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Dr. Warren Mabee
Assistant Professor
B.Sc.F., M.Sc.F., Ph.D. (Toronto, 2001)
Office: Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room D301
Phone: +001 (613) 533-6000, extension 77092
Fax: +001 (613) 533-6122
Email: warren.mabee@queensu.ca


QIEEP (http://www.queensu.ca/qieep)
SBC (http://www.queensu.ca/sbc)
Task 39 (http://www.task39.org)


Teaching Interests





I received all of my degrees from the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto, gradually moving from forest operations to wood chemistry, to pulp and paper science, and ultimately to advanced forest products including energy production. Along the way I became very interested in the policy aspects of both environmental management and technology development. From 2001-2003, I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia, where I focused on the environmental aspects related to human security in the global context. From 2003 until 2008, I was a Research Associate in the Forest Products Biotechnology group at UBC, where I was involved in the development of new bioenergy and biofuel technologies – both in Canada and around the world. My main area of focus was exploring policy tools to evaluate the efficiency of new energy systems, and to deploy these types of technologies in commercial application. Much of this work was done in conjunction with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). I have been at Queen’s University since 2008 and hold a joint appointment between the Department of Geography and the School of Policy Studies. I am currently the Associate Director of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, the Acting Director of Queen’s Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre, and the Associate Task Leader (Policy) for the IEA’s Bioenergy Task 39 ‘Liquid Biofuels’.

Teaching Interests

At the undergraduate level, I have taught one course on Global Forest Issues (GPHY 104) and will be offering a more advanced course on Energy and Environment (GPHY 371, coming fall 2009). At the graduate level, I teach an Environmental Policy course (MPA 847) in the School of Policy Studies, and will be offering a course examining different technical approaches to renewable energy through the Department of Geography (winter term 2010). My graduate students work on a range of issues related to the development of a renewable energy future. This includes evaluating social capacity required to support new renewable energy technologies, defining ecological carrying capacity for various technological solutions (such as biomass inventory requirements for new bioenergy technologies), applying technical tools to support policy development (including life cycle assessment and techno-economic modeling), and exploring the use of environmental and energy policy – both as a driver for new energy solutions, and as a safety net to prevent unsustainable practices.


My research focuses on the interface between renewable energy policy and technologies, with particular emphasis on wood energy and biofuels. This means that my students and I work across a broad spectrum that covers environmental policy, international approaches to renewable energy development, and commercialization of new products and processes. A major research project that we have undertaken at Queen’s is an evaluation of renewable energy opportunities and challenges specific to Eastern Ontario, which we have proposed as Canada’s first Renewable Energy Region. This will allow us to take a case study approach in examining policy for renewable energy options, and will provide a framework for expert advice to both federal and provincial governments on the development of strategies to reduce our reliance upon fossil energy sources. This research approach builds on international examples, in Sweden, Germany, Japan, and elsewhere, of successful regional strategies to develop renewable energy solutions. My research program is strongly connected to the activities of the International Energy Agency’s Bioenergy Task 39 ‘Liquid biofuels’, which offers us an avenue to explore different approaches to new energy systems, and gives my students a window to the world of international technology and policy development. We are also engaged in partnerships with our neighbours in the USA, through mechanisms including the IEA and the Great Lakes Sustainable Energy Consortium. At Queen’s, I am closely associated with the Sustainable Bioeconomy Centre (focused on technology solutions to drive the bioeconomy forward) and Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy (focused on a portfolio of environmental and energy-related issues).

Recent Publications

Zhang, Y., J. McKechnie, D. Cormier, R. Lyng, W.E. Mabee, H.L. MacLean (2009) Comparison of life cycle greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions associated with electricity production from coal, natural gas and wood pellets in Ontario, Canada. Environmental Science & Technology (submitted).

Mabee, W.E., McFarlane PM, D.J. Gregg, J.N. Saddler (2009) Biomass availability for the development of North American lignocellulose-based biorefining operations. Biomass and Bioenergy (in press).

Sims, R., M. Taylor, J.N. Saddler, W.E. Mabee (2009) From 1st- to 2nd-generation biofuel technologies. Renewable Energy World (in press).

Chandra R.P., R. Bura, W.E. Mabee, A. Berlin, X. Pan, J.N. Saddler (2007) Substrate pretreatment: The key to effective enzymatic hydrolysis of lignocellulosics? Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology 108:67-93.

Mabee, W.E. (2007) Policy options to support bioethanol production. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology 108:329-357.

Fraser E.D.G., A.J. Dougill, W.E. Mabee, M.S. Reed, P. McAlpine (2006) Bottom up and top down: Analysis of participatory processes for sustainability indicator identification as a pathway to community empowerment and sustainable environmental management. Journal of Environmental Management 78:114-127.

Mabee, W.E., J.N. Saddler (2006) The potential of bioconversion to produce fuels and chemicals. Pulp and Paper Canada 107(6):34-37.

Thony P., W.E. Mabee, R. Kozak, G.Q. Bul (2006) A characterization of the British Columbia log home and timber frame manufacturing sector. Forestry Chronicle 82(1):77-83.

Tu M, X. Zhang, A. Kurabi, N. Gilkes, W.E. Mabee, J.N. Saddler (2006) Immobilization of ß-glucosidase on Eupergit C for lignocellulose hydrolysis. Biotechnology Letters 28(3):151-156.

Fraser E.D.G., W.E. Mabee, F. Figge (2005) A framework for assessing the vulnerability of food systems to future shocks. Futures 37(6):465-479.

Pan X., C. Arato, N. Gilkes, D.J. Gregg, W.E. Mabee, K. Pye, Z. Xiao, X. Zhang, J.N. Saddler (2005) Biorefining of softwoods using ethanol organosolv pulping. Biotechnology and Bioengineering 90(4):473-481.

Fraser E.D.G., W.E. Mabee (2004) Researching the Secure City: looking to build a preliminary framework. Canadian Journal of Urban Research 13(1) Supplement: 89-99.

Mabee, W.E., E.D.G. Fraser, O. Slaymaker (2004) Ecosystem management in the context of BC resource planning. BC Journal of Ecosystems and Management 4(1):31-41.

Fraser E.D.G., W.E. Mabee, O. Slaymaker (2003) Mutual dependence, mutual vulnerability: The reflexive relation between human society and the environment. Global Environmental Change 13(2):137-144.

Mabee, W.E., D.N. Roy (2003) Modelling the role of papermill sludge in the organic carbon cycle of paper products. Environmental Reviews 11:1-16.