Current Lab Members

Dr. Lea Berrang-Ford

I am a Professor and Research Chair in Climate & Health at the Priestley International Centre for Climate at Leeds University. I hold academic degrees in Geography, Environmental Change, and Epidemiology, and my research focuses on the environmental determinants of global health and infectious disease. I work extensively on the social and environmental determinants of sleeping sickness in Uganda, and more recently on the health impacts of climate change. My interests focus on infectious, vectorborne and zoonotic diseases, particularly using spatial analysis and mixed-methodologies. I have published in climate change adaptation, infectious disease, and social determinants of health journals and I am the co-editor of the recently published Springer book, “Adaptation in Developed Nations: from theory to practice”. I currently co-lead an international, interdisciplinary research team investigating vulnerability and adaptation to the health effects of climate change among remote Indigenous populations in Peru, Uganda, and the Canadian Arctic, funded by the IDRC/Tri-Council IRIACC program. My current research also explores global determinants of emerging disease, and development of innovative methodologies for climate change adaptation tracking. In 2016//17, I served as a Canada Research Chair in Global Health & Environmental Change. Since 2017, I have been a Royal Society Wolfson Research Scholar based at the University of Leeds..

Key Collaborators

Dr. James Ford

Associate Professor in Geography at McGill University

Dr. James Ford is a Professor and Research Chair in Climate Adaptation at the Priestley International Centre for Climate, where he leads the Climate Change Adaptation Research Group. He is originally from Manchester, England, and did his BA and MSc at Oxford, PhD at Guelph, before moving to Montreal in 2006. In 2017, he moved to the UK to take up a position in the new Priestley Climate Centre at Leeds. He leads a diversity of initiatives, including projects focusing on Indigenous peoples and climate change, examining ways to create ‘usable’ science, developing novel approaches to tracking climate change adaptation at global and regional levels, developing systematic review approaches in an environmental change context, and he is involved in adaptation monitoring and evaluation debates. James is currently an editor at the journal Regional Environmental Change, and contributed widely to the human dimensions scholarship.


Dr. Shuaib Lwasa

Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Makerere University

Shuaib Lwasa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Makerere University. Shuaib has aPhDin Land Management from Makerere, a Masters in GIS for Urban management applications, a Masters in Land Use and Regional Development Planning and a Bachelors degree in Geography. Research interests include topics on property rights, environmental management, livelihood systems, spatial planning and vulnerability and adaptation to Climate Change, in both rural and urban areas. He has led multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary research teams on applied geospatial technologies in urban and regional planning as well as coupled social and environmental systems. His recent publications have focused on adaptations to climate change, land and property rights, vulnerability assessment, and the urbanization of poverty. Shuaib was the convener and scientific chair of AfricaGIS 2009 in Kampala, Uganda and has been invited for a series of lectures at various universities and diplomatic missions within and outside Uganda.


Dr. Sherilee Harper

Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph

Sherilee Harper is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph. Her research investigates associations between weather, water, and Indigenous health in the context of climate change, and she collaborates with Indigenous partners to prioritize climate-related health actions, planning, interventions, and research. She is currently a collaborator in an international research initiative called the “Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change” (IHACC) project, which works closely with Indigenous peoples and their organizations in the Canadian Arctic, Ugandan Impenetrable Forest, and the Peruvian Amazon, and she is also a co-investigator on the “Indigenous Peoples Adapting to the Health Effects of Climate Change” (IK-ADAPT) project. Sherilee currently sits on the Editorial Board of Epidemiology and Infection.


Dr. Manisha Kulkarni

Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Community Medicine, University of Ottawa

Manisha Kulkarni completed aPhDin Medical Entomology at McGill University in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Joint Malaria Programme, where she conducted research on malaria transmission and control in the Tanzanian highlands. Her research is primarily located in East Africa, with a focus on the eco-bio-social determinants of infectious disease risk, including the ecology of mosquitoes that carry malaria and other diseases, how climate may alter their distributions, and the risk this poses to humans over time and space. Dr. Kulkarni has led field research activities on malaria control in many parts of Africa and South America for more than a decade, working with academic, government and non-governmental partners. After completing aPost-doctoralfellowship at the University of Ottawa in 2010,DrKulkarni worked for some time with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency, and she is now back as an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, involved in projects relating to malaria and global health.

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Mr. Didacus B. Namanya

Geographer, Ugandan Ministry of Health

Didacus Bambaiha Namanya has a BA in Geography from Makerere University, MSc. Public Health from International Health Sciences University and now works as a geographer at the Ministry of Health in Uganda where his work involves public health mapping, climate change and policy development. He was hosted as a guest researcher in 2012 in the Department of Geography at McGillUniversity,and is currently due to begin hisPhDin Geography at Makerere University. Didacus is a co-applicant with IHACC “Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change” research group, and his current research interests focus on climate change, healthsystemsand Indigenous communities.



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Dr. Robbert Biesbroek

Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Wageningen University

Dr. Robbert Biesbroek is Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Wageningen University (Netherlands). His research focusses on emerging boundary spanning policy problems that crosscut spatial, temporal and administrative systems, particularly in the fields of climate change adaptation and food security. His research includes topics on measuring and evaluating policy progress and change, theorizing policy integration and policy innovation, and the role of State in boundary-spanning problems. He has been involved in several comparative studies including the PEER study on National Adaptation Strategies across Europe (2008-2010) and the EEA report on national adaptation progress in Europe (2014). Dr. Biesbroek holds an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in public policy and environmental science from Wageningen University. He is co-founder of TRAC3 (, a member of the international Climate Policy Innovation network and the Dutch Association of Public Administration.

