The University of Toronto graduate program is present on three campuses: the St. George Campus in downtown Toronto, the Mississauga Campus and the Scarborough Campus.
Our graduate faculty explore the processes that shape and define our physical and social environments. A key strength of the department is that it spans traditional lines of social and environmental sciences, while developing and utilizing advanced geospatial approaches to characterize patterns over time and space.
Our department comprises more than 60 faculty members and offers our masters and doctoral students an extraordinary breadth of expertise and resources to tackle exciting and challenging interdisciplinary research across a very wide range of areas in both the social and natural sciences. Our research clusters include: Cities and Everyday Life; Climate Processes and Carbon Cycle Modelling; Earth-Surface Processes and Hydrology; Nature, Society and Environmental Change; Paleoclimate and Biogeography; Political Ecology; Political Spaces; and Transportation.
The department offers MA, MSc and PhD programs. Students can choose to complete a thesis or a major research paper. PhD degrees require the completion of course work, a PhD comprehensive exam, a research proposal and a final dissertation. The department provides a base financial support package for all PhD students (years one to four) and all students in a Geography Master’s program (for one year).
Our graduates have an impressive record of professional success, accepting positions as university faculty members, researchers in government and non-profit organizations, and knowledge workers more generally in both the public and private sectors.
List of Supervisors & Projects
|Abizaid, Christian||I am looking for students interested in joining my research program on rural livelihoods, poverty and environment in the Peruvian Amazon. This program seeks to understand how rural peoples make a living within the context of environmental and socioeconomic change, and to explain the spatial and social distribution of poverty. Possible themes include: river dynamics and livelihoods; greater access to affordable motors and cell phones and their implications for labor, marketing and finance; covid-19; social networks (e.g., religion, sports, kinship), livelihoods and resilience; small Amazonian towns and their role in the regional economy; floodplain agriculture and/or fisheries. Inquiries from motivated students with a suitable academic background, an interest in field-based work, Spanish proficiency and prior research/travel experience in Latin America are strongly encouraged, as are students with experience with field experiments or social networks. Students will be expected to seek additional external funding opportunities. Individuals with a broader interest on cultural/political ecology, rural livelihoods in Latin America should also feel free to contact me. Please include a brief research statement, cv, and transcripts. For more details see the Peruvian Amazon Rural Livelihoods (PARLAP) site at: https://parlap.geog.mcgill.ca/||MA||PhD|
|Adams, Matthew||Dr. Adams is accepting motivated MSc and PhD students with interests in urban pollution and exposure. Students have the opportunity to include field work, analytical laboratory work, and computation in their research.||MSc||PhD|
|Allahwala, Ahmed||I am nterested in supervising MA students with research interests in (urban) social policy, participatory research, community geography, children & youth geographies.||MA|
|Bathelt, Harald||I welcome students that are interested to work in areas related to economic geography, such as the following: I. Interregional Inequality and Regional Development: Quickly increasing inequality causes concern and drives populism. This research hypothesizes that regional development depends on the ability to mobilize resources and networks across different spatial scales. II. Knowledge Generation over Distance: This research is based on the assumption that the competitiveness of firms depends on their ability to engage in creating and circulating knowledge both within and beyond their regional environment. III. Cluster Evolution and Institutional Change: This research is interested in (i) processes of how clusters emerge, (ii) the consequences of institutional change for cluster dynamics, (iii) the impact of cross-cluster networks.||MA||PhD|
|Besco, Laurel||I am currently recruiting students to work on projects looking at innovative law and policy solutions with a focus on aviation or energy efficiency actions in businesses.||MA||PhD|
|Brown, Laura||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.||MSc||PhD|
|Buckley, Michelle||I am interested in supervising students who wish to study topics relating to work, employment and labour in contemporary economies. I am particularly interested in supervising students exploring emerging forms of work and employment, questions of labour associated with the built environment of cities, or labour migration relating to India.||PhD|
|Chen, Jing||I am looking for graduate students (MSc and PhD) to participate in projects: “Remote Sensing of Vegetation Photosynthetic Capacity and Its Application to Global Carbon and Water Cycle Estimation” funded by NSERC and “Global water futures: solution to water threats in an era of global change” funded by Canadian First Research Excellence Fund. Students will have opportunities to conduct field measurements at tower flux sites near Borden and Turkey Lake, to further develop remote sensing algorithms for leaf traits retrieval at regional and global scales, and to carry out carbon and water cycle modeling using remote sensing inputs.||MSc||PhD|
|Daigle, Michelle||I am currently accepting students who work on various topics related to Indigenous and anti-colonial geographies. Please contact me directly if you would like to discuss the possibility of working with me.||MA||PhD|
|Desloges, Joseph||Student interested research on fluvial landforms and processes in an urbanizing environment||MSc|
