Professor and world class scientist with a clear vision of sustainability, our pathways to the future, and our legacy to the next generations.

It’s one thing to talk climate change and its impacts and yet another to devote your life and career to doing something about it. McGill University’s Dr. Catherine Potvin does just that.

While walking in the forest is one of Dr. Potvin’s favourite weekend pursuits, it is also the basis for her professional career as a plant biologist specializing in global change ecology. Under the banner of “Science for Empowerment,” she and her fellow researchers are passionately searching for climate change solutions.

Because tropical forests play a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and species conservation, Catherine has, for the past 20 years, collaborated with and learned from the Indigenous people in Panama in an effort to preserve that country’s forests.

Dr. Potvin has now switched her focus to Canada, one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gas per capita in the world, diligently searching for ways each of us can reduce our carbon footprint. Putting her money where her feet are, go-getting mother and grandmother cycles to work even during Montreal’s cold and snowy winters!

In 2012, Catherine became the first woman to receive the prestigious Miroslaw Romanowski Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, for scientific contributions related to resolving environmental problems.

Her success in engaging with a wide range of people – Indigenous communities in the jungles of Panama, world leaders in international treaty negotiations, and average Canadians – demonstrates her unique ability to distill complicated research and engage diverse audiences. Join Dr. Potvin at the conference to learn more about her work and how it impacts each and every one of us.

How often have you been asked how (or whether) you achieve work-life balance? In a candid conversation we will give audience to Unifor’s Atlantic Regional Director Lana Payne, DisAbled Women’s Network Executive Director, Bonnie Brayton and Climate Change scientist, Dr. Catherine Potvin as they discuss the questions, “do we need work-life balance or can we strive for blend?”