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

Email: hisham(dot)zerriffi(at)ubc(dot)ca
Work Phone: 604-827-4468
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Dr. Dawit D. Guta
Dawit Guta is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Economics at the College of Development Studies, Addis Ababa University (AAU), and holds a post-doctorate position within the Department of Forest Resource Management at the University of British Colombia (UBC). He has over 12 years of professional experience in research and teaching at higher education institutions in Ethiopia, Germany, and Canada. Before joining AAU, he held the position of senior researcher at the Center for Development Research at the University of Bonn (UB). Dawit graduated with BA and MSc degrees in Economics from AAU and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Bonn. His main areas of research interest focus on Resource and Environmental Economics applied to the field of energy transition, renewable energy, water-energy and food security nexus, non-market valuation, bioeconomy, forest, climate change, and rural livelihoods.
Research Keywords: energy demand modeling, energy transitions, socio-ecological dynamics, forestry, low and middle-income countries, econometric modeling


Avery Maloney, M.A Economics
Avery is a graduate research assistant working in the Energy Resources, Development, and Environment Laboratory. Within the lab, he works as part of Canada’s National Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land-Use, and Energy (FABLE) Coalition team. Avery also works as a research assistant with Gathering Voices Society, where his work has focused on perceptions surrounding First Nation water resource access and disaster preparedness in multi-hazard environments. His past research assistant appointments include RWI Essen and Mount Allison University (MTA). Avery holds a Master of Arts in Economics from the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC and a Bachelor of Commerce with Honors in Economics from MTA. His research focuses on the implications of climate change for future energy system design and the importance of equity and justice for sustainable transitions.
Research Keywords: climate change mitigation, energy systems transitions, just transitions, public policy
Email: avery(dot)j(dot)maloney(at)gmail(dot)com
Work Phone: 236-862-4060


Sandeep Pai, Ph.D. Candidate & Public Scholar

Sandeep is a Public scholar and Doctoral Candidate 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

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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
Email: npayer(at)mail(dot)ubc(dot)ca


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 is also performing a post-doctorate at the Faculty of Forestry of UBC.Research Keywords: woodfuel consumption, forest degradation, energy poverty, energy transition, behavioral economics, socioeconomic drivers

Work Phone: +56990004267
Research Gate


Vikas Menghwani

Catherine Moreau


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
emac(at)dtu(dot)dk or emmanuel(dot)kofi(dot)ackom(at)gmail(dot)com


Elina Bryngemark, Ph.D. Candidate

Research Keywords:
economics, environmental policy, biofuels, partial equilibrium modeling, econometrics




Dr. Devyani Singh
Devyani is a Post-Doctoral Fellow working on various projects under the umbrella of Energy and Climate policy whose 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. Through this work, Devyani has coordinated multiple research projects spanning various sectors (industry, academia, government, Indigenous communities, and non-profits) and countries (India, Canada, US), where she has led research design, research execution, and communication (via peer-reviewed papers, reports, presentations, social media). Outside of academia, Devyani consults on carbon markets and policy for New Forests Inc. and has worked with the First Nations on non-timber forest products. In the past (until 2010), she 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, Devyani changed career paths and obtained an M.Sc. in Environmental Science, and a Ph.D. in Energy & Climate Policy. Now she actively promotes engagement with policymakers and the public for evidence-based decision-making and looks 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. Haris Gilani

Dr. Greg Paradi