Teaching & Research

This work is not for the faint of heart. It requires being open to "the insights claimed by those whose stories we do not share" (Gough & Reid, 2000, p. 54) and being willing to expand one's conventional understandings of how the world works. 


My teaching and research are intimately intertwined. I am currently investigating:

  • Human-nature relations and multiple ways of knowing
    • What can intuitive interspecies (human-animal) communication tell us about human-nature relations? About how we limit the ways of knowing accepted as valid within the field of sustainability, and sustainability education?
    • How do limitations in our ways of knowing and ontologies affect human relations with and treatment of the environment?
    • What becomes possible once we authentically engage in mind-to-mind communication with animals, and nature?
  • Ecological identity/subjectivity
    • What kinds of identities/subjectivities have not been welcome in academic and other Western cultural contexts? What effects does this have on how we make decisions, and the decisions we make?
  • Threshold concepts for a transformative sustainability learning
    • What are the gateways to transformative and decolonized sustainability learning and practice?
  • Decolonizing research practices
    • How might non-Aboriginal scholars respectfully draw on Indigenous research methodologies?
    • How does epistemological stretching and a relational ontology transform research?
    • What kinds of research methods, methodologies are possible when we engage in epistemological stretching and a relational ontology?

Funded Research:

  • Lovrod, M. & Barrett, M.J. (2014-2016). Love for Okawimawaskiy (Mother Earth): A Collaborative Study in Human-Animal Communication, Community Engaged Scholarship Fund, University of Saskatchewan
  • Barrett, M.J. (2014). Mind-to-mind human-animal communication: What if it's real? What then? President's SSHRC
  • Lovrod, M. & Barrett, M.J. (2014). Transcending the human-nature divide: Creative, communicative practices for a more humane and sustainable world. Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity, University of Saskatchewan
  • Skills for a Sustainable World: Learning to communicate with animals and nature (Principal Investigator) with Indigenous Advisory Team 
  • Growing SENS (School of Environment and Sustainabilty) as a Learning Organization (Co-Principal Investigator)
  • Communicating across multiple knowledge systems. EMAP Teaching Resource Fund. 2013. Principal Investigator. Completed. 
  • Achieving excellence in One Health Graduate Teaching and Learning (Co-Principal Investigator) Completed.
  • Encounters with the living world: Indigenous knowledges and natural resource Management (SSHRC, Principal Investigator). Completed.
  • Rivers without borders educational project. Environment  Canada, 2011. Co-investigator. Completed.
  • Indigenous and local knowledge of wildlife in changing environments: Enhancing research methods and improving uptake in decision-making. SSHRC Standard Research Grant. 2010-2013. Collaborator. Completed.
  • Removing the invisibility cloak: The impact of professional schools of education and social work on the lives of Aboriginal children and youth through their instructional and curricular choices (SSHRC Collaborator). Completed.


  • Teaching Scholar Award, Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning, 2011-2012.
  • Outstanding Dissertation Award for Research Methodology Short Listed (top 6). American Educational Research Association, 2011. 
  • National Dissertation Award Short listed (top 3). Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies, 2010