Primary Investigator

Dr. Hisham Zerriffi
Hisham is an Associate Professor in Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia (UBC).  He was previously an Assistant Professor and the Ivan Head South/North Research Chair in the Liu Institute for Global Issues at UBC.  Dr. Zerriffi’s research is at the intersection of technology, energy, and the environment, with a particular focus on rural areas of the developing world. Much of his research focuses on institutional factors impacting the diffusion of new technology, determinants, and patterns of household energy choice, and welfare implications of rural energy use. Prior to joining the UBC Faculty, Dr. Zerriffi was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University. Dr. Zerriffi holds a Ph.D.  from Carnegie Mellon University in Engineering and Public Policy.

Research Keywords: Climate change,  Communities and livelihoods,  Economics,  Energy policy,  Modelling,  Social impact,  Social science,  Sustainability

Work Phone: +1 604-827-4468
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Project Mushroom


Dr. Dawit D. Guta
Dawit Diriba Guta, an Ethiopian national, is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Economics at the College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University, and a postdoc researcher at the Department of Forest Resource Management, the University of British Colombia.
He has over 12 years of professional experience in research and teaching at higher education institutions in Ethiopia, Germany, and Canada. Before joining Addis Ababa University in early 2016, he held the position of senior researcher at the Center for Development Research, the University of Bonn, Germany for one year. He graduated with BA and MSc degrees in Economics from Addis Ababa University and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Bonn.
His main area of research interest is in natural and environmental economics applied to the field of energy demand model, renewable energy, water-energy and food nexus, valuation of environmental resources, forest, climate change, and rural livelihoods.
Research Keywords: Energy demand modeling,  Energy transitions,  Socio-ecological dynamics,  Forestry,  Low and middle-income countries,  Econometric modeling
Work Phone: +1 604-822-3545
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Natalie Payer, Ph.D. Student

Natalie is a Ph.D. student researching urban energy justice and environmental racism at the University of British Columbia. She earned an M.Sc in Environmental Justice and Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan, an M.B.A in Operations & Supply Chain Management and Sustainability at the University of Illinois Liautaud Graduate School of Business, and a BBA in Economics from the University of Miami. Natalie’s interests lie at the intersection of policy and justice – she is focused on working towards solutions to energy injustice, particularly in urban communities in North America.
Research Keywords: Energy justice,  Environmental racism,  Community solar


Dr. René Reyes
René is a Forest Engineer (1992-1997 Universidad de Chile) and also holds a  Master of Science from the Universidad Austral de Chile (2004-2005), and a Doctorate at the University of British Columbia (2010-2017). He co-created the National Firewood Certification System in Chile, between 2003 and 2010, in order to regulate the firewood market to reduce forest degradation and air pollution. René was the Executive Director of the Association of Foresters for the Conservation of Native Forests and has worked as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Environment Programme, Inter-American Development Bank, as well as other institutions in Chile and abroad. He works as a researcher in the Instituto Forestal de Chile  (INFOR) and at the Faculty of Forestry of UBC.
Research Keywords: Woodfuel consumption,  Forest degradation,  Energy poverty,  Energy transition,  Behavioral economics,  Socioeconomic drivers
Work Phone: +5 699-000-4267
Research Gate


Camilla Moioli, Ph.D. Student

Camilla is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Forest Resource Management, and she earned an MSc in Economics. Her researches focus on socio-economic impacts, management, and funding of forest restoration. In particular, the focus is on ethics, social and intergenerational justice and gender equality.




Research Keywords: Economics,  Development Economics,  Environmental Economics,  Carbon,  Restoration,  Social Justice


Kevin Krenz, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Kevin is an undergraduate student in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, majoring in Global Resource Systems with a specialization in renewable energy. He assists ERDELab with administrative and clerical tasks. His areas of interest include renewable energy access in impoverished communities. Apart from undergraduate schoolwork, Kevin is also involved with BC Sustainable Energy Association.

Lab Affiliates

Dr. Emmanuel Ackom
Emmanuel Ackom is a Senior Scientist (Energy and Climate) with the United Nations Environment Programme – Denmark Technical University (UNEP DTU) Partnership in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia.
He earned his Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary Environment and Resource Management Programme from the Brandenburg University of Technology (BTU), Germany in 2005.
His research centers on the intersection of policy, technology, environmental sustainability & development. He has worked in research, teaching, and advisory capacities at the UNEP DTU, Roskilde University (Denmark), University of Ghana (Ghana), Brandenburg University of Technology (Germany), University of British Columbia (Canada), and IEA Bioenergy Task39 (Canada). Emmanuel also consults for UNDP, IRENA, UNECA, etc. He continues to build capacity in climate change and clean energy to governments and stakeholders in developing countries notably in Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Benin, Senegal, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania, Eswatini), Asia (India, Thailand, Philippines, Azerbaijan) and Middle East (Jordan).
His leadership in researching pressing global questions is exemplified in his work at GNESD ( which he led from 2010 to 2015.
External researchers and practitioners interested in collaborating with Emmanuel in research efforts & publications are encouraged to contact him via email.
Research Keywords: Clean energy policy and technologies,  Energy Justice and transitions,  Environmental sustainability,  Development


