Monica Mulrennan is a Professor in theDepartment of Geography, Planning and Environment and AssociateVice-President, Research (Development & Outreach) in the Office of Researchand Graduate Studies (OVPRGS), at Concordia University. She holds a BA(Hons) and PhD in Geography from University College Dublin, Ireland. She is afounding member of CICADA (the Centre for Indigenous Conservation andDevelopment Alternatives) at McGill University, and an honorary member of theICCA Consortium (Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Areas andTerritories).
Herresearch focuses on Indigenous rights and interests in coastal and marineportions of Indigenous traditional territories, including Indigenous knowledge,use and stewardship of Indigenous land-sea territories, Indigenous-ledstrategies of conservation and environmental protection, and local adaptationsto environmental change. She has sustained research partnerships with TorresStrait Islanders, northern Queensland, and James Bay Crees (Eeyou Istchee),northern Quebec for more than twenty-five years. In addition to numerousresearch papers and book chapters, she is co-editor of a recently publishededited volume “Caring for Eeyou Istchee:Protected Area Creation in Eeyou Istchee” (UBC Press, 2019).
Hercurrent projects include her participation in the SSHRC-funded “Conservationthrough Reconciliation Partnership” (CRP), hosted by the University of Guelph.This program of work includes Indigenous leaders, organizations, youth andElders, along with emerging and established scholars, and various conservationagencies and organizations, working together in support of Indigenous-ledconservation in Canada.
Monica is also a co-investigator on “FISHES: FosteringIndigenous Small-scale fisheries for Health, Economy, and food Security”, alarge-scale applied research project partly funded through Genome Canada andGénome Québec. This project applies genomic approaches in concert withTraditional Ecological Knowledge to address critical challenges andopportunities related to food security and commercial, recreational andsubsistence fisheries of northern Indigenous Peoples in Canada (Inuit, Cree andDené communities).
In addition Monica is working with Torres StraitIslander women on a community video project, which documents their connectionsand attachments to solwata (sea space). She is also involved in acollaborative research project with colleagues at the National University ofIreland, Galway (NUIG) that explores the historical and cultural dimensions ofseaweed harvesting in Ireland.
Monica has served as Associate Dean, Graduate StudentAffairs, in the School of Graduate Studies(2004-08), and Chair of theDepartment of Geography, Planning and Environment(2014-17). She was recognizedas a Concordia Sustainability Champion in 2009 and received ConcordiaUniversity’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
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 Genome Québec
- "Beyond Fishing", a community video project documenting the attachment of Torres Strait islander women to 'solwata'
- "A cultural history of seaweed harvesting along the West Coast of Ireland"
Graduate Student Opportunities
Monica oversees a dynamic research groupfocused on themes and topics related to Indigenous Conservation andStewardship: https://picef.weebly.com/
Unfortunately due to administrative leadershipcommitments, she is not accepting graduate students for the 2023-24 academicyear.
Current and Recent Graduate Students
Post-doctoral Fellow Supervision
- Sarah Moritz (Banting Fellow, 2022) “Honouring Salmon: Relational Ecologies across Salish Worlds in the Pacific Northwest”
PhD Thesis Supervision
- Leila Vaziri Zanjani (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, expected completion June 2023) Global Trends in the Creation of Indigenous Territories of Life
- Kristine Franks (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, expected completion June 2023) Water Wonders: Empowering connections between youth, water, culture, tradition and technology
- Nafisa Sarwath (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, expected completion June 2023) Sustaining Connections to the Land: Challenges for and Adaptation Strategies of Wemindji Eeyouch
- Véronique Bussières (INDI, Concordia, expected completion October 2023) Stewards of our land: a critical analysis of indigenous stewardship in contemporary environmental governance institutions in Canada
- Annick Thomassin (Anthropology, McGill, completed May 2019 – co-supervisor with Colin Scott) Ina ngalmun lagau malu’ (This Part of the Sea Belongs to Us): Politics, Sea Rights and Fisheries Co-management in Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait)
- Annie Lalancette (SIP, Concordia, completed May 2017) Integrating indigenous perspectives into fisheries management: challenges and opportunities in Torres Strait, Northern Australia.
Master’s Thesis Supervision
- Sicily Fox (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, expected completion August 2023)
- Kai Bruce (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, expected completion April 2023)
- Naomi Trott (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, expected completion April 2023)
- Brian Armstrong (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, Yr 3)
- Jessica Hewitt (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, completed March 2021) “ya:y̓əstəl̓ (working together) with ‘letsémot (one mind/heart): Narratives of Resilience and Strategies for Resistance and Resurgence from Kwantlen First Nation, British Columbia”
- Salman Banisadr (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, completed March 2021) Graduate Thesis Research as a Lens on the Discipline of Geography’s Engagement of Indigenous Communities in Canada
- Heather Elliott (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, completed December 2020) Unsettling the Table: Decolonization within and through the food movement
- Chloe Boone (Geography, Urban and Environmental Studies, Concordia, completed May 2019) Relationships, language, and the land: Cree language revitalization in Wemindji Cree First Nation