|DiFrancesco, Richard||I am interested in recruiting MA students with expertise/proficiency with GIS and who may be interested in working in the area of Global Production Networks as they relate to changing regional economic structure and outcomes in North America, China or Europe. Students also interested in working with World Input-Output Data and Models would be particularly welcome.||MA|
|Dorries, Heather||I am interested in working with students who have interests related to: Indigenous worldviews and environments with a focus on North America; settler colonialism and planning; urban floodwater infrastructure.||MA|
|Duval, Tim||The Stream and Wetland Ecohydrology Research Group is looking for bright, motivated, hard-working students at both MSc and PhD levels to start research projects on urban and urbanizing stream corridor ecosystems. Projects include in-stream biogeochemical cycling and metabolism, groundwater-surface water exchange, stream-riparian-hillslope hydrological interactions, riparian zone nutrient and carbon cycling, and the influences of severe weather events on all of the above. Applicants for these projects should enjoy working outdoors in all weather and/or be comfortable working in a chemical lab setting. There are possible projects for applicants preferring workstation-based data analysis. Additional funding can be provided.||MSc||PhD|
|Ekers, Michael||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 current research focuses on the financialization of private forest lands in British Columbia and ongoing Indigenous and settler opposition. I welcome inquiries from students interested in any of the areas noted above and that are keen to blend substantive qualitative and ethnographic research with different theoretical debates.||MA||PhD|
|Farber, Steven||Professor Farber is seeking MA and PhD students with interests in transportation geography and planning, social justice, accessibility, GIS and spatial analysis.||MA||PhD|
|Farish, Matthew||I am keen to work with an MA student pursuing an archive- or library-based historical project around one or more of the following subjects: critical military geographies; the US Cold War; and urban cultural geographies. My own research is North America-focused, but this is not a requirement.||MA|
|Goffe, Rachel||I am a geographer and a licensed architect. My work is concerned with place-making, livelihood and the state regulation of space. I look at how formal and informal relationships to land and livelihood are defined through conflict. My research is sited in Jamaica where I am from originally and focuses on the encounter between recent policy to curtail squatting and traditions of Black life that emerged through durable yet insecure possession of small parcels of land. I am interested in working with students working on any of the following questions: as land tenure, displacement/dispossession, informal settlements, Caribbean studies, Black geographies, feminist political economy.||MA|
|He, Yuhong||Fully-funded MSc and Ph.D. positions are available at my Remote Sensing and Spatial Ecosystem Modeling laboratory (the RSSEM Lab). 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. I look for students with the following 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 me a letter of inquiry and curriculum vitae.||MSc||PhD|
|Higgins, Christopher||I am currently looking for graduate students interested in modelling the urban volumetrics of 21st-century cities, 3D/4D econometric analyses of land values and urban context, and travel behaviour and accessibility in topographically-rich urban environments. See my website at https://higgicd.github.io for more information.||MA||MSc||PhD|
|Hunter, Mark||I welcome applications from students working in the areas of education, health, gender, race, addiction, 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 written books on HIV/AIDS and education/race in South Africa, and now have a SSHRC-funded project on heroin addiction. For more information please visit my website www.markwhunter.net.||MA||PhD|
|Isaac, Marney||I welcome applications from graduate students with broad interests in environmental science, agroecology and environmental geography. Current projects include: 1) the role of agrobiodiversity on carbon and nitrogen cycles and agroecosystem function, 2) crop functional traits and plant strategies in low input agroecosystems, and 3) the formation and consequences of networks on agroecosystem management. Creative additions from candidates to this core research will also be supported and encouraged.||MA||MSc||PhD|
|Lehnherr, Igor||I am recruiting motivated students interested in physical geography, biogeochemistry and limnology at the MSc and PhD level. My research aims to understand how 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; ii) reconstructing long-term trends in atmospheric mercury using tree-rings, ice cores and sediment cores; iii) mercury and organic contaminant bioaccumulation in an estuarine foodweb in northern Labrador impacted by hydropower development; iv) quantifying ecosystem metabolism (primary production and respiration) in ice-covered lakes; and v) climate change impacts on lake and watershed biogeochemistry (carbon and nutrient cycling) in northern regions.||MSc||PhD|
|Liu, Jane||I welcome graduate students interested in studying environmental issues related to our atmosphere, biosphere, and/or interactions between them with advanced methods in remote sensing, model simulations, field experiments, and data analysis. I welcome highly self-motivated students with one or more backgrounds in geography, atmospheric science, environmental science, engineering, physics, mathematics, and other related disciplines. Please see my research interests on my website.||MSc||PhD|
|Maclaren, Virginia||I look forward to working with master’s students who have interests in waste studies or discard studies. The research can focus on any type of waste (e.g. household waste, food waste, e-waste, textile waste, plastic waste).||MA|
