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CASES Students & Postdocs (Current)

We are fortunate to have these talented Post Docs and students working on the CASES Partnership project! Read their bios below.

Picture of Dr. Saurabh Biswas

Dr. Saurabh Biswas PhD
CASES Post Doc

Saurabh Biswas is a sustainability scientist and energy systems engineer studying societal transformations and sustainable development linked to energy transitions. His research explores the energy-poverty nexus among marginalized and vulnerable groups of people. He has worked collaboratively with community organizations, grassroots entrepreneurs, university partners and international development agencies in seven countries to co-develop research-based programs to leverage renewable energy technology for local sustainable development. Prior to USask, Saurabh worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, conducting multi-disciplinary research for the US Department of Energy. He has taught courses on energy justice and grassroots energy innovation at Portland State University and Arizona State University. Saurabh holds a PhD in Sustainability from Arizona State University (USA) and Masters in Energy Systems Engineering. He is the co-founder of the open knowledge repository on community energy initiatives ‘Let Communities Lead’. Saurabh joined CASES in August 2023.

Picture of  Mariia Iakovleva

Mariia Iakovleva PhD
CASES Post Doc (UofS)

Mariia Iakovleva is a Postdoctoral Fellow conducting research related to policy and regulatory issues in energy transitions in the Circumpolar North, including Canada, Alaska, and Russia, specifically on Small and Micro Modular Nuclear Reactors and Renewable Energy. Mariia is Sakha (Yakut), an Indigenous group from the northeastern region of Yakutia, Siberia. Her background impacted her research interests including interest in energy security for northern, remote and Indigenous communities. Mariia has a background in Circumpolar and Indigenous studies and Sustainable Territorial Development of the Arctic. She gained her Bachelor’s degree in English philology from the Northeastern Federal University in Russia, her Master's degree in Arctic studies from the University of Versailles (Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines) in France and a second Master’s in Northern Governance and Development from the University of Saskatchewan. She also has experience working for the regional government of Yakutia in the area of scientific and innovation project development.

Picture of  Eugene Adjei

Eugene Adjei PhD
Post Doc (UofS)

Eugene Adjei is a resource economist with a background in natural resource management, encompassing about a decade of experience. His expertise lies in employing contemporary methodologies to assess sustainable development issues and effectively translating his research findings into accessible policy instruments. Eugene is currently engaged in pioneering research on renewable energy adoption and its transitional effects on the well-being of indigenous communities in Canada and the Arctic regions. This project is designed to comprehend how these communities can access, adopt, and integrate renewable energy sources to enhance their quality of life. Notably, this initiative aims to balance improving living standards and preserving these indigenous communities' economic activities and cultural identities. Eugene has served as a natural resource specialist at the Ghana Forestry Commission. Additionally, he has collaborated with various international development agencies to develop sustainable programs to conserve natural resources. Eugene holds a Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Auburn University, specializing in Econometrics and Quantitative Economics. He also possesses a master's degree in Natural Resources with a minor in Statistics, acquired from the same institution. Furthermore, he holds a graduate studies certificate from the University of Arizona. His earlier academic achievements include an undergraduate degree in Natural Resources Management and a Master of Science in Economics, both obtained from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). In addition to his research and academic pursuits, Eugene serves as an adjunct faculty member at Tuskegee University, where he teaches graduate-level macroeconomics. Eugene has recently joined the academic community at MUST and CASES, commencing his role in October 2023.

Picture of Daniel Yupanqui

Daniel Yupanqui MSc
CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Daniel is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He has a master’s degree in Agricultural and Environmental Economics at the Catholic University of Chile. His doctoral work is focusing on renewable energy development and energy security in rural and remote communities. He worked for seven years in the Ministry of Social Development of Chile, where he was involved in socioeconomic data analyses related to income, poverty, migration, rurality, and the impact on households of natural disasters. Among his research interests is understand the cost and benefits of the different types of renewable energy and their dependency on geography, and the consequences of the energy’s policies on rural development.

