Executive Committee

The Institute of Island Studies Executive Committee is a mix of individuals from both the University and the community. They are committed to the study of island issues and topics and the skill sets that are directly relevant to enhance the operational effectiveness and long-term vision of the Institute. Excluding ex-officio and student members, appointments are normally for three-year terms, renewable once.

Chair of the Executive Committee is Dr. Jim Randall. Jim is Professor of Island Studies at UPEI and serves as Co-ordinator of the Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program and the undergraduate Island Studies minor. He is the also the co-holder (with Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino at University of Malta) of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability. His background training is as an economic and social geographer. He has been the Principal Investigator, Co-investigator, or Collaborator on peer-reviewed grant and contract applications totalling almost $5 million (CAD) and has written more than 35 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the area of quality-of-life indicators, economic and urban geography, and community-university research collaboration. Since joining the Island Studies program at UPEI, he has written on quality-of-life issues in small island jurisdictions and biotechnology-based entrepreneurship on Prince Edward Island. He is currently writing an introductory undergraduate Island Studies eTextbook to accompany an online version of the 2nd-year Introduction to Island Studies course at UPEI.

brinklow_laurie-11Co-ordinator of the IIS and the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability is Dr. Laurie Brinklow. Laurie is a writer, editor, and former book publisher of Charlottetown’s Acorn Press. A 2007 graduate of UPEI’s Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program (2007), she graduated with her PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Tasmania in 2015. A long-time “islophile,” Laurie was Publishing Co-ordinator with the Institute of Island Studies (1990-2004) and helped co-ordinate the North Atlantic Islands Programme (1994-98). In 2015 she chaired the Building Community Resilience Conference (the 10th North Atlantic Forum and 27th Canadian Rural Restructuring Foundation annual conference) held in Summerside. She teaches “Islandness” in the MAIS program and is the alumni rep on the MAIS Steering Committee.

Other members of the Executive include:

Godfrey Baldacchino photo

Dr. Godfrey Baldacchino
Godfrey is Pro Rector (International Development) and Professor of Sociology at the University of Malta, Malta; Island Studies Teaching Fellow and co-holder (with Dr. Jim Randall) of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability at the University of Prince Edward Island; and Visiting Professor of Island Tourism at the Università di Corsica Pasquale Paoli, France. He is the founding Executive Editor of Island Studies Journal and is sole author or lead co-author of 22 books and monographs, including several published by Island Studies Press; sole editor or lead co-editor of 20 other publications; and guest single or lead editor of various scholarly journal thematic issues. He is a member of the International Advisory/Editorial Boards of various journals, including The Round Table: Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs and Asia Pacific Viewpoint; President of the International Small Islands Studies Association (ISISA); Council Member of the Islands Commission of the International Geographical Union (IGU); Director for Global Islands Network (GIN); series co-editor with Rowman & Littlefield International (USA); and moderator of the island studies research website: www.islandstudies.ca.

Kathleen Brennan
Kathleen Brennan is a Special Projects Advisor with the Climate Change Secretariat in the provincial government. She holds a Master of Public Health Science from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, undergraduate degrees from St. Francis Xavier University in both Biology and Human Nutrition, and is a Registered Dietitian. As a civil servant for over a decade, Ms. Brennan has practical experience and strong aptitudes in the area of government relations and a solid appreciation for the complexities of building public policies while working in collaborative, multi‐sectoral environments. An Islander-by-choice since 2008, she is passionate about creating healthy communities, food security, and climate change. She currently also serves on the Stratford Town Council Accountability and Engagement Committee and is a Council Member of the College of Dietitians of PEI.

Ryan Gibson

Dr. Ryan Gibson
Ryan is the President of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, past-president of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, and Libro Professor of Regional Economic Development at the University of Guelph. He was Program Committee Chair for the NAF 2015 Steering Committee. Ryan serves as the Chair of the Institute’s Advisory Committee.

As an aquatic veterinary epidemiologist, Dr. Larry Hammell has been the lead proponent on many large, clinical research projects and partnerships with industry and government agencies. Larry is currently the Dean (Interim) of the UPEI Faculty of Graduate Studies. He is also Professor and Associate Dean (Graduate Studies & Research) at the Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, and Co-Director of the Collaborating Centre for Epidemiology and Risk Assessment of Aquatic Animal Diseases (ERAAAD) for the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Through his international and regional work, Larry’s research focuses on aquatic food animal health studies including disease detection and surveillance, health management through identification of risk factors and disease prevention studies, and clinical trials for improved treatment responses.

Patrick Lévêque
Patrick Lévêque is a Senior Researcher with the Office of the Third Party at the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island where he provides research and policy support to politicians on a wide variety of issues. He is also a candidate in the Master of Arts in Island Studies program at the University of Prince Edward Island where he is exploring issues of governance and politics in small places, including rural regions and islands. Since completing undergraduate studies in political science, education, and geography at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Patrick has worked in education, construction, community development, and politics. He is an active member of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, the Rural Policy Learning Commons’ Rural Governance Network, and previously served on the Town of Stratford’s Accountability and Engagement Committee. Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, he lives in Suffolk, PEI.

Dr. Edward MacDonald
Ed has had a long association with the Institute of Island Studies. From 1986 to 1997 he was a member of the Institute’s Advisory Board serving as Vice-Chair and then Chair, before becoming the IIS’s first (and only, as it turns out) Research Director in the late 1990s. After joining UPEI’s Department of History in 2000, he chaired the working committee that drafted the proposal for the Master of Arts program in Island Studies and became its first co-ordinator. Since then he’s been a member of various IIS committees, and also sits on the Master of Arts in Island Studies Steering Committee. Most recently, he was Chair of the Island Studies Futures Committee, which became the IIS’s interim Executive Committee. Ed’s research focus is the social, cultural, and environmental history of Prince Edward Island, but he likes to place it within a comparative context, regionally, nationally, and in terms of island societies. The best known of his seven books is If You’re Stronghearted: Prince Edward Island in the 20th Century (October 2000). Along with Josh MacFadyen and Irene Novaczek, he is co-editor of Time and a Place, an environmental history of Prince Edward Island, co-published by Island Studies Press and McGill-Queen’s University Press. His current research project is the history of Prince Edward Island tourism.

Craig Mackie is the Executive Director of the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada. He has been in that role since 2010.

Prior to that, Craig owned and operated a consulting, communications, and marketing firm providing support to businesses, government, and non-profit organizations. Craig’s strengths as a communications and organizational leader were developed in his more than 35 years of media experience including over 25 years with the CBC. His broadcasting and journalism work have taken him through all 10 provinces and 3 territories

Craig is Co-President of the Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (ARAISA). He also served as the Co-Chair of the Immigration and Settlement Working Group at the Canadian Council for Refugees, on the IRCC’s national Refugee Resettlement Assistance Program Working Group, and as Co-Chair of the PEI Ministerial Advisory Council on Refugees.

When Craig is not at work, he is a competitive curler and plays tai chi.

Dr. Jean Mitchell
Jean Mitchell is an associate professor of Anthropology at UPEI. She has been working in  Vanuatu for over 20 years and has also conducted research in Kiribati and Solomon Islands. In Vanuatu she started the Young People’s Project at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre. Her research interests include post-colonialism, youth, gender, health, migration, and the environment. She has, together with Vanuatu Cultural Centre, been working on a project on local knowledge, youth, and the ecologies of gardens in Tanna and Erromango. Over the past year she has researched the effects of extreme weather and climate change in southern Vanuatu. She has also edited and  co-edited several volumes of essays on L.M. Montgomery and has been researching the Presbyterian Missionary history that connects Vanuatu and Prince Edward Island.  


Dr. Carolyn Peach Brown
Originally from Cape Breton Island, NS, Carolyn is an Associate Professor and Director of Environmental Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Prior to doing her PhD in Natural Resource Policy and Management at Cornell University, she worked for over 10 years in Central Africa at the grassroots level in community development. Carolyn’s research focuses on environmental governance for management of commons resources, and how such strategies can contribute to the goals of sustainable resource management and improved livelihoods. In particular, she explores the role played by communities and civil society groups in multi-level governance, in the context of changing policy and a changing climate.

Dr. Michael van den Heuvel
Mike is UPEI’s Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity and a member of the Biology and Biomedical Sciences Departments. He studies the effects of agriculture and chemical use on freshwater and coastal environments, with a focus on the endocrine responses, immunotoxicology, and population health of fish. He is the principal investigator of a three-year research project funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to examine the potential impact of agricultural pesticide run-off on lobsters in the Northumberland Strait. He is also director of the Canadian Rivers Institute, and is working to develop methods and solutions to best monitor environmental problems and better protect rivers in Prince Edward Island.