Award-winning McGill University Prof to bring climate-change lessons out of the lab

Researcher to share environmental insights through video series

By: Obert Madondo The Canadian Progressive

Catherine Potvin and Juvenal Quiroz, president of the Embera Congress of Alto Bayano in Panama Photo: Lisa Lutz

Catherine Potvin and Juvenal Quiroz, president of the Embera Congress of Alto Bayano in Panama
Photo: Lisa Lutz

McGill University Biology Professor Catherine Potvin, a renowned expert on climate change and tropical-forest ecology, will begin sharing insights from her laboratory’s research, according to a press release issued Tuesday. The information will be shared  through a novel series of videos to be made available online starting this week.

For the past two decades, Prof. Potvin and her students have collaborated closely with indigenous communities in Panama, sharing knowledge and working with them to improve their livelihoods – while avoiding deforestation. Now, as Quebec and Canada look increasingly to develop their own resource frontiers, Prof. Potvin is reaching beyond the classroom to promote informed public discussion of the environmental consequences of resource exploitation.

Acting as reporter, cameraman and producer, Prof. Potvin uses smartphone technology to take viewers on a journey into the laboratory and out into the field, to help them understand the dynamics of climate change and the role of forests.

Among the themes to be covered in coming weeks:

  • the role of CO2 in the atmosphere and carbon in forests
  • tropical ecology
  • the consequences of climate change
  • potential solutions

Videos and photographs will be posted each week on the new McGill-at-work Facebook page:

Visit the page on April 8 to see the second video.

Prof. Potvin was awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s 2012 Miroslaw Romanowski Medal, for scientific work relating to environmental problems. For more information on her research, visit:

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, activist, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. He's the founder and editor of these independent publications: The Canadian Progressive, a political blog dedicated to progressive Canadian journalism; The Zimbabwean Progressive, a political blog dedicated to producing fearless, progressive, adversarial, unapologetic, and activism-oriented Zimbabwean journalism; and Charity Files, a publication dedicated to journalism in the charitable public's interest. Follow Obert on Twitter: @Obiemad