Leung RiverDr Brian Leung is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and McGill School of Environment at McGill University. His research focuses on 1) large-scale ecological predictions, and 2) environmental decision-making. He is now focusing on the development of PRISM as a concrete tool for forecasting, evidence-based decision making, education and outreach geared towards sustainability. He is also director of the McGill-STRI Neotropical Environment Option collaboration.

Contact: brian.leung2[at]mcgill.ca 





ariel espinoDr Nilson Ariel Espino founded SUMA Arquitectos in 2004, and is the general manager of the company. Ariel obtained a degree in architecture from the Santa María La Antigua Catholic University (Panama), a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Arizona (USA) and a doctorate in social and cultural anthropology from Rice University (USA). He has worked as an urban planner in the US and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He was also director of the Panama Old Town Office between 2004 and 2009. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at the School of Urban Planning at McGill University (Montreal, Canada) and director of the Forum and Urban Observatory of Panama, based at the Catholic University. Ariel is a renowned researcher and author, and has published numerous works on urbanism and architecture in Panama and internationally. In 2015, he published the book "Building the Inclusive City" with the British publisher Routledge.

Contact: naespino[at]grupo-suma.com


Previous Chairholder

Dra PotvinDr. Catherine Potvin is a forest ecologist and specialist in global environmental change, including climate change and biodiversity loss. Her academic training includes a PhD from Duke University in plant ecology and postdoctoral studies in statistics at Université de Montréal. Her current research is of an interdisciplinary nature and includes socio-economic and policy aspects of land use changes. Dr. Potvin, who is professor at McGill University in Canada and associate staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, has been working in Panama since 1993 on aspects related to forest conservation and carbon cycling, often in close contact with farmers and Indigenous peoples. She has published ~100 scientific papers in international scientific journals. Dr Potvin has actively engaged in policymaking, serving as Panama’s negotiator at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change between 2005 and 2011. In 2012, she received the Royal Society of Canada’s Miroslaw Romanowski Medal in recognition of her exceptional contribution for important improvements to the quality of an ecosystem in all aspects brought about by scientific means. Dr. Potvin is the first woman to receive this prize, which rewards, inter alia, her exceptional contribution to the development of the proposal on the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) at the international level. In the wake of the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, Dr Potvin was selected by “Bold Vision” as one of 23 women visionaries for the future of Canada.

Contact: catherine.potvin[at]mcgill.ca