Laura Tozer

IMPACT Lab Director

(she/her) I am an Assistant Professor of environmental studies in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at the University of Toronto on Dish with One Spoon territory. My research and teaching is about how we can accelerate action to address the climate crisis. I have conducted research on the planning and implementation of just, zero carbon, and resilient transitions in cities; the politics of transnational urban climate governance; and justice in the transition to renewable energy. My current research focuses on how to accelerate equitable transitions to zero carbon and resilient cities, particularly related to energy transitions and building decarbonization. I co-lead the Urban Just Transitions Cluster at the University of Toronto Scarborough. I am an Associate Editor for Environmental Science & Policy and a steering committee member for the Women and Inclusivity in Sustainable Energy Research (WISER) Network.

Elisa (Lizzy) Privitera

Postdoctoral Fellow

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Urban Just Transitions research project at the University of Toronto Scarborough (Canada). I am co-leading the Listening Project, a community-based research initiative that aims to work with community partners to understand and envision equitable transitions. My work aims to investigate how the co-production of knowledge can enhance environmental and social urban justice. I hold a Ph.D. in Urban and Environmental Planning and Design. My dissertation focused on the democratization of environmental knowledge and the potential role of small data and toxic autobiographies for understanding and planning in risk landscapes. I have worked both as a researcher and practitioner in spatial justice-related experiences in Italy, California, and Sweden. I have been an elected member of the coordination team of the AESOP Young Academics Network. Currently, I am part of the "PlaNext-Next Generation Planning" editorial team.

Emmanuel Taiwo

Graduate Student

I am a Chartered Environmentalist, and previously advised the UK Government on climate and environmental matters in Nigeria, where I also led design and delivery of multimillion dollar climate projects, drawing on experiences gleaned at the United Nations, international NGOs, in consulting, and a research portfolio spanning climate governance, energy transition, and resilient development, particularly across Africa. With an MSc in Environmental Management from Greenwich as a Commonwealth Scholar and an MPP from Oxford as an Africa Initiative for Governance Scholar, my PhD in the IMPACT Lab follows with research aimed at tackling equity, justice and policy conundrums beleaguering climate, energy, net-zero, and broader sustainability transitions through ‘whole-of-society’ approaches.

Shalen Chen

Graduate Student

Shalen is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Human Geography program at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about the intersections of climate change, urban governance, and social justice, and is excited to work in spaces that focus on dismantling systems of inequality. She has been involved in various youth-led sustainability initiatives, and spent a year with Be The Change Earth Alliance, a youth education non-profit where she coordinated social and environmental programming that empowers students to take climate action. Her previous experience also includes supporting the UBC 2030 Climate Action Plan with UBC Campus and Community Planning, and a co-op in fuel and emissions regulations with Environment and Climate Change Canada. She holds a BSc. in Global Resource Systems from the University of British Columbia, where she specialized in sustainable urban development and climate justice.

Brooke Sutherland

Graduate Student

Brooke is a first year student in the Master of Arts in Geography program at the University of Toronto. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of British Columbia (UBC) where she studied a combined major in Economics and Political Science and a minor in Environment and Society. Her passion lies in understanding and fostering the transition to a regenerative, zero-carbon economy that promotes both social and ecological well-being. In particular, she’s interested in transitions efforts that are community-engaged and rooted in justice.

Guilherme Baggio Ferla

Research Assistant

Guilherme is a Research Assistant at the IMPACT Lab investigating the challenges and possibilities of mainstreaming decarbonization into decision-making at the municipal level. He obtained his Master of Environmental Science degree in 2022 after studying policy mechanisms and system effects produced by the City of Oslo’s climate budget. Passionate about development dynamics, Guilherme spent more than four years working for the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health (UNU-INWEH), where he worked with 34 countries to develop a policy support system for achieving sustainable development goals. Guilherme’s previous work achievements also include assessing future scenarios for global renewable water resources and estimating the costs of decarbonization through electrification. He holds a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnique Montréal, where he supported research on energy systems in Canada.

Josh McEvoy

Postdoctoral Fellow

Josh is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Urban Just Transitions research project. His research focuses on just transition, social movements and the political economy of climate change.