Dr. Devyani Singh, Post-Doctoral Fellow
I am a Post-Doctoral Fellow working on various projects under the umbrella of Energy and Climate policy. My inter-disciplinary research has included energy access & transitions in the Global South, air-quality (GHG emissions accounting) modeling, evaluating climate impacts of national policies, natural resource economics, environmental [carbon] finance, forest sustainability, and most recently, methane emissions from oil and gas production. As a result, I have coordinated multiple research projects across sectors (industry, academia, government, Indigenous communities, and non-profits) and countries (India, Canada, US), where I led research design, research execution, and communication (via peer-reviewed papers, reports, presentations, social media etc.).Outside of academia, I consult on carbon markets and policy for New Forests Inc., and have worked with the First Nations on non-timber forest products. In the past (until 2010), I also worked as a Senior Financial Analyst for various Fortune 200 companies after obtaining an MBA in Finance. However, inspired by the magnitude and importance of global climate change, I changed career paths and obtained an M.Sc. in Environmental Science, and a Ph.D. in Energy & Climate Policy. I actively promote engagement with policy makers and the public for evidence-based decision-making. I look forward to collaborating on exciting research enabling a just transition to a low carbon future.
Research Keywords: Energy & climate policy,  Energy access & transitions,  Environmental (carbon) finance,  Oil & gas emissions,  Science-policy

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Dr. Vikas Menghwani
Vikas completed his Ph.D. from the Institute of Resources, Environment & Sustainability under the supervision of Dr. Hisham Zerriffi. He focused on energy poverty issues in developing countries, and his doctoral work included addressing challenging electricity access problems through modeling based methods, and conceptualizing (energy) justice concerns in the context of (lack of) electricity provision. He completed his Mechanical Engineering (with a Masters degree in Energy Technology) education in 2009 from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He worked in the area of climate change consulting for 3 years, covering renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across India and South East Asia, followed by 2 years in the area of business research. He is currently working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Saskatchewan, focusing on energy security issues for remote communities in Northern Canada.

Research Keywords: Energy poverty, Energy modeling, Energy equity and justice,  Renewable energy, Technological Transitions

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Dr. Sandeep Pai, Post-Doctoral Fellow & Public Scholar

Sandeep recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, where he is researching fossil fuel phase-out and just transitions. Previously, Sandeep worked as an award-winning journalist in India, covering the energy sector and developmental issues. His co-authored book on global energy transition, “Total Transition: The Human Side of the Renewable Energy Revolution,” was released in 2018.


Research Keywords:
Energy transitions,  Just transitions,  Coal,  Renewables

Work Phone: +1 604-764-5199
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Dr. Abhishek Kar, Post-Doctoral Fellow
Abhishek is a postdoctoral research scientist at the Environmental Health Sciences department at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He was previously a Research Fellow at the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), an Indian think-tank. He is current an ISEP (Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy) Fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and was selected in the 2018 Young Scientists Summer Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).He has obtained his doctorate in Resources, Environment and Sustainability from the University of British Columbia. Over the last twelve years, his multi-disciplinary research experience (and published work) spans aerosols, human behavior, and policy analysis related to household air pollution in specific and energy access in general.

His research has appeared in scholarly journals such as Nature Energy (featured on the cover of September 2019 issue), Environmental Science and Technology, and Energy Research and Social Science. His opinion pieces have been published in different platforms such as Nature Human Behaviour, Global News Canada, Hindustan Times, etc. His research findings have been shared widely on social media, including by the Prime Minister of India.

Research Keywords: Energy Access,  Behavior Change,  Clean Cooking,  Household Air Pollution,  Black Carbon,  Rural Energy

Work Phone: 646-821-3525
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Dr. Greg Paradi



Date Finished
Sandeep Pai  Ph.D. 2021 Supervisor
Avery Maloney Research Assistant 2021 Supervisor
Vikas Menghwani  Ph.D. 2021 Supervisor
Haris Gilani   Research Associate 2020 Supervisor
Gregory Paradis Post-Doctoral 2020 Supervisor
Rene Reyes  Post-Doctoral 2020 Supervisor
Devyani Singh Ph.D. 2019 Co-Supervisor
Abhishek Kar Ph.D. 2019 Supervisor
Emily Anderson Ph.D. 2018 Co-Supervisor
Yu Wang Ph.D. 2018 Committee
Kasmira Cockerill M.Sc. 2018 Committee
Lauren Nerfa M.Sc. 2018 Committee
Michiko Namazu Ph.D. 2017 Committee
Rene Reyes Ph.D. 2017 Committee
Alice Henry M.Sc. 2017 Committee
Reza Kowsari Post-Doctoral 2016 Committee
Jordan Levine Post-Doctoral 2016 Supervisor
Sarah Klein Ph.D. 2016 Committee
Ther Aung Ph.D. 2016 Committee
Sameer Shah M.Sc. 2015 Co-Supervisor
Matthew Taccogna M.A. 2015 Supervisor
Kelly Sharp M.A. 2015 Co-Supervisor
Guillaume Voegeli M.A. 2014 Supervisor
Brianne Riehl B.Sc. (Honours) 2014 Co-Supervisor
Ryan Davis M.A. 2014 Committee
Elizabeth Koryoo M.A. 2014 Committee
Reza Kowsari M.A. 2013 Supervisor
Olivia Freeman M.Sc. 2012 Supervisor
Claudia Ho Lem M.Sc 2012 Co-Supervisor
Emily Anderson M.Sc. 2010 Supervisor
Sara Elder M.A. 2010 Co-Supervisor
Pascal Steingruber M.Sc. 2010 Supervisor