Heather Castleden

Senior Associate

Heather CastledenI am a health geographer and community-based participatory researcher. I hold a joint appointment as an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Department of Public Health Sciences at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I am also the Research Director of the Health, Environment, and Communities Research Lab (HEClab.com). My program of community-based social, health and environment research is primarily unified through: 1) participatory research with Indigenous partners concerning issues that are important to them; 2) shared development and testing of innovative qualitative research tools that adhere to Indigenous principles for decolonizing methodologies; and 3) engagement in studies concerning the ethical tensions and institutional barriers associated with community-based participatory research processes and outcomes.

My career trajectory is to build a program of integrated, methodologically- and ethically-sound community-based participatory research in Canada. My research is geared towards developing a response to environmental, health, and other issues in a way that maintains my record of engaging in innovative scholarship that plans for and creates positive change. I would describe my work as the product of a balancing act between academic engagement and advocacy.

I obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and Native Studies from the University of Manitoba (1996), a Master of Education Degree in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Alberta (2002), and a PhD in Health and Environmental Geography from the University of Alberta (2007). I went on to hold NEARBC (2008) and SSHRC (2009) Postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of Victoria and then took up a tenure-track appointment at Dalhousie University (2009-2014).

In 2010 I received the Canadian Association of Geographers’ Julian M. Szeicz Award, which is presented annually in recognition of significant research achievement by a Canadian Geographer at an early career stage, specifically in recognition of my contribution to the geography of environment, health and Indigenous community-based participatory research. I am a CIHR New Investigator in the area of Knowledge Translation (2013-2018).

Contact: heather.castleden(at)queensu.ca

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