Lael Parrott (PhD, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, McGill University) is a Professor in Sustainability at the I.K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience and Ecosystem Services (BRAES) at The University of British Columbia. She is cross-appointed in the Departments of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences and Biology on UBC’s Okanagan Campus. Prior to joining UBC, she was an Associate Professor in Environmental Geography and Director of the Complex Systems Laboratory at Université de Montréal (2001-2012).
Dr. Parrott leads an internationally recognized research program in modelling and characterising contemporary regional landscapes and ecosystems as complex human-environment systems. She promotes a holistic, complex systems vision of managing land and water resources at the landscape scale. She has extensive experience in leading multipartite groups to share this vision to find sustainable management solutions that reconcile ecological, societal and economic objectives. Her innovative, complex systems approach to studying the environment earned her the honour of being named one of 25 “movers and shakers” of Quebec society with bright ideas for the future (Canadian National News Magazine, Actualité, Sept. 2009. Click here to download article).
Dr. Parrott grew up in Vancouver, BC and maintains a close connection to BC’s landscapes. She is currently Vice-President for Access and Environment on the National Board of Directors of the Alpine Club of Canada. She divides her time between work, family, and the mountains.
KEYWORDS: ecological complexity, environmental management and conservation, social-ecological networks, human-environment systems, human-wildlife interactions, ecological modelling, agent-based modelling, individual-based modelling, complex systems
CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS
For more information about current research projects, please follow this link.
Recent national and international media reports about Dr. Parrott’s research
Lake Country endorses saving wildlife corridor. Lake Country Calendar, September 2017.
Appreciating the full value of farmland. BC Fruit Growers Magazine, Summer 2017.
How to deter black bears? Educate People. The Wildlife Society, March 2017.
Oh, the Places They’ll Go, Fur Bearers Defender Radio Podcast, Episode 413: January 24, 2017
Plans for Kelowna wildlife corridor being formed, Capital News, 11-01-2017
Conserving bears with computer modelling, Whistler Pique Newsmagazine, 13-10-2016
How Canada Stopped Ships From Colliding With Whales (23-06-2016, California media report). The government, industry, and scientists worked together to devise a plan to permit shipping while protecting marine mammals.
Saving Canada’s Only Desert (12-08-2016, Deutsche Welle press).
Slowing down ships saves whales (16-06-2016, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Research News)
2000 PhD, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering, McGill University, Canada
1995 MSc, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering, McGill University, Canada
1994 BSc, Agricultural Engineering, McGill University, Canada
2016-2xxx Professor, Sustainability, University of British Columbia
2013-2016 Associate Professor, Sustainability, University of British Columbia
2013-2015 Adjunct Professor, Environmental Geography, Université de Montréal
2006-2012 Associate Professor, Environmental Geography, Université de Montréal
2001-2006 Assistant Professor, Environmental Geography, Université de Montréal
2000-2001 Research Associate, Bayreuth Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Studies (BITöK), Bayreuth, Germany
Selected Professional Service and Affiliations
|Associate Editor||Ecological Complexity (Elsevier)||2013-2016|
|Assistant Editor||Complex Adaptive Systems Modeling (Springer Open)||2012-|
|Member||Working Group for Maritime Transport and Marine Mammal Protection in the Saint Lawrence Estuary||2011-2017|
|Member||National Resource Allocation Committee, Compute Canada||2009-2010|
|Associate Member||Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science (QCBS)||2009-|
|Associate Editor||Ecological Informatics (Elsevier)||2009-2016|
|Member||Executive committee, NSERC CREATE Training Program in Forest Complexity Modelling||2012-|
|Member & Theme Leader||Scientific committee, TRIA Net NSERC Strategic Network||2013-|
|Member||Executive committee, Quebec Centre for Forest Studies||2007-2010|
|Member||Quebec Centre for Forest Studies||2005-|
|Member||Quebec High Performance Computing Network||2004-|
|Member||Ecological Society of America||2004-|
|Member||International Society for Ecological Informatics||2002-|
|Member||Canadian Association of Geographers||2001-|
|Member||New England Complex Systems Institute||1997-|
- Visiting researcher, Charles Perkins Centre & Complex Systems Group, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, April 27 – May 2, 2015
- Visiting researcher, School of Business, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, May 2-15, 2015.
- Invited professor, LABEX (CRNS – Université de Paris, Sorbonne) Summer School on Spatial Structures and Dynamics, Villa Finaly, Florence, Italy. July 14-19, 2014.
- European Union Erasmus Mundus visiting scholar, Geo-Information Science for Environmental Modelling and Management Programme, University of Twente, NL & University of Southampton, UK, 14 April – 12 May 2012.
- Invited professor, Complex Systems Research and Methods in Business and Biology Summer School, hosted by The University of Sydney and The University of Queensland at Heron Island, Queensland, Australia. 16-20 January 2012.
- Invited professor, International Complex Systems Summer School, Complex Systems Institute, Paris, France. August 2010.
- Sabbatical professor, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia. September 2008 – May 2009.
- Invited professor, Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Manila, Philippines, January 2009 and March 2007.
- Invited scientist, Norwegian Landscape and Forest Institute, As, Norway. March 2005.
- Invited scientist, Department of Ecological Modelling, Bayreuth Institute for Terrestrial Ecosystem Research (BITÖK), Bayreuth, Germany. August 2002.
Parrott, L. 2017. The modelling spiral for solving ‘wicked’ environmental problems: Guidance for stakeholder involvement and collaborative model development. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, in press.
Parrott, L. and Quinn, N. 2016. A complex systems approach for multi-objective water quality regulation on managed wetland landscapes. Ecosphere, 7(6), e01363. http://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1363.
Parrott, L., Chion, C., Turgeon, S. Ménard, N. Cantin, G. Michaud, R. 2016. Slow Down and Save the Whales: How a multi-stakeholder collaboration has led to positive change in maritime transportation to enhance whale conservation in the St. Lawrence River Estuary, Quebec, Canada. Solutions. Vol 6, No. 6. pp. 40-47
Parrott, L., Meyer, W. 2012. Future Landscapes: Managing within complexity. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 10(7): 382–389 doi:10.1890/110082.
Parrott, L., Chion, C., Gonzalès, R. and Latombe, G. Agents, Individuals and Networks: Modeling Methods to Inform Natural Resource Management in Regional Landscapes. 2012. Ecology and Society 17 (3): 32. [online]
Parrott, L., Chion, C., Martins, C.C.A., Lamontagne, P., Turgeon, S., Landry, J.A., Zhens, B., Marceau, D., Michaud, R., Cantin, G., Menard, N., Dionne, S. 2011. A decision support system to assist management of human activities in the St. Lawrence River Estuary, Canada.Environmental Modelling and Software, 26: 1403-1418.
Parrott, L.2010. Measuring ecological complexity. Ecological Indicators, 10: 1069-1076.
Parrott, L.2002. Complexity and the limits of ecological engineering. Transactions of the ASAE 45(5): 1697-1702.
For a complete list, please follow this link.
Selection of recent invited presentations
- Invited public lectures in complex systems. Helen and Lee Gorsuch Lecture Series, University of Alaska, Anchorage. September 22 & 23, 2016.
- Invited seminar entitled: Building resilient and sustainable landscapes: Lessons from complex systems science. Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska, Anchorage. September 22, 2016.
- Keynote titled: Linking science and policy through agent-based modelling of complex human-environment systems. International Society for Ecological Modelling 2016 Global Conference, Maryland, USA, May 8-12, 2016. http://www.isemconference.com
- Invited seminar, Slow down and save the whales: How modelling and collaboration led to positive change in the St. Lawrence River Estuary, Biodiversity Seminar Series, Biodiversity Research Centre, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, January 20, 2016.
- Invited presentation entitled: Planning for Ecological Connectivity in the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, Regional District of Central Okanagan. Governance and Services Committee Meeting. January 14, 2016.
- Invited seminar entitled: Managing landscapes within complexity, School of Earth and Environment, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, May 13, 2015.
- Invited seminar entitled: Nurturing the link between resilience, complexity and sustainability at the landscape scale, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, April 27,
- Invited presentation titled: The Natural Capital of Wetlands. Water Day Roundtable Presentations, organized by the Okanagan Basin Water Board, March 18, 2015, Laurel Packing House, Kelowna, BC.
- Invited seminar entitled: Planning for resilience in regional landscapes: A complex systems approach. UC Berkeley Department of Geography Colloquium, University of California, Berkeley, October 28, 2015.
- Keynote entitled: Nurturing the relationship between complexity, sustainability and resilience at the landscape scale. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Complex Soil Systems Conference, University of California, Berkeley, California. September 2-5, 2014.
- Invited presentation entitled: Planning for Ecological Connectivity in the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, Regional District of Central Okanagan. Governance and Services Committee Meeting. October 9, 2014.
- Keynote entitled: Regional landscape modelling for sustainable futures. International Conference on Ecological Informatics, 5-8 December 2012, Brasilia, Brazil.
- Keynote entitled: Complex Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Ecosystems – Modelling emergence from the bottom-up, European S4 Network International Conference on Emergence in Geographic Space: Concepts, Methods and Models, Paris, France, November 23-25, 2009.
EESC418F/GEOG491Z Special topics – Environmental sustainability: Challenges and solutions at the scale of regional landscapes (Winter Term 1)
BIOL444/EESC444/BIOL544/ENVI544 Dynamic modelling of human-environment systems (Winter Term 2)
ENVI551 – Forests as complex social-ecological systems (Winter Term 2 + 1 week in the field in Oregon (2015) and Italy (2017))