|Martin, Adam||Graduate student positions are available in the for research in the areas of forest- and/or agroecology. In the area of forest ecology, graduate research will be related to better understanding: i) how and why wood traits (e.g., wood density, wood chemical composition) differ among and within tree species, and ii) the role this variation plays in governing forest ecosystem functions including carbon (C) storage and cycling. In the area of agroecology, graduate research projects will be designed to evaluate: i) how leaf functional traits (e.g., photosynthesis, leaf chemistry) differ among and within crops; ii) the role this variation plays in governing agroecosystem functions such as soil C dynamics; and iii) the role this variation plays in governing crop responses to environmental change such as extreme temperature events.||MSc||PhD|
|Mitchell, Carl||The Mitchell Research Group has positions available for students interested in research at the interface of hydrology and contaminant biogeochemistry. If you are interested, please contact Professor Mitchell to discuss.||PhD|
|Mollett, Sharlene||I welcome excellent students who are interested in the politics of land and natural resource access in the Global South. It is expected that students will also bring an interest in feminist geography, international development, Indigenous and Afrodescendant rights and/or political ecology. Prospective students will be expected to assist with my own research projects: Residential Tourism in Panama, Land Registration and Land Conflict in Latin America, and the Politics of Biodiversity Conservation. Through these opportunities students will advance skills in a variety of qualitative research methodologies and methods (ethnography, oral histories, discourse analysis, digital archival inquiry), writing for publication and public scholarly engagement.||PhD|
|Narayanareddy, Rajyashree||Professor Reddy is currently recruiting one to two MA and PhD students interested in the following research topics: urban political ecology, environmental justice, abolition ecologies, infrastructure and development in Global South cities.||MA||PhD|
|Olive, Andrea||I am looking for students interested in biodiversity conservation, especially in Canada and the United States.||MA||PhD|
|Porter, Trevor||I am recruiting PhD and MSc students to carry out research on topics related to paleoenvironmental change. Past and current students in my group (UTM Paleolab) have specialised in reconstructing past changes from natural proxies preserved in tree-rings, biomarkers, ice-rich permafrost, and geochemical signatures. Most of this work is based in areas of N.W. Canada and Alaska. Please explore my website to learn more about recent projects and publications (https://utmpaleolab.wordpress.com). If this type of work interests you, please contact me to discuss potential projects and include a brief statement of your research interests and CV.||MSc||PhD|
|Robinson, John||The areas I am interested in are: Sustainable building design and operation – with 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 around sustainable futures; Methods and theories of transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge; Transformative sociotechnical and cultural change at the urban scale; History and philosophy of environmental thought; The role of the university as living lab and agent of change for sustainability||PhD|
|Ross, Timothy||I am recruiting students interested in researching how disability is experienced in relation to planned built environments, services, and systems, and/or how we can plan and design more accessible and inclusive communities. Preference is given to students interested in considering experiences of childhood disability relating to one of the following four topics: (1) access to education, (2) transportation and mobility, (3) inclusive play, and (4) addressing institutional ableism. Beyond these topics, I am happy to discuss working with students with interests in accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion.||MA|
|Sorensen, Andre||I am actively recruiting students with an interest in the application of new institutionalism to comparative planning and urban studies. In particular, a focus on the way institutions (defined as ‘the rules of the game’, or ‘shared norms and enforceable rules’) change, and are changed, and how they regulate processes of urban development.||PhD|
|Vinodrai, Tara||I am currently seeking graduate students (Masters or PhD) interested in the development and dynamics of change in urban economies. Students with specific interests related to the cultural economy of cities, manufacturing transitions, the changing nature of work and labour markets, and the geography of innovation are especially encouraged to apply. I support student using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods in their work.||MA||PhD|
|Widener, Michael||I am currently recruiting students interested in researching the links between the built environment and health, using quantitative or mixed methods. Preference is given to those working on food environments, time use, mental health, or older adults.||MA||PhD|
|Wilson, Kathleen||I am looking for students interesting in engaging in community-based research focused on migration and health, Indigenous health, access to health and social services.||MA||PhD|
|Zhang, Jun||I’m looking for graduate students with a serious intellectual interest, specifically in economic geography, geographic political economy, and/or China.||MA||PhD|
Method of Application
Applicants are expected to contact prospective supervisors at the time of application. Potential supervisor’s names must be listed within the application documents (in the applicant statement form). Please review the Application Tips for general advice on contacting faculty members.
Faculty members listed below are actively recruiting graduate students for the next year. 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.