Our Team

The Research Team

Led by Leslie Chan, the team is a diverse group of researchers and students who are dedicated to enabling open access networks and knowledge sharing. The research we are embarking requires a variety of perspectives and skill sets that is provided by our diverse team. Our collaborative working environment allows us to compare and draw parallels between mapping and financial data while understanding their role within the publishing industry. The core research team is listed below:

Leslie Chan

Leslie Chan is the Research Coordinator and Principal Investigator of the OCSDNetwork. He is the Associate Director of the Centre for Critical Development Studies (CCDS) at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where he teaches courses on knowledge and media for development. Leslie has a long standing research interest in the role of knowledge production and dissemination in development, and in particular the role of Open Access (OA) in addressing the imbalance in the global knowledge flow and the dominance of certain ways of legitimizing knowledge. Since 2000, Leslie has served as the director of a South-North collaborative project known as Bioline International, a platform that provides OA for over 30 research journals from the global South. Leslie has been active in the experimentation and implementation of scholarly communication initiatives of varying scales around the world.

Denisse Albornoz

Denisse is a Research Associate for the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet). She is an International Development and Sociology graduate from the University of Toronto, and is interested in inclusive and transgressive approaches to knowledge construction and dissemination. In Toronto, she has facilitated inclusive education programs, exploring the use of art or media in alternative pedagogies and research practices with youth. She has also worked with the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, mapping change-making practices at the intersections of new media, art and activism in South Asia. At OCSDNet, she is researching power and inequality in discourse construction about Open Science.

Alejandro Posada

Alejandro Posada is a Research Associate with the OCSDNet, based in Toronto. He graduated from the International Development and Economics programs at the University of Toronto Scarborough and is interested in the political economy and financialization of the publishing industry as well as the synergies between open science and traditional knowledge systems in agriculture. He previously worked with the Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems in Chennai, assessing the economic viability of revitalizing traditional knowledge in agriculture as well as researching the political ecology of India’s agricultural micro-insurance industry. Alejandro is a Colombian citizen who has lived in seven different countries including Canada, India, Costa Rica, Russia, England, and Venezuela. During his time in Canada, he has been involved with various community organizations such as the Stop Community Food Centre, WUSC Student Refugee Program, and Frontier College. Follow him on Twitter at @pal3jo

Angela Okune

Angela Okune is a PhD student at the University of California Irvine’s Department of Anthropology with an emphasis on Feminist Studies and Science and Technology Studies (STS). She works on questions of expertise, identity, and technology & development in Africa. She is a Network Coordinator for the Open & Collaborative Science in Development Network (www.ocsdnet.org) and Luce Graduate Fellow with the Critical Investigations of Humanitarianism in Africa Blog (www.cihablog.com). Angela is the recipient of a 2016 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. From 2010 – 2015, as a co-founder of the research department at iHub, Nairobi’s innovation hub for the tech community, Angela provided strategic guidance for the growth of tech research in Kenya. Her previous work includes directing the pioneering Umati project, monitoring dangerous speech online in Kenya; assessing mobile usage patterns at the Kenyan base of the pyramid; and developing a framework to test the viability of crowdsourcing during elections. Learn more at angelaokune.me or follow her on Twitter, @honoluluskye.

Saman Goudarzi

Saman Goudarzi is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto Scarborough completing a degree in International Development Studies and Geography. A cartographer and researcher, her interests lie at the intersection of technology, data and labour. She is currently an intern at the Centre for Internet and Society, researching platform actors in various Indian sectors.

Maggie Huang

Maggie Huang is a graduate of UofT’s International Development Studies Co-op program with a double minor in Economics and Political Science. She interned, and later returned as consultant with policy research organisation, Centre for Internet and Society (India), as part of their Access to Knowledge program. She primarily studied India’s copyright management regime, particularly how it impacted content and royalties flows in the digital music ecosystem; but became keenly interested in the political economy of intellectual property and its impact on access to information and culture — a key tenet of her final year thesis. At CIS, she also engaged in knowledge management activities to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation’s research and policy influencing objectives. As a highly involved student, she received the UTSC Letter Award and the Gordon Cressy Leadership Award for, amongst other things, her involvement with the annual International Development Conference. Driven by the potential for interdisciplinary knowledge transfer, she helped convene forums for academics, practitioners, policy makers, and students; and remains passionate about creating spaces for learning, while also critically understanding the systems and infrastructures which facilitate the production, dissemination, and application of information and knowledge.

George Chen

George Chen is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Management and International Business program with a stream in Economics. He is interested in the economics of development as well as the drivers of academic discourse. George had worked as a research assistant for the Centre for Critical Development Studies. He is currently pursuing a law degree at Harvard Law School.

Tasneem Mewa

Tasneem Mewa is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies. She is interested in critiquing neoclassical economic theory and deconstructing conventional notions of spatiality. In addition to her research with the Centre for Critical Development Studies, she currently works as a Senior Editor for the student run development journal, The Undercurrent.

Join us  

Whether you’re a first-year undergraduate student or in grad school, we are always looking to welcome new members. Please contact us if you are interested in joining our team.