Rachael joined the NRCPM lab as a PhD student in January 2017. Her research interests lie at the intersection of the social and environmental dimensions of conservation. In particular, she is interested in the evaluation of conservation initiatives for their broad scale impacts, information that can be fed back into a scheme to promote adaptive management. Due to this interdisciplinary focus, Rachael incorporates a mix of social and ecological methods in her research design. Through her research, Rachael aims to contribute to improving the integration of environmental and social priorities in policy and practice.
Graduating with a B.Sc. (Hons) Biology degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2015, Rachael maintained a primarily ecological focus throughout her undergraduate studies. During this time, she was involved with a diverse range of research including an honors project on parental behaviour in turkey vultures and an internship on the nesting ecology of sea turtles in Costa Rica. Rachael completed her masters at the University of Exter, UK, where she graduated with an M.Sc. in Conservation and Biodiversity with distinction in 2016. While there, she developed an interest in the social side of conservation, combining this focus with her previous experience working with sea turtles for her thesis on the wide scale impacts of marine turtle conservation project in North Cyprus. Rachael was introduced to the discipline of environmental planning through volunteer work with a protected areas organization in the UK and immediately became excited by the broad and interdisciplinary nature of the field and the potential opportunities in offers. This interest eventually led her to the Planning Department at the University of Waterloo and the NRCPM lab.