Research Team


Dr. A. John Sinclair – Primary investigator and project lead

Dr. John Sinclair is a professor with the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba.  Dr. Sinclair’s main research interest focuses on community involvement in, and learning through, processes of resource and environmental decision-making that aim to ensure our actions are more sustainable. This research meshes well with societal shifts from government to governance and toward discursive democracy that promote the meaningful engagement of citizens in deliberative processes of decision-making.

Dr. Iain Davidson-Hunt – Co-investigator

Dr. Iain Davidson-Hunt is a professor with the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba.   Dr. Davidson-Hunt works with Master of Natural Resource Management students interested in ethnobotany and ethnoecology with a particular focus on the practice of harvesting (gathering, hunting, fishing) within forested landscapes. We focus both on harvesting for subsistence and for non-commercial and commercial trade. In the area of commercial trade an emerging interest is in documenting the value chains and networks of specific organisms and products. At the Ph.D. level, he works with students to develop conceptual framing and methodologies to understand the topologies of harvesting networks and the continuity of such practices.  Dr. Davidson-Hunt’s work draws together his experience as a professional planner and his interests in ethnobotany, ethnoecology and community enterprises in developing an approach that he terms biocultural design.

Dr. Alan Diduck – Co-investigator

Dr. Alan Diduck is a professor in the Department of Environmental Studies & Sciences at the University of Winnipeg and an adjunct professor at the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba.  Dr. Diduck’s program focuses on community involvement in environmental governance, the learning implications of involvement (e.g., cognitive, value, behavioural and relational change), and the consequences for social aspects of sustainability, such as equity, empowerment and capacity development. His work encompasses environmental assessment, risk management, and institutional and policy analysis, and it includes involvement and learning at multiple societal levels (e.g., by individuals, groups, and organizations).

Dr. Laura Sims – Associate investigator

Dr. Laura Sims is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Education at the Université de Saint-Boniface.  She specializes in education for sustainability and community-based assessment processes. Laura taught high school for 10 years in Winnipeg and in the Dominican Republic. For three years she managed a Canadian International Development Agency environmental project in Central America.

Research Associates

Dr. Michael O’Flaherty

Dr. Michael O’Flaherty is an independent consultant specialising in social science research and writing, and in 2014-2015, he assisted the CGRF in compiling a book (in press) summarizing the project.  He holds a doctorate degree in Anthropology from the University of Toronto, specializing in ecological anthropology and African studies.  He currently works with aboriginal peoples on indigenous knowledge research and bringing results into planning for resource management activities.  Dr. O’Flaherty is an adjunct faculty member of the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Manitoba, assisting with graduate research.

Dr. Lisa Quinn

As a new post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Lisa Quinn assisted the CGRF in 2014 with beginning to compile summary documents for a legacy book project, later completed by Dr. Michael O’Flaherty.  Dr. Quinn currently works as an environmental program analyst for the Province of Manitoba’s Green Manitoba – Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship.

Undergraduate student research assistants

The CGRF employed a couple of University of Winnipeg undergrad students as research assistants.  Their work was overseen by Dr. Alan Diduck.

Dawn Fraser – Dawn worked for the CGRF in 2009-2010 and assisted in developing the CGRF communications strategy.  She produced a report, Knowledge Sharing Methods in Community-University Research Alliance Projects: In Search of Best Practices, that is available on the Publications and Reports page.

Denae Penner – Denae worked for the CGRF in 2010-2011 and completed a research project in collaboration with the Kenora Urban Trails Committee.  She prepared two reports, one on cross-cultural trail development and another discussing the legal landscape for trails development in Ontario.  Both reports are also available on the Publications and Reports page.