Elena Bennett

Associate Professor

514-398-7563 | elena.bennett [at] mcgill.ca (Email) | Website @ElenaBennett  |  Teaching snapshot

Degrees

PhD Limnology and Marine Sciences (Wisconsin)
MSc Land Resources (Wisconsin)
BA Cum Laude, Biology and Environmental Studies, Minor in Chemistry (Oberlin College)

Short Bio

Dr. Elena Bennett is an Associate Professor at McGill. She received her BA in Biology and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1994, earned her MSc in Land Resources in 1999 (U. Wisconsin) and her PhD in Limnology and Marine Sciences in 2002 (U. Wisconsin). She is co-chair of the international project ecoSERVICES, which aims to set the research agenda for ecosystem services for the coming decade, and lead author on the IPBES Global Assessment. Dr. Bennett was a Leopold Leadership Fellow (2012), and a Trottier Public Policy Professor (2013-2014). At McGill, she has won awards for undergraduate teaching, graduate supervision, and contributions to campus sustainability.  In 2012, she was selected to be one of two representatives of the Royal Society of Canada at the Summer Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum held in Tianjin, China. In 2016, she was named one of six NSERC Steacie Fellows.

Awards and Recognitions

2017-2019. EWR Steacie Fellowship
2016. Alice Johannsen Award (for the Montérégie Connection Project) from the Mont Saint-Hilaire Nature Centre for a significant contribution towards the protection of nature.
2015. McGill Catalyst Award for staff contribution to sustainability on campus
2013-2014. Trottier Public Policy Fellowship (with $80,000 funding to initiate public policy engagement related to the Monteregie Connection project)
2013. Winner, Carrie M. Derick Award for Excellence in Graduate Supervision
2013-2017. Selected to be a member of the Global Young Academy
2012. IAP Young Scientist representative of the Royal Society of Canada at the Summer Davos meeting of the World Economic Forum. Tianjin, China, September
2012. Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science nominee for the Principal’s Award for Teaching Excellence
2012. Macdonald Campus Award for Teaching Excellence
2011. Leopold Leadership Fellow

Active Affiliations

IPBES Global Assessment Lead Author (Chapter 3)
IPBES Americas Assessment Coordinating Lead Author (Chapter 1)
Advisory Board, Leopold Leadership Program (2015 -  current)
Advisory Board, North American Partnership for Phosphorus Sustainability (NAPPS,2014- present)
Science Advisory Council, SNAP (Science for Nature and People) (2015 – present)

Member, Ecological Society of America Science Committee (2014 – present)
Co-Chair, EcoSERVICES, a FutureEarth project (2014- present)
Member, GEOBON (the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network) Working Group 6 (Ecosystem Services (2016 - present)
Editorial board member, Frontiers in Ecology and Environment, 2010 - present

Research Interests

Research in the Bennett lab centers around questions about ecosystem services, the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Humanity has always depended on the services provided by ecosystems, including products such as food, freshwater, and fiber, (provisioning ecosystem services, ES), non-material benefits such as places for recreation and inspiration (cultural ES) and benefits obtained by regulation of ecosystem processes, such as flood control and climate regulation (regulating ES). A growing body of evidence indicates that most ecosystem management, which attempts to maximize one ecosystem service (ES) at a time, actually makes ecosystems vulnerable to substantial declines in other services or to increased likelihood of nonlinear, surprising changes in the provision of services. For this reason, recent studies have called for increased attention to managing multiple ES together. However, effective management of multiple ES is impeded by inadequate understanding of the interactions among ES and the slowly changing variables that appear to regulate these interactions. We are interested in how the types of ecosystem services interact across the landscape over long time periods and how we can manage landscapes to provide multiple ecosystem services. Under this large umbrella, our work is divided into several research themes listed below.

Current Research

Agricultural Ecosystem Services
Urban Ecosystem Services
Aquatic Ecosystem Services
Human Impact on Large-scale Nutrient Cycling and Water Quality
Next Generation Ecosystem Services Models
Good Anthropocene
ecoServices, Future Earth Core Project

Publications

View a list of current publications