Elaine is a PhD Candidate in Social and Ecological Sustainability (Integrated Water Management) at University of Waterloo.  She is a member of The Water Institute (based at University of Waterloo) and a student in the Canadian Rivers Institute (based at University of New Brunswick).  


As a student researcher in the nationwide Global Water Futures collaborative, Elaine strives to strengthen surface freshwater monitoring, management and decision-making in Ontario.  Water monitoring is the way we measure and interpret the health of our river and lake. Common things to monitor include:

  • water quantity (e.g., drought versus flooding);

  • water quality (e.g., presence of E. coli or pollutants like chloride/road salt); and

  • living things (e.g., checking fish for parasites or illness, ensuring they are breeding).


A serial entrepreneur, Elaine currently owns and operates TRIECO Research and Consulting and is the Director of Training and Consulting at Synergy Sustainability and Development Group.  Additionally, she is the international Women’s constituency representative on Action for Sustainable Development’s Facilitation Group.  In this role she provides guidance from an academic perspective as well.  


Elaine also supports various ongoing initiatives, including the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Canada and projects she initiated in a remote Maasai community in Kenya (e.g., a women’s bead cooperative, school projects, micro tourism and sustainability education).

Elaine Ho.jpg
Benthic Sampling in the Grand River

Recent works

Freshwater science and management

How do we improve our understanding and management of surface water to collectively benefit people, other living things and the environment?

2016 - 2020

University of Waterloo

PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability (Integrated Water Management)

Monitoring and cumulative effects

How can we be more strategic about what we measure and how we interpret these indicators so that we are able to identify and predict a variety of interacting stressors and effects over time?

Human-environment interactions

How do we improve our relationship with the environment (e.g., improving stormwater management, mitigating impacts from invasive species)?

Sustainable development

The Sustainable Development Goals present immense opportunities to engage with each other and create a better, more inclusive world (economically, socially and environmentally).  How do we bring current social-economic systems more in-line with the Goals? How do we better work together to achieve desired targets?

2011 - 2013

University of Waterloo 

Master of Environmental Studies

2009 - 2011

University of Waterloo

Honors Bachelor of Environmental Studies;

Diploma in Environmental Assessment




  • Courtenay Lab and Trant Ecological Legacy Lab (University of Waterloo)

  • Lake Futures Group (Global Water Futures)

  • The Water Institute (University of Waterloo)

  • Canadian Rivers Institute

  • Resident Researcher, Great Art for Great Lakes

  • Facilitation Group, Action for Sustainable Development