Brad Walters

Professor; Co-ordinator of Environmental Studies


I grew up on Canada's West Coast, but have also lived and worked in St. Lucia and Saba (West Indies), the Philippines, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (where I now make my home). My academic training and teaching are broadly interdisciplinary, as is my research, which integrates social and natural science methods to study interactions between humans and the environment, particularly as this relates to peoples' use of land, forests and trees in the tropics. I have also written and published extensively on research methodology in human ecology.


Walters, B.B., and A.P. Vayda. 2020. Mechanisms and casual histories: explanation-oriented research in human ecology. Human Ecology 48:641-50.

Walters, B.B. 2019. The Greening of Saint Lucia: Economic Development and Environmental Change in the Eastern Caribbean. University of the West Indies Press, Kingston.

Walters, B.B., and A.P. Vayda. 2018. Event Ecology. In: H. Calland (ed.) International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Potvin, C., et al. (70 co-authors).2017. Re-energizing Canada: Pathways to a Low-Carbon Future. Sustainable Canada Dialogues (Montreal) and Natural Resources Canada (Ottawa). 80pp.

Walters, B.B. 2017. Explaining rural land use change and reforestation: a causal-historical approach. Land Use Policy 67:608-624

Walters, B.B. 2016. Migration, land use and forest change in St. Lucia, West Indies. Land Use Policy  51:290-300. 

Walters, B.B. 2016. St. Lucia's tourism landscapes: economic development and environmental change in the West Indies. Caribbean Geography  20:3-21.

Walters, B.B., and L. Hansen. 2013. Farmed landscapes, trees and forest conservation in St. Lucia, West Indies. Environmental Conservation 40(3):211-221.

Walters, B.B. 2012. Do property rights matter for conservation? Family land, forests and trees in St. Lucia, West Indies. Human Ecology 40:863-878. (DOI 10.1007/s10745-012-9541-0)>

Walters, B.B. 2012. An event-based methodology for climate change and human-environment research. Danish Journal of Geography-Geografisk Tidsskrift 112(2):135-143.

Vayda, A.P., and B.B. Walters (eds.). 2011. Causal Explanation for Social Scientists: A Reader. AltaMira Press, Lanham, M.D. 320pp.

Vayda, A.P., and B.B. Walters. 2011. Introductory essay: Pragmatic methods and causal-history explanations. In:Causal Explanation for Social Scientists: A Reader. AltaMira Press, Lanham, M.D. pp. 1-21.

Walters, B.B. 2011. Book review forum:Explaining Human Actions and Environmental Changes. Dialogues in Human Geography 1(3):370-373.

Walters, B.B., and A.P. Vayda. 2009. Event ecology, causal historical analysis, and human-environment research. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 99(3):534-553.

Walters, B.B., B.J. McCay, P. West and S. Lees (ed's.) 2008. Against the Grain: The Vayda Tradition in Human Ecology and Ecological Anthropology. AltaMira Press, Lanham, M.D. 382pp.

Walters, B.B. 2008. Events, politics and environmental change. In: B. Walters et al. (ed's.) Against the Grain: The Vayda Tradition in Human Ecology and Ecological Anthropology. AltaMira Press, Lanham, MD. pp. 67-79.

Walters, B.B. 2008. Mangrove forests and human security. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources 3, No. 064, 9pp.

Walters, B.B. et al. 2008. Mangrove ethnobotany, socio-economics and management: A review. Aquatic Botany 89:220-236.

Walters, B.B. 2007. Competing use of marine space in a modernizing fishery: salmon farming meets lobster fishing in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick. The Canadian Geographer 51:139-159.

Carnus, J-M., J. Parrotta, E.G. Brockerhoff, M. Arbez, H. Jactel, A. Kremer, D. Lamb, K. O'Hara, and B.B. Walters. 2006. Planted forests and biodiversity. Journal of Forestry 104(2):65-77.

Walters, B.B., C. Sabogal, L. Snook, and E. Almeida. 2005. Constraints and opportunities for better silviculture practice in tropical forestry: an interdisciplinary approach. Forest Ecology and Management 209:3-18.

Walters, B.B. 2005. Ecological effects of small-scale cutting on Philippine mangrove forests. Forest Ecology and Management 206:331-348.

Walters, B.B. 2005. Patterns of local wood use and cutting of Philippine mangrove forests. Economic Botany 59(1):66-76.

Vayda, A.P., B.B. Walters, I. Setyawati. 2004. Doing and knowing: questions about studies of local knowledge. In: A. Bicker, P. Sillitoe and J. Pottier (ed's.) Investigating Local Knowledge: New Directions, New Approaches. Ashgate Publishing, London. pp. 35-58.

Walters, B.B. 2004. Local management of mangrove forests in the Philippines: successful conservation or efficient resource exploitation? Human Ecology 32(2):177-195.

