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Strengthening connections

Appointment to enhance consultation in Indigenous research


By Jeff Green

Dr. Max Liboiron has been appointed associate vice-president (Indigenous research) pro tempore effective Sept. 1 until Aug. 31, 2019.

The appointment was accepted by the president and approved by the Board of Regents on Aug. 10.

Dr. Liboiron will work closely with Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research), and other senior leaders to achieve the strategic objectives of the research portfolio in building Memorial’s international reputation with a primary focus on research involving and relating to Indigenous communities.

Her appointment is in effect during Dr. Ray Gosine’s administrative leave as associate vice-president (research) during the 2018-19 academic year, while he continues as a visiting professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and a visiting scholar at Massey College.

Dr. Mark Abrahams, who had been serving in the associate vice-president (research) pro tempore role, returned to his position as dean, Faculty of Science, on Sept. 1.

‘Consultation and engagement’

Dr. Bose says one of the main goals of the research portfolio in the coming years is to establish methods to ensure there is appropriate consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities and government leaders prior to and during the initial stages of research proposals on both community-identified and researcher-led initiatives.

“We also wish to connect with other Indigenous communities and academic or research institutions around the world to share ideas, network and provoke creative discussions on Indigenous matters and research opportunities and challenges,” said Dr. Bose.

“Dr. Liboiron will play a critical role in those activities and help identify areas for partnership and opportunities to enhance Memorial’s approach to working with Indigenous communities on research. I am looking forward to working with her in this new capacity. I also extend my thanks to Dr. Abrahams for his leadership in serving as both vice-president (research) pro tempore and associate vice-president (research) pro tempore in our office since January 2017.”

Active researcher

A well-respected researcher, Dr. Liboiron is currently assistant professor in the Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, with cross-appointments to the Department of Sociology and Marine Institute.

Dr. Max Liboiron
Dr. Max Liboiron
Photo: David Howells/MEOPAR

She is the director of the Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research, a feminist, anti-colonial, marine science laboratory. Dr. Liboiron’s research bridges the physical and social sciences in its investigation of how marine plastics and other pollutants are understood and acted upon.

Dr. Liboiron is managing editor of Discard Studies, an online forum for audiences interested in research on waste and pollution; is a member of the Endocrine Disruptors Action Group, which advances critical discussions about the regulation, science, and monitoring of endocrine disrupting chemicals; and is a member of Indigenous Science, Technology, and Society, an international research and teaching hub.

She is currently principal investigator, co-investigator and collaborator on a number of research projects focused on issues related to Indigenous and Northern communities and the environment. She holds grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network, Irving Shipbuilding, the Northern Contaminants Program, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Indigenous Community-Based Climate Monitoring, National Geographic and Memorial. Her research is conducted in partnership with both settler groups and Indigenous nations, including the Nunatsiavut Government and the NunatuKavut Community Council.

Her research has appeared in a number of top-tier international journals and publications.

Dr. Liboiron holds a bachelor of fine arts from Mount Allison University; a graduate certificate and master of fine arts degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook; and a PhD from New York University. She has held post-doctoral positions at the Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute, Northeastern University, and with the Intel Science and Technology Center in Social Computing based out of the Intel Corporation in Irvine, Calif.

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