Kelly Bannister (Ph.D.) is Co-Director of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria and a steering committee member of the IPinCH project. Her background is in ethnobiology and she specializes in ecological governance and applied research ethics, focusing on ethical and legal issues in research involving biodiversity, Indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage. Her work has focused on the role of governance tools and processes (such as ethical codes, codes of conduct, community research protocols, and research agreements) to address power relations and facilitate equitable research practices in collaborative research. Her current interests explore what relational ethics, inter-cultural communication, and peace-making offer to research ethics policy and practice.
Kelly has been involved in ethics policy research, analysis and development – locally, nationally and internationally – in a variety of capacities over the last 14 years. For several years she served on the Research Ethics Board for the University of Victoria. She has assisted Aboriginal organizations in developing their own research ethics policies. She has served as a consultant and expert advisor to Environment Canada on developing national Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) policy and legislation under the Convention of Biological Diversity, promoting a strategy involving national guidelines for access and benefit-sharing of biological/genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.
Kelly was a member of the CIHR Aboriginal Ethics Working Group that developed the CIHR Guidelines for Health Research Involving Aboriginal People in effect from May 2007 until December 2010. She was also a member of the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics’ Technical Advisory Committee on Aboriginal Research (PRE-TACAR) as part of the Panel’s Aboriginal Research Ethics Initiative (AREI) that advised on Chapter 9 in the second edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS2) . She co-chairs the Ethics Program for the International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE). She facilitated the completion of the ISE Code of Ethics in 2006 and is currently facilitating development of an online ethics toolkit to promote the values, principles, and practices upon which the Code of Ethics is based.