PhD Candidate in Philosophy, University of Guelph

I am a third year Ph.D. student in Philosophy at the University of Guelph. My PhD supervisor is Prof. Monique Deveaux, Canada Research Chair in Ethics and Global Social Change. My doctoral research centres on five questions: What right, if any, do people have to water? What are the putative harms of privatizing and commodifying water? Should naturally occurring necessities for life, like water, be considered common property? If so, what are the most compelling normative and ethical grounds for justifying common ownership of water? How might people’s rights to access to water be protected through legal and political means, and what role might local and transnational political activism play in hastening the implementation of such protections? I approach my project from a normative perspective, with ideas of how we ought to act regarding the distribution of natural resources. I consider these questions as they relate to the moral implications of selling and exploiting the natural resource of water. I argue that the quest for natural resources will place a strain on all people, but especially on the poorest people – both in Canada and globally – because such people lack the means to purchase, and so secure, reliable access to privatized essential resources. North-South inequalities in access to water will increase global inequalities.

I have completed a BA[H] at the University of Windsor and an MA at Western University. While studying at the University of Guelph, I became a Visiting Postgraduate Student at the University of Edinburgh for one semester. I have published on topics pertaining to property, ethics and justice of water distribution and ownership, and informal logic.

Outside of my doctoral research, I have worked in the Water Security and Nexus project at the United Nations University - Insitute for Water, Environment and Health. At UNU-INWEH, I was supervised by Dr. Nidhi Nagabhatla and Dr. Nancy Doubleday. Moreover, I have been a Graduate Research Assistant for the University of Guelph's Arrell Food Institute and Food From Thought program, as well as the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. I enjoy volunteering with organizations such as Oxfam at Guelph, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windsor-Essex, and Habitat for Humanity (both at home and abroad). My volunteer experiences have taken me to Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Malawi.

Experience

  • –present
    PhD Student in Philosophy, University of Guelph

Education

  • 2015 
    Western University, MA Philosophy
  • 2014 
    University of Windsor, BA[H] Philosophy