We respectfully acknowledge the territory in which CLEAR works as the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, and the island of Newfoundland as the ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk. I would also like to recognize the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original peoples of Labrador. We strive for respectful relationships with all the peoples of this province as we search for collective healing and true reconciliation and honour this beautiful land together.*
CLEAR is a collective of researchers from a wide range of disciplines (from ocean science to filmmaking), career levels (high school students to full professors), and skillsets. As a feminist and anticolonial science laboratory, we understand introductions as a way to articulate our accountabilities and make our relations apparent.
These are the people that make CLEAR possible:
(Michif-settler, they/she) Taanishi! Max Liboiron dishinihkaashoon. Lac la biche, Treaty siz, d’ooshchiin. Métis naasyoon niiya ni (Woodman, Turner).
Hello! I’m originally from Lac la biche, Alberta, Treaty six territory. I am the Director of CLEAR and am both an Assistant professor of Geography and the Associate Vice-President (Indigenous Research) at Memorial University. (maxliboiron.com)
(she/her) I am a settler originally from Chapel Arm, Newfoundland and Labrador, and a Professor of Sociology at Memorial University. I have been doing feminist research focusing on NL fisheries for 25 years. For the lab, I coordinate the animal respect group as part of my research on animals in science, and I get to hang out with Grandmother and Kookum when their human travels.
(she/her) Hello, my name is Kaitlyn Hawkins. I am a settler from Summerford, Newfoundland and Labrador. I graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, specializing in Ecology and Conservation and minoring in Oceanography. I work at CLEAR as the lab manager where I work closely with the director of CLEAR to coordinate all lab activities, lab employees and training, organize others for success, as well as conduct research along with my colleagues. I bring strong organizational skills to the lab and approach my lab manager duties with hospitality.
(They/she) Mukhtara is an Indigenous Yoruba from what is now Southwestern Nigeria. Their work spans academic research, art and design. A practicing decolonial designer they hold an MA in communication and media and an MFA in design. Mukhtara is interested in the material histories of plastic, plastic as a haunting that reflects ecologies of dispossession, oppression, and psycho-emotional harm created through global petroleum industry in places like the Niger-Delta.
(He/His/They/Their) Arif Abu came to Newfoundland, the ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk, via a long journey which started in Chittagong, Banglades. Arif is the Special Advisor to the AVP (Academic) and Dean of Graduate Studies at Memorial University on matters related to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. At the same time, he serves as an International Student Advisor (Immigration and Special Projects) at Memorial University’s Internationalization Office.
He has a Master’s degree in Political Science, and a Bachelor’s degree with honours in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Windsor.
His academic background, lived experience, and work in the field of international education and social justice have influenced him to examine critically the concepts of western epistemological racism, the decolonisation of existing knowledge acquisition and dissemination structures, the experience of international students, and the concept of fourth-wave student development spaces within student affairs.
Atelihai, my name is Edward Allen (he/him) and I am Kablunangajuk; a person of blended Inuit and settler ancestry who identifies locolineally with Nunatsiavummiut. I am currently a visitor on the ancestral homelands of the Beotuk, where I draw on early, located values in negotiating my privileged semblances and personal complicities. I am interested in wellness as a function of the relationships that Nunatsiavummiut have with the Land and, as a student in Department of Geography at Memorial University and member of CLEAR.
(she/her) Hi all! My name is Willa Neilsen and I am a settler living in North West River, Labrador. I am currently in my third year of a Bachelor of Science degree, pursuing a Joint Major in Marine Biology. I am most interested in studying marine conservation, specifically in Arctic and Subarctic regions. This semester I am a MUCEP student working remotely at CLEAR as the Community Food Prices Project Coordinator! I am very excited to see where this opportunity takes me, and hope to learn a lot through this position.
(settler, he/him) Dr. Mather is professor in the Department of Geography at Memorial University. He is currently working on the environmental politics of Atlantic salmon conservation in Newfoundland, and is co-lead of a research module on social license and aquaculture funded through the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI). CLEAR members are playing a key role in directing the environmental work associated with the OFI module on social license and aquaculture.
(she/her) Hi, my name is Molly, I am an international student from Bristol, England, and am currently doing my master’s degree in marine biology at Memorial University. My research is focused on understanding how the invasive European green crab, that was first recorded in Newfoundland in 2007, survives in the extreme cold of Newfoundland winters. I am a research assistant at CLEAR, my main responsibility is to analyse sediment samples recording the amount of microplastic contamination.
Dr. Alex Sawatzky
(settler, she/her) I live on the ancestral homelands and traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and work at the intersections of art, design, and community-driven research. I hold a PhD in Public Health from the University of Guelph, where my thesis research contributed to an Inuit-led environment and health monitoring program initiated by the community of Rigolet, Nunatsiavut (in Northern Labrador). I’m indebted to the relationships I’ve built with Labrador peoples and lands through my past work, and am grateful to continue building these relationships in my current capacity as Special Projects Manager with the Labrador Institute, and as a member of CLEAR.
(she/her) Hello, my name is Domenica and I am an International Student from Guayaquil, Ecuador doing my third year as a Bachelor of Science in Geography at MUN, and my main interest is pursuing a career helping the environment. I am an ISWEP student working as a Lab assistant in CLEAR this semester and I am very excited for what is coming.
Hello, my name is Alexander Flynn (him/his) and I am from Forteau, a small fishing community on the south coast of Labrador. I am a member of NunatuKavut and have settler ancestry as well. I am currently doing a master’s program in biology at MUN, researching population dynamics and stability of Labrador lake trout and contributing to other wildlife genetics projects. I am a research assistant at CLEAR working on plastic pollution samples from Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut.
