December 2020

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Image by Dufour



Dear MSSI community,


The first full semester of working remotely is drawing to a close and we are pleased to report that – for the MSSI – it hasn’t been altogether bad. Being aware of the trials that many are facing, we are all grateful to be employed and in good health, and while we certainly miss out on interactions during in-person events, the shift to virtual meetings has reduced the time and resources needed to connect with colleagues from both McGill campuses and beyond.


We have held a number of well-attended events and activities. These included the annual Research Theme Symposium, which was also the launch of the CleanTech Research Theme and attracted a wider, more diverse and more international audience as well as world-class speakers who likely would not have been able to attend in person, the joint MSSI-University Advancement webcast series on sustainability and the creation of the MSSI Graduate Student and Postdoc Collective. While we are keen to get back to campus and to our face-to-face meetings, we recognise the increased participation and accessibility that an online format has enabled and plan to retain this for a portion of our future events.


We know this has been a challenging semester for most of you and thank you for all the support you have shown us. From all of us at the MSSI Hub, we wish you and your families a peaceful and relaxing holiday period.


Heather McShane (Program Director and Catalyst-in-Chief)



Upcoming events


Sustainability Research Symposium



SRS 2021, a three-day virtual conference focusing on sustainable business practices, will take place from January 27th to 29th from 1 to 4 pm. This is a free event but registration is required. Visit the SRS website for more information, to register, or to submit an abstract. This student-led event is now in its 11th year!


Learn more


SDG Week


McGill SDG Week, hosted by the McGill SDG Student Hub in collaboration with various clubs and student associations at McGill, takes place from February 8th to 12th. Join for a week of discussions, workshops, and activities to help students learn about, engage with and take action on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


See the Facebook event


News & Announcements


New CleanTech Research Theme



The MSSI has funded three new projects under its fifth research theme – CleanTech for Climate Action – that are developing innovative new technologies to help us transition to a cleaner future. This team brings an exciting new dimension to the MSSI.


Learn more


Recap: 2020 MSSI Research Theme Symposium



On November 9th and 10th the MSSI hosted its annual Sustainability Research Theme Symposium. With two keynotes, research theme presentations and student events, the symposium attracted over one hundred people – from both within McGill and from the broader community – across the two days.


Learn more


McGill Climate & Sustainability Strategy



The Board of Governors has endorsed the McGill University Climate & Sustainability Strategy 2020-2025. The Strategy highlights eight new categories, two transversal themes, and the addition of a third long-term target: to become zero-waste by 2035.


Read the Strategy


Student Feature: Protecting Canada's Rivers and Lakes



Dalal Hanna, MSSI Landscapes Scholar and recent PhD graduate in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, was featured on the McGill website this Fall.


Learn more


Research Updates


Covid 19: The Future of Food


As part of PIVOT, a collaboration between the MSSI and the National Film Board of Canada, researchers asked 21 small- and medium-size entrepreneurs how they were adapting to the pandemic. As the second wave hit, director Jérémie Battaglia went back to two of the entrepreneurs to ask how they envision the future of Canada's food industry. Watch



Mechanochemical Synthesis of Short DNA Fragments


This project, from researchers in the Department of Chemistry, was supported by the MSSI Innovation Fund. Learn more



Building Capacity Through Interdisciplinary Graduate Collaboration


In this guest editorial, MSSI Landscape Scholars reflect on what they have gained from the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary collaborations during their graduate studies. Read the editorial



In Case You Missed It: Sustainability Research Webcasts


This past semester, University Advancement and the MSSI organized a series of four webcasts showcasing McGill sustainability researchers. Watch


Selected Publications


Boudet, F. et al. (2020). Rural-urban connectivity and agricultural land management across the Global South. Global Environmental Change, 60(January 2020), 101982. See open access paper.


Krebs, J. & McKeague, M. (2020). Green Toxicology: Connecting Green Chemistry and Modern Toxicology. Chemical Research in Toxicology. See paper.


le Polain de Waroux, Y. et al. (2020). Pious pioneers: the expansion of mennonite colonies in Latin America. Journal of Land Use Science. See paper.


Oh, S.G. et al. (2020). Arctic precipitation and surface wind speed associated with cyclones in a changing climate. Climate Dynamics, 0123456789. See paper.


Schreiber, K. et al. (2020). Quantifying the foodshed: A systematic review of urban food flow and local food self-sufficiency research. Environmental Research Letters. See open access paper.


Uceda, M. et al. (2020). Improving 2D Hybrid Energy Storage Electrode Homogeneity Via Graphene Oxide/Active Nanomaterial Electrophoretic Co-Deposition. ECS Meeting Abstracts, MA2020-01(5), 597–597. See paper.


Join our community

Faculty, staff and students from McGill and beyond are invited to join as members or affiliates of the MSSI. We also have a community of McGill graduate students and postdocs interested in sustainability research. Join as a student/postdoc member or contact for more information.


Join now →






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