Main Menu

Faculty Research

Brian Belcher

PhD – Forestry Economics and Policy (University of Minnesota, St. Paul)

Brian Belcher’s research focuses on understanding and improving the role and potential of natural resources to sustainably contribute to rural development and on research effectiveness. Dr. Belcher served as Director of the Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology at RRU from 2007 until 2013, when he was awarded RRU’s first Tier 1 Canada Research Chair. As CRC, he is leading a program in Sustainability Research Effectiveness that aims to develop theory and methodology for evaluating research in complex transdisciplinary contexts. He teaches in the Doctor of Social Sciences Program and supervises master’s and doctoral students. He also contributes as Senior Associate Scientist with the international Consortium Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, where he is a member of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Impact Assessment team. Prior to joining RRU in 2007, Dr. Belcher worked at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) based in Bogor, Indonesia (1997-2007), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in New Delhi, India (1994-1997) and Ottawa (1989-1992) and at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.  Dr. Belcher holds a BSc in Biology (Ecology) from the University of Winnipeg, a Master’s of Natural Resources Management from the University of Manitoba, and PhD in Forestry (Economics and Policy) from the University of Minnesota. 


Mary Bernard

PhD – Sociology (York University)

Mary Bernard is the first associate vice president of research at Royal Roads University, British Columbia, a new and innovative Canadian university for those wishing to advance in the workplace. Formerly, Dr. Bernard was with the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, Ontario, as well as the York Centre for applied sustainability, the Native/Canadian Relations Theme Area, and by Eric Trist. She holds a PhD in Sociology from York University, a Master in Environmental Studies (MES) also from York University, and a BA in English from the University of New Brunswick, Canada.


Allan Cahoon

PhD - Organization Theory and Development: Public Management (Syracuse University, The Maxwell School) 

Allan Cahoon is President and Vice-Chancellor of Royal Roads University, whose research focuses on women in leadership roles, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, strategic human resources, creating high-performance workplaces, international and cross cultural negotiations and international development. He has authored or co-authored over 40 articles; and has edited or contributed chapters to several books on organizational development and presented more than 75 adjudicated conference papers throughout his academic career. Internationally, Dr. Cahoon – whose second language is Spanish – has been a visiting professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He has also served as a visiting professor at the Monash Mount Eliza Management School in Australia; Yamaguchi University in Japan; and the International Management Center in Budapest, Hungary.


Connie Carter

PhD - Barrister, Professor of Law, Royal Roads University

Dr. Carter is a trained barrister, businesswoman, educator and communicator who teaches and consults widely on international trade, foreign investment, corporate culture, technology transfer and intellectual property law in China and SE Asia. She spent 20-odd years working with marketing communications, branding, corporate governance, industrial design, HR and training in industry before returning to the University of London, UK, to gain a PhD in law. 

Before embarking on her PhD, she acquired ‘real-life’ experience in the global business and academic worlds. She held senior management positions in industry, formerly with well-known companies in Denmark, and most recently as Director, Human Resources and Administration, at a German-owned manufacturer of heavy machinery in Xiamen, China. Dr. Carter has combined university teaching in international trade law, marketing, business and intellectual property law (including in the University of London and Xiamen University), with integrated multi-disciplinary business consulting. She has also lectured and published practical tips about doing business in China, and published a book in Danish on home electronics. Currently, Dr. Carter teaches business law in the Faculty of Management. She also teaches courses in Chinese Law at the University of Victoria and corporate governance at the Grenoble Graduate School of Business in France. Her current research interests include corporate governance and social responsibility in Special Economic Zones and corporate culture and industrial branding. Her recent publications include:

  • A Tale of Two Chinese SEZs: From Exogenous to Sustainable Endogenous Growth?” in Carter & Harding (2011) Special Economic Zones in Asian Market Economies, London: Routledge Law in Asia Series 
  • “IP Courts in China: Myth or reality?” in Harding & Nicholson (2010) New Courts in Asia, Routledge Law in Asia Series 
  • Fighting Fakes in China: The Legal Protection of Trademarks and Brands in the PRC, London: Intellectual Property Institute 
  • Eyes on the Prize: Law and Economic Development in Singapore, The Hague: Kluwer Law International, 2002 
  • “The Clonability of the Singapore Model of Law and Development: The Case of Suzhou, China” in Christoph Antons (2003): Law and Development in Asia, Curzon;


Kenneth Christie

PhD – Comparative Politics and International Relations, Florida State University

Dr. Kenneth Christie is the author, co-author, editor and co-editor of eight books, the most recent being America’s War on Terrorism: The Revival of the Nation-State versus Universal Human Rights (New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2008) and US National Identity and Foreign Policy in the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2008). In the last 30 years he has taught and conducted research at universities in the USA, Singapore, South Africa, Norway and the United Arab Emirates, concentrating on issues of human rights, security and democratization. His most recent appointment is Program Head of the Masters in Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding at Royal Roads University. Dr. Christie has also held senior appointments at the University of Oxford, UK, where he worked with the Refugee Studies Programme in Queen Elizabeth House and was a senior fellow at St. Anthony’s College. In addition he was Director of Global Studies at Zayed University in Dubai where he also supervised the social science internship program. He has conducted evaluations of human rights NGOs for the Norwegian government development agency, NORAD, in Southeast Asia. Working all over the world has given him a unique grasp on peace, development and security. Currently, Dr. Christie is writing an upper level text book on Human Security, as well as editing a book dealing with Religion, Identity and State formation in the Middle East. In addition he is completing a full length monograph on Identity and Globalization in Pakistan.


Robin S. Cox

PhD - Counselling Psychology (University of British Columbia)

Robin Cox is a Professor and Program Head of the Master in Disaster and Emergency Management program in the School of Humanitarian Studies. Robin is also the Director of the ResilienceByDesign Research Innovation (RbD) lab on campus. Cox’s RbD lab is a trans-disciplinary, collaborative research space that brings together emerging scholars, graduate and undergraduate students and practitioners to explore and understand the human dimensions of disasters. As one of the university’s most prolific researchers, Robin and the RbD Team are engaged in a range of funded research projects, student theses and dissertations, and community- and youth- engagement projects. Their work emphasizes the transformative potential of participatory research with young people and communities, with a focus on exploring and contributing to individual and shared resilience and adaptive capacity in the face of the increasing frequency and magnitude of disasters and the growing impacts of climate change.

Robin uses multiple methodologies in research, however she and the RbD Lab have developed and frequently employ Creative Action Research, a type of participatory action research that emphasizes the power of creative process (e.g., visual storytelling, and arts- and nature-based methods), and reflection; integrates capacity building as an explicit component of the research process; and embraces individual and collective transformation as a research outcome. For more information on this work check out the RbD website.

Cox holds a PhD in Counselling Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Cox was a founding member of the B.C. Disaster Psychosocial Network with whom she continues to volunteer as a responder. She is an experienced provider of psychological first aid, critical incident stress management and a range of counselling interventions with traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.

Her current funded research projects include: Youth Voices Rising – a research project focused on amplifying the voices of young people affected by the Fort McMurray wildfire through participatory video and photo-stories (Canadian Red Cross); Alberta Resilient Communities - a multi-university research project focused on exploring and supporting the resilience of children and youth in the wake of the Southern Alberta Floods (Alberta Innovates Health); and Seeds of Change: Cultivating Innovation Leadership with Gen Z (SSHRC Insight) – a project engaging post-Millennial youth through innovation for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

For more information on Robin’s research visit RbD or Robin’s personal website.


Ann Dale

PhD - Natural Resources Sciences (McGill University) 

Ann Dale is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development at Royal Roads University. She is a Trudeau Fellow, a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Sciences, chairs the Canadian Consortium for Sustainable Development Research, a consortium of Canadian research institutes, and is active in the Canadian environmental movement. She is the founding chair of the National Environmental Treasure and is the Executive Coordinator, Research and Public Policy for the Canadian Biodiversity Institute. She was a senior advisor to the first Deputy Minister, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and served as the Assistant Director of Policy, Planning and Systems for the Privy Council Office. Dale is one of the general series editors for the Sustainable Development Series published by UBC Press. She is a member of the Working Party on Biotechnology, Sustainable Development and Canada’s Future Economy, CBAC, a Board Member of the World Fisheries Trust and the Advisory Committee to the Montreal Institute for the Environment. Dale holds degrees in psychology and public administration (environmental studies) from Carleton University, and a doctorate in Natural Resources Sciences, McGill University.


Matthew Heinz

PhD – Communication Studies (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Matthew Heinz is Dean of the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences and Professor in the School of Communication & Culture at Royal Roads University. His research focuses on language, culture, gender identity and communication. Dr. Heinz has studied the discursive constructions of gender identities and sexual orientation across specific cultures and in globally mediated environments. His applied scholarship includes work in intercultural and international communication with a focus on diversity issues. His most recent applied research project explores transgender communication needs on Vancouver Island. His work has appeared in journals such as Sage Open, International Journal of the Humanities, Language and Intercultural Communication, Journal of Homosexuality, International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies, the Journal of International Communication and Multilingua. 


Leslie King

PhD – London School of Economics and Political Science

Leslie King is Professor and Director of the Canadian Centre for Environmental Education and in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University. Previously she was Vice President, Academic at Vancouver Island University and Professor and Founding Dean of the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth and Resources at the University of Manitoba. Dr. King has held academic positions with Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, St. Lawrence University, the University of Vermont and the University of Northern British Columbia, where she was founding Chair of Environmental Programs. She holds a BA (Honours) from UBC, a MEd (Adult Education and Community Development) from the University of Toronto, and an MES (Environmental Studies) from York University. Her research has focused on Africa and the Arctic and research interests include protected areas and poverty reduction, sustainable healthy communities, arctic sustainability indicators, aboriginal resource management, traditional ecological knowledge, environmental governance, and institutional dimensions of global environmental change. Her current research projects include the International Community- University Partnership project Protected Areas and Poverty Reduction: A Canada-Africa Research and Learning Alliance funded by SSHRC and IDRC with partners in Tanzania, Ghana Canada (Vancouver island -- Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks), Meeting the Climate Change Challenge (MC3, with Dr. Ann Dale, Principal Investigator) and Arctic Social Indicators.  She has served on boards of many environmental, community and arts organizations including ALIANZA, ARCUS (Arctic Research Consortium of the US), Churchill Centre for Northern Studies, the Kesho Trust, ESAC, (Environmental Studies Association of Canada), International Polar Year, Board, Executive Member and ROKPA Canada as well as serving as a Council Member of the University of the Arctic. Dr. King is Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria, Dartmouth College and the University of Manitoba, Honorary Research Fellow, Vancouver Island University, and serves on the Advisory Board, Faculty of Environment, for Simon Fraser University.


Pedro Márquez

PhD - Management and Political Science (University of Calgary) 

Dr. Pedro Márquez is Dean and Professor in the Faculty of Management at Royal Roads University. After obtaining an equivalent degree to a BCom at ITAM at Mexico City, he earned a MA (Political Science) and PhD (Management and Political Science) from the University of Calgary. He joined Royal Roads University from the business school at the Tecnologico de Monterrey at Mexico City, where he served as Dean and Department Head. Dr. Márquez studies strategic management and international business with a special emphasis on business ethics and SMEs. He has co-authored book chapters and journal articles on NAFTA, founder centrality, comparative attitudes towards business ethical dilemmas and entrepreneurship education. Until recently, he managed a custom-designed executive education program for CEMEX, supported by a strategic partnership between Tecnologico de Monterrey, Stanford University and INSEAD.


Eileen Piggot-Irvine


Eileen Piggot-Irvine is a Professor of Leadership at Royal Roads University and an adjunct at Griffith University, Brisbane. She was formerly Director of the New Zealand Action Research and Review Centre (NZARRC) and Director of the New Zealand Principal and Leadership Centre (NZPLC) and senior lecturer at Massey University. Prior to 1998 she was the Head of the Education Management Centre, at Unitec, Auckland and Head of Professional Development, Northland Polytechnic, and a leader in secondary schools. Her current research, evaluation and publications are in the fields of appraisal/performance evaluation, leadership development, organisational learning, action research, success case methodology, and management review. She has published four books, multiple book chapters, approximately 50 journal articles and has presented innumerable keynotes. She is currently the editor for an international action research monograph series.


Siomonn Pulla

PhD – Sociology/Anthropology (Carleton University)

Siomonn Pulla is an Associate Professor in the Doctor of Social Sciences Program. As a scholar-practitioner he has completed numerous applied research projects and published in various academic journals. These included issues relating to: comprehensive and specific land claims across Canada; ethnicity and ethnocultural representations of new Canadians; Corporate-Aboriginal relations; Aboriginal-Settler relations; northern issues; Indigenous youth wellness; and the intersections between technology and education. His current research interests include the broad and interdisciplinary areas of Indigenous rights and governance and their intersection with Corporate-Aboriginal Relations, Duty to Consult, and sustainable economic development initiatives; the history of Indigenous-settler relations in the Commonwealth; circumpolar and northern Issues; applied, participatory and Indigenist research methods; connectivity issues in remote and rural communities, with an emphasis on innovative m-learning paradigms and frameworks; and Metis political resurgence and representation in Canada. Dr. Pulla is an interdisciplinary scholar who works across disciplines in an effort to inspire and engage learners to develop and embrace practical solutions to real world issues.


Michael R. Real 

PhD - Communication (University of Illinois)

Michael R. Real is a Professor in the School of Communication and Culture. His books include Exploring Media Culture, Super Media, and Mass-Mediated Culture. He has written scores of scholarly and general publications, directed local and international research projects, and hosted television and radio programs. His current research interests include: media, culture, and social responsibility.


Wendy Rowe

PhD - Human Development and Organizational Systems ( Fielding Graduate University) 

Wendy Rowe is an Associate Professor in the School of Leadership Studies. Dr. Rowe is engaged in a number of areas of research, including the development of leadership competencies in public sector managers, system change through leadership education, and workplace thriving among public sector managers. In concert with colleague Dr. Niels Agger-Gupta, Dr. Rowe is following the pathway of over 68 graduates of a health leadership education program to assess how they have impacted on the health care system in British Columbia. In addition to these areas of research, Dr. Rowe has over 30 years of experience carrying out performance measurement and evaluation research in various sectors of public policy and social programs – often in aboriginal settings. She has published extensively in this area.


Erich Schellhammer 

PhD - Philosophy (Queen's University, 1994)

Erich Schellhammer is an Associate Professor with the School of Humanitarian Studies. Dr. Schellhammer is primarily interested in developing the concept of human dignity that he perceives to be the key for considerations of justice. In his research work he is fascinated by the phenomenological tradition and by ontology.


Bernard Schissel

PhD – Sociology (University of Calgary)

Bernard Schissel is the Program Head and Professor in the Doctor of Social Sciences Program. His current books include Still Blaming Children: Youth Conduct and the Politics of Child Hating (Fernwood, 2008); Marginality and Condemnation: An Introduction to Criminology, 2nd ed. (with Carolyn Brooks, Fernwood, 2007); and The Legacy of School for Aboriginal People: Education, Oppression, and Emancipation (with Terry Wotherspoon, Oxford UP, 2003). In general, his research focuses on the position that children, youth, and young adults occupy in western democracies and how law, medicine, politics and the economy often infringe on the human rights of young people. He is currently writing a book for the About Canada series for Fernwood Press focusing on the place of children and youth in Canadian society. His recent journal articles have appeared in the Journal of Immigration and Integration, the Journal of Gang Research, the International Journal of Social Inquiry, the Canadian Journal of Education, and Youth and Society.


Marilyn M. Taylor

PhD - Educational Theory (University of Toronto)

Dr. Marilyn M. Taylor is a Professor in the School of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University. Prior to joining Royal Roads in 2006, she had been Professor at Concordia University in Montréal for 23 years, where she was a primary architect for the M.A. in Human Systems Intervention. Dr. Taylor’s scholarship has been focused at learning and leadership in changing organization contexts and the wider turbulent environment. While her research has been situated in widely diverse settings, the continuing theme of her research is understanding and fostering second order learning or values-perspective shift in turbulence and major change in human systems - organizational and community contexts with a focus on culture. Her recent book on this theme is titled Emergent Learning for Wisdom. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).


Phillip Vannini 

PhD - Sociology (Washington State University)

Phillip Vannini is a Professor in the School of Communication and Culture. His current research interests include mobility, material culture and technology, social aspects of the human body, embodiment, and the senses, ethnography, symbolic interactionism and qualitative inquiry. His mobility research focuses primarily on the role that transportation plays in everyday life and how it intersects with issues of sustainability. Dr. Vannini's studies in the area of mobility and culture range from the significance of everyday material objects to the study of technologies of transportation, and from the ontological character of materiality to that of technoculture. Dr. Vannini also examines space, place, the environment and culture; he is deeply interested in islands-small and large-as unique spaces and places, as well as fragile socio-cultural and ecological environments.


Brian White

PhD - Human Geography (Simon Fraser University)

Dr. Brian P. White is Professor and Director for the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Royal Roads University. He holds a PhD in Human Geography from Simon Fraser University. After completing his MA at SFU, he founded the Outdoor Recreation Management department at Capilano College (now University) in 1972 and the Tourism Management department in 1986. In November 2004 he was honored as the Canadian tourism industry’s ‘Educator of the Year’ at the annual Pinnacle Awards in Toronto, hosted by Hotelier magazine. In February 2009, he received the ‘William Van Horne Visionary Award’ for lifetime achievement at the BC Tourism Industry Conference. His research and consulting work has included destination development, community tourism strategic planning, tourism and hospitality curriculum development, cultural and arts-based tourism development planning, and First Nations eco-tourism planning. He developed tourism labour force policy for the World Travel and Tourism Council, where he was the senior human resource policy advisor from 1997 to 2001. Consulting contracts with a variety of clients and funding agencies have been successfully undertaken in China, India, Vietnam, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Guam, Thailand, and Costa Rica. His recent teaching has focused on destination development, heritage and cultural tourism, eco-tourism, and sustainable tourism policy and planning. Previously he taught Cultural Tourism Planning at the University of Victoria, Tourism Geography at Simon Fraser University, and Strategic Tourism Management for the University of Brighton. In the mid 1990s, he wrote the BC Tourism Learning System, and subsequently developed the Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree for British Columbia.


Michael Young

PhD - (Simon Fraser University)

Michael Young is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanitarian Studies. Dr. Young's research interests broadly centre on social justice, ranging from the causal factors of youth gang formation and the debate on euthanasia and assisted suicide, to public resistance to community-based justice initiatives. Dr. Young is intrigued with qualitative accounts of social facts. However, he emphasizes the importance of data triangulation in research if it is to have an impact on social reality. Dr. Young is currently interested in alternative versions of community building. He is involved in the proposal and development of a therapeutic community, a project that stands to impact the problem of addiction and homelessness in the greater Victoria region.