Who We Are

Professional-photo-KG (cropped)Kathleen Godfrey

McGill University, MA ‘18 Ecological Anthropology, BA ‘16 Anthropology & Organismal Biology

A lover of beings, making meaningful connections, climate justice, learning, and conversation. For the last three years, through my academic and personal pursuits, I have been privileged to work in the South Rift of Kenya with the Olkiramatian and Shompole Maasai pastoralist communities, asking questions related to biodiversity conservation and exploring culturally-relevant approaches for social-ecological systems management. Between October 2018 and April 2019, I returned to the South Rift to continue collaborating with the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) to design and implement a conservation curriculum grounded in the Maasai principles of eramatare (care and management), enkanyiet (respect), and entaisere (to see a future on the land). Some works that inspire me are Robin Reid’s (2012) Savannas of Our Birth, Gavin et al.’s (2015) “Defining biocultural approaches to conservation”, and Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. I live in Ottawa and am educating myself on indigenous conservation approaches, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism while searching for work. 

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Valentin Lucet

McGill University, MSc Biology (current), BSc Honours ‘18 Biology & Anthropology 

I am, as the late Stephen Hawking said, a member of a very average ape species, living on a very average planet, orbiting around a very average star. And yet, what has always fascinated me is that the earth is all but “average” in the eyes of most people. For long I have experienced the very human fascination for the “perfection” of the natural world. This is why I pursued a degree in biology. I later became interested in the nature/culture divide that is customary in the western tradition and sought to understand what are the implications of this divide for the conservation of ecosystems, which sparked the idea of creating this blog. After having studied theoretical models of Caribbean Coral reef ecology for my honours thesis; I am now, for my master’s thesis, continuing an applied research project on the ecological connectivity of forest fragments in the Saint Lawrence lowlands around Montreal.

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Lindsay Potts

McGill University, MSc Biology (current), BSc ‘16 Honours Biology

I am an outdoor enthusiast passionate about conserving wildlife and wilderness. My fieldwork has taken me across Canada and has instilled in me a deep and ever-growing awe for this vast and rugged patch of Earth that I am so fortunate to call home. I am especially curious about how good science can inform effective conservation policy and how we can promote meaningful engagement between scientists, policy-makers, Indigenous peoples, and the public on environmental issues.  I am completing a Master’s in Biology at McGill University, studying the effects of climate change on Pugnose Shiner, an imperiled freshwater fish. I am currently splitting my time between the major metropolises of Montréal and Toronto as I complete my thesis and plan a 4-month canoe trip across Canada with some friends for the summer of 2020. 

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Liam Ragan

McGill University, BA ‘19 Anthropology & Environment

Environmental consultant, conservation researcher, owl photographer extraordinaire; I’ve always held sustainability at the centre of my career which is why I’m proud to have been a part of the Connecting Conservation team from the beginning. During my undergraduate studies I had the good fortune to work first for the Institutional Canopy of Conservation in Ol’Kiramatian, Kenya and later the Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives in Tsal’alh, B.C. looking at how communities engage with conservation strategies. Central to my research was the way in which communities were impacted by and could in turn successfully guide those strategies in ways that lead to long-term sustainable outcomes. Since graduating I’ve been working as an environmental consultant for EcoSafe Zero Waste helping cities increase their landfill diversion and strive towards a model of circular economy.

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