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Paivi Abernethy

University of Victoria, BC/ University of Waterloo, ON

Based in


PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability. Interdisciplinary researcher-practitioner, who has been working on climate change and other environmental impacts on health, integrating health with sustainability governance since 2010. Particularly interested in equity, community empowerment and bringing together different knowledge systems for improved evidence base in decision-making. Also working with Indigenous communities in Canada and Finland, and in the Technical Advisory Committee for the Indigenous Centre for Cumulative Effects, Canada. Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, ON, and the School of Public Health and Social Policy, University of Victoria, BC, Canada.

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Abernethy, P., Waters, S., Kulchyski, T., Rolston, D., Swinkels, H. Luttrel, G., and Pillsworth, L. (2021). “Climate Change and Vibrio cholerae in Herring Eggs: The role of Indigenous communities in public health outbreak responses.” International Journal of Indigenous Health, 16(2), 13-35.

El Amiri, N., Abernethy, P., Spence, N., Zakus, D., and Schuster-Wallace, C. (2020). “Community of Practice: An effective mechanism to strengthen capacity in climate change and health.” Canadian Journal for Public Health, 111, 862–868.

Gerlak, A.K, Eimer, T., Brisbois, M.C., Mills-Novoa, M., Schmitz, L., Luimers, J. and Abernethy, P. (2019). “Power(ful) and Power(less): A Review of Power in the Earth Systems Governance Agency Scholarship.” In Agency in Earth Systems Governance, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp.65-72.

Reed, M.G. & Abernethy, P. (2018). “Facilitating Co-Production of Transdisciplinary Knowledge for Sustainability: Working with Canadian Biosphere Reserve Practitioners.” Society & Natural Resources, 31(1), 39-56.

Reed, M.G. & Abernethy, P (2018). “Social Learning Driven by Collaboration in the Canadian Network of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.” In Sato, T. Chabay, I., and Helgesson, J. (eds.) Transformations of Social-Ecological Systems: Studies in Co-creating Integrated Knowledge toward Sustainable Futures. Singapore: Springer Singapore, pp. 169-187

Ives, C., Giusti, M., Fischer, J., Abson, D., Klaniecki, K., Dorninger, C., Glamann, J., Barthel, S., Abernethy, P., Martin-Lopez, B., Raymond, C.M., Kendal, D., Leventon, J., von Wehrden, H. (2017). “Human-nature connections: a review of empirical evidence.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 26–27: 106–113.

Abson, D.J., Fischer, J., Leventon, J., Newig, J., Schomerus, T., Vilsmaier, U., von Wehrden, H., Abernethy, P., Ives, C.D., Jager, N.V., and Lang, D.J. (2017). Leverage points for sustainability transformation. Ambio, 46: 30-39.

Masuda, J., Abernethy, P., David, L., and Lewis-Campbell, D. (2017). “Mobilities of wellbeing in children’s environmental health equity: Confronting urban­rural and local-global binaries through practice perspectives.” In Ergler, C.R. et al. (eds.) Children’s Health and Wellbeing in Urban Environments. Ashgate Health Geography Series, Oxon UK: Routledge, pp.207-222.

Abernethy, P. (2016). “Bridging conceptual ‘silos’: Bringing together health promotion and sustainability governance for practitioners at the landscape scale.” Local Environment, 21(4):451-475.

Abernethy, P. (2015). “The promising potential role of sustainable development and conservation related bridging organizations in promoting health.” International Public Health Journal, 7(1), 91-102.

Reed, M.G., Godmaire, H., Abernethy, P., Guertin, M-A. (2014) “Building a community of practice for sustainability: Strengthening learning and collective action of Canadian Biosphere Reserves through a national partnership.” Journal of Environmental Management, 145C, 230-239.