Daniela Salite

Postdoctoral Fellow

Daniela is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. She has been engaged on her fellowship project titled “Beyond technological fixes - Fostering justice and equity in the transition to sustainable heating technologies in Canada (FITTING)”. The research critically analyses how governance and politics affect a socially just, inclusive, and equitable access to sustainable and affordable heating technologies in Canada. Daniela has a PhD in Livelihood (international and rural development), and apart from conducting research in energy sector, she has also research interest in issues concerning rural and agricultural development, food security and nutrition, adaptation to environmental and climate change, political economy of service provision, and sustainable, just, and equitable development.

Emily Smit

Research Assistant

Motivated by a 'deep ecology' positionality, Emily's research focuses on climate action in the form of house retrofits and how the home functions as an interface for the human-environment relationship. She runs a small, home renovation company with her husband and volunteers with her local resident's association, two positions that she intends to synergize with her PhD work. Her research interests include sustainability transitions and transformations, ecological justice, and climate change governance.

Grace Nosek

Postdoctoral Fellow

Grace Nosek is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto Scarborough working on youth civic engagement and climate action. She is also the Founder of the Climate Hub at the University of British Columbia, a novel, hybrid academic entity where full-time university staff collaborate with student directors to lead wide-ranging climate justice research and action initiatives. Her research focuses on fossil fuel industry and other corporate tactics to undermine public discourse and democracy, as well as potential strategies to protect and empower public participation in environmental decision-making. She holds a B.A. from Rice University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an LL.M and Ph.D. in Law from the University of British Columbia. She is a past Canada-U.S. Fulbright recipient, and her research has been supported by Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation and Killam doctoral scholarships, among others.

Reshmi Rajan

Graduate Student

I'm a graduate student in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management Program at UofT. I hold an undergraduate degree in Electronics and Instrumentation engineering from India. I have prior professional experience in decarbonizing buildings. I developed keen interest & skills in energy efficiency using advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence to enable energy savings and make built spaces more sustainable. Hailing from a developing country where energy access is still a basic issue for many, I’m personally invested in ensuring clean, affordable energy access to all communities globally. My research is focused on the challenges and opportunities presented by the energy transition to renewable energy currently underway in India. I'm interested in exploring the intersection of 'just' energy transitions and holistic sustainability.

Arnav Tandon

Arnav Tandon

Graduate Student

I'm a graduate student in the Master of Science in Sustainability Management Program at UofT.

Ichha Ravinderpal Kaur Kohli

Graduate Student

Ichha is a PhD candidate in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences. Her research, titled ‘How can just nature-based solutions be integrated into urban governance?’, is on nature-based solutions, equity, and urban governance.

Genevieve Drouin

Graduate Student

Genevieve is a MSc Planning candidate at the University of Toronto. Her research is focussed on incentives and barriers to deep energy retrofit uptake in Toronto’s high-rise residential buildings, while maintaining housing security for low-income tenants. She also works as a sustainable development consultant for government and civil society organizations in Canada and internationally, designing and delivering complex, large-scale projects focussed on affordable housing, climate resilience, and inclusive and sustainable cities.


Anirudh Gandhi, MEnvSc, 2022-2023, ‘Implementing Municipal Climate Change Action Plans: Factors Influencing Success and Trends in Strategies Used in Canada’

Tiphany Monplaisir, MEnvSc, 2021-2023, ‘Unpacking the slowness of fund-based adaptation in developing countries’

Hannah MacRae, MScSM, 2021-2023, ‘The Use of Green Bonds in Financing Energy Efficiency Retrofits’

Guilherme Baggio Ferla, MEnvSc, 2021-2022, ‘Mainstreaming decarbonization in decision-making: a study of political mechanisms and system changes in Oslo’s climate budget’

Vicky Koirala, MEnvSc, 2021-2022, ‘Identifying energy poverty and analysing the gaps and opportunities for retrofit policies in Toronto’

Azzam Abu-Rayash, MEnvSc, 2020-2021, ‘Development and assessment of a net zero energy framework for buildings’