Speaker Biographies


Ian Mell

Ian MellIan Mell is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental & Landscape Planning at the University of Manchester. Ian's career has included a variety of academic, practitioner and contract consultancy roles in the UK, Europe and more recently in India and China. These have enabled him to bring together local government and practical policy-making/delivery experiences into the research environment through a practical understanding of how policy is formed, how decision-making occurs, and how implementation is delivered.

Aligning an understanding of these approaches to planning underpins Ian's work on urban greening, Green Infrastructure planning and landscape policy evaluations. This examines the relationship between policy and practice in the discussion, development and evaluation of urban greening. It also provides scope to evaluate the changing landscape of planning policy and its impacts upon the delivery of sustainable or meaningful places. Ian's work focusses on a number of areas of urban greening including financing green space delivery, the role of perceptions in sustainable cities, and the influence of various actors on the decision-making process for environmental management.


Joan Iverson Nassauer

Joan Iverson NassauerProfessor Joan Iverson Nassauer, Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, develops ecological design proposals and investigates how human experience is affected by and can sustain socially and environmentally beneficial landscape patterns. A Fellow by the American Society of Landscape Architects (1992), she was named Distinguished Scholar by the International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) (2007) and Distinguished Practitioner of Landscape Ecology in the United States (1998). Linking environmental performance with social benefits, she has developed green infrastructure approaches for several cities. Currently, she leads the NEW-GI project, Neighborhood, Environment, and Water research collaborations for Green Infrastructure in Detroit. newgi-contact@umich.edu, and leads social science investigations for the NSF-funded Smart and Connected Communities project: “Overcoming Social and Technical Barriers for the Broad Adoption of Smart Stormwater Systems”.


Sheila Colla

Sheila CollaSheila Colla is an Assistant Professor in Biology and the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Dr. Sheila Colla is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. Her research spans understanding the ecology, conservation status and conservation management of native pollinators, particularly bumblebees. She co-authored "The Bumblebees of North America: An Identification Guide" (Princeton University Press, 2014) and helps run the continent-wide citizen science project BumbleBeeWatch.

Fadi Masoud 

Fadi MasoudFadi Masoud is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Toronto. His research, teaching, and design work focuses on establishing relationships between dynamic large-scale environmental systems, landscape design, and the instrumentality of planning tools. Prior to joining the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, he held teaching and research appointments at the Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where he co-led research and design projects on coastal urbanism, urban codes, and the Future of Suburbia. He currently sits on Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel as well as on Resilient Toronto’s Urban Flooding’s Working Group

Michelle Sawka

Michelle SawkaMichelle Sawka manages the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition. In this role, she coordinates the coalition’s advocacy and communications with senior levels of government and works to increase green infrastructure awareness across the province. Her past experience was in a more traditional infrastructure role where she was a sustainable urban transportation policy analyst and managed research in support of public transit agencies across Canada.

Sheila Boudreau

Sheila BoudreauSheila Boudreau, OALA, CSLA, RPP / OPPI, MCIP, brings over 25 years of professional practice and community service to her role as Senior Landscape Architect at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Previously an urban designer in City Planning, City of Toronto, she initiated and co-led innovative green infrastructure pilot projects, design guidelines, and construction standards. She teaches at Ryerson University School of Urban and Regional Planning, is on the Board of Advisors for Ryerson Urban Water, and represents the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects on the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition steering committee.

Deborah Kenley

Deborah Kenley, MLA, Senior Coordinator, Greening Corporate Grounds (GCG) helps corporations and institutions in the Credit River Watershed invest in nature and become leaders in sustainability by adopting ecological landscaping and stormwater management best practices. Deborah works with members to identify opportunities that reduce the impacts from climate change, creates habitat for wildlife, and maximizes aesthetic appeal and ecological benefits. Credit Valley Conservation’s GCG program is a recipient of the 2018 Clean50 Top 20 Projects award.

Janina Kowalski

Janina KowalskiJanina Kowalski, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto.

Sandy Smith

Sandy SmithSandy Smith is a Professor in the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto.

Namrata Shrestha

Namrata ShresthaNamrata Shrestha is a Senior Research Scientist, Ecology at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and an Adjunct Professor in the School of Environment at the University of Toronto. She has been involved in developing and implementing natural heritage system and related plans and programs in TRCA. This includes rethinking urban ecosystems with different types of green infrastructure across the landscape. In addition, she is active in fostering research collaborations and applied research so as to provide science based guidance to policy, planning, and practice of ecosystem management within TRCA.

Centre for Urban Environments Centre for Urban Environments | University of Toronto Mississauga

School of Cities | University of Toronto