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 (research statement form).

The faculty members listed below are just a few of the prospective supervisors who are actively recruiting new graduate students. To find out about the research interests of other faculty members, please review our full faculty listing.

Human Geography

Harald Bathelt
I highly welcome students interested in the economic geography of the knowledge economy, the creation and maintenance of networks over distance, and the role of temporary proximity in industrial relations and economic development.

Laurel Besco
I welcome inquiries and applications from students interested in corporate sustainability, climate change law and policy, or sustainable tourism. Currently, I am undertaking SSHRC funded research on corporate environmental norms and their connection to law and policy tools and am looking for students interested in engaging with this topic.

Alana Boland
I welcome inquiries from students interested in environment and development, especially those wishing to focus on China. In terms of approach, my research on the environment spans the boundaries of political ecology, urban and political geography, and critical development studies.

Ron Buliung
Professor Buliung is actively seeking Masters level students with an interest in working in the following areas: critical disability studies, child and youth geographies, transportation geography. Prior to contacting Professor Buliung, make sure that your research interests are aligned with the aforementioned list of topics.

Amrita Daniere
I am able to welcome students interested in working on urban climate change resilience in Southeast Asian cities. The UCRSEA project is focused on applied research based in secondary cities of Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Mike Ekers
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, infrastructural responses to crises 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.

Alexandra Flynn
I will be considering applicants for graduate study at the Masters or PhD level. The areas I am interested in are: the design, operation and jurisdictions of local governments, including municipalities, agencies, boards, commissions and First Nations, focusing in particular on the following:
– How legislation affects the capacity of local governments to affect change, especially in the areas of housing, homelessness and community planning
– The overlap and interplay of governance bodies, and the corresponding implications for effective decision-making
– Tools and processes for political participation and civic engagement, focusing on how such tools and processes affect local government decision-making
– The relationships between municipalities and First Nations on matters of overlapping concern, especially planning
– Land management systems, including trusts and common property regimes (including comparative work)
I will be looking for applicants who have background or research interests in these topic areas. I especially welcome those who have had a combination of professional and academic experience. Please feel free to send me any thoughts you have about your work and interests.

Kanishka Goonewardena
I am open to supervising students with a strong interest in critical theory and intellectual history concerning such topics as capitalism, colonialism, imperialism and urbanism; or thinkers such as Henri Lefebvre, Walter Benjamin, Antonio Gramsci, Louis Althusser, Frantz Fanon, C. L. R. James and Samir Amin. My areas of expertise include architecture, urban studies and critical theory–especially the Marxist and anti-colonial traditions in relation to state, capital and everyday life–and my current work is generally located somewhere around the intersection of capitalism, colonialism and the production of space.

Ryan Isakson
Broadly, my research focuses upon the political economy of agrarian development, primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean. I am currently working on three overlapping projects and welcome inquiries from students with similar interests. My primary project focuses upon the ‘financialization of food and agriculture’. I am particularly interested in the interplay between the recent promotion of derivatives (including conventional commodity futures or new-fangled weather derivatives that have been bundled as ‘index-based agricultural insurance’) and the vulnerability of peasant producers to environmental and economic stresses. Another project focuses upon the cultivation of agricultural biodiversity and its role in peasant livelihoods, risk management, and food sovereignty. Finally, I am conducting preliminary work on agro-fuels/flex crops development in Latin America and its impact upon the livelihoods and food provisioning of rural households.

Nicole Klenk
I am recruiting graduate students interested in the geopolitics of local knowledge mobilization for climate change adaptation decision-making and its implications for the governance of global environmental research.

Virginia Maclaren
Most of my research on waste management in the past few years has been in Southeast Asia, but I am now working on three research projects in Canada: NIMBYism and landfills, extended producer responsibility and Waste-to-Energy (WTE), conflicts and technologies. I am also willing to supervise Master’s students in other areas, including general waste-related topics (such as food waste), environmental assessment and sustainability indicators.

John Miron
I am looking for students with a background in economics or political theory and interested in how purposeful behavior shapes the organization of the urban economy.

Sharlene Mollett
I am currently recruiting MA and PhD students interested in assisting me with my SSHRC funded project, Gender and the Making of Residential Tourism Space in Panama. This project combines ethnographic and historical data collection to trace the ways gender and race, understood through the concept of “postcolonial intersectionality”, are infused in socio-environmental change on the Panamanian Atlantic Coast. While students are not required to conduct work in Panama and are free to design their own projects, those students who share a working knowledge of Spanish, possess research/travel experience in Latin America, and have demonstrated research interests in critical race feminism, Latin American decolonial studies, indigenous/Afro-descendant feminisms, critical development studies, feminist political ecology and/or human rights are most welcome to apply. Feel free to contact me directly: sharlene.mollett@utoronto.ca.

Andrea Olive
I am looking for students interested in the political ecology of the Bakken Formation.

John Robinson
I will be considering applicants for graduate study at the Masters or PhD level at the University of Toronto in Geography or, possibly, Civil Engineering. The areas I am interested in are:
Sustainable building performance evaluation – 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, neighbourhood, or urban scale
• Tools and processes for community engagement – 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
• The role of the university as living lab and agent of change for sustainability
I will be looking for applicants who have background, or serious research interests, in at least one of these topic areas. If you do, feel free to send me any thoughts you have about what work you might be interested in doing in one or more of them.

Susan Ruddick
My students have worked on everything from the sanctuary movement and its implications for Agambens ‘states of exception’ to the geographies of the circus and new ways of thinking mind/body, affect/reason. My current Phds projects include an exploration of environmental impacts of mine waste on First Nations from a decolonial perspective and the ways representations of “urban” and “nature” shape racialized discourses and contribute to exclusion in cities.

I work from many perspectives within ‘shouting distance of Marxism’ (Foucault, Agamben, Lefebvre, Deleuze, Macherey but also Leanne Simpson, Fred Moten and others) and and my own research currently focuses on shifting conceptualizations of socio-nature, grounded in a study of the evolving assemblage of organizations managing human-wildlife relations in the Greater Toronto Region. I write more broadly in Geography and Philosophy on reconceptualizations of nature, planetary urbanization, and reimagining the western subject. My publications can be found at https://utoronto.academia.edu/SusanRuddick

Andre Sorensen
I am recruiting students who are interested in studying the production of urban space from an institutional perspective, particularly the regulation of land development and investment in urban property from a historical institutionalist perspective.

Michael Widener
I am currently recruiting graduate students at the PhD and Masters level who would like to conduct research on topics related to health and transportation geography using quantitative and GIS methodologies. If interested, please send me an email with your CV.

 

Physical Geography

Laura Brown
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 with additional research locations planned for Churchill MB. Potential projects could involve field work and/or remote sensing and/or numerical modelling.

Tim Duval
Prof Duval seeks motivated students with experience in field work to study wetland biogeochemistry and ecohydrology.

Sarah Finkelstein
I am always interested in hearing from self-motivated, enthusiastic students with a strong academic record in Earth/Environmental Sciences, Physical Geography, Ecology or Biogeography about potential graduate projects. The research in my lab focuses on paleoecology and paleoclimatology, with current emphases on the dynamics northern and temperate zone wetlands over the Holocene and Pleistocene Epochs, and in the Anthropocene. Possible research topics include (i) impacts of wetland degradation vs conservation in Southern Ontario, (ii) reconstructing paleoecology and paleohydrology of peatlands in the Hudson Bay Lowlands using biological and molecular proxies, (iii) constraining the role of peat-forming wetlands in global carbon cycling during the Holocene and Pleistocene Epochs.

Danny Harvey
Students with a quantitative and science background with an interest in the integration of spatially distributed wind and solar energy resources with energy storage and energy demand management, or in the quantitative analysis of energy efficiency measures in specific end use sectors, or in the balance of energy supply and demand in specific regions under scenarios of stringent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, are sought.

Yuhong He
I am looking for MSc and PhD candidates to develop new techniques for monitoring grasslands or trees using the latest remote sensing technology. In particular, the candidates will use mutislectral and hyperspectral imagery and field/lab work to map vegetation biophysical and biochemical information such as LAI, chlorophyll, species composition, tree health etc. Some of the data will be collected using unmanned aerial vehicles or helicopters carrying hyperspectral sensors, multispectral sensors, as well as LIDAR. The candidate will have the opportunity to work at the Koffler Scientific Reserve and Haliburton Forest .
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.

Marney Isaac
I welcome applications from graduate students with broad interests in environmental science, agroecology and environmental geography. My research focuses on the biogeochemistry and ecophysiology of multi-functional agricultural landscapes in both temperate and tropical environments. Current projects include the study of i) biophysical interactions in agroforestry systems, ii) soil fertility, nutrient cycling and plant functional traits in biological complex systems, and more broadly ii) the relationship between agroecosystems and ecosystem services. I also supervise a research program on the human dimension of agroecosystem management, with particular attention on formation and consequences of agricultural networks.

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

Jane Liu
I welcome graduate students interested in environmental issues related to our atmosphere, biosphere, and/or interactions between them. My research focuses on understanding processes associated with environmental problems and underlying mechanisms controlling these processes, with integrated analysis of data from various platforms using state-of-the-art techniques in Remote Sensing (RS) and the Geographic Information System (GIS). I also use advanced atmospheric and ecological models to mimic these processes and to diagnose their interactions.

Tat Smith
We are seeking a PhD student to work on a multidisciplinary project investigating the long-term carbon and nutrient dynamics following clearcut harvesting a red spruce – balsam fir forest in northern Maine. This project has high relevance to sustainable forest management and renewable energy priorities in the modern forest sector for this region. The overall research project involves: quantifying trends in ecosystem carbon and nutrient pools 35 years after clear-cutting the balsam fir-red spruce forest at Weymouth Point paired-watershed study area; comparing 35-year ecosystem carbon pool dynamics with carbon dynamics predicted by an IPCC-relevant forest carbon budget model (e.g. CBM-CFS3); and informing development of criteria and indicators of sustainable forest management (SFM) in forest policy and certification systems adopted for balsam fir – red spruce forests in northern New England.
A BSc Hons. or MSc degree in Forestry, Soil Science, Physical Geography or a related natural resource field is required. A strong foundation in forest ecology, forest soils and biogeochemistry is preferred, and experience with quantitative modeling is highly desired. This position requires working independently and in a team setting with academic, forest industry and federal and state agency collaborators. Strong written and oral communication skills are essential. The project will involve field work at the remote Weymouth Point study area, laboratory analysis at collaborator facilities at the University of Maine, SUNY-ESF in Syracuse, NY and the University of Toronto, and computer modeling of carbon and nutrient dynamics and pools.