(Settler, she/her) Hi, my name is Charlotte Florian, and I am from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, but have been in Newfoundland for eight years. I am currently a third year student at Memorial University in the Bachelor of Science in Geography program. I have also previously received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Memorial University. This semester, through MUCEP I will be working as a Lab Technician. I cannot wait to see what I will learn and I am thankful for this opportunity.
(she/her) Hi! My name is Morgan Davidson. I am a settler from Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. I am currently enrolled in my second year at Memorial University, where I am working towards a bachelor of science, with my major being biochemistry nutrition. I am working as a research assistant with a project involving food pricing in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is my first experience working with CLEAR and I am so excited to get started!
(she/her) Nadia is from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Earth Sciences from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has been an active CLEAR Lab member since 2017 and has contributed to research involving biomonitoring of plastics in species, plastic identification in benthic sediments and spatial analysis using GIS. Currently, she is an M.Sc. candidate at the Geography Department (MUN) supervised by Dr Liboiron. Her research consists of determining the spatial and temporal trends of marine plastics flowing into and out of Newfoundland. She is interested in the application of spatial data and technologies for plastic pollution research.
Hey there! My name is Janine O’Reilly (she/her) and I am a settler from St. John’s, NL. I am an undergraduate student at the Marine Institute studying Marine Environmental Technology, and I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Throughout my science education, and my artistic practise, I aim to learn more about my relationship to the land I live on. I am so excited to be a MUCEP student working as a Lab Technician with CLEAR this semester!.
Affiliated Faculty and Co-Investigators
Aaniin! Deondre Smiles indizhinikaaz. I am a citizen of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. I am a geographer whose ongoing research agenda is centered around the argument that tribal protection of remains, burial grounds, and more-than-human environments represents an effective form of everyday resistance against the settler-colonial state. I am also interested in tribal cultural resource conservation and protection, research ethics with Indigenous communities, and interdisciplinary work with other fields!
I am currently a postdoctoral scholar at The Ohio State University; in the fall of 2021, I will be joining the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria as an assistant professor.
(they/she) Hawé, my English name is Katherine Crocker. I am a citizen of the Kaw Nation of the lands currently known as Oklahoma. My PhD is in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and my MS is in Postsecondary Science Education, both from the University of Michigan (on the occupied territories of Anishnaabeg, Miami, and Wendat peoples). I am a postdoctoral research fellow in genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine on the occupied Lenape and Wappinger land currently known as New York City. I’m also a co-Investigator at CLEAR, and am particularly interested in how we define relationships with land and more-than-human relations in terms of space and time, in how we use language to construct meaning, and in understanding and nuancing our practices of equity, accountability, and learning.
Artists in Residence
(settler, she/her) Greetings. I am an interdisciplinary artist/scholar who came to Ktaqmkuk(Newfoundland) in 1973. My artistic practice includes installation, drawing, object-making, photography, film, writing, community-engaged collaboration and performance. My work, whether in research or in creation, has explored the fisheries, the female body, human labour, place-making, the nature of knowledge and knowers and notions of the “local”. I have collaborated with fishers in Newfoundland and Haida Gwaii(BC), scientists and social scientists across Canada, doctors and medical students at MUN, fish plant filleters, food service workers, and settler and indigenous knowledge-holders across Newfoundland. I have a lot of questions about how knowledge is “produced”, who gets to make it and who does not. I am grateful to be able to spend time with CLEAR to explore some of these questions in such good company.
(he/him) Hello, my name is Prakash Krishnan. I’m a first generation Tamil Malaysian settler born and raised on Dish With One Spoon Territory and currently residing on the unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation on the island known as Tio’tia:ke, Mooniyang, or Montréal. I am a MA candidate in Media Studies at Concordia University where my thesis research circulates cultural heritage exhibition on social media as a critical community archival practice. I am also a cultural worker and artist-researcher in constant collaboration with various academic, artistic, and community spaces exploring issues of accessibility, knowledge sharing, and collective organizing. I’m grateful to be in relation with CLEAR as an artist in residence.
Alumni of our lab include: Tiaasha Naskar, Tammy Sheppard, Forough Emam, Zhe Shi, Celestine Muli, Carely Mills, Emily Wells, Tristen Morris, Melissa Novachefski, Natalya Dawe, Coco Coyle, Mikayla Downey, Erin Burt, Juddyannet Murichi, Natalie Richárd, France Liboiron, Marissa Van Harmelen, Jess Melvin, Taylor Stocks, Alexandra Hayward, Justine Ammendolia, Bojan Fürst, Kate Winsor, Sam Welscott, Ignace Schoot, Nic Kuzmochka, Kelechi Emmanuel Anyaeto, Shramana Sarkar, Charlotte Muise, Lucas Harris, Jillian Chidley, Michael Broz, Luke Lucy-Broomfield, Megan Dicker, Jacquelyn Saturno, Lauren Watwood, Iwalaye (Ayo) Oladimeji, Emily Simmonds, Natasha Healey, Noah Hutton, Taylor Hess, Hridisha Arif, Melissa Paglia, John Atkinson, Anna Malone, Paddy Dawe, and Abdul Rahat.
* This Land acknowledgment for Memorial University, which has campuses in various parts of the province, was created by the five Indigenous groups in the province together. To learn more about why some words and phrases were chosen, see the explanation of the Land acknowledgment here.