Alizé Carrère is a first year PhD student who researches and documents how humans
adapt to environmental change. Behavioral adaptations, not structural. Not like how
we’ve adapted to the point of no longer needing an appendix, or wisdom teeth. That
would be an evolutionary biologist, which Alizé is not.
Her journey began on the edge of a Finger Lake, and civilization, in upstate NY. Here she
was raised in a treehouse built by her French parents. It was all rather bucolic. She
fledged the nest at 18 and hopped our friendly northern border to realize her dreams in
Montreal, Canada. She completed her B.A. at McGill University in Environmental
Sciences and International Development, and spent time studying in Panama while
based out of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Alizé then returned to McGill
to do an M.Sc. in Bioresource Engineering. During this time, she received a scholarship
to live in the Middle East and study the management of Israel and Palestine’s largest
shared aquifer as it related to electronic waste disposal. She spent a lot of time sniffing
out e-waste graveyards and examining the environmental and human health hazards of
this black-market industry. Ask her about it sometime over a beer. Or five.
In 2012, Alizé attended a National Geographic grant workshop where she saw Kenny
speak. Inspired by his delightfully unconventional path in life (and in an attempt to
further stave off adulthood), she applied for a NatGeo grant of her own and received
support to conduct research in Madagascar. She spent several months uncovering an
unlikely agricultural adaptation in response to severe deforestation, which evolved into
a greater story of creativity and resourcefulness amongst the oft-repeated narrative of
climate doom. This gave way to creating a digital series and educational curriculum on
the topic of human adaptation to environmental change, which she has been working
on over the last four years. She’s now looking forward to expanding on that work as a
part of her PhD, with none other than he who inspired it in the first place, some 6 years
earlier. Alizé’s a sucker for all things full circle so she thinks that’s pretty cool.
To see Alizé's CV, click HERE.