Ralph Matthews

Contact InformationRalph Matthews
#1311 – 6303 North West Marine Drive
Vancouver, BC, Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: 1-604-822-4386
Email: ralphm@exchange.ubc.ca

Current Positions

  • Professor, Sociology, UBC.
  • Professor Emeritus, Sociology, McMaster University.
  • Adjunct Professor, Centre for Environment and Population Health Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Griffith University, Australia.
  • Associate Faculty, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability.

Research Interests

Dr. Matthews’ current research focuses primarily around issues of social capital, community resilience, and sustainable resource development. He is the Principal Investigator of the Resilient Communities Project, funded by a SSHRC strategic grant which is examining the relationship between social capital, community resilience and economic development in coastal British Columbia communities. He is also Principal Investigator of a SSHRC funded Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) project that is working with, and providing research capacity to, six communities and their adjacent First Nations in coastal British Columbia. In addition, Dr. Matthews is Principal Investigator of a Bayer Canada-Canadian Blood Services-HPma Quebec-CIHR funded project examining the relationship between social capital and blood donation. Finally, he is Principal Investigator on a series of research projects related to the social impact of aquaculture and the social construction of knowledge and science by those involved in the aquaculture industry.


  1. Berseth, Valerie and Ralph Matthews. 2018. “Environmental Sociology and the Genomics Revolution”, in Katharine Legun, Julie Keller, Michael Carolan, and Michael Bel1 (Eds.) Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Sociology.  Cambridge, UK.
  2. Matthews, Ralph. 2018. “Forth into the Deep: How I Became a Sociologist at Memorial University”, in R. Buchannan and S. Riggins (Eds).  Creating a New University: The Newfoundland Experience.  NL: ISER Books.
  3. Matthews, Ralph. 2018. Crafting a Sociological Career”.  S. Riggins and N. McLaughlin (Eds.), Autobiographical Reflections by Canadian Sociologists – A Multigenerational Perspective.
  4. Matthews, R. 2017. “Canada and the USA: Alternate Realities?” The Sociological Quarterly, Vol. 58: Issue 3, pp. 1-10.
  5. Cabrera, Laura Y., Jordan Tesluk, Michelle Chakraborti, Ralph Matthews, Judy Illes. 2016. Brain matters: From environmental ethics to environmental neuroethics. Environmental Health. 15:20 (pp. 1-5).
  6. Ralph Matthews, 2014. Committing More Canadian Sociology: Responses to the Commentary on Committing Canadian Sociology. Canadian Review of Sociology. 51(4): 409-417.
  7. Illes, Judy, Jacqueline Davidson, and Ralph Matthews. 2014. ”Environmental Neuroethics: Changing the environment – changing the brain: Recommendations submitted to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. Journal of Law and the Biosciences. 1(3): 1-6.
  8. Ralph Matthews, 2014, Committing Canadian Sociology: Developing a Canadian Sociology and a Sociology of Canada. Canadian Review of Sociology. 51(2): 107-127.


  • Ph.D. University of Minnesota, 1970.
  • M.A., University of Minnesota, 1967.
  • B.A., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1964.