Born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Joel has long nurtured passion for both arts and science. A leading Canadian ecologist, Joel worked in Sanikiluaq, Nunavut studying effects of climate change on Arctic sea ice ecology. For his Ph.D. Joel worked with Inuit, developing time lapse monitoring technology and an underwater camera system to capture the world’s first images of eiders diving below the sea ice. This led to Joel’s involvement in BBC’s Planet Earth: Ice Worlds and Frozen Planet. Joel has been leading one of Canada’s largest International Polar Year outreach projects. His research was recently published as the cover story in Proceedings of the Royal Society.
During his time in the Arctic Joel listened to the Inuit tell stories of a troubled future due to neighboring hydroelectric dams. To help share these stories Joel collaborated with the community of Sanikiluaq to found Sanikiluaq Running Pictures and began a five-year process to create his first feature documentary, People of a Feather.