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Current Lab Members

Matthew King

Outreach & Media Coordinator

Matthew recently received his bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Sustainability, Science, and Society. He currently works with the IHACC lab to present research in unique and engaging ways. In order to increase the dissemination impact of the lab’s Peruvian research, Matthew has lived with the community of Nuevo Progreso, photographing the traditional ways of achieving food security in contrast to a changing climate. The project can be viewed at: He is working now to present the project in other venues as well as continue it with other communities that IHACC works with.




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Michelle Maillet

Acting IHACC project manager

Michelle is an academic advisor and project manager in the Department of Geography at McGill University. She obtained her M.A. in Geography from McGill in 2014, her thesis focusing on climate change adaptation policy discourses at the international level and implications for indigenous peoples. Michelle joined the team in 2010 as a Research Assistant after finishing her B.A. at McGill. She contributed as an editorial assistant to the development of the book “Climate Change Adaptation in Developed Nations: From Theory to Practice”, edited by Dr. Ford and Dr. Berrang-Ford (2011), and has provided support in the Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) project, among other things. Michelle was acting IHACC project manager from January to September 2013,and has now returned to the position since January 2015.


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Claudia (Carol) Zavaleta MD

PhD Candidate (Geography), 2012 – current

Project: Vulnerability of Shawi Indigenous People to food insecurity and identification of Adaptation opportunities to climate change

Carol is a Medical Doctor and holds a degree in the Control of Tropical and Infectious Diseases from Cayetano Heredia University in Peru. She started herPhDat McGill seeking to develop research skills to understand the complexity of the social and environmental factors determining human health outcomes, particularly among Indigenous populations in the Peruvian Amazon. Carol’s thesis, based in Peru, is constructed under the umbrella of the IHACC’s international initiatives. Her thesis investigates the current vulnerability of Shawi Amazon Indigenous people to food insecurity in order to identify potential adaption interventions that might mitigate risks to climate change. Carol believes that medical programs would benefit from an inclusion of indigenous health topics and from further discusssionson environmental health issues. She is currently a fellow in the Global Health Research Capacity Strengthening Program (GHR-CAPS) which is an international and interdisciplinary training program that look to influence global health policies and programs (see for more information Recently, Carol received an IDRC Doctoral Research Award to conduct her field work in Peru. Each year IDRC holds a competition for the Doctoral Research Award open to Canadians and international students pursuing their doctoral degree at a Canadian university. These awards support field research in developing countries.

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Max Farrell

PhD Candidate (Biology)

Max’s research is driven by an interest in the local and global issues that stem from human-wildlife interactions. Previous projects have used field and lab techniques to assess ecological impacts of aquatic invasive species in both the St. Lawrence and Lake Victoria systems. For his doctoral research, he is developing a model to predict future host shifts of wildlife parasites into livestock using phylogenetic relatedness, species distributions, and known host-parasite associations. He hopes to identify global regions where these shifts are likely to occur in order to guide policy, surveillance, and development programs aimed at reducing the burden of infectious diseases in humans, wildlife, and domesticated animals. Max is based co-supervised by Lea Berrang Ford and Jonathan Davies (Biology).


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Margot Charette

Research Assistant, 2016- current

Project: Climate and health among Indigenous populations in Peru

Margot just finished her Master’s degree in Health Geography, looking at the meteorological and socioeconomic drivers of dengue in Pucallpa, Peru. Margot is currently working as a research assistant for the lab, with a focus on the Peruvian research sites. She complements her current data analysis activities with results dissemination and visualization work. Margot joined Dr. Berrang Ford’s lab in November 2013 while being an undergraduate Environment & Agriculture student and has since then been working on statistical analysis using health data for the IHACC project.


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Stephanie Austin

Masters Student, 2015-current

Project: public health adaptation to climate change in Canada and other OECD nations

Stephanie graduated in May 2013 from McGill University with a Joint Honours BA in Geography and International Development Studies. For her honours thesis and subsequent field research assistantship, Stephanie explored organic agriculture as a sustainable livelihood strategy for farmers in South India. Her research interests include rural development, food security, public health, social determinants of health and sustainable livelihoods. Stephanie was previously Co-President of the McGill Undergraduate Geography Society (2012-2013) and livelihoods intern at the Association for India’s Development in Chennai, India. She worked as a research assistant with Professors Ford and Berrang Ford, examining public health adaptation to climate change in Canada and other OECD nations in conjunction with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada from 2013-2015.


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Frances M. Wang

Project Lead, 2016-current

Project: Adaptation Tracking Stakeholder Needs Assessment

Frances is a full-time Researcher for the Adaptation Tracking Collaborative (ATC). She holds a M.Sc in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University and a B.A. in Economics from McGill University. She has previously worked on the topics of green growth and behavioural economics at the United Nations Environment Programme, and renewable energy research at Oxford University. By bringing experience in designing urban-level metrics around climate change, her research as part the ATC focuses on developing and strengthening the methodological aspects of Adaptation Tracking through an interdisciplinary approach.

Emma Windfeld

Research Assistant, 2016-current

Project: Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change
Emma recently graduated from McGill with a B.A. in Environment (Ecological Determinants of Health) and a minor in Geography. She joined Dr. Berrang Ford’s lab as a Research Assistant in 2016 as part of the Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change (IHACC) project. Emma’s current research involves integrating indigenous knowledge and community-based metrics into climate modeling, with a focus on the ways in which climate change will impact the health of the Batwa population in southwest Uganda.