Finding a Supervisor

Applicants are expected to contact prospective supervisors at the time of application. Potential supervisors names must be listed within the application documents (in the research statement form).

The list below includes faculty who are actively recruiting students. Faculty members not listed here may also be interested in supervising graduate students. To find out about the research interests of all of our faculty members, please review our full faculty listing.

Please note that faculty members are listed under a general field below, but their research may overlap in several fields.

Physical Geography and Natural Systems

Faculty Member Research Interests (click to expand)
Laura Brown
Assistant Professor
Seeking: MSc and PhD applicants
Keywords: Cryosphere; Climate – Lake ice interactions; Remote sensing and numerical modelling
I am actively recruiting highly motivated MSc or PhD students who are interested in the cryosphere, with a particular focus on ice and snow. Research projects are currently underway in Central Ontario and Nunavut. Potential projects could involve field work and/or remote sensing and/or numerical modelling.

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Joseph Desloges
Professor
Seeking: MSc applicants
Keywords: Holocene fluvial and glacial landscape reconstruction using sedimentary archives; Reconstruction of extreme events Urbanization impacts on stream erosion
Prof. Desloges is seeking applicants with advanced training in geomorphology

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Tim Duval
Assistant Professor
Seeking: MSc and PhD applicants
Keywords: Applied Ecohydrology; Wetland Hydrology and Biogeochemistry Catchment; Hydrology and Biogeochemistry
I am looking for highly motivated MSc and PhD students interested in hydrology and biogeochemistry, particularly in urban or urbanizing environments. Our research group is primarily field-based, working in streams and wetlands to study water-soil-plant interactions and the nutrient transformations as a result of those interactions. Research topics for incoming students include new projects on groundwater-surface water interactions and nutrient cycling in suburbanizing stream corridors, suburban riparian zone productivity, respiration, and soil nutrient dynamics, analysis of changing stream discharge and precipitation trends, and existing projects on stormwater management pond hydrology and biogeochemistry.

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Igor Lehnherr
Assistant Professor
Seeking: MSc and PhD applicants
Keywords: Biogeochemistry of major and trace elements; Contaminants Impacts of climate change on aquatic ecosystems
I welcome motivated graduate students interested in physical geography, biogeochemistry and environmental science. My research uses ecosystem-scale field studies, controlled experiments, and emerging analytical techniques to understand how contaminants and climate change impact aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the Canadian Arctic and boreal ecoregions. Current and potential projects include: i) reconstructing long-term trends in atmospheric mercury concentrations and emissions using tree-rings, ice cores and lake sediment cores; ii) quantifying ecosystem metabolism (primary production and respiration) in ice-covered Arctic lakes; iii) impacts of climate change on mercury cycling and methylmercury production in Arctic ecosystems; and iv) climate change impacts on lake and watershed biogeochemistry (carbon and nutrient cycling) in northern regions.

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Jane Liu
Assistant Professor
Seeking: MSc and PhD applicants
Keywords: Atmospheric environment (pollution transport and emission from fires, air quality and health implications, satellite monitoring, modeling); Tropospheric and stratospheric ozone; Climate change
I welcome graduate students interested in environmental issues related to our atmosphere, biosphere, and/or interactions between them. I welcome inquires from self-motivated students with one or more backgrounds in geography, atmospheric science, environmental science, ecology, engineering, physics, mathematics, and other related disciplines.

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Carl Mitchell
Associate Professor
Seeking: MSc and PhD applicants
Keywords: Forest Hydrology; Biogeochemistry; Mercury and methylmercury
Professor Mitchell has funding to support graduate students at both the MSc and PhD levels who are interested in investigating mercury cycling and/or forest hydrology. One position needs to be filled by a student interested in examining new applications for a recently developed passive air sampling technology for mercury, such as assessing surface-air fluxes of gaseous mercury in different environments. Another position relates to a newly funded NSERC Strategic Project to investigate the impacts of forest harvesting on hydrology and mercury transport in northern Ontario. Both positions require motivated graduate students willing and excited to conduct field and laboratory based scientific research.

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Trevor Porter
Assistant Professor
Seeking: MSc and PhD applicants
Keywords: Paleoenvironments; Climate change; Stable isotope geochemistry
I am recruiting PhD and MSc students to join my group (UTM Paleolab) to carry out research projects on topics related to northern paleoenvironmental change. Past and current UTM Paleolab students have specialized in reconstructing past changes from natural proxies such as tree-rings, biomarkers (e.g., plant waxes), ice-rich permafrost, and geochemical signatures (e.g., Hg and stable isotopes) archived in these proxies. Most of this work is based in areas of N.W. Canada (Yukon and NWT) and Alaska. Please explore my website to learn more about recent projects and publications (https://utmpaleolab.wordpress.com/bio/). If this type of work interests you, please contact me to discuss potential projects. In your email, please include a brief statement of your research interests and your CV.

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Environmental Geography and Resource Management

Faculty Member Research Interests (click to expand)
Christian Abizaid
Associate Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Environment and development; Indigenous and peasant livelihoods and resource use in Latin America; Vulnerability and resilience
I am looking for students interested in working in one of my two ongoing research projects on rural livelihoods in the Peruvian Amazon. The first project examines how rainforest households respond to rapid environmental change. The second is a collaborative effort, known as the Peruvian Amazon Rural Livelihoods and Poverty (PARLAP) Project, which seeks to understand patterns of rural settlement in the Peruvian Amazon and the implications of location for rainforest conservation and poverty (for more details on PARLAP see: https://parlap.geog.mcgill.ca/). Possible areas of research include: social networks (e.g., religion, sports, kinship), livelihoods and resilience; floodplain dynamics and livelihoods; small Amazonian towns and their role in the regional economy; greater access to cheap motors and cell phones and their implications for labor, marketing and finance; floodplain agriculture and/or fisheries.  Inquiries from motivated students with a suitable academic background, an interest in field-based work, working knowledge of Spanish and prior research/travel experience in Latin America are strongly encouraged. Students will be expected to seek additional external funding opportunities. Individuals with a broader interest on cultural/political ecology, rural livelihoods and their prospects for conservation and development, poverty alleviation and adaptation to environmental change in Latin America should also feel free to contact me. Please include a brief research statement, cv, and transcripts.

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Tenley Conway
Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Urban vegetation, urban forests, urban socio-ecological dynamics
I am looking for one or more graduate students interested in Green Infrastructure from an urban environmental management, socio-ecological systems, and/or urban forests perspective to work on a SSHRC-funded project.  There are specific opportunities to survey urban residents about their knowledge, attitudes and actions related to specific green infrastructure features, as well as explore policy and programs related to green infrastructure in Canada.  This is part of a larger project looking to identify barriers to a green infrastructure approach and effective solutions.  Please see my website for more information.

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Thembela Kepe
Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: People-environment interactions; Land rights; Politics of development
I am a human geographer whose research interest is on people-environment interactions, land rights, food security and politics of development projects. Cross-cutting themes in my work include justice, struggles of the marginalized populations and the ways in which the state exercises its power. Most of my fieldwork experience is southern Africa. I am interested in inquiries from students who want to study issues related to the themes I described above.

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Nicole Latulippe
Assistant Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Indigenous resource and environmental governance; Indigenous knowledge systems, laws, policies, justice and treaties; Indigenous placemaking in the urban/built environment
I am interested in supervising students working in Indigenous resource and environmental governance; this could include Indigenous knowledge systems, laws, policies, justice, treaties, and so on. I also welcome inquiries from students with an interest in Indigenous placemaking in the urban/built environment (design, planning, architecture, art, heritage sites, etc.).

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Virginia Maclaren
Associate Professor
Seeking: MA applicants
Keywords: Waste management; Sustainability indicators; Environmental assessment
My research expertise lies in the social, economic, and policy aspects of waste management. Current projects include research on extended producer responsibility, the complexity of recycling, waste diversion in multi-residential buildings, and food waste.  I am happy to supervise graduate students on any of those topics or on waste management topics more broadly. Visit this professor’s full web profile for contact information.
Scott Prudham
Professor
Seeking: PhD applicants
Keywords: Political ecology; Political economy and environment; Industrial and alternative forestry
Applications are welcome from student seeking to work broadly in the areas of political economy and environment and/or in political ecology. Students specifically interested in topics dealing with conjoined dynamics of social differentiation and environmental change in agriculture or natural resource sectors are particularly encouraged to apply to work with me. Visit this professor’s full web profile for contact information.
John Robinson
Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: The intersection of climate change mitigation, adaptation and sustainability; The use of visualization, modeling, and citizen engagement to explore sustainable futures; Sustainable buildings and cities
I am looking for applicants who have background, or serious research interests, in one of the following areas:

  • Sustainable building performance evaluation and monitoring, and design of evaluation systems, including a focus on the behavioural interface: building/inhabitant hybrids;
  • The potential to create processes and activities that are net positive in biophysical and human terms at the building or urban scale;
  • Tools and processes for community engagement and the focus here is on using gaming and social/digital media to engage citizens in exploring sustainable futures;
  • The intersection of art and scenario analysis in interactive participatory processes
  • Transformative societal change at the urban scale, theoretical and applied dimensions
  • The role of the university as living lab and agent of change for sustainability

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Neera Singh
Associate Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Environmental conservation and development Community forestry, forest tenure and forest governance Environmental behavior and subjectivity
My research interests relate to: 1) Affective and Emotional relations between humans and more-than-humans; and 2) The Commons, Commoning, and Postcapitalist Alternatives. My academic scholarship derives from longstanding prior and ongoing activist engagement with community-based forest governance and environmental justice in India. I draw from Indigenous philosophies, more-than-human geographies and theories of affect and materiality to articulate a conceptual approach that I have termed Affective Ecologies, or an affect-attentive political ecology. I welcome inquires from prospective MA and PhD students who are interested in issues of environmental justice, the commons and post-capitalist alternatives.

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Urban/Economic Geography

Faculty Member Research Interests (click to expand)
Harald Bathelt
Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Economic geography; relational economic geography; clusters; innovation systems and knowledge creation
I welcome applications by economic geography students interested in topics surrounding knowledge creation over distance, dynamics of industrial clustering, foreign-direct investments or socioeconomic impacts of regional, industrial and institutional change. Information about my research can be found at http://www.harald-bathelt.com.

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Andre Sorensen
Professor
Seeking: PhD applicants
Keywords: Urban geography; Urban form; Planning history and theory
I am currently looking for excellent doctoral students who are interested in the application of historical institutionalism and comparative historical analysis to planning history and urban governance research.

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Jun Zhang
Associate Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Urban and regional economic development; Geographic theorizing of markets, states, and institutions; Geography of innovation and entrepreneurship
I’m looking for highly competent and motivated students interested in economic geography/political economy and an academic career.

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Health Geography

Faculty Member Research Interests (click to expand)
Matthew Adams
Assistant Professor
Seeking: PhD Applicants
Keywords: Geographic information systems/science; Exposure science; Urban pollution
Dr. Adams is accepting qualified MSc and PhD students with interests in the spatial analysis of air pollution exposure and environmental pollution modelling. Our focus is individuals’ exposure to air contaminants in the urban environment. Research outputs cross between the social and natural sciences, leveraging and advancing spatial analysis; while helping to understand social science problems, such as examining the relationship of human behaviour and the built environment on exposure. We are currently emphasizing children’s exposure and air pollution conditions at schools.  The ideal candidate will have a strong background in GIS, spatial analysis, and statistics. As well, experience with programing (R and Python) or a willingness to learn.

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Vincent Kuuire
Assistant Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Migration Transnationalism and integration; Environment and health
I am seeking interested graduate students who want to work in any of the following research areas: Immigrant health and well-being in Canada; Transnational engagements and immigrant integration in Canada; Health care access in sub-Saharan Africa (particularly older people’s access to health care); Connections between urbanization, economic transformation and non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. Potential students are encouraged to contact me to discuss their research interests.

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Michael Widener
Assistant Professor
Seeking: PhD applicants
Keywords: Access to healthy food and healthcare facilities Health and transportation geographies GIS, agent-based modelling, and spatial optimization
I’m recruiting geographers with interests in food-related behaviours, transportation and time geography. Experience with statistical methods, coding, and GIS are highly desirable.

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Sarah Wakefield
Associate Professor
Seeking: PhD applicants
Keywords: Mobilizing for community food security in Canada; Community development and neighbourhood change; Environmental justice/just sustainability
I would be pleased to speak with students who have an interest in food systems and/or neighbourhood redevelopment in Canada about their interests.  I am particularly interested in recruiting students of colour, Indigenous students, students who are the first in their family to pursue higher education, and other students who would bring diverse perspectives to the department and whose lived experiences align with those of the communities I work with in my research.

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Kathi Wilson
Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Indigenous health; Neighbourhoods and health Immigration
I am looking for students interested in issues related to immigration and settlement, access to health care services, Indigenous health and wellbeing, and older persons health.

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Transportation Geography

Faculty Member Research Interests (click to expand)
Ron Buliung
Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: 
Transportation geography; Interaction and feedback between transport, land use and environmental systems; Activity-travel analysis and modelling; Disability Studies
Ron Buliung is primarily interested in working with PhD or Masters students looking to conduct research located at the nexus of disability and transport/mobility studies. Professor Buliung is also interested in supervising research about the geographies and mobilities/transport practices of children and youth. Research questions of an intersectional nature are also of interests – i.e., those questions that bring together children/youth/disability/transport.

