Past People

Faculty and Staff

John Robinson

Professor John Robinson teaches ENV461, The U of T Campus as a Living Lab of Sustainability, where student groups work on operational sustainability projects on campus. Two projects from Professor Robinson’s class have been integral to the development of the SFSRG, and expansion of urban agriculture at Trinity College.

Jonathan Steels

Dr. Jonathan Steels, Trinity College’s Assistant Provost, initiated the first urban agriculture as the client for an ENV461 project by Nathan Postma, Emily Shaw and Emily Neeson.



Keira Engelen, Summer 2021

Keira is in her fourth year of a double major in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Cell and Molecular Biology, and worked with the SFSRG as both a work-study and ROP student. Keira is interested in whether the addition of native plants to urban agriculture systems increases crop productivity, as well as the impact of anthropogenic stressors on crop growth. Keira conducted original research on three spaces around Trinity College, examining how native plants influence pollinator diversity and crop yields.

Daphne Berberyan, Summer 2021

Daphne is a second-year student pursuing a double major in International Relations and Peace, Conflict, and Justice Studies. Daphne is interested in how issues surrounding sustainability intersect with other social problems, and how they can potentially be resolved in tandem. She worked with Feeding the City for her ROP project.

William Wynne, Summer 2021

William is a second-year student pursuing a double major in Global Health and Bioethics. His research interests revolve around community health development. He is seeking to expand on this interest by researching relationships that exist between urban agricultural practices and communities and how these relationships can be utilized to promote preventative medicine.

Matilda Dipieri, Fall 2020 - Winter 2021

Matilda is in her fourth year at U of T, pursuing a Specialist in Health Studies and a minor in Human Geography. In her studies, she is interested in urban health and understanding different environmental factors’ impact on the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations. As an ROP student collaborating with UTSC’s Feeding the City project this term, Matilda examined different community food supports that have come about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, she connected with agricultural labour migrants to shine a light on their unique experiences with the pandemic. Matilda is currently working at the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa as an Student Intern for the Knowledge, Innovation and Exchange program.

Olivia Rodrigo, Fall 2020 - Winter 2021

Olivia is a third-year student majoring in Environmental Science with minors in Immunology and Environmental Studies. Her research interests lie in sustainability, but she is currently interested in the environmental impacts on health, how it contributes to social issues, and how being immersed in natural settings reflect the wellbeing and diversity of a community. She was an ROP student for Trinity College doing research with Feeding the City on how community food support systems have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – specifically food banks – on a local and national scale.

Megan Sutherland, Fall 2020 - Winter 2021

Megan is a third-year student studying a double major in Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies and Ethics, Society and Law, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She is interested in the crossroads between environmental and social justice, specifically environmental racism in BIPOC communities. As an ROP student, Megan worked with the food provisioning team at Feeding the City to research Toronto’s policy response to COVID-19 regarding food provisioning programs, and how Toronto’s policies disproportionately impact vulnerable, low-income BIPOC communities.

Rachel Ready, Summer 2019 - Winter 2020

Rachel was a Trinity One intern in summer 2019, and went on to complete a TRN299 ROP under the supervision of Dr. Michael Kessler in Fall-Winter 2019-2020, where she created the 2020 crop plan and researched indoor growing.

Hila Lali, Summer 2019

Hila was a work-study student in summer 2019, where she installed an Arable Weather Station and thermal sensors on the Munk rooftops, and used temperature measurements to study the cooling effects of urban growing.

Samantha Slisarenko, Summer 2019

Samantha was a Trinity One Intern in summer 2019.

Raquel Serrano, Summer 2019

Raquel was a Trinity One Intern in summer 2019, where she maintained the St. Hilda’s and Munk Rooftop Gardens, and worked on an independent research project about the relationship between gardening and mental wellness.

  • Raquel Serrano, Nicole Spiegelaar and student researcher set up a raise garden bed at St. Hilda's
    Raquel Serrano, Prof. Nicole Spiegelaar and student researchers set up a raisee garden bed at St. Hilda's College

Raquel discusses her research: “Over the summer I’m doing an internship at Trinity College. I’m working with Prof. Nicole Spiegelaar and peers. The objective of this internship is to develop a sustainable food network. This internship has two categories: our group projects and independent research. One of our main goals as a team is to reduce the amount of food waste being produced at Trinity College and how we manage this waste. In addition, we are working with Edible Campus (UTSC), the Director of Facilities and Services of Trinity College, and the Sustainable Office at U of T.

We’ve had lots of fun designing and building our raised beds. We hope to do a harvest party and cooking workshops to engage with the community. Furthermore, we are looking forward to developing Sustainability Goals for Trinity. The topic of my independent research study is mental health and urban gardening. I’m interested in analyzing the relationship between these two components and how we can improve mental wellness by being involved in an urban environment.”

Raquel discusses the first-year Butterfield Environment & Sustainability stream: “Being part of the Trinity One Butterfield Environment & Sustainability stream was a great opportunity as a first-year student. The format of the class is a seminar course that enhances participation and discussion. I’ve enjoyed and learned a lot from the ENV Stream. During this academic year, we have examined issues such as energy and resources, threats to biodiversity and how to preserve it, and climate change. As well as, how we influence the planet, ecosystems, and other living things.

A unique characteristic of the ENV Stream is that we have several field trips throughout the year. We visited different gardens and projects held at U of T, as well as at the city of Toronto. These field trips allowed us to deepen our knowledge and develop a network with many experts in the field.”

Charles Deng, Summer 2019

Charles was a Trinity One Intern in summer 2019.

Nathan Postma, Summer 2018 - Summer 2019

Nathan was part of the design team that implemented the Trinity College Rooftop Garden, and served as Urban Agriculture Coordinator for two years. He conducted multiple research projects around urban agriculture techniques and related enterprises, considerations for growing microgreens, and the potential for sheltered growing at St. Hilda’s.

Emily Shaw, Summer 2018

Emily Shaw was part of the design team that implemented the Trinity College Rooftop Garden.

Emily Neeson, Summer 2018

Emily Neeson was part of the design team that implemented the Trinity College Rooftop Garden.