Picture of Tim Kalke

Tim Kalke
CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Tim is a student in the PhD Environment and Sustainability program at the University of Saskatchewan. Born and raised in Wyoming, U.S.A, Tim received an undergraduate degree in History; Secondary Education at the neighboring University of Northern Colorado and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. After military service, he and his wife settled in Galena, Alaska, a remote Native Athabascan village located on the banks of the Yukon River in the interior region of the state. While employed as a public educator at the local Galena high school, Tim obtained a Master of Natural Resources degree with an emphasis in Sustainable Development. He now has transitioned to a career in the sustainable energy field and manages a locally owned non-profit organization, Sustainable Energy for Galena, Alaska (SEGA). Tim’s research interests are in collaborative energy planning and sustainable development with the goal of bringing a wider range of benefits to his community and region.

Picture of  Bo Hu

Bo Hu MSc
CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Bo is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. He has a B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from North China Electric Power University, and an M.Sc. degree also in electrical engineering from University of Saskatchewan. His research areas include smart grid technologies, microgrids, and applications of mathematical optimization and machine learning in power systems. His research for the CASES project is focusing on facilitating the adoption of smart grid technologies in northern communities.

Picture of  Arwa Jaradat

Arwa Jaradat BSc, MSc
CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Arwa finished her B.Sc. in Earth and Environmental Sciences and became a dedicated science teacher. But her dreams did not stop there and she completed a Master’s degree in science education. Despite her love of teaching, she wanted to learn more about environment topics. She wanted to become a researcher in the field of renewable energy, so she continued her education and got a second Master’s degree in Renewable energy. Her Masters research focused on future scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions by changing scenarios of electrical system expansions in Jordan. Her research for the CASES project is focusing on the social dimension of energy security, specifically youth in Indigenous communities. Her background as a teacher and her experience in renewable energy will make a winning combination for her work in CASES.

Picture of  Avishek Sapkota

Avishek Sapkota
CASES Student (UofS)

Avishek is currently a master’s student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. He completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He has experience working as a consultant for various solar photovoltaic projects. Avishek’s research interests include power systems reliability, resiliency, microgrid capability, and optimization in power systems. In the CASES project, his research focuses on distribution system resiliency against extreme weather events and microgrid capability in Northern Communities.

Picture of  Dakota Norris

Dakota Norris
CASES Student (UofS)

Originally from Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Dakota is a member of the Gwich’in First Nation and recent graduate of the Edwards School of Business. Dakota has been working in management and research focused on Indigenous peoples and climate action for several years including with the U of S, Asia Pacific Foundation, Youth Climate Lab, and volunteer roles. Research topics and management projects have included economic development, sustainable development, youth engagement, global strategy, climate policy, and technology policy. Dakota is an incoming Masters of Environment and Sustainability student, and the new Coordinator, Northern and Indigenous Sustainable Energy Initiatives with SENS.

Picture of  Melissa  Beatty

Melissa Beatty
CASES Student (UofS)

Tansi, my name is Melissa Beatty and I am from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN), Deschambault Lake, which is in northern Saskatchewan. I completed my bachelor’s degree with a major in Indigenous Studies in 2006 from the University of Regina and obtained my Masters in Northern Governance and Development from the University of Saskatchewan in 2013. I have over twenty-one years of professional management experience in working for PBCN and I am currently working as the PBCN Band Manager/Administrator. I take great pride in providing the best service I can for my Nation and as a graduate student with CASES, I trust that my academic and personal goal of working hard for the betterment of PBCN will be fulfilled, tiniki.

Picture of  Daniela  Álava

Daniela Álava MSc
CASES Student (UofS)

Daniela comes from Ecuador and is a Master's in Environment and Sustainability (MES) student at the University of Saskatchewan. Her former studies include an Environmental Management Engineering degree, an International Business Engineering degree and a Trilingual A.A.S. in Business Administration and Economics. As a professional, she has worked in various German multinational companies, specializing in Supply Chain Management and Project Management. Her engagement towards the development of her region has led her to visit and actively participate in several social projects aimed to help the isolated communities and the rural indigenous populations in the Andean region and the Amazon rainforest of both Ecuador and Bolivia. Daniela’s research interests include the non-market valuation methods that might be used to assign an accurate monetary value to the environmental and social benefits of community-based renewable energy systems.

Picture of  Silas Obeng Asante

Silas Obeng Asante MSc
CASES MSc Student (UofS)

Silas Obeng Asante (born and bred in Ghana) who is a Development Planning and Management Expert, Spatial Analyst (GIS and Remote Sensing), Field Researcher (Geography), Environmental Planner, and Sustainable Natural Resource Advocate is currently enrolled to obtain his second Masters of Science degree program with the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. Silas previously holds a Master of Science degree in Development Planning and Management from the Kwame University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Regional Planning from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. As Field Research Assistant, Silas has worked with International organizations and national institutions such as UNFPA/UNICEF, International Cocoa Initiative, Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies at Erasmus University, Ghana Cocoa Board, BIRD – KNUST, Ghana Statistical Service, and Guinness Ghana Brewery Limited (GGBL) as part of his volunteering field works, and baseline surveys in different regions of Ghana. Silas was appointed as a Graduate Assistant (Contract) in the Department of Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology – Ghana, and as a Teaching Assistant (National Service) in the Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast – Ghana. His previous post graduate thesis topic was "Monitoring and analyzing the urban growth processes of Awutu Senya Municipality using Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing.” Silas joined the CASES team in September 2022 and his research will focus on the technical assessment of renewable energy development potential in rural and indigenous communities in northern Saskatchewan.

Picture of S M Didar-UI Islam

S M Didar-UI Islam MSc
CASES Student (UofS)

Didar is from Bangladesh and joined the Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) team in September 2022. Prior to joining CASES, he was engaged in several research projects and also worked in multiple industries as an environmental management professional. He earned his BSc and MSc degrees in Environmental Sciences and is currently enrolled in the Master of Science degree program under the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan. His research for the CASES project is focusing on the technical assessment of renewable energy development potential in the rural and indigenous communities in northern Saskatchewan.

Picture of  Femi Abraham

Femi Abraham
CASES Student (UofS)

Abraham has 5 years’ experience managing development programmes across 4 African countries. He has previously managed economic development programmes for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and projects sponsored by the Citi Foundation, Ford Foundation & Chinese Embassy. He has contributed technically to rural electrification projects in Nigeria, working with the Nigerian Power Transmission Agency. Abraham graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Nigeria, where he finished top of his class & faculty and was a beneficiary of the MTN Foundation Science & Technology scholarship throughout his undergraduate years. He has professional certifications in Impact Evaluation, Energy Economics, and Local Economic Development, from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Georgetown University and Sciences Po. Abraham is a TEDx speaker and serves as a guest facilitator at the Lagos Business School, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, LEAP Africa Social Innovators Programme. He is particularly interested in working with multidisciplinary research teams focusing on community energy planning and social mobility dimensions of energy transitions.

Picture of  Diego Galdamez

Diego Galdamez BSc
CASES Student (UofS)

Diego holds a B.Sc. in Agribusiness from National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan, where he worked with organic farmers and led a project to promote agritourism in rice farms. Later, during his visit to Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, Diego worked on a project investigating the agricultural supply chain of organic farmers in a participatory quality assurance scheme. During his career in Taiwan, the renewable energy industry development became more relevant and made him interested in the economic benefit of these projects to small communities as well as the general population. In 2023, Diego joined the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan, researching the effectiveness of renewable energy projects at improving the well-being of off-grid, northern and Indigenous communities in Canada.