Joséphine Gantois

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia, in the research group of Claire Kremen. My research combines statistical approaches and data from economics, ecology, remote sensing, and machine learning to assess and address humans’ ecological footprint in natural and agricultural landscapes. I currently study the biodiversity impacts and economic feasibility of different farming strategies, in order to understand how to feed the world while minimizing our environmental footprint.

In July 2023, I will start as an Assistant Professor in Human Dimensions of Biodiversity Conservation at UBC, across the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, and the Food and Resource Economics Program.

I received my PhD from the Sustainable Development program at Columbia University. There, I combined environmental and natural resource economics with ecology, to study plant physiology, phenology, and ecology processes, which matter for sustainable development. In particular, I overcome the challenge of monitoring and manipulating ecosystems and species at scale, by exploiting tools from causal inference, remote sensing, and machine learning.


Prior to my PhD, I graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique with a multidisciplinary bachelor in Science and Engineering, and a masters in Economics and Public Policy, as well as from the London School of Economics, with an MPA in International Development. I have worked with the Social Protection Unit and Human Development Network of the World Bank, and with development and trade economists at the Columbia Business School.

Current Openings

I am looking for a graduate (MSc) student to join my lab group in Fall 2023, to work on a project around marginal farmland naturalization in Southern Ontario. This project is joint with Dr Claire Kremen and Dr Hannah Wittman in IRES, and partner Dr Carolyn Callaghan from the Canadian Wildlife Federation. The goal of the project is to assess the ecological potential and economic feasibility of converting marginal farmland to natural habitat on Southern Ontario's intensive grain farms. It is a multidisciplinary project, which involves: remote sensing-based detection of marginal cropland; simulation modeling, to estimate the ecological and economic impacts of marginal cropland conversion; and interview-based work and engagement with the farming community.

Strong applicants will have some experience conducting research along one of the project dimensions, some coursework or training in ecology, economics, remote sensing, data science, and/or sociology, and interest in several components of the project.

Applicants can choose between applying through the RES or ISLFS graduate programs. The deadlines for the MSc in RES and ISLFS is mid-December and early January, respectively, but interested students should contact me before they apply. If interested, please fill out this google form.

Note: You can find more information on funding in the RES application FAQ and ISLFS application information. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to apply for NSERC fellowships, and I am happy to assist with applications for these programs and other relevant external funding programs.

Email: josephine [dot] gantois [at] ubc [dot] ca