TBTI Members help secure $154-million for climate action

The Design and Governance of Coastal-Zone Mitigation and Adaptation Solutions

On April 28, 2023, Dalhousie University landed $154 million from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund for new research, Transforming Climate Action: Addressing the Missing Ocean (TCA). The research program involves four universities – Dalhousie, Université du Quebec à Rimouski, Université Laval, and Memorial University. It brings together over 170 researchers across many disciplines to investigate the ocean’s role in climate change as well as foster opportunities for mitigation and coastal adaptation. TBTI members – Brennan Lowery (Manager, Navigate & Adjunct Professor, MUN-Grenfell Campus) and Evan Andrews (Senior Research Fellow, TBTI Global) – helped lead a cluster of researchers to draw attention to mitigation and adaptation solutions in Transforming Climate Action. Now, the attention of these two young scholars is turned to co-developing a Large-Scale Research Project proposal within Transforming Climate Action called ‘The Design and Governance of Coastal-Zone Mitigation and Adaptation Solutions' (C-MAS), in collaboration with scholars from the other three universities.

The focus of C-MAS is to understand the design and governance of diverse coastal mitigation and adaptation solutions to climate change in Eastern Canada. Intensifying climate change impacts and pressures call for urgent and durable solutions, particularly those that foster equity and justice on Atlantic Canada’s coasts. Addressing this need through research is not simple. C-MAS can help understand struggles and opportunities on coasts under climate change, and move beyond understanding into action, including the design and governance of solutions. In support of this need, C-MAS is positioned to use transdisciplinary research in partnership of different rights holders and stakeholders, with an eye to making an impact at home and globally.  

Brennan and Evan are planning to bring their approaches and training to the development of C-MAS, with support from scholars like TBTI Director Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee and in collaboration with a unified cross-university team. Brennan hopes to draw on his unique experiences as a scholar and practitioner to learn about the stories that shape community-based solutions in Newfoundland and Labrador, considering both the role of entrepreneurship and the conditions that affect the design and implementation of solutions. Evan is keen to focus on the future of climate change for coastal communities in Newfoundland and Labrador, including how to transform governance to be more anticipatory, proactive, and focused on justice. Brennan and Evan are currently collaborating with people at Memorial University to identify opportunities for faculty, staff, and students in C-MAS.

To find out more about this and other project at Memorial University that are part of the Transforming Climate Action partnership, see the recent article in the Gazette.


Evan J. Andrews is a marine social scientist working at the intersections of governance, social-ecological change, and transdisciplinarity for the future, largely related to small-scale fisheries, marine conservation, and oceans sustainability. He has a PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Currently, he holds a Banting Fellowship based in Geography at Memorial University, Canada. He is a Senior Research Fellow with Too Big to Ignore: A Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research (TBTI) and the Ocean Frontier Institute Module I, “Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean”. With Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee, he is co-Principal Investigator for 'Moving Together for Marine Conservation', a multi-year outreach and capacity building project for marine conservation in Newfoundland and Labrador. He also the co-founder and network lead of TBTI-Canada, a cross-Canadian network focused on the visibility, recognition, and enhancement of small-scale fisheries in Canada.


Brennan Lowery is a passionate supporter of entrepreneurship and community-based innovation to address the complex challenges facing our world. With both academic and practical experience in social entrepreneurship and innovation, Brennan is developing a transdisciplinary research agenda on how rural and resource-based communities can use entrepreneurial strategies to enhance well-being and move towards sustainable development, which informs his hands-on efforts to support entrepreneurs in western Newfoundland. Brennan completed a doctorate in 2020 through Memorial University's Interdisciplinary PhD program, specializing in environmental policy, human geography, and economics, and prior to joining Navigate held postdoctoral fellowships through the Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures project (based at the MUN Faculty of Business Administration) and later in the Marine Biomass Innovation project (based at Grenfell Campus). He has also been involved in hands-on economic development initiatives in the western Newfoundland region, such as the development of the recently opened Centre for Research and Innovation, and is an active member of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation.