M.J. Barrett (PhD) BA, BEd, M.E.S Adjunct Professor School of Environment and Sustainability



“My goal is to nurture ways of knowing and being where the more-than-human (natural) world is respected as intentional, intelligent and communicative.”


Context for my Scholarship

Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in diverse ways of knowing (including Indigenous knowledges), recognition of the importance of human-nature connection, and expanded understanding of the negative impacts of disconnection from nature on human and planetary well-being.

About my Scholarship

Barrett, M.J., Hinz, V., Wijngaarden, V., and Lovrod, M. (April, 2021). ‘Speaking’ With Other Animals through Intuitive Interspecies Communication: Towards Cognitive and Interspecies Justice. Virtual lightening paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers.

To address these intertwined and interdisciplinary issues, my research explores how we can communicate, intuitively, with other species - and the implications of these understandings for transformative sustainability learning and everyday living. This combined specialization in intuitive interspecies communication (IIC) and transformative environmental & sustainability education, lays the practical and theoretical groundwork for everyday practices, multi-species research methods, collaborations with Indigenous peoples, and transformative educational approaches that shift human-nature relations.

This work takes seriously the agency and communicative capacity of the natural world. I am currently leading a nationally-funded (SSHRC) research project examining ways in which IIC can help bridge the human-nature divide, and support more respectful interactions with wild and domestic animals. You can see a snapshot of our first publication in this video, presented at the American Association of Geographers Annual Conference, 2021. 


Dr. Barrett has published on the topics of transformative sustainability learning, bridging knowledges and the agency of the more-than-human in journals such as Biosciences, Environmental Education Research, Policy Sciences, and the Canadian Journal of Environmental Education. She has degrees from Harvard University (B.A.), York University (M.E.S.), Queen’s (B.Ed.) and University of Regina (PhD). She is an adjunct professor in the graduate School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan.