Water is essential to life, but it also underpins our socio-economic well-being in fundamental ways. As ongoing growth in population and global economic activity exert increased pressure on our water resources, the water-based ecosystem services upon which we depend are ultimately at stake. Matthew’s doctoral research seeks to contribute to this area of work by advancing an economic risk management approach to managing water. Such an approach requires that we understand how water resources governance positively and negatively affects the environmental underpinnings of economic activity, and what this means for economic stability and ecosystem health in the long term.
As the recipient of a prestigious two-year Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and with support from the School, Matthew is working with Graeme Auld and Stephan Schott to develop new tools and approaches to illuminate and incorporate the linkages between water resources and economic activities within decision making. His research further considers the social and cultural dimensions of water resources governance, the political economy of watersheds, and institutional implications.
Matthew joined SPPA with an academic background at the undergraduate and Masters levels in water resources engineering, and has a depth of science-based policy experience working in the non-profit and private sectors. Recent publications include:
Retallack, M. (2020). Paradigmatic policy change or unintended subordination of rural autonomy: the case of source water protection in Ontario, Canada. Policy Sciences. 53, 85–100.
Retallack, M., Mills, L., Mallett, A., Auld, A. (2018). Radical Transformation or Incremental Tinkering: The Vision and Potential of Canada’s New Environmental Assessment Process. In How Ottawa Spends 2017-2018. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Retallack, M., & Schott, S. (2014). Cultural Values and Ecosystem Management at the Subwatershed Level. Environmental Policy and Governance, 24(5), 351-363.
Cargnello, D.P., Brunet, M., Retallack, M., Slater, R. (2014). Managing Canada’s Water: The Harper Era. In B.G. Doern, C. Stoney (Eds.) How Ottawa Spends 2014-2015: The Harper Government – Good to go?. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Retallack, M. (2010). A Watershed Moment for Democracy. The Journal of the Canadian Association for the Club of Rome, 1(1), 42-51.