With a BSc. in Environmental Resource Science and Biology from Trent University (1999), Christine Thüring has worked in restoration ecology and field botany, research, advocacy, and interpretation. In 2001, saddened by the ceaseless fragmentation of habitat that she was working to protect, she turned her attention to the rooftop dimension.
After interning with Bienger GmbH, an Optigrün-franchised green roof company in Germany, she went to Penn State University's "Centre for Green Roof Research" and earned a MSc. Horticulture (2005). She earned her PhD in 2016 in Landscape Ecology from the University of Sheffield by assessing the vegetation and substrates of some of the oldest extensive green roofs in Germany, while also a team member of a large EU project.
Christine combines her interests and expertise in ecology and rooftop greening in various expressions:
- Applied > Consultation, design and installation of green roofs (Germany, Austria, U.S.,Canada, UK, Spain)
- Research > University of Sheffield (substrates, species, climate), Penn State (media types, depth, drought regimes), BCIT (native species, amendments), Collaborative projects
- Education > University of Sheffield modules in ecological design, BCIT green roof courses, Course Development Committee for "Green Roofs for Healthy Cities'" 401 accreditation course: Plant and Substrate Selection for Green Roofs
- Organization > events advancing public awareness of green roofs include World Green Roof Congress (Basel, Switzerland); United Nations' World Urban Festival' (Vancouver, Canada), Green Roof Safari
- Advocacy > informing landscape architects and municipalities of appropriate native species for land and roof plantings; green roofs as urban environmental solutions; habitat conservation and climate change.
As a dual citizen of Switzerland and Canada, Christine lives and works internationally, constantly cultivating her culture, languages and roots.