Monica E. Mulrennan, PhD
Associate Vice-President, Research (Development and Outreach) and Associate Professor, Geography, Planning and Environment
Monica Mulrennan is Associate Vice-President, Research (Development & Outreach) in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (OVPRGS), and Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, at Concordia University. She holds a BA (Hons) in Geography and English, and a PhD in Geography from University College Dublin, Ireland. She is a founding member of CICADA (the Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives) at McGill University, and an honorary member of the ICCA Consortium (Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas and Territories).
Her research focuses on Indigenous rights and interests in coastal and marine portions of Indigenous traditional territories, including Indigenous knowledge, use and stewardship of Indigenous land-sea territories, Indigenous-led strategies of conservation and environmental protection, and local adaptations to environmental change. She has sustained research partnerships with Torres Strait Islanders, northern Queensland, and James Bay Crees (Eeyou Istchee), northern Quebec for more than twenty-five years. In addition to numerous research papers and book chapters, she is co-editor of a recently published edited volume “Caring for Eeyou Istchee: Protected Area Creation in Eeyou Istchee” (UBC Press, 2019).
Her current projects include her participation (as co-investigator and lead researcher of the “Indigenous Governance” stream) of the SSHRC-funded “Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership” (CRP), hosted by the University of Guelph. This program of work includes Indigenous leaders, organizations, youth and Elders, along with emerging and established scholars, and various conservation agencies and organizations, working together in support of Indigenous-led conservation in Canada.
Monica is also a co-investigator on “FISHES: Fostering Indigenous Small-scale fisheries for Health, Economy, and food Security”, a large-scale applied research project partly funded through Genome Canada and Génome Québec. This project applies genomic approaches in concert with Traditional Ecological Knowledge to address critical challenges and opportunities related to food security and commercial, recreational and subsistence fisheries of northern Indigenous Peoples in Canada (Inuit, Cree and Dené communities).
In addition Monica is working with Torres Strait Islander women on a community video project, which documents their connections and attachments to solwata (sea space). She is also involved in a collaborative research project with colleagues at the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) that explores the historical and cultural dimensions of seaweed harvesting in Ireland.
Monica has served as Associate Dean, Graduate Student Affairs, in the School of Graduate Studies(2004-08), and Chair of the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment(2014-17). She was recognized as a Concordia Sustainability Champion in 2009 and received Concordia University’s Academic Leadership Award in 2017.
- Indigenous stewardship
- Traditional Ecological Knowledge
- Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs)
- Subsistence and small-scale fisheries
- Indigenous women and their connections to the sea
- Seaweed harvesting traditions among coastal communities
Research Publications (since 2010)
- Graduate students indicated in bold
- Indigenous partners indicated with underline
Dewan, K., M.E. Mulrennan, and C. Lamontagne. Accepted. Community-based or community-faced? Wemindji Cree perspectives on twenty-two years of subsistence fisheries monitoring. Marine Policy decision 06December 2019.
Mulrennan, M.E. In Press. Do landscapes listen? Wemindji Eeyou knowledge, adaptation and agency in the context of coastal landscape change. In O. Slaymaker, N. Catto and D. Kovaven (eds) Landscapes and Landforms of Canada East, Special edited, Springer.
Olav Slaymaker, O., M.E. Mulrennan, N. Catto and D.J. Kovanen. In Press. The Intrinsic Value of Geomorphology to Society. In O. Slaymaker, N. Catto and D. Kovaven (eds) Landscapes and Landforms of Canada East, Special edited, Springer.
Mulrennan, M.E.and V. Bussières. In Press. Indigenous Environmental Stewardship: Do mechanisms of biodiversity protection align with or undermine it? In Turner, N.J. (ed) Plants,People and Places: the Roles of Ethnobotany and Ethnoecology in Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights in Canada and Beyond. Chapter 17. Montreal: McGill-Queens Press.
Burbano, D., Meredith, T. and M.E. Mulrennan. 2020. Exclusionary Decision-Making Processes in Marine Governance: The Rezoning Plan for the Protected Areas of the ‘Iconic’ Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Ocean and Coastal Management, Vol 185, 105066.
Mulrennan,M.E., C.H. Scott and K. Scott, eds.2019. Caring for Eeyou Istchee: Protected Area Creation in Wemindji Cree Territory. 408pp. Vancouver: UBC Press. https://www.ubcpress.ca/caring-for-eeyou-istchee
Mark, R., M.E. Mulrennan, K.Scott and C. Scott. 2019. Introduction. In M.E. Mulrennan, C. Scott and K. Scott, eds. Caring for Eeyou Istchee: Protected Area Creation in Wemindji Cree Territory, pp.3-20. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Mulrennan, M.E.and F. Berkes. 2019. Protected area development in northern indigenous contexts. In M.E. Mulrennan, C. Scott and K. Scott, eds. Caring for Eeyou Istchee: Protected Area Creation in Wemindji Cree Territory, pp. 23-58. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Bussières, V., M.E. Mulrennan and D. Stewart. 2019. Aa-wiichaautuwiihkw: Cultural Connections and Continuities along the Wemindji Coast. In M.E. Mulrennan, C. Scott and K. Scott, eds. Caring for Eeyou Istchee: Protected Area Creation in Wemindji Cree Territory, pp.297-320. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Sayles, J. and M.E. Mulrennan. 2019. Coastal landscape modifications by Cree hunters. In M.E. Mulrennan, C.Scott and K. Scott, eds. Caring for Eeyou Istchee: Protected Area Creation in Wemindji Cree Territory, pp. 274-296. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Mulrennan, M.E.and C.H. Scott. 2019. A responsibility to protect and restore: advancing the Tawich (marine) Conservation Area, pp. 340-363. Caring for Eeyou Istchee: Protected Area Creation in Wemindji Cree Territory, Vancouver: UBC Press.
Mulrennan,M.E., K. Scott and C.H. Scott. 2019.Conclusion. Pp. 364-372. Caring for Eeyou Istchee: Protected Area Creation in Wemindji Cree Territory. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Mulrennan,M.E. and V. Bussières. 2018. Social-Ecological Resilience in Indigenous Coastal Edge Contexts. Ecology and Society, 23(3):18. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10341-230318
Brammer, J., Brunet, N.,Burton, C., Cuerrier, A., Danielsen, F., Dewan,K., Herrmann, T., Jackson, M., Kennett, R., Larocque, G., Mulrennan, M., Pratihast, A., Ste-Arnaud, M., Scott, C. and Humphries, M. 2016. The role of digital data entry in participatory environmental monitoring. Conservation Biology. 10.1111/cobi.12727 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cobi.12727/abstract
Mulrennan, M.E. 2015. Aboriginal Peoples in relation to resource and environmental management. In Mitchell, B. (ed.) Resource and Environmental Management in Canada: Addressing Conflict and Uncertainty.Toronto: Oxford University Press, 5th edition, 56-79.
Mulrennan,M.E. 2014. On the edge: a consideration of the adaptive capacity of Indigenous Peoples in coastal zones from the Arctic to the Tropics. In: Martini, I. P. & Wanless, H. R. (eds) Sedimentary Coastal Zones from High to Low Latitudes: Similarities and Differences. Geological Society, London,Special Publications, 388, http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/SP388.21
Mulrennan M.E. 2013. Indigenous Knowledge in Marine and Coastal Management and Policy.Special Issue on Rio 20, Ocean Yearbook,27: 89-119.
Castleden, H., Mulrennan, M.E. and A. Godlewska 2012. Community-based participatory research involving Indigenous peoples in Canadian Geography: Progress? An editorial introduction. The Canadian Geographer 56(2): 155-59.
Mulrennan,M.E., Mark, R. and C.H. Scott 2012. Revamping community-based conservation through participatory research. The Canadian Geographer 56(2): 243-59.
Scott C.H. and Mulrennan M.E. 2010. Reconfiguring Mare Nullius: Torres Strai tislanders, Indigenous Sea Rights and the Divergence of Domestic and International Norms. In M. Blaser, R. de Costa, D. McGregor and W.D. Coleman(eds.) Indigenous Peoples and Autonomy:Insights for a Global Age. Vancouver: UBC Press. Chapter 7, 148-176.
Sayles, J. and Mulrennan, M.E. 2010. Securing a future: Cree hunters’ resistance and flexibility to environmental changes, Wemindji, James Bay. Ecology and Society 15(4): 22. [online] http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss4/art22/
Pajaro, M.G., Mulrennan, M.E., Alder, J. and Vincent A.C.J. 2010. Developing MPA effectiveness indicators: comparison within and across stakeholder groups and communities. Coastal Management 38(2): 122-143.
Pajaro, M.G., Mulrennan, M.E. and Vincent, A.C.J. 2010. Toward an integrated Marine Protected Areas policy: Connecting the global to the local. Environment, Development and Sustainability 12(6): 945-965.
Current Research Projects
- "Conservation through Reconciliation" Partnership (SSHRC Partnership Grant)
- “FISHES: Fostering Indigenous Small-scale fisheries for Health, Economy, and food Security”, a large-scale applied research project partly funded through Genome Canada and GénomeQuébec
- "Beyond Fishing", a community video project documenting the attachment of Torres Strait islander women to "solawata"
- Cultural history of seaweed harvesting along the West Coast of Ireland
Graduate Student Opportunities
Monica oversees a dynamic research group focused on themes and topics related to Indigenous Conservation and Stewardship. Students with a background and research interests in this field are invited to apply to work with her through Concordia University's PhD and MSc. Programs in Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies. For details of her PICEF research group see:
Current and Recent Graduate Students
1. Leila Vaziri (PhD, in progress) Global Trends in the Creation of Indigenous Territories of Life.
2. Nafisa Sarwath (PhD, in progress) Adaptive Responses of Contemporary Land-Based Activities of Wemindji Cree of Eeyou Istchee.
3. Kristy Franks (PhD, in progress) Water Wonders: Empowering Connections between Indigenous Youth, Water, Culture, Tradition and Technology.
4. Heather Elliott (MSc, in progress) Unsettling the Table: Decolonization within and through the Food Movement.
5. Véronique Bussières (PhD, in progress)Stewards of our land: a critical analysis of indigenous stewardship in contemporary environmental governance institutions in Canada.
6. Salman Banisadr (MSc, in progress) Graduate Thesis Research as a Lens on the Discipline of Geography’s Engagement of Indigenous Communities in Canada.
7. Jessica Hewitt (MSc, in progress) Remapping land with Kwantlen First Nation: strategies for enhancing their control and participation in Regional Park planning and management in British Columbia.
8. Chloe Boone (MSc, completed 2019) Relationships, Language, and the Land: Cree language revitalisation in Wemindji Cree First Nation.
9. Annie Lalancette (PhD, completed 2017) Integrating Indigenous Perspectives into Fisheries Management: Challenges and Opportunities in Torres Strait, Australia.
10. Tariq Hossein (MSc, completed 2016) Tourism as a Livelihood Alternative for James Bay Cree Coastal Communities.
11. Erich Seydewitz (MSc, completed 2016) An Assessment of Multi-Stakeholder Participation in the Trans Canada Trail: Lessons to inform Sendero de Chile.
12. Cassandra Lamontagne (MSc, completed 2016) “This change isn’t good”: Gitga’ata Traditional Ecological Knowledge of environmental change (co-supervised with D. Matthews).
13. Kanwaljeet Dewan (MSc, completed 2016) Towards an improved understanding of community-level fisheries monitoring: A case study of the Wemindji Community Fisheries Program.
ENVS 668 Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Assessment
GEOG 620C Community Participation in Environmental Conservation
GEOG 470/670 Environmental Management
GEOG 407/607 Indigenous Peoples and the Environment
GEOG 290 Environment and Society
GEOG 203 Canadian Environmental Issues (online course)
Attention Media: Will speak on environmental issues related to indigenous peoples