Sam E Morton

Email: semorton[at]mun[dot]ca

Supervisors: Dr. Max Liboiron; Dr. Nicole Power

Committee Member: Dr. Alice Hovorka

My name is Sam E. Morton (she/her). I am a PhD student and Vanier Scholar at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. I grew up in Georgetown, ON, and now call St. John’s, NL home. I am a settler living on the traditional territories of the Beothuk and the Mi’kmaq on the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I have studied and worked in international development and the not-for profit sector for over 10 years. My MA research focused on the relationship between gender and work for development workers in Lao PDR, Southeast Asia. I have also worked as a research assistant with the Ocean Frontier Institute and as a trainee with the SSHRC-CIHR Partnership Healthy Professional/Knowledge Workers.

For my PhD project I am interested in how animals, like cows, chickens, and goats, among others, are enrolled into international development projects. I investigate how certain ways of relating to particular animals are (re)produced through development projects (e.g., chickens as commodities in livelihood projects), with particular attention to how global power relations propel animals through foreign aid channels.

Research Interests: human-animal relations; international development; foreign aid; animal geographies; work; gender

Research Groups:

Civic Lab for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR)


PhD Student, Geography, Memorial University
Supervisors: Dr. Max Liboiron & Dr. Nicole Power. 2022-Present.

M.A., Sociology. Memorial University. Thesis Title: Development Workers and Gender Work in Lao PDR. Supervisors: Dr. Nicole Power & Dr. Liam Swiss. 2022.

International Development Postgraduate Certificate. Humber College, Toronto, Canada. 2016.

B.A. Honours, International Development. University of Guelph. 2013.


Morton, Sam E. 2022. “Animal Traffic Review.” Society and Space. (

*Morton, Sam E., Judyannet Muchiri, and Liam Swiss. 2020. “Which Feminism(s)? For Whom? Intersectionality in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.” International Journal 75(3):329–48. doi: 10.1177/0020702020953420.

Morton, Sam E. 2018. “Becoming a Researcher: Exploring the Intersections of Feminism and Graduate Student Research.” Sociology on the Rock. (


Conference Presentations:

  • “How do universities address mental health in academia?” with Nicole Power, Janet Mantler, Natasha Ball, Christine Tulk, Christina Young, Justine Pascual, and Ivy Bourgeault. Canadian Sociological Association at Congress. Virtual. May 2022.
  • “Development Workers and Gender Equality Work in Lao PDR.” 38th Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference. Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. June 2022
  • “’I’ is always ‘we’: finding my way through qualitative analysis with wayfinders”. 37th Annual Qualitative Analysis Conference. Brescia University College, London, Ontario, Canada. June 2020. Meeting cancelled due to Covid-19.
  • “Entangled Selves: exploring the gendered lives of development workers in Lao PDR.” Canadian Sociological Association at Congress. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. June 2019.
  • “Humans, Animals, and Power: addressing the animal question in international development.” Canadian Sociological Association at Congress. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. June 2019.
  • “How Feminist is Canada’s Feminist Foreign Aid?” with Judyannet Muchiri and Liam Swiss. Swedish Development Research Conference. University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. August 2018.
  • “International Development: have we done more harm than good?” Philopolis Guelph. In association with the University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada. October 2015.


  • Gender-Based Analysis Plus, Status of Women Canada
  • Tri-Council Policy Statement 2 Course on Research Ethics.
  • Gender in Emergencies, Inter-Agency Standing Committee.
  • Sphere Handbook in Action, The Sphere Project.
  • Building a Better Response, Humanitarian Academy at Harvard.
  • Train the Trainer Certificate in Facilitation, Journalists for Human Rights.

Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards:

  • 2022-25. Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship ($150,000)
  • 2022-25. Dean’s Award of Excellence, Memorial University ($15,000)
  • Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies, Memorial University (awarded in recognition of outstanding academic achievement throughout a graduate program)
  • Scholarship in the Arts Fund ($500)
  • International Development Research Centre Research Award (CA$41,310-$47,822 + $15,000 travel stipend; offered but declined)
  • 2019-20. Scholarship in the Arts Fund ($740)
  • 2018-20. Academic Conference Funding ($3,800)
  • Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council ($6,000)
  • 2018-19. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship ($17,500)
  • 2017-19. School of Graduate Studies Fellowship, Memorial University ($13,700)
  • 2017-19. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Research stipend from Dr. Liam Swiss’ Insight Grant ($21,300)
  • Dean’s Award of Excellence, Memorial University ($5,000)
  • 2016 & 2018. Explore Program, Université Laval & Université du Québec à Montréal ($4,400)
  • International Development Award, Humber College ($2,000)
  • International Mobility Award, Humber College ($2,500)

Academic Community Building (current):

  • 2022-present. Geography Graduate Student Association, Executive Committee Member and Department Liaison. Memorial University.
  • 2020-present. The Nexus Centre, Nexus Advisory Board Member, Memorial University. The Nexus Centre is an interdisciplinary humanities and social sciences research hub that regularly organizes and hosts workshops, talks, and writing retreats.
  • 2017-present. Qualitative Workshop, Member and Contributor, Memorial University. Meet bi-monthly to read each other’s qualitative work and give constructive feedback.