Meet the TRANSFORM Waterloo Summer 2023 Team

This summer represents a busy time at the Waterloo TRANSFORM Hub! The team welcomed three new Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) to aid with experiments taking place over the summer. Two PhD candidates were hired as Capacity Building and Experiment Support GRAs to assist with the experiment process and an additional PhD candidate has joined as the Research Visuals and Graphics GRA for the spring 2023 term. Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Dr. Christopher Orr leads the Waterloo hub experiments. 

Anna Beresford (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo. She is investigating how vernacular music cultures can be used to help create a more embedded form of political economy and resilient communities. Focusing on social, political, and economic patterns, the theoretical aspect of this research brings together the fields of political philosophy, sociology, resilience and complexity, and pattern language theory. She has also had considerable opportunity for ethnographic field work at sites throughout Canada and the UK (including a four-month trip to the Shetland Islands). Anna is a Capacity Building and Experiment support research assistant with TRANSFORM.  

Ben Szoller (he/him) is a PhD Candidate in Religious Studies. His current research examines how Catholic communities across Canada advocate for social and ecological justice through land-based agricultural training programs. He is especially interested in how these local “hubs” impact public discourse and policy through regional partnerships. Ben also holds degrees in both Fine Arts and Education, and is very excited to combine his passion for design and research as he develops graphics and visuals for TRANSFORM workshops. When he’s not at his desk, you can find Ben at a farmers’ market or (increasingly) working in the garden. Ben is the Research Visuals and Graphics GRA.

Kaylia Little (she/her) is a PhD Candidate in Sustainability Management. Her background is in international development and Indigenous studies. After completing her Master of Development Practice in 2016, she returned to the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development at the University of Waterloo to pursue her doctoral studies. Her current research looks at the introduction of diesel energy to Iqaluit, Nunavut and is titled “Colonial Diesel Structures: Energy Transitions in an Arctic community”. Outside of her academics, Kaylia has worked as an independent researcher and as a policy analyst in both provincial and territorial policy spaces across Canada. Kaylia is a Capacity Building and Experiment Support GRA.

Dr. Christopher Orr (he/him) is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the SPROUT Lab at the University of Waterloo. His research seeks to understand how societies can better govern complex environmental challenges. This research combines theory-building with empirical case studies to understand society-nature relationships and how they can be transformed. His empirical work looks at climate change, forest policy, water governance, cities, and economic transitions, yielding policy insights and fostering community action. He leads the capacity building and experimentation work for the Waterloo hub of the TRANSFORM research project.

For more information on the TRANSFORM team, click here.


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