Walters, B.B. 2004. Environmental politics. In: S. Krech, III, J.R. Mcneill, and C. Merchant (ed's.) Encyclopedia of World Environmental History. Berkshire Publishing Group/Routledge, New York. pp. 462-466.

Walters, B.B. 2003. People and mangroves in the Philippines: Fifty years of coastal environmental change. Environmental Conservation 30(3):293-303.

Walters, B.B., P. Bogaard, A. Cannon and Y. Herbert (ed's.) 2001. Environs: The Student Journal of Environmental Studies (Inaugural Issue), vol. 1(1):218pp. Published by Mount Allison University, Sackville, New Brunswick.

Walters, B.B. 2000. Local mangrove planting in the Philippines: are fisherfolk and fishpond owners effective restorationists? Restoration Ecology 8(3):237-246.

Walters, B.B., A. Cadelina, A. Cardano, and E. Visitacion. 1999. Community history and rural development: why some farmers participate more readily than others. Agricultural Systems 59:193-214.

Vayda, A.P., and B.B. Walters. 1999. Against political ecology. Human Ecology 27:167-179.

Walters, B.B. 1997. Human ecological questions for tropical forest restoration. Forestry Ecology and Management 99:275-290.


PhD (Rutgers University, 2000)

MES (Dalhousie University, 1990)

BSc (University of British Columbia, 1986)


GENV2001: Contemporary Environmental Studies

GENV/GENS 2101: Natural Resources Management

GENV/GENS 3101: Environment Conservation in the Global South

GENV/GENS 3201: Canadian Environmental Politics & Policy

GENV3991: Environmental Activism

GENV4101: Seminar in Environmental Issues

GENV4111: International Environmental Affairs


People, trees and forests in St. Lucia (status: ongoing). This long-term, field-based research project examines post-War environmental change in two watersheds in St Lucia, West Indies, with a focus on the interactions between people, trees and forests. Findings from this research have been published in the journals Human Ecology, Land Use Policy, Environmental Conservation, Caribbean Geography and the Danish Journal of Geography, and in the book, "The Greening of Saint Lucia: Economic Development and Environmental Change in the Eastern Caribbean" (U. West Indies Press, 2019).

Methodology and explanation in human-environment research (status: ongoing). Working with my long-term collaborator, Dr. Andrew "Pete" Vayda of Rutgers University, we have developed a novel analytical methodology called Abductive Causal Eventism (ACE)--formerly Event Ecology--that enables effective integration of quantitatively- and qualitatively-derived information in causal explanations of social and environmental change. Our collaboration has so far led to publication of two co-edited books with AltaMira Press (Causal Explanation for Social Scientists: A Reader, 2011, and Against the Grain: The Vayda Tradition in Human Ecology & Ecological Anthropology, 2008) as well as articles in the Annals of the Association of American GeographersHuman Ecology and the Danish Journal of Geography (see the publications section on this page for links to these books and articles).

Environmental politics of shale gas development in New Brunswick (status: ongoing). This applied, action-oriented research has involved my participation as a public intellectual and advocate in support of First Nations and broader civil society movements against shale gas.  

People and mangroves in the Philippines (status: completed). This research examined the influence of local mangrove tree planting and cutting on the structure, composition and distribution of mangrove forests in Bais Bay and Banacon Island, Philippines. Findings from this study were published in the journals Human EcologyEnvironmental ConservationForest Ecology & ManagementEconomic Botany and Restoration Ecology (see the publications section on this page for links to these articles).

Salmon farming meets lobster fishing in the Lower Bay of Fundy (status: completed). This study examined interactions between salmon aquaculture and traditional lobster fishing in the coastal waters off Grand Manan and Deer Islands, New Brunswick. Findings from this study were published in the journal Canadian Geographer (see the publications section on this page for a link to this article).

Grants, awards & honours

Recipient, Herbert and Leota Tucker Teaching Award, Mount Allison University (2016)

Four-time recipient, Paul Pare Faculty Excellence Award, Mount Allison University (2004, 2006, 2009, 2013)

Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society (appointed 2012)

Member, Sierra Club of Canada, Atlantic Chapter Steering Committee (2012-2015)

Visiting Research Scholar, the Saba Conservation Foundation, Saba, West Indies (2010)

Adjunct Professor, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (2005-2020)

Member, Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership Steering Committee (2007-2012)

Member, New Brunswick Community Land Trust Board of Directors (2004-2012)

Member, New Brunswick Nature Trust Board of Directors (2002-2011)

Member, Maritime Steering Committee, Forest Stewardship Council of Canada (2003-2009)

Recipient, Rutgers University Graduate School Teaching Award (1998)

Recipient, Cook College, Rutgers University Award for Teaching and Advising Excellence (1996)