Gordon Hickey

Associate Professor; William Dawson Scholar

T: 514-398-7214  |  gordon.hickey [at] mcgill.ca (Email)  |  Macdonald-Stewart Building MS2-081 |   Website


B.For.Sci. (University of Melbourne)
PhD (University of British Columbia)
Masters of Public Administration (Exec.) (Australian and New Zealand School of Government, Monash University)

Short Bio

Gordon Hickey completed a Bachelor of Forest Science degree (Honours) at the University of Melbourne, a Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia, and a Master of Public Administration (Executive) at the Australian and New Zealand School of Government, Monash University. He is presently an Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University specializing in sustainable natural resource management, policy and governance. He is the Head of the Sustainable Futures Research Laboratory and Director of the McGill-United Nations Environment Programme Collaborating Centre on Environmental Assessment. Prior to joining McGill, he was the Manager of Forest Policy and Projects in the Department of Sustainability and Environment, State Government of Victoria, Australia. He is presently an Associate Editor of the journal Food Security.

Awards and Recognitions

2014: SUTROFOR Erasmus Mundus Scholar Scholarship, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
2014: Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems Research Fellowship, OECD Co-operative Research Programme, Paris
2013: Liber Ero Fellowship in Science Communication and Policy Engagement, McGill University
2011: International Young Scientist Fellowship, Natural Science Foundation of China
2004: Young Scientist Publication Award, Commonwealth Forestry Association, Oxford, UK.

Active Affiliations

McGill-United Nations Environment Programme Collaborating Centre on Environmental Assessment
McGill-Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Neotropical Environment Option (NEO)
School of Ecosystem & Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne
Associate Editor, Food Security
McGill School of Environment

Research Interests

Dr. Hickey’s research is at the forefront of understanding how government can better support the sustainable governance of complex natural resource management systems at a range of scales. His international and applied research seeks to offer innovative and sensitive public policy guidance on a wide range of sustainable development challenges facing society.  

Current Research

Throughout the world, natural resources and their management have become increasingly recognized as critical considerations in public policy, particularly in relation to sustainable development.  As a result, many organizations are actively pursuing reform in their policies and practices to encompass a broader range of values and management strategies that are consistent with the principles of sustainable development.  There are, however, important conceptual, practical and institutional challenges associated with developing innovative and sustainable natural resource management policies and practices within interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder frameworks. Recognizing these challenges, our international research works to advance the sustainable natural resource management and policy objectives of society through better understanding the complex interactions between social and ecological systems. More specifically, our research is organized around three separate, but interconnected, streams: 1) Monitoring and assessing the impact of natural resource development; 2) Fostering resilience in natural resource-dependent communities; 3) Knowledge integration and innovation for sustainable development.

Current projects

  • Is social capital an underutilized resource for enhancing the transfer of science based knowledge across agency boundaries? Funded by SSHRC and the IBM Centre for the Business of Government.
  • Innovation, science and trans-boundary environmental governance: Using social capital to enhance collaboration and co-learning in the management of the Great Lakes fisheries. Funded by SSHRC.
  • From ecological modeling to the collective design of sustainable agro-ecosystems. Funded by McGill and INRA (France)
  • Improving food security and nutrition in the Caribbean: Factors affecting the adoption and application of sustainable agricultural technologies in the strategies of end users. Funded by IDRC.
  • Enhancing ecologically resilient food security through innovative farming systems in the semi-arid midlands of Kenya. Funded by IDRC.
  • Modeling livelihood vulnerability in a complex social-ecological system under flood stress: A study of the North-Eastern flood plain communities of Bangladesh. Funded by IPCC and McGill.


AGEC 430 Agric, Food & Resource Policy 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

ENVB 437 Assessing Environmental Impact 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

[course medium ENVR 610]


View a list of current publications