rivkah Gardner-Frolick

PhD Student

Rivkah is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is jointly supervised by Dr. Amanda Giang and Dr. David Boyd. She holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Rice University. She recently completed an MS in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin under Dr. Joshua Apte. Her research will focus on air quality modeling of industrial chemicals and related environmental justice issues. 


Bassam Javed

PhD Student

Bassam is a PhD student at UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability. His research focuses on analysis of energy policy in India. Prior to his PhD, Bassam worked at a school district, providing energy management for its facilities and engaging students in environmental sustainability initiatives. Bassam also previously held technical and leadership roles in the natural resources industry. He enjoys volunteerism, reading, and martial arts.

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Kana Kawanishi

Undergraduate student

Kana is in her fourth year pursuing a dual degree in B.Sc Natural Resources Conservation and Masters in Management. She is interested in diverse sustainability topics, including land use management, green building, and zero waste, as well as map making. In the LEAP Group, she assists in conducting spatiotemporal analysis to study the relationship between the sources of odorous pollutants and their impact zones.

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Zixuan Liu

MSc student

Zixuan Liu is a Master's student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability supervised by Professor Amanda Giang. She completed her first MSc in Public Policy at UCL in 2020 with a research interest in the impact of foreign direct investment on industrial waste pollution. Zixuan gained research experience and developed problem-solving and negotiation skills from working as a consultant at an international risk consulting firm. She is currently assisting in Pathways to Zero Impact Shipping, focusing on comparative evaluation process development and technology evaluation case studies.

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Imranul Laskar

PhD Student

Imranul is a PhD student in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC. His research focuses on global shipping emissions and investigating potential air quality co-benefits and trade-offs for  future climate and air quality policies. He was previously affiliated with the University of Alberta where he completed an MSc in Environmental Engineering and held several research and leadership positions in air pollution control and exposure assessment, waste management, and sustainability. He has also worked with municipalities, consulting and industries on air quality analysis, environmental site assessments, and wastewater treatment. Imranul is passionate about soccer and enjoys reading, numismatics, board/video games, hiking, and conversations on general current affairs.


Simone Philpot

Postdoctoral Fellow

Simone Philpot is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. Simone merges systems modelling and qualitative research techniques to examine environmental management and planning issues. She also works to integrate a range of real-world decision motivators into decision support systems. At the Lab for Environmental Assessment and Policy She is developing a technology assessment framework for marine shipping that captures environmental impacts. Previously, Simone completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the University of Waterloo’s Department of Systems Design Engineering where she investigated resources management conflicts. She holds a Ph.D in Geography and Environmental Management with specialized training in collaborative water management, from the University of Waterloo.


Shuoqi Ren

MSc Student

Shuoqi Ren is a Master's student in Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability supervised by Dr. Amanda. She completed a bachelor's degree in forestry from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada and a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Northeast Forestry University (NEFU) in China. She has interned at World Wild Fund (WWF) China Amur-Heilong Ecoregion Complex Program to involve in and promote environmental and species protection. Her diverse undergraduate education background and working experience bring her interests in environmental assessment and decision-making research. Her research topic in LEAP is geospatial analysis on air pollution and environmental justice. Her Broad interests are environmental modeling and visualization, specific in developing cumulative indicators to assess environmental quality.


Tim Rodgers

Postdoctoral fellow

I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC. My research looks at the fate and behaviour of toxic chemicals in the environment, with a focus on how policy tools impact chemicals emissions and human/environmental exposure


Yasamin Sharifi

PhD student

Yasamin Sharifi is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She recently completed her master's degree in energy system engineering from Shahid Beheshti University in Iran, Tehran. Under the joint supervision of Dr. Amanda Giang and Dr. Naomi Zimmerman, she aims to contribute to sustainable urban planning and transportation policies. Yasamin's research focuses on urban freight emissions mitigation and policy implications in Metro Vancouver, specifically marine, rail, and heavy-duty trucks. With a passion for interdisciplinary work, Yasamin strives to address the complex relationship between energy systems, environmental impact, and policymaking.


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Rudri Bhatt

PhD Student

Rudri is an MSc student at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. She completed her BSc in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Technion- Israel Institute of Technology. Rudri is interested in working towards improved air quality and energy security. Her research at IRES focuses on looking at alternatives to agricultural residue burning in Punjab and the Indo-Gangetic plane.



Emma Gillies

MSc Student

Emma Gillies completed her MSc degree at the University of British Columbia's Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability in 2022. Her research involved modelling mercury contamination in the Beaufort Sea beluga food web using Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science. Emma holds a first-class honours degree in environmental biology from McGill University, where she completed a thesis on freshwater microplastic pollution and gained work experience in journalism, international relations, ecological research, environmental consulting, and computer science. Emma is particularly interested in ecotoxicology and environmental policy and is eager to use data science and community consultation to explore the connections between environmental and public health.

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Sara Elder

Postdoctoral Fellow

Sara Elder is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC. She specializes in understanding the local social and environmental impacts of global supply chain governance, with a focus on agricultural producers and workers in the global South. Her work bridges theoretical insights from development studies, sustainable food systems, and private governance, while being rooted in field research with commodity producers. She has led projects in Rwanda and Nicaragua, and worked with communities in Bolivia, South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania. She is active in publishing her scholarly contributions, and is dedicated to mobilizing scientific knowledge in policy, including through her postdoctoral work with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and as a Technical Officer with the International Labour Organization. She is currently leading research on the impact of voluntary sustainability standards on market access and poverty of smallholder farmers with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). She is committed to effective teaching and mentoring, and is currently designing a new course in socio-ecological systems research for undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience conducting interdisciplinary research. She holds a PhD in Resources, Environment and Sustainability from UBC (2016), an MA in Resource Management and Environmental Studies (UBC, 2010) and a BA in International Relations (UBC, 2004).


