Hamish van der Ven

Dr. Hamish van der Ven, Principal Investigator

Hamish van der Ven is an Assistant Professor of Sustainable Business Management of Natural Resources in the Department of Wood Science in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on the impacts of digital activism on business behaviour and the physical, social and political consequences of humanity’s growing reliance on digital technologies. Prior to joining UBC, he held positions at McGill University and Yale University. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Diego Corry

Diego Corry, MSc Student

Diego’s research interests lie at the crossroads of sustainability, business performance, and social movements. His thesis focuses on the relationship between online public sentiment and stock prices within the Canadian energy sector. Using historical Twitter data related to Canadian energy companies, he evaluates how Twitter sentiment affects the stock prices of nine Canadian energy companies over a two year period.

Rawie Elnur

Rawie Elnur, MSc Student

Rawie’s research interests combine climate policy, clean energy, and statistical analysis. His research project focuses on the convergence and divergence of science communication across different mediums. His thesis compares the discourse on bioenergy across Twitter, AI chatbots, and the academic literature evaluating which sustainability themes get foregrounded in some mediums and marginalized in others. By investigating the arbiters of discourse, he hopes to uncover what informs societal perceptions on carbon neutrality, sustainability, and renewable energy transitions. He previously completed an undergraduate degree at UBC, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Economics.

Viola Provost

Viola Provost, PhD Student

Viola’s research focus lies on science communication and social media, specifically how environmental issues are discussed and disseminated online. She is fascinated by how social media platforms, like TikTok, have become important venues for public discourse, potentially shaping human attitudes, values, and beliefs toward the environment. She employs a mixed-method approach with qualitative and quantitative components to understand what topics appear on TikTok, who creates them, and how they influence the values of TikTok users. Her overarching goal is to include public values and needs in decision-making and science production. Prior to starting the PhD program, she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich and a Master of Science in Freshwater and Marine Biology from the University of Amsterdam, along with a Major in Science Communication from Vrije University.

Muh Syukron

Muh Syukron, PhD Student

Syu’s interests lie in the intersection of humans and the environment. His thesis project is tentatively titled Digital Narratives and Policy Dynamics: Exploring Palm Oil Sustainability Narratives on X/Twitter. His study examines online narratives of sustainability in palm oil production and consumption through the lens of global value chains by employing a textual analysis. Specifically, he is interested in studying different narratives that social media users in Indonesia, North America, and European countries apply to palm oil through digital campaigns. Through a comparative study, he also analyzes how social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter) might affect users’ engagement in the online environmental movement about the palm oil industry. Finally, using a qualitative approach, his research explores how state and non-state agencies might play critical roles in responding to public concerns about the sustainability of the palm oil industry and promoting environmental stewardship.