Welcome to the McGill Sustainability Research Symposium

Join us March 20–21, 2018 for the 8th annual Sustainability Research Symposium at McGill


This student-led symposium brings together students and researchers to share ideas. Join us for keynote lectures, graduate student talks, a poster and networking session, and an applied sustainability workshop for students.

Sustainability research is, by design and necessity, interdisciplinary. We invite abstracts from graduates and undergraduates from all faculties who are carrying out research related to sustainability. Come share ideas with us!


For the past eight years, the Sustainability Research Symposium has worked to create a temporary place ‘in between’ academic disciplines, where students can share ideas across faculties and different levels of study. In 2018, we are building on this tradition with the theme, “Borders and Sustainability”. 

Sustainability implies questions of borders, boundaries, and frontiers. Whether we’re talking about climate change, biodiversity loss, or pollution, environmental crises cross national borders. Much of the food, energy, and water we rely on flows across borders—as does our waste and pollution. New resource extraction frontiers are extending the boundaries of human environmental impacts. Globally, environmental crises have been described as a threat to ‘planetary boundaries’, as human impacts approach thresholds of the Earth’s systems. 

Borders—literal and metaphorical—are also at play in the human and social dimensions of sustainability. The human toll of environmental crises, and emerging needs of ‘climate refugees’, are bound up in issues of asylum,  migration, and human rights. Borderlands are contested, negotiated, and managed, implying questions of power and inequality. Borders need not be visible to structure our world and our thinking, and we include in this theme borders between human and non-human; culture and nature. 

While borderlands and frontiers pose unique challenges to managing for sustainability, borders are also sites of encounter and exchange. Solving global environmental problems requires cooperation across borders: between nations, sectors, disciplines, and peoples to care for a shared environment. Thinking about borders encourages us to consider the places in between, and ask where we might come together. 

We hope the SRS’s 2018 edition will again be one such place! Please join us at McGill March 20-21, 2018 to explore the theme of Borders and Sustainability.


Register for the Symposium

McGill is located on unceded Kanien’kehá:ka traditional territory