Lab Head & Assistant Professor

Dr. Westwood (she/her/elle) brings together ecology and policy to pursue effective solutions to natural resource management challenges. She studies the impacts of forestry and cumulative effects on terrestrial ecosystems and their species, as well as how knowledge moves across the science-policy interface. Taken together, her work supplies the evidence and boundary-spanning tools for sustainable natural resource management.

Find out more about her research and teaching at her personal website, ResearchGate, and Google Scholar. a.westwood[at]dal[dot]ca


Research Associate

As a research associate, Manjulika (she/her) is responsible for the coordination and management of the SSHRC-funded grant “What constitutes effective knowledge exchange at the environmental science-policy interface?” as well as the Westwood Lab more generally. Her research interests include organizational communication, political science, and sustainable environmental management. Manjulika’s MES thesis research focused on ‘interference in science’ in the Canadian context and its impacts. Previously, she completed a BA in Communications at the University of Ottawa and four co-op terms in federal government departments. She is passionate about human rights activism and is invested in finding practical, compassionate solutions for change.

More: ResearchGate. manjulika.robertson[at]dal[dot]ca


Interdisciplinary PhD Student

Ben (he/him) is an Interdisciplinary PhD student investigating how riparian forest management and resource road networks impact climate change vulnerability and functional connectivity of freshwater habitats for resident and migratory fish. He holds a Master of Resource & Environmental Management (MREM) degree from Dalhousie University and a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Lethbridge. Ben has a passion to solve pressing environmental issues through the production and co-production of scientific knowledge with tangible, real-world policy application. When he is not studying forests and fish, you can typically find Ben playing golf or out in the wilderness hiking, camping, kayaking, and skiing.

More: personal website, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Google Scholar. b.collison[at]dal[dot]ca


MES Student

Riley (she/her) is a graduate student in the Environmental Studies program at Dalhousie University. Passionate about solutions-oriented research, her thesis examines past disturbances in Cape Breton National Park to determine areas most in need of forest restoration to increase connectivity and benefit various species at risk. During her undergraduate studies at Acadia University, Riley created a GIS layer, corroborated with ground truthing, to identify and map old growth stands throughout the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. Though her academic interests revolve around Acadian Forest ecology, Riley’s personal hobbies include cooking for a crowd, reading and playing outdoors. 

More: LinkedIn. rl767974[at]dal[dot]ca


MES Student

Ali (they/them) is a genderqueer white settler living as an uninvited guest on unceded Skwxwú7mesh territory. They have started working with the Westwood lab as a Research Assistant investigating how major infrastructure and natural resource projects impact queer communities. They previously completed an interdisciplinary B.A.&Sc with honours at Quest University Canada. Ali is interested in work that merges their personal lived experiences with their academic and work histories. They are thrilled to be working in the Westwood lab and cannot wait to ground their research in anti-colonial practices and queer theory that takes a trauma-informed approach to community-based research.

More: coming soon


Honours Thesis Student

Geneva (she/her) is an undergraduate student pursuing a BSc in Environmental Science and Sustainability (Combined Honours). Throughout her studies, she has developed research interests in biodiversity, habitat suitability, and spatial analysis. For her thesis, she hopes to create a species distribution model to understand the habitat suitability of a keystone species on Cape Breton Island (Unama’ki), the American beaver. Beyond academia, Geneva enjoys riding her bike, playing cards, camping, and exploring the outdoors.

More: LinkedIn. geneva[at]dal[dot]ca


Honours Thesis Student

Sasha (she/her) is an undergraduate student at Dalhousie University pursuing a Combined Honours in Sustainability, and Law, Justice and Society. After having completed two co-op terms with the Canadian Wildlife Service, she is currently working with Dr. Westwood and Manjulika Robertson to complete an Honours Thesis related to the Species at Risk Act and the role of legal tools in mitigating species loss. She is deeply interested in the science-policy interface, Indigenous governance, and the social and political responses to climate change. Outside of the academic context, Sasha enjoys cooking, knitting, and getting outdoors.

More: sasha.mmines[at]dal[dot]ca


Research Assistant

Kim (she/her) completed her BA at McGill University in December 2021 in International Development Studies with minors in Anthropology and Geography. From 2020-2022, she assisted the Dalhousie-Carleton-Natural Resources Canada research team on knowledge exchange in the forest sector. She is currently supporting two other research projects regarding impact assessments in Canada and the ecological forestry transition in Nova Scotia. Her interests span a wide range of disciplines and include grassroot development, sustainable natural resource management, human-nature relationships, and the science-policy interface.

More: kimberly.klenk[at]dal[dot]ca