Erika Luna

MSc Student

Erika Luna completed her MSc in 2021 under the supervision of Dr. Amanda Giang and Dr. Navin Ramankutty. She holds a BSc in Earth and Environmental Sciences from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Erika has gained research experience from working as Research Assistant at different universities across North America where she studied a variety of socio-environmental problems. These past research experiences contributed to build her passion on data science and food security. Her project at both LEAP and LUGE labs was focused on agricultural crop diversity in Mexico. 

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Claire Ewing

MSc Student

Claire completed her MSc in 2021, supervised by Dr. David Boyd and Dr. Amanda Giang. Claire is interested in ecology, environmental policy, environmental justice, and more. Her research focuses on the law enforcement dimensions of environmental justice and air pollution in Canada. Before matriculating to IRES, Claire studied Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University, with minors in Biology and Environmental Studies. There, she researched the deforestation caused by artisanal-scale gold mining with Dr. Miles Silman's lab, and completed her undergraduate thesis on the effect of the US-China trade wars on the solar panel industry. Outside of Academia, Claire has worked on water conservation with a Coloradan water utility, sustainability in private companies with Xanterra Parks and Recreation, and more.


Rochelle Maher

Undergraduate Student

I am a fourth year undergraduate, doing a Combined Honours in Physics and Mathematics, as well as the Master of Management Dual Degree program. To mitigate impacts of anthropogenic climate change on the environment and at-risk populations, I want to use my skills to do research regarding the climate crisis in order to inform policy-making. Through my Honours Thesis, I am using back trajectory analysis based on public odour reports in order to identify major odour sources in Metro Vancouver.


Sophie Thornton

Undergraduate Student

Sophie is an undergraduate student working on her degree in Environmental Sciences with a minor in Health and Society. She’s passionate about climate change and planetary health. On the weekends, you can find Sophie doing pretty much anything outdoors, or frequenting her favourite coffee shops!


Hannah Barnard-Chumik

MSc Student

Hannah graduated with her Master of Science at IRES in 2020. She completed her undergraduate degree in human and conservation biology at the University of Toronto in 2017. Hannah is excited to work on tackling global environmental policy issues, such as mercury pollution, sustainable development, and climate change.


Kaity Castellani

Geospatial Data Coordinator
and Analyst

My undergraduate in natural resources conservation promoted my development of an unassailable affinity for the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest - it’s no wonder I can’t bring myself to leave the beauty that surrounds this city! Traveling internationally highlighted the disparity of air quality that exists across countries and smaller geographical areas. This drove me to study air pollution in China before and throughout my masters in geomatics, and now across Canada - where the same under-appreciated fortune is seldom granted. My current work with Dr. Amanda Giang and Dr. David Boyd seeks to provide a preliminary assessment of environmental justice across Canada with respect to air pollution, and will lay the groundwork for the inclusion of a multitude of other variables and outcomes.


Carlina Kim

Undergraduate Student

Carlina is in her 5th year of Environmental Sciences at UBC concentrating in land, air, and water systems. She is interested in the impact science has on policy and how research can be translated to implement better climate change solutions. She is excited to be a part of the LEAP team to work on air pollution and climate change research.


Her research is focused on industrial air pollution in Canada focusing on oil refineries and identifying potential "super emitters". She hopes to develop hypotheses for their existence and identify how marginalized communities are affected from the distribution of production of these environmental hazards. 


Chrysen Park

Undergraduate Student

I am currently in my 5th year and majoring in integrated sciences. My major is an integration of Computer Science and Environmental Science. I am very interested in how we can make energy usage more efficient, and clean through new technologies. The past research I was involved in at IRES was focused on data visualization pertaining to the concentration of air pollutants in Canada. I assisted in the construction of an interactive mapping application that was made to pinpoint where environmental injustices were happening specific to air pollution.


Miling Li

Postdoctoral Fellow

My primary research interests lie in the linkages between marine ecosystem and human health. Focusing on how anthropogenic environmental changes could affect the biogeochemical cycling of contaminants and the associated impacts on human health.Now working on NCP project ‘The Influences of Environmental Changes on Levels and Trends of Methylmercury in Beaufort Beluga Food Web’.

Previous PDF at Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, & Institute of Oceans and Fisheries at UBC.


PhD from Environmental Health, Harvard University.


Ashton Kerr

Undergraduate Student

Ashton recently completed her 4th year of a BSc in Environmental Sciences at UBC with a concentration in Land, Air and Water and will be graduating in November 2020. She is interested in exploring ways to effectively engage the public in climate change and other complex environmental issues we face today. She is currently assisting in interdisciplinary research related to air pollution emissions from agriculture.

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Joy Du

Undergraduate Student

Joy is in her last year of undergraduate study at UBC, majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology. She is interested in ecological conservation and environmental justice across cultures. Joy also expresses passion in health restoration through her clinical experiences.

She’s currently helping with Bassam’s research, concentrating on policy and data analysis in electric vehicles in China.


Gabby Doebeli

Undergraduate Student

I studied Environmental Sciences and Human Geography. I am interested in feminist political ecology and the intersections of nature, power and policy. Currently, my research is centred on Canadian energy politics. I am focusing on the Trans Mountain pipeline as a case study to examine environmental assessments through the lenses of settler colonialism and legal geographies.

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