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Posted October 17, 2012

Environment Sustainability

Prof Wins Grant for Human-Environment Sustainability Research

Guelph - Prof. Madhur Anand, School of Environmental Sciences (SES), has received the prestigious James S. McDonnell Complex Systems Scholar Award for research in human-environment sustainability. This is the first time a University of Guelph faculty member has received the award.

“I am honoured that the selection committee has chosen me and my proposed projects for this year’s award,” said Anand, who held the Canada Research Chair in Global Ecological Change at Guelph from 2006 to 2011.

“The decisions must have been difficult. I am thankful for James S. McDonnell’s vision in establishing these awards in such cutting-edge fields of science, and I am pleased that the University of Guelph will now be put on the global map of the James S. McDonnell Foundation family.”

Her award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation (JSMF) supports the development of theoretical and mathematical tools to study complex, adaptive, nonlinear systems. She will receive $450,000 over five years starting January 2013.

Anand plans to generate models of complex forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems based on Brazilian and Indian examples that incorporate human behaviour and ecological dynamics. Her collaborators include Prof. Chris Bauch, Mathematics and Statistics, and researchers in Brazil and India.

“These models will help us understand and ultimately enhance terrestrial ecosystem sustainability,” said Anand. “For me, this is a direction that builds on years of ecological work to break through to a new dimension: the coupled human-environment systems of sustainability science.”

This past summer, Anand received the 2012 Female Professional of the Year Award, sponsored by CIBC, from the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce. She recently co-authored Climate Change Biology, the first major textbook to address how climate change may affect life. In 2011 she was named a Young Scientist of the World Economic Forum.

At U of G, she has chaired the SES outreach committee and organized community events exploring the human dimensions of the environment. She is a member-at-large of the Association for Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada, and is a published poet. Her recently co-edited book, Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry, was the first Canadian anthology of contemporary poetry examining human-environment relationships.

The JSMF was founded in 1950 by aerospace pioneer James McDonnell.

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