Western experts available on wildfires, plastic agreement, Haiti and Trump trial

Western experts are available to discuss Earth Week and wildfires, a potential plastic pollution agreement, violence in Haiti, and the political impacts of the Trump trial

 April 23, 2024

 April 23, 2024

Earth Week and wildfires
Amid the backdrop of Earth Week, wildfire season has started in B.C. with more than 100 already burning. The following experts are featured in Western News’ new series Our Warming Planet – exploring the implications of climate change across research disciplines.

Brian Branfireun
Professor, Biology, Geography, Earth Sciences

Areas of expertise: Impacts of wildfires on forests and wetlands, impacts of natural and human-induced environmental change.

Greg Kopp
Professor, Engineering; Research Lead, Northern Tornadoes Project

Areas of expertise: Tornadoes, windstorms, hailstorms, extreme weather and climate change, mitigating damage from extreme weather.

Paul Kovacs
Executive Director, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

Areas of expertise: Wildfire-resilient construction, extreme weather-resilient construction, disaster safety and economic policy, disaster resilience and adaptation.

Katrina Moser
Associate Professor, Chair, Geography and Environment

Areas of expertise: Role of climate change and wildfires, climate warming impact on water resources, drought.

Plastic pollution agreement
The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee is meeting to develop an international legally binding agreement on plastic pollution.

Patricia Corcoran
Professor, Earth Sciences

Areas of expertise: Microplastics pollution, plastic debris in marine and freshwater shorelines, microplastics in fish.

Elizabeth Gillies
Professor, Engineering, Chemistry

Areas of expertise: Smart materials and biomaterials, plastic alternatives, polymer chemistry and the design and synthesis of materials with new properties and functions.

Joshua Pearce
Professor, Engineering, Ivey Business School; John M. Thompson chair in Information Technology and Innovation

Areas of expertise: Recycling of plastics, distributed recycling and additive manufacturing, solar technology for climate solutions, carbon emissions mortality, carbon emissions liability.

Violence in Haiti
According to UNICEF, 30 to 50 per cent of armed groups in Haiti currently have children within their ranks.

Greg Beckett
Associate Professor, Anthropology

Areas of expertise: Political crisis in Haiti; crisis, disaster, and trauma from the standpoint of moral experience.

Political impact of the Trump Trial
The trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump continues, with debate over a gag order Tuesday.

Matt Lebo
Professor and Chair, Political Science

Areas of expertise: Political consequences of Trump’s legal troubles, American domestic politics, the presidency, presidential elections.


Justin Zadorsky, Media Relations Officer, Western University, 226.377.1673 (mobile),

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