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Steven Farber
Assistant Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Transportation Geography; Public transportation; Spatial Analysis; Computation; GIS; Quantitative Social Science
I am recruiting MA and PhD students to join the Spatial Analysis of Urban Systems (SAUSy) Lab. Students with interests in quantitative methods and the interactions between transportation and socioeconomic systems are encouraged to apply.

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Paul Hess
Assistant Professor
Seeking: PhD applicants
Keywords: Pedestrian environments and design; Planning for active transport modes; Streets as public space
In conjunction with Professor Raktim Mitra (Ryerson University, raktim.mitra@ryerson.ca) I am recruiting a PhD student in Planning to join our research project “Urban cycling facilities and traveller behaviour change.” The appropriate student will make scholarly contributions to the research. More information on the research program can be found here: http://transformlab.ryerson.ca/2017/03/01/urban-cycling-facilities-and-traveller-behaviour-change/ There is potential for significant financial support beyond departmental funding packages.

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Historical/Social/Cultural Geography

Faculty Member Research Interests (click to expand)
Mike Ekers
Assistant Professor
Seeking: PhD applicants
Keywords: Social and political theory and political economic approaches to understand: (1) the production of different environmental landscapes, and (2), the’ identities’ of the people that produce environmental spaces and their social positioning in the production process.
I am interested in how debates in political ecology, agrarian studies and social theory can help in understanding the making and contestation of different environmental landscapes. My research focuses on the political economy of alternative agriculture and labour, financial investments in land and forests and the work of Antonio Gramsci. I welcome inquiries from students interested in any of these areas, broadly conceived, and who are keen to blend substantive qualitative and ethnographic research with different theoretical debates.

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Matthew Farish
Associate Professor
Seeking: MA applicants
Keywords: Militarism, geopolitics, and geographical knowledge; The global Cold War; Environmental history
I welcome inquiries and applications from students interested in cultural and historical geography, particularly with respect to militarization, colonialism, and ‘modernization’, and with an emphasis on twentieth-century North America.

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Mark Hunter
Associate Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Education and class; Critical development studies; Ethnographic methods
I welcome applications from students working in the areas of addiction, education, health, gender, race and development. My own work uses historical-ethnographical methods to explore the political economy of everyday life. My central concern is with how intimate politics—acts embedded in sexuality, friendship, families, and other bonds—are shaped by and shaping social and spatial inequalities. I have worked on HIV/AIDS, sexuality, and education, and am beginning a new SSHRC-funded project on heroin addiction. For more information please see the following link. http://www.markwhunter.net/prospective-students

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Katharine Rankin
Professor
Seeking: MA and PhD applicants
Keywords: Politics of planning and development; Feminist and critical theory Culture-economy articulations
I am seeking motivated students interested in applying to the MA or Ph.D. programs in Geography or Planning to work with me on a research project on post-revolution state-building in Nepal. This research involves community-based collaborations in different regions of Nepal, with a special focus on exploring road building and infrastructure development as contested terrains of local governance and as powerful modernist aspirations for democracy and improvement.

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Remote Sensing; Geographic Information Systems; Simulation Modelling

Faculty Member Research Interests (click to expand)
Jing Chen
Professor
Seeking: MSc and PhD applicants
Keywords: Remote sensing Geographical Information Systems Biogeochemical Cycle Modelling
I am looking for students interested in the areas of vegetation remote sensing and regional and global carbon and water cycle estimation using remote sensing inputs.

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Yuhong He
Associate Professor
Seeking: MSc and PhD applicants
Keywords: Remote sensing Advanced spatial analysis Invasive and endangered species detection and mapping
Fully-funded MSc and Ph.D. positions are available at the Remote Sensing and Spatial Ecosystem Modeling laboratory (the RSSEM Lab; http://sites.utm.utoronto.ca/yuhong/). The candidates will develop new techniques for quantifying vegetation stress using the latest remote sensing technology. Some of the data will be collected using unmanned aerial vehicles or helicopters carrying hyperspectral sensors, multispectral sensors, as well as thermal sensors. Qualifications: 1) sincere interest in remote sensing and vegetation ecology; 2) strong quantitative skills; 3) remote sensing skills, or the ability to learn them quickly; and 4) excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Applicants should send a letter of enquiry and curriculum vitae to Prof. Yuhong He (yuhong.he@utoronto.ca).

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