Meet the Montreal Hub team
The Montreal Hub team is part of the Future Earth Secretariat and helps to carry out day-to-day operations of Future Earth.
Global Hub Director, Canada; Executive Director, Sustainability in the Digital Age
Éliane Ubalijoro, PhD, is the Global Hub Director in Canada for Future Earth, as well as the Executive Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age. Her decades of experience span academia, science-policy and the non-profit and international development sectors. She is a Professor of Practice for Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development, where her research interests focus on innovation, gender and sustainable development for prosperity creation. Her teaching over the last decade has focused on facilitating leadership development. She is a member of Rwanda’s National Science and Technology Council and has been a member of the Presidential AdvisoryCouncil for Rwandan President Paul Kagame since its inception in September 2007. She is a member of the Expert Consultation Group on the Post COVID-19 Implications on Collaborative Governance of Genomics Research, Innovation, and Genetic Diversity. Éliane is a member of the African Development Bank’s Expert Global Community of Practice on COVID-19 Response Strategies in Africa. She is a member of the newly created Capitals Coalition Supervisory Board. Éliane teaches and advises in Leadership programs to help equip executives in science, innovation and international development with tools that support inner and outer sustainable transformation towards global prosperity.
Science Editor & Advancement Officer, Sustainability in the Digital Age & Future Earth
Andréa currently employs her wide complement of skills in research, analysis, editing and evaluation as Science Editor and Advancement Officer for both Future Earth and Sustainability in the Digital Age. Her approach to writing and fundraising is rooted in her diverse professional experience spanning program evaluation, international development, freelance science writing, and laboratory research. Prior to joining Future Earth, Ms. Ventimiglia worked as a science program evaluator helping to measure and valorize the societal impact of research and research funding. She holds a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo, and a Masters in Journalism from Carleton University.
Research Manager, Sustainability in the Digital Age
Jennifer Garard brings an interdisciplinary background to the role of Research Manager, where she coordinates, advances, and oversees all research-related activities at Sustainability in the Digital Age. For two years, Jennifer was a Science Officer at Future Earth, acting as liaison to the Advisory Committee, engaging in projects such as the Global Risks Perceptions initiative, and coordinating the Futures CoLab project. Prior to this, Jennifer was a researcher with the working group Scientific Assessments, Ethics, and Public Policy at Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin, Germany, and an intern with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity Health and Biodiversity Cross-Cutting Initiative. She holds a BSc in Environmental Science from McGill University, specializing in Biodiversity and Conservation (2008), a Master of Environmental Assessment from Concordia University (2013), and a PhD from the Technische Universität Berlin (“Stakeholder Engagement at the Science-Policy Interface,” 2018).
Postdoctoral Researcher, Science-based Pathways for Sustainability & Sustainability in the Digital Age
Mi is from Zhenjiang, southeast China where she graduated from Nanjing University (NJU) and attained a Master's degree from Peking University (PKU) in environmental sciences and engineering. Earlier this year (2020), she completed her PhD in natural resource sciences at McGill University with a focus on the issue of groundwater depletion and the promotion of resilient water-secure systems. Prior to joining Future Earth, Mi served for UNDP Ecosystem and Biodiversity team working on project coordination and knowledge management, including facilitating high-level events and dialogues (e.g. World Wildlife Day, Nature for life hub), developing and managing online public portals (e.g. PANORAMA solutions), and supporting science-based policy analysis on nature-based solutions at country-level. She is also a member of the Quebec Center for Biodiversity Science Institute and Resilience Alliance Young Scholars society. In Future Earth, Mi will contribute to the development of biodiversity and sustainability pathways through two on-going projects: Science-based Pathways for Sustainability (SBPS) & the Sustainability in the Digital Age initiative (SDA). She is also a part of first cohort of trainees in the LEADs program (Leadership in Environmental and Digital innovation for Sustainability), a joint initiative of Concordia University, Sustainability in the Digital Age and other collaborators. Mi has been passionate about international sustainable development since she was a student journalist at PKU where she interviewed Nobel Laureates and international leaders. Throughout her studies, she has set up multiple volunteer teams to empower people and protect the environment. She has also launched several innovative projects designed to improve social well-being and protect Nature, including a mobile app for recording individual carbon footprints. Mi is also an amateur musician who has been playing the Guzheng (Chinese zither) for over twenty years.
Coordinator, Future Earth Montreal Hub & Sustainability in the Digital Age
Marie d'Acremont coordinates the administrative activities of the hub (including human resources, finance and general administration), whilst acting as university partnerships liaison and translator of external communications. She holds a BSc in Sociology from Kingston University, London UK and an MSc in Environmental Sciences from l'Université du Québec à Montréal.
Partner, Future Earth
Dr. Sylvia Wood is a lead scientist for research and development at Eco2Urb, helping cities and municipalities to manage their urban green spaces for resilience and the provision of ecosystem services through complexity and connectivity planning approaches. She holds a PhD in Geography (McGill University), an MSc in Forest Ecology (University of British Columbia) and a BSc in Biology (Queen’s University). Her work focuses on the modelling of ecosystem services provision of nature-based solutions in urban, peri-urban and multifunctional landscapes and on linking biodiversity and ecosystem services with targets in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Previously, Sylvia worked as a lead scientist on Future Earth's Science-based Pathways for Sustainability initiative in Canada and on the Collective Intelligence and Foresight activities, part of the Sustainability in the Digital Age initiative. She now sits on the advisory teams for these projects to provide strategic input and support, particularly on topics related to biodiversity change and the SDGs.
Hub Manager and Head of Global Operations, Canada
Alyson Surveyer is the Future Earth Montreal Hub Manager and Head of Global Operations. Prior to this role, Alyson worked at Future Earth on urban issues. She holds a Bachelor’s degree with honours and Masters degree in chemical engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal. Her Masters was completed at the International Reference Center for Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG), in collaboration with Rolls-Royce Canada. The thesis investigated alternative fuels for gas turbines in a 2020 global electricity generation perspective. Before joining Future Earth she worked as a consultant in sustainable development for clients in the private and public sectors and was coordinator of the Inter-university Research Center in High Performance Polymers and Composites (CREPEC), where she had diverse mandates such as to heighten industry-university collaborations as well as the reach and visibility of its members. Alyson was also a course lecturer from 2014-2016 at HEC Montréal in sustainability and operations management. Alyson’s career objective is to build a strong and diverse community of researchers, government officials, and industries that will develop and put in motion production systems and policies to achieve global sustainable patterns. She truly believes that Future Earth will pave the way.
Strategic Programs Manager, Sustainability in the Digital Age
Nilu joins Sustainability in the Digital Age as Strategic Programs Manager, working collaboratively with the Global Director to streamline and oversee the implementation of the initiative's activities. She holds a BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology from Concordia University and an MSc in Biochemistry from McGill University. After her studies, her interests in neuroscience and music led her to collaborate on research projects at The Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music, investigating the relationship between music and mindfulness. Other areas of interest include the preservation of biocultural heritage, as well as the protection and conservation of mountain areas. Nilu is also a musician, a yoga instructor and an avid rock climber who boulders competitively in her free time.
Digital Content and Communications Officer
Rachelle Fox joins Sustainability in the Digital Age as the Digital Content and Communications Officer. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Études françaises and an M.A. in Littératures francophones et résonances médiatiques from Concordia University. Her master’s research-creation project explored the intersection of theatre and social media with a specific focus on the ways people communicate and behave in digital spaces. She’s passionate about technology, sustainability, and storytelling. Rachelle is also an artist and avid snowshoer.