Dr. Kelly Bannister is Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and heads the Water Ethics and Cross Cultural Values Initiative at the POLIS Water Sustainability Project. She is an ethnobiologist with post-doctorial training in applied ethics. Her work encompasses collaborative biocultural diversity research and education, biodiversity law and policy, and biocultural ethics.
Her focus is on ethical and legal issues in research involving biodiversity and Indigenous cultural knowledge. She works in collaboration with a number of non-profit, Indigenous, and community organizations and has extensive experience in ethics policy analysis and development within Canada and internationally. Her policy work has explored local to international governance mechanisms (e.g. codes of ethics, ethical guidelines, research agreements, community research protocols) to address power relations and facilitate equitable research practices between universities, rural communities, and Indigenous peoples.
Kelly has particular interests in cross-cultural values, intercultural communication, and conflict resolution within human-ecosystem relationships, including our relationships to, with, and through water. She brings these collaborative dimensions of interrelating to the concept
and practice of watershed co-governance.