Meet the 2024
EPt Student Paper Award Finalists

Their commitment and dedication have established them as leaders in the environmental sector.


Paper: Evaluating the sustainability and effectiveness of Canada’s single-use plastic ban

Justine Ammendolia (she/her) is an PhD student at Dalhousie University that researches environmental plastic pollution in Eastern Canada. Justine completed her BSc in Zoology at the University of Guelph (’14) and MSc in Marine Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland (17’).

Since beginning her research on plastic pollution in 2016, her work focuses on identifying plastic leakage hotspots and implementing solutions for improving waste collection efforts. Justine has worked on various projects ranging from surveying marine debris on remote beaches on the island of Newfoundland to tracking plastic pollution from the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto. Currently, she’s exploring how national single-use plastic ban policies impact the litter landscapes of Halifax and Dartmouth, and is also working on Sable Island to examine microplastic pollution pathways that travel through air currents. She has been nationally recognized as a NSERC, Killam and Nova Scotia Graduate Doctoral Scholar.

Justine is an active research grantee with the National Geographic Society (Washington D.C.) and frequently shares her work on their global reaching platforms. She also sits as a mentor on the Youth Council for the Chief Science Advisor of Canada and advocates for diversity in natural sciences.


Paper: Plastic is a Virus

Phoebe McElligott is a Master’s student pursuing an MPhil in Environmental Policy at the University of Cambridge. With a passion for interdisciplinary research and  plastic pollution, she hopes to contribute a novel perspective on plastic waste management.


Paper: Modelling the Impact of Climate Change on Potato Yields

Toyin Adekanmbi currently works as a Project Officer Intern with the Climate Action Secretariat of the Department of Environment, Energy, and Climate Action, Government of Prince Edward Island. Her expertise is in sustainability, intersecting climate change, environment, and food. She studied for an M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences at the School of Climate Change and Adaptation, University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), Canada. As a member of the Climate Smart Lab (Climate Smart Lab) at the Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation, UPEI, her research used a crop simulation model to assess the potential impacts of climate change on crops (using potatoes as a case study) to explore agricultural adaptation strategies. Based on her research, she has published two peer-reviewed articles (Journal article 1 and Journal article 2).

Using her past qualifications in chemistry, she previously worked as a principal laboratory technologist at the Bells University of Technology, Nigeria, where she led experiments, co-authored laboratory manuals and refereed articles, and participated in conferences and workshops. She has also volunteered with various organizations, including serving as a co-manager of the Community Sustainability Global Project and as a research associate at the Liu Institute for Africa, University of British Columbia.

In recognition of Toyin’s strong academic records and scholarly contributions, she is a grateful recipient of several highly competitive and prestigious awards and scholarships. For instance, internationally, the PEO Organization awarded her the “PEO International Peace Scholarship” three times; she was awarded a UPEI Faculty medal in 2022; and at her master’s graduation, she was awarded the “Jacob G. Schurman Memorial Graduate Studies Award” for superior research and “The Faculty of Science Graduate Studies Award of Distinction,” among all graduating M.Sc. and Ph.D. students.