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Dr. Nicole Klenk

Associate Professor

Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences

University of Toronto Scarborough


My academic background is in botany and forest ecology. During my PhD in Forestry, I became interested in the role of science in environmental decision-making. My work evolved from a focus on the democratization of science to how governance arrangements can be more inclusive of different ways of knowing. My current research examines the ethics and politics of transdisciplinary knowledge co-production and the knowledge that narratives afford. My research in environmental governance is both theoretical and applied, with an emphasis on mixed and interpretive methods.

Editor-in-Chief, Environmental Science & Policy

Google Scholar Profile 


More About Dr. Klenk

My research career is best described as a journey that originated in the natural sciences (botany and forest ecology) but then took a turn towards interdisciplinary environmental studies. In my early training I was particularly influenced by the  ‘disturbance ecology’ paradigm, which characterizes ecosystems in terms of change rather than stability, or what the scientist Daniel Botkin termed “discordant harmonies,” a new metaphor for ecology in the twenty-first century. Building upon this early training, my understanding environmental governance is thoroughly ecological. I tend to focus on relations between science, society and policy rather than on each of these 'assemblages' in isolation; I take the perspective that individual actions matter (in both discursive and material senses of the word) but are also interdependent with larger structures and processes in explaining institutional change; I am curious about processes of hybridization of lifeforms and lifeworlds, which I take to be neither good nor bad, natural or unnatural, but a result of a coming together of  “lines of becoming” whose entanglements may pose new responsibilities to researchers who compose and encounter them; I think with and within theory and practice; I believe that current pressing environmental problems are uncertain, complex and shaped by different knowledges and values, therefore addressing these problems requires understanding and being responsive to the histories, stories and imaginaries of the future of the people and other inhabitants of the land impacted by these environmental problems.  

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