Tag Archives: Environmental Studies

UVic’s 2022 “Pathways to Impact” Grant: Caetano Dorea

UVic’s “Pathways to Impact” fund aims to move original research that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and move it into real-world applications for greatest impact. The fund is a partnership between UVic’s Research Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization (RPKM) unit and UVic Libraries. Funded projects will make their research openly accessible, including via UVicSpace, contributing to the democratization of knowledge and knowledge equity. The inaugural UVic fund is one of a few institutionally led knowledge-mobilization funding initiatives across Canadian research universities and among the first to directly target the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

A prospective cohort study of access to safe drinking water in Malawi – Community dissemination and engagement

UN Sustainable Development Goals: 3, 6, and 17

Among the seven projects that were selected for the 2022 Pathways to Impact fund is
A prospective cohort study of access to safe drinking water in Malawi, the summary of the doctoral research of Dr. Alexandra Cassivi – supervised by Dr. Caetano Dorea.

Dr. Cassivi’s research potential was recognized in 2020 with a Green Talents award. She is now a Postdoctoral Fellow at Université Laval. Dr. Dorea is a professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Victoria, research group leader of the Public Health & Environmental Engineering (PH2E) Lab, and the director of the NSERC CREATE in Water & Sanitation for Low-Resource Contexts (#WASHCanada) project.

This research project is dedicated to exploring access to safe drinking water and sanitation for diverse populations in Malawi. It is hoped that the findings can be applied globally to make recommendations for assessing and monitoring access to water, particularly for low- and middle-income countries.

The following articles were published in connection with the project so far:

  • Cassivi, A., Tilley, E., Waygood, E. O. D., & Dorea, C. (2020). Trends in access to water and sanitation in Malawi: Progress and inequalities (1992–2017). Journal of Water and Health, 18(5), 785–797. https://doi.org/10.2166/wh.2020.069
  • Cassivi, A., Tilley, E., Waygood, E. O. D., & Dorea, C. (2021a). Evaluating self-reported measures and alternatives to monitor access to drinking water: A case study in Malawi. Science of The Total Environment, 750, 141516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141516
  • Cassivi, A., Tilley, E., Waygood, E. O. D., & Dorea, C. (2021b). Household practices in accessing drinking water and post collection contamination: A seasonal cohort study in Malawi. Water Research, 189, 116607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2020.116607
  • Cassivi, A., Tilley, E., Waygood, O., & Dorea, C. (2021c). Seasonal Preferences and Alternatives for Domestic Water Sources: A Prospective Cohort Study in Malawi. ACS ES&T Water, 1(6), 1464–1473. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsestwater.1c00045

Dr. Cassivi’s doctoral thesis, on which this project is based, is available in UVicSpace:

Find a full list of achievements and publications by Dr. Caetano Dorea here and those of Dr. Cassivi here.

UVic Libraries congratulates Professor Dorea, Dr. Cassivi, and the rest of their team on the successful application and their valuable research contribution to the fulfillment of the United Nations’ SDGs.

Featured Thesis: Water into Nectar

“…the effects of seasonal drought on bumble bee and flowering plant communities”, an MSc. thesis in the School of Environmental Studies, by Andrew D. F. Simon



Habitat loss and climate change are major factors implicated in the decline of bumble bees worldwide. These factors may be particularly acute in regions subject to climatic extremes such as seasonal drought. Combining methods from pollinator research and phylogenetic community ecology, I investigated the impacts of seasonal drought on plant phenology and bumble bee community ecology across gradients of disturbance and soil moisture in a semi-arid ecosystem. Seasonal fluctuations in floral resources coincided with significant phylogenetic clustering in plant communities, with decreasing plant diversity observed under conditions of increasing drought stress. In the late season, modified wet areas supported higher floral resource availability and greater bumble bee abundances as compared to dry woodlands, though wetlands were also an important source of late season floral resources. Despite these local effects, however, the areal extent of natural vs modified matrix habitat accounted for the majority of variation in models explaining bumble bee abundances. Modified matrix habitat was negatively associated, and natural matrix habitat positively associated, with the occurrence of bumble bee workers in June and late-flying queens in July and August. Results provide insight into the temporal niche dynamics of entomophilous flowering plants in this system, and emphasize the importance of conserving natural habitat diversity in efforts to promote resilient plant-pollinator communities. This study also provides evidence for the local extinction of Bombus occidentalis Greene, 1858 and Bombus suckleyi Greene, 1860 from Galiano Island, BC, Canada, as well as the island’s recent colonization by Bombus vosnesenskii Radoszkowski, 1862.

To read more, visit UVicSpace https://dspace.library.uvic.ca:8443/handle/1828/11837

*UVic’s open access repository, UVicspace, makes worldwide knowledge mobilization possible. Through this platform, researchers at any institution have access to dissertations (and theses and graduate projects) published by our graduate students. This also makes works available to the interested layperson, who may be engaged in learning more about the research being done at UVic, with no paywall. UVic’s graduate students are doing valuable research every day – but sometimes it goes unsung. Our goal with this series is to shine a light on our students by featuring excellence, one achievement at a time.

The UVic LIbraries ePublishing Services Team