TEAM

CORE TEAM

Founder and Executive Director
Thomas Homer-Dixon’s research focuses on threats to global security in the 21st century, including economic instability, climate change, and energy scarcity. He also studies how people, organizations, and societies can better resolve their conflicts and innovate in response to complex problems. He holds a PhD from MIT in international relations, defense and arms control policy, and conflict theory.
Research Director
Scott Janzwood leads the development and management of the Cascade Institute's research projects. His own research focuses on how scientists and policymakers communicate uncertainty and collaborate to address global catastrophic risks such as climate change, pandemics, and other emerging threats. Scott holds a PhD in Global Governance from the University of Waterloo.
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Gabriela Vieyra

Operations Manager
Gabriela (Gaby) Vieyra manages the Cascade Institute's office and administrative systems. She has been an educator for almost 23 years as an instructor, department director and curriculum designer. Gaby holds a PhD in Humanistic Studies with an emphasis on ethics from Tecnologico de Monterrey and is currently completing her Masters of Environment and Management at Royal Roads University.
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Leighton Gall

Fellow, Energy Systems
Leighton Gall is a fellow on the Energy Systems Transformation Team and the Technical Lead and Indigenous Energy Lead on the Ultradeep Geothermal program. He is a member of the Metis Nation, and a specialist in the transformative field of energy, focusing on sustainable geothermal and advanced drilling technologies. He advocates for environmentally friendly energy solutions, blending his deep indigenous heritage with a global outlook. His significant work in energy transformation is further enriched by extensive international experience, highlighting the importance of renewable resources for a sustainable future. Leighton holds a Master of Global Management from Royal Roads University.
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Megan Shipman

Fellow, Polycrisis
Megan Shipman is a Fellow on the Polycrisis Team. Her expertise in neural circuitry, complex behaviour, and biomedical science informs her current research on global health systems and their interactions with global crises. Megan holds a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Vermont.
Fellow, Polycrisis
Michael Lawrence is a Fellow on the Polycrisis Team. He uses complexity science to understand the coevolution of conflict, violence, and social structure, and through this work he has developed expertise on global governance, societal collapse, the psychology of dehumanization, transnational organized crime, and peacebuilding. Mike holds a PhD in Global Governance from the University of Waterloo.
Fellow, Energy Systems
Rebecca Pearce is a Fellow on the Energy Systems team and the Ultradeep Geothermal Science Lead. Her research focuses on emerging geothermal and drilling technologies. Rebecca is an expert in applied magnetotellurics, contributing to projects in Chile, Northern BC and West Antarctica. She holds a PhD in Geophysics from University College London.
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Dave Lovekin

Energy Systems Program Lead
Dave Lovekin oversees the development and coordination of the Energy Systems Program. Dave's experience includes renewable energy technology research and analysis, government policy and the decarbonization of remote community energy systems. He holds a MASc and BASc in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
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Emily Smejkal

Fellow, Energy Systems
Emily Smejkal is a Fellow on the Energy Systems team and the Ultradeep Geothermal Policy Lead. She is a specialist in Canadian geothermal geology and geothermal policy. Emily holds a BSc in Geology and Earth Science from the University of Calgary. She is currently serving as Secretary of Geothermal Canada.
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Jordan Bendall

Administrative Assistant
Jordan Bendall is the Cascade Institute’s Administrative Assistant, supporting the team through his expertise in scheduling, communications, and administrative process-building. Jordan holds a BA in English from the University of Victoria with a minor in Professional Writing in Journalism and Publishing.
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Nicole Pointon

Communications Manager
Nicole Pointon handles Cascade Institute communications and outreach, supporting research knowledge mobilization across projects and teams. Nicole holds a BA in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University, a Graduate Certificate in Child Protection to Wellbeing from Royal Roads University, and is presently completing a Master of Arts in Global Leadership (focused on child and youth participation) at Royal Roads.

RESIDENT AND VISITING FELLOWS

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Julie MacArthur

Resident Fellow, Energy Systems
Dr. Julie MacArthur is the Canada Research Chair in Reimagining Capitalism and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Management at Royal Roads University. She is an expert in the political economy of just energy transitions, with a particular focus on the potential and role of radical democratization for transformative system change. Julie holds a PhD in Political Science from Simon Fraser University.
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Jaigris Hodson

Resident Fellow, Anti-Polarization
Dr. Jaigris Hodson is the Canada Research Chair (tier 2) in Digital Communication for the Public Interest and an Associate Interdisciplinary Studies Professor at Royal Roads University. Her SSHRC and CIHR funded research examines the ways that misinformation can be mitigated through digital communication efforts. Jaigris holds a PhD from York University.
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Ian Graham

Visiting Fellow, Energy Systems
Dr. Ian Graham is a member of the Energy Systems team, supporting the Ultradeep Geothermal program. A former IT and business consultant, he has held management and leadership positions at the Bank of Montreal, University of Toronto, and small Toronto-based startups, as well as research positions with the National Research Council. Ian holds a PhD in Physics from McGill University.
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Emmanuel Ackom

Senior Fellow, Energy Systems
Dr. Emmanuel Ackom is an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia focusing on energy transitions, policy and climate action. He combines extensive academic research with 11 years of experience from the United Nations (UN) - where he was a Senior Scientist - to promote sustainable communities. Emmanuel holds a PhD in Environmental and Resources Management from the Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany.

AFFILIATED RESEARCHERS

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Lina Madaj

Researcher
Dr. Lina Madaj is a Researcher on the Permafrost Carbon Feedback Project. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands where her research focuses on the carbon released into the ocean by coastal permafrost thaw. Lina holds a PhD in Earth Sciences from the University of Bremen, Germany.
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Deniz Vural

Researcher
Deniz Vural is a Researcher on the Permafrost Carbon Feedback Project. She has 10 years of professional experience in education and outreach activities related to climate change and its impact on polar regions. Deniz is a PhD Candidate at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany where she researches the changing shoreface dynamics on the permafrost coasts of the Northwestern Canadian Arctic.
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Katherine Matos

Research Associate
Katherine Matos is a member of the Polycrisis Team. She is currently completing an MA in Environment and Management at Royal Roads University, where her research focuses on the energy transition. She has over 10 years of experience in environmental studies and project management within the private and public sectors.
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Joan Owen

Research Associate
Joan Owen is a member of the Polarization Team. She has Master of Arts in Leadership from Royal Roads University. Joan is currently completing her Doctor of Social Sciences at Royal Roads University where her dissertation focuses on polarization and social media.
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Princess Cosalan

Research Associate
Princess Sharlynne Cosalan is a member of the Energy Systems Team, working on Ultradeep Geothermal research. She is currently completing an MSc in Earth Sciences at Simon Fraser University where her research focuses on volcanic crisis management, where she leverages geophysics to enhance our understanding and preparedness for volcanic events.