We are a small, yet mighty transdisciplinary research team led by Professor Ann Dale in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University. Established during the Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Sustainable Community Development (2004-2014), we investigate a variety of critical social issues in an effort to uncover solutions to some of the most pressing issues we face in Canada. We are deeply committed to making a difference with our research. Our main goal is to build civic literacy and useful knowledge that not only helps guide the Canadian public onto more sustainable pathways, but also contributes to more evidence-based policy-making. To achieve this, we do everything from designing data visualizations and conducting climate change research in British Columbia, to curating content across our social media channels and hosting virtual conversations about biodiversity conservation.


Professor Ann Dale

Principal Investigator

The team’s leader is Ann Dale, Trudeau Fellow Alumna (2004), Canada Research Chair (2004-2014), School of the Environment and Sustainability, Royal Roads University.  Professor Dale, with her extensive background in public policy and government, brings a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge to the team. Believing that both place-based and virtual communities are essential for solving modern day problems, she is deeply committed to expanding the public space for critical dialogue and asking the ‘right, hard’ questions. She currently leads and collaborates on several research projects across the country. Professor Dale holds degrees in Pshychology and Public Administration as well as a Doctorate from McGill University in Natural Resource Science.  

Dr. Robert Newell

Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

Rob is leading the Spaces, Places and Possibilities research project, which explores the use of systems modelling and visualization techniques to capture and convey potential outcomes of social and physical infrastructure decisions to local government and stakeholders. Rob is also involved in community climate action research (MC3), leading projects on decomposition analysis and climate action co-benefits. His previous work has involved exploring different ways of engaging diverse groups in sustainability research and ideas, such as through data visualizations, social media, and animations. Rob has a PhD in Geography, and his doctoral research involved using video game development software to build a realistic interactive visualization of Sidney Spit Park (Sidney Island, BC) as a tool for participatory planning.


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Dr. Francois Jost

Postdoctoral Researcher

Francois has a PhD in field of sustainable development and forest research from Dresden University of Technology. He has conducted transdisciplinary analyses using participatory action research with rural communities to identify sustainable adaptation and mitigation strategies available to them. In his past research, François has developed vulnerability indices and an optimization model that maximizes the efficiency of resource allocation to identify opportunities to enhance sustainably the livelihood assets of rural communities. As a certified E-lecturer, François has developed an E-learning course on landscape rehabilitation and introduced multimedia techniques and e-learning tools in a master program of the faculty of environmental sciences (TU Dresden).

Jaime Clifton-Ross

Research Curator

Jaime is currently developing the practice of research curation, which adapts elements of museum curatorial practice to mobilize academic research online. She is passionate about digital storytelling and knowledge sharing via online communication channels, such as blogs and social media. She has a Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Art History, from the University of Victoria and a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. She has worked and volunteered in various art galleries, museums, and libraries—including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Royal Ontario Museum, Myseum of Toronto, Gerstein Science Information Centre, and Marie Dressler House Museum. She curated Edging Forward: Reconnection, Reconciliation, Regeneration displayed at the Robert Bateman Centre and the Royal Roads University Library Showcase over the fall of 2017 and the winter of 2018.


Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development (2004-2014)

Board of Directors

Yuill Herbert, Founding Director, Sustainability Solutions Group; Dr. Valerie Behan-Pelletier, Research Scientist in Biodiversity in the Environment Program, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Leanne Cadden, artist; Laura Chapman, President, Policy Research Initiative, Privy Council Office; Stephen Huddart, President, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation; Jim MacNeill, Secretary-General, Bruntland Commission, President, International Institute for Sustainable Development; Peggy Taillon, President, Canadian Council on Social Development.