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Introducing the 2022-23 Geoffrey F. Bruce Graduate Fellows in Canadian Freshwater Policy

New fellows to continue the advancement of freshwater policy and stewardship in Canada
November 09, 2022

Freshwater is one of Canada’s most precious and copious resources. With more than 30% of the world’s freshwater in our care, we have a global responsibility to protect and steward it through effective public policy.

The Faculty of Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University is proud to celebrate TMU Ph.D. candidates Joseph Aladekoyi and Yena Bassone-Quashie on being named the 2022-2023 Geoffrey F. Bruce Graduate Fellows. Informing diverse freshwater research with real-world impacts, The Bruce Fellowship is supporting the next generation of freshwater leaders, policy researchers and practitioners and expanding Canada's Freshwater community with impacts that continue to grow with each new cohort. Learn more about this year's recipients:

Joseph Aladekoyi
Joseph Aladekoyi, PhD student

Joseph is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Environmental Applied Science and Management program at Toronto Metropolitan University. Joseph’s research focuses on an evaluation of Canada’s policies related to CECs and pharmaceuticals. He aims to evaluate the policy and management frameworks that currently exist in Canada that protect the environment and freshwater under the Canadian Chemicals Management Plan; to explore the degree to which findings from science inform current policies and practices that guide wastewater management; and identify policy gaps related to the protection of freshwater that the scientific evidence related to the impact of pharmaceuticals indicate are critical to public policy.

Through an examination of policies related to pharmaceuticals in other jurisdictions; an analysis of Canada’s current chemical management policies and practices; and an investigation of how the science and risk posed by pharmaceuticals to freshwater is being perceived and interpreted through the viewpoints of major freshwater stakeholders, Joseph hopes to make a significant contribution to freshwater policy.

Yena Bassone-Quashie
Yena Bassone-Quashie, PhD(c)

Yena is a 2nd year Ph.D. candidate in the Environmental Applied Science and Management program at Toronto Metropolitan University. Yena’s research focuses on improving water policies, flood resilience and climate adaptation in Ontario and Canadian municipalities through adaptive water infrastructure policy innovation and planning tools. Her research applies an innovative long-term adaptive infrastructure planning approach from the interdisciplinary scholarship on Decision-making under Deep Uncertainty (DMDU) known as Dynamic Adaptive Policy Pathways (DAPP) to water infrastructure and climate change policies to address complex water policy challenges that are increasingly evident at the local level. 

Yena is very grateful for being a recipient of a Geoffrey F. Bruce Fellowship as it will allow her to focus on her dissertation research and ensure her research will make a significant contribution to municipal water and climate change policies in Ontario and Canada. She is committed to becoming one of Canada’s freshwater policy scholars and leaders focused on critical challenges at the municipal level.

About the Fellowship

The Geoffrey F. Bruce Fellowship was established in 2017 by Erika C. Bruce, to build on her husband’s legacy. Geoffrey F. Bruce was a distinguished Canadian, dedicated public servant and diplomat who devoted his career to advancing multilateral cooperation in pursuit of environmental protection and sustainable development practices. Geoffrey was passionate about the stewardship of Canadian water resources.

“He believed that Canadians and Americans are facing major, predictable and costly crises in the use, management and conservation of their shared water resources,” said Erika Bruce about her late husband. “While there is a general awareness of the consequences of these threats, there doesn’t appear to be a well-coordinated public response, nor persuasive leadership in the various levels of government to respond effectively.”

The Geoffrey F. Bruce Fellowship helps cultivate that response and support the next generation of freshwater policy leaders. Funds enable graduate students to focus on their research, and ultimately lead to the formation of recommendations that generate and contribute to public policy regarding freshwater resources in Canada.