The central proposition of the project is that by reframing soil as a relational medium instead of a resource, we can facilitate new solutions to pressing socio-environmental problems such as soil conservation, food insecurity and environmental racism.
Congratulations to Dr. Kate Lawless (Centre for Global Studies), recipient of a significant federal research grant through the New Frontiers in Research Fund.
Dr. Lawless’ project, “Soil as a Relational Medium” brings together Indigenous communities, social scientists and critical theorists—including collaborators from Western University and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada— to conduct chemical geological, and social historical analyses of soil at research sites in Ontario, Alberta, and the Yukon.
According to Lawless, “The central proposition of the project is that by reframing soil as a relational medium instead of a resource, we can facilitate new solutions to pressing socio-environmental problems such as soil conservation, food insecurity and environmental racism.”
The interdisciplinary analysis conducted will address long-term soil sustainability in a way that incorporates the communities most affected by soil degradation.
“Huron is proud to enable an environment for our faculty members to flourish in their own research, and we are equally proud to celebrate when their research accomplishments are deservingly awarded funds,” Dr. Barry Craig, President of Huron said.
Lawless explains that this project “challenges existing research paradigms, and offers a comprehensive and inclusive understanding of soil—and the wide human and non-human networks that converge in and depend upon soil.”
The Government of Canada launched the New Frontiers in Research Fund in 2018 to invest in leadership in cutting-edge, transformative research. The first competition awarded $38 million to 157 early career researchers engaged in exploratory, high-risk interdisciplinary projects.
Dr. Lawless’ co-principal investigator on this project is Dr. David Janzen of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo.