Water@Wayne Seminar: "Partnership & Co-Production of Farming and Freshwater Solutions: A Holistic Approach"

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Date: January 23, 2020
Time: 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Engineering, College of #1520 | Map
5050 Anthony Wayne
Detroit, MI 48202
Category: Seminar

RSVP is closed.

The Office of the Vice President of Reseach is pleased to host the next Water@Wayne seminar on Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Engineering, room 1520. The seminar is free and open to the public; registration is requested.

The Water@Wayne seminar series presents "Partnership & Co-Production of Farming and Freshwater Solutions: A Holistic Approach" with guest speaker, Dr. Catherine Febria, Canada Research Chair and Assistant Professor in Freshwater Restoration Ecology, University of Windsor.

Dr. Febria is co-Director of the GLIER Organic and Nutrients Laboratory, a central research facility at the University of Windsor, and Director of the Healthy Headwaters Lab & Research Team.  Her research focuses on the ecology and restoration of small streams and wetlands, and their role in contributing to ecosystem health in the Laurentian Great Lakes.  She received a PhD in ecology & a certificate in environmental studies from the University of Toronto, a MSc in geography from Simon Fraser University, and a BSc in environmental science from the University of Toronto.  She held a postdoctoral role at the University of Maryland’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and most recently relocated her research back to Canada from the Univ of Canterbury in Aotearoa New Zealand where she directed CAREX, an agricultural stream restoration research program in partnership with farmers, indigenous (Māori) partners, government and industry. Her research has been published in the Science, Nature Geoscience, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Environmental Science & Technology, and Frontiers in Microbiology, to name a few. She is a Coordinating Editor with the journal Restoration Ecology, a Fellow with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services and a co-founder of the Kindness in Science global initiative. Currently she is developing research that centres local farming and First Nations communities in the co-development of science and co-production of testable solutions in the SW Ontario / lower Great Lakes basin region of Canada.


In the past year alone, the science has become abundantly clear: our planet has shifted from a state of climate change and biodiversity loss to crisis.  Calls to action globally are shining a light on the need to better incorporate local and indigenous communities as a missing dimension addressing freshwater sustainability.  To explore this knowledge gap, Dr. Febria will present a seminar that places land-water connections in central focus.  Specifically, the seminar will discuss and explore the science of headwater ecosystems, and the critical role of local communities as knowledge-holders, stewards and partners in actionable science at local to global scales.  Together we will explore the hypothesis that small streams are essential to solving global problems.  Headwater ecosystems – small streams, drain networks and wetlands – are hotspots of ecosystem functions and biodiversity.  To study them and protect them both require and depend on local communities to undertake and scale research downstream and across a region. 

Dr. Febria will present research tested locally in three different global contexts: urbanising watersheds of Chesapeake Bay (USA), lowland agricultural waterways in Canterbury (Aotearoa New Zealand), and clay-plain watersheds of the lower Great Lakes Basin (Canada-USA).   In all three cases, local communities have been essential in driving science with varying results, all impactful in different ways.  Thus, the seminar will demonstrate how the pursuit of science must change in contemporary times.  The talk will feature examples of actions being undertaken to actively change science culture and its’ importance in producing more effective decision-making at a range of scales from the farm-field to the UN intergovernmental science-policy panel on biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES).   Ultimately, the evidence is clear: the questions asked by researchers, used to formulate teams, and undertake actionable research must change to ensure better, impactful outcomes for the communities served, and the freshwater ecosystems upon which we all depend.