Dr. Heather Castleden
Canada Research Chair
Department of Geography and Planning
On leave July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022; not accepting students at this time.
Dr. Castleden holds the Canada Research Chair in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and Communities and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Queen’s University.
As a broadly trained health geographer, Dr. Castleden mainly undertakes community-based participatory research in partnership with Indigenous peoples in Canada on issues that are important to them and fall within her programmatic areas of expertise: the nexus of culture, place, and power; and health equity through social and environmental justice lenses. Since 2009, she has been the Director of the Health, Environment, and Communities Research Lab (www.heclab.com), a vibrant community of research associates, trainees, and staff.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Anthropology and Native Studies) from the University of Manitoba (1996), Dr. Castleden went on to obtain a Master of Education Degree in Adult and Higher Education (2002), and a PhD (Human Geography) at the University of Alberta (2007). From there, she held NEARBC and SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships at the University of Victoria before taking up a tenure-track appointment in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia (2009-2014). She began her appointment at Queen’s University in 2014.
To learn more about Dr. Castleden’s program of research, current projects, recent publications, and opportunities to study with her, please visit her Research Lab’s website, the A SHARED Future website, or follow her on Twitter: @H_Castleden and @fortheHECofit.
Dr. Castleden’s research interests include community-based participatory research, Indigenous research, Indigenous-settler relations, environment and health interconnections, research ethics, and arts-based methodologies. Her research is interdisciplinary and collaborative, and strives to address environmental and social injustices and health inequities. Specifically, her research is primarily unified through: participatory research with Indigenous partners concerning issues that are important to them; shared development and testing of innovative qualitative research tools that adhere to Indigenous principles for decolonizing methodologies; and engagement in studies concerning the ethical tensions and institutional barriers associated with community-based participatory research processes and outcomes.
Her work strives to build a program of integrated, methodologically- and ethically-sound community-based participatory research in the context of Canada. Her research is geared towards developing a response to these and other issues in a way that maintains her record of engaging in innovative scholarship that plans for and creates social and environmental change. She describes her work as the product of a balancing act between academic engagement and advocacy.