Research Themes

Climate Change

Critical Geographies of Race & Indigeneity

Our research centers on structural critiques of capitalism, colonialism, and their relations across scale. With broad interest in the relationships between people- and place-making, we employ critical spatial and social analytics to understand how and why race and indigeneity have been systematically produced throughout history, and how this manifest in power inequities congealed in place. Our work also places emphasis on liberatory struggles for land and livingness, and how minoritized peoples resist unjust systems and create alternate futures in organized and everyday ways. 

Environmental Change

We seek to understand the drivers and effects of natural and anthropogenic changes to Earth's systems. Our research includes studies of global climate change, glacier melt, and rising sea levels; landscape water flows; soil degradation; land cover change; land use change, biodiversity loss, extinction, and defaunation; environmental justice; terrestrial ecosystem conservation and disturbance regimes; and process-based modeling of such Earth system changes. Understanding the nature of these environmental changes, in combination with political, social and economic drivers and responses, is critical to inform policy and organizing at multiple scales.

(Illustration: Kathleen Fu)

Feminist Geographies

We focus on interlocking productions of space, power, and human difference through the privileged lenses of sex, sexuality, and gender. With particular attention to dynamics of capitalist and colonial domination across scales, our research interrogates contending logics and practices of social reproduction in grounded contexts of struggle. We prioritize queer and feminized knowledge traditions and community development methodologies in our investigations of social and ecological crises and transformation. Lastly, we draw from Black, Indigenous, diasporic and Third World queer and feminist genealogies to bring an attention to the intimate and everyday in our analyses, and how politics are enacted at these scales as well. 

Geographical Information Sciences

We seek to understand social and technological influences on the development of technologies and data structuring techniques. A key aspect of our work is the quest for optimal ways to identify, visualize and communicate spatial relationships on the Earth’s surface. We use visualization, spatial cognition, modeling, and science and technology studies to further Spatial Information Theory.



Geographical Political Economies

We seek to understand the inter-relation of economies and politics. We trace how these processes, practices, and institutions shape and are shaped by local and global transformations and by natural and social environments. Specifically, we research the globalized delivery of health services and systems, tourism and resource communities, labour, the geographies of law and property, capitalism and the state, extraction and extractivism, racial capitalism, and social reproduction.

Affiliated Faculty


Innovation in Geography Teaching

We apply a critical and reflective lens to our teaching to advance innovative geography pedagogy. We research and apply teaching strategies that promote deeper student engagement, connections, and learning. Grounded in evidence-based best practices, we develop active learning and teaching with field-based, land-based, and spatial data approaches. We seek to create and foster equitable and accessible learning spaces.

Spatial Health

We seek to understand epidemiology, population health and health services through the lens of geographical thinking and spatial representation. We aim to identify patterns of disease, optimize access to health services, uncover local and global health inequities and detect environmental influences on health status. We integrate human and physical geography and GIScience to enhance existing understandings of health and health care.


The City

We seek to understand the ways that cities concentrate human populations, economic production, cultural creation and environmental impact; we study their global economic influence and ecological footprints.  Specifically, we conduct research that brings spatial, political, social, cultural, economic, and environmental analyses to bear on urban politics, planning, policy, development, transportation, consumