Hello! My name is Christine Dulal-Whiteway and I am working as the Farmland Ecology Assistant at OFT during the month of August and into October. I will predominantly be working with OFT’s Farmland Ecology Intern to assist with farm site visits but also will be conducting farmland research and contributing to OFT’s social media posts, website, and e-newsletters. I am very excited to begin my new role, which combines my passion for ecology, horticulture, and food!
I am currently a PhD candidate in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph, working with Dr. Merritt Turetsky and Dr. Neil Rooney. My project is part of the Food from Thought initiative at Guelph and is focused on the effects of land use on nutrients and metabolism (energy moving through the food web) within stream ecosystems of Southwestern Ontario. Part of my PhD work involves visiting farms and speaking with landowners throughout Ontario, and this experience has reinforced my understanding of the importance of land conservation and farmland protection. The current global crises of climate change and COVID-19 have especially brought to light how crucial farmlands are for food accessibility and security, and as habitats for important flora and fauna. I look forward to working with OFT and being part of an organization focused on protecting these important ecosystems.