Jonaki is an ethnoecologist and Senior Researcher with Firelight. Her work engages diverse people, cultural values, and ecological knowledge in management planning that affects land use, wildlife, natural resources, and community livelihoods. Jonaki earned a PhD in Environmental Planning from the University of Waterloo. Her doctoral research focused on ecological and cultural relationships between wild horses, Tsilhqot’in people, and the land in Interior BC. More recently, she has worked with Coastal First Nations, NGOs, and academics in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest. Both initiatives analysed how traditional knowledge and culture can strengthen contemporary management.
Jonaki has ten years of experience collaborating with Indigenous peoples and First Nations as a researcher, and five years of experience working in private consulting and non-profit organizations engaging communities and government initiatives. She has coordinated and conducted community wildlife monitoring, outreach and communications, conservation planning, and environmental assessment. She has also taught applied ethnoecology and qualitative research methods at the University of Victoria (UVic). Jonaki is a Wilburforce Fellow in Conservation Science, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at UVic.