The Plastic Action Centre is a platform where Canadians can learn about plastics, make connections, and receive useful information that can help them take action. There are many experts and a growing body of research in Canada focusing on plastics. That’s why we have convened an advisory panel of leading experts across Canada to provide further information, guest blogs, and videos.
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Chelsea Rochman is an Assistant Professor in Ecology at the University of Toronto. She is also a co-founder and director of the UofT Trash Team. Chelsea has been researching the sources, sinks and ecological implications of plastic debris in marine and freshwater habitats for the past decade. She has published dozens of scientific papers in respected journals and has led international working groups about plastic pollution. In addition to her research, Chelsea works to translate her science beyond academia. For example, her research group runs an outreach program in the community and Chelsea regularly presents their work to and/or provides advice for policy makers and managers in Canada, the US, the EU and the UNE.
Rhiannon is a researcher at the Ocean Wise Plastics Lab and is completing her Masters of Science at Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on plastic pollution in Canada’s Arctic, where she is evaluating the amount of microplastic contamination in the beluga food web. In 2017 Rhiannon participated in an all-female sailing expedition (eXXpedition Caribbean) to raise awareness on plastic pollution, and later participated in the Canada C3 expedition as a scientist. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Garfield Weston Award for Northern Research, and named one of Canada’s top 30 under 30 sustainability leaders by Corporate Knights.
When not in the lab or the field, Rhiannon spends much of her time participating in outreach and education events to raise awareness about plastic pollution.
Calvin Lakhan, Ph.D, is currently co-investigator of the “Waste Wiki” project at York University (with Dr. Mark Winfield), a research project devoted to advancing understanding of waste management research and policy in Canada.
The “Waste Wiki” is Canada’s largest open access research project dedicated to bridging the gap between academia, industry and government in issues surrounding waste. Hosted by the faculty of environmental studies, the Waste Wiki is presently home to more than 6000 studies on waste, and hosts a range of free analytical tools (carbon models, data dashboards etc.) to aid in evidence based decision making. Since inception, the Waste Wiki has worked closely with more than two dozen stakeholders from across North America on research projects related to carbon quantification, waste audit analysis, behavioural intervention etc. Our research team has published over 40 papers (academic journals /technical reports), and remains active in advancing our collective understanding of waste management issues facing the sector.
Shannon has been a Program Manager with Circular Innovation Council (originally established as Recycling Council of Ontario in 1978) since 2012 and leads the organizations projects and programming related to plastics. In doing so, she advances progress around plastic waste reduction and pollution prevention across three pillars: behaviour change through education; advocacy and policy; and original research and pilots.
Shannon led the development of the Plastic Action Centre and is responsible for its ongoing strategic growth and development. Her goal is to establish a world-class resource for policy makers, industry and business, academia, and consumers to collaborate and take action on plastic waste and pollution.
She holds an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Economics from the University of Waterloo, and a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Dalhousie University. Her professional experience includes working with not-for-profits, sustainability consultancies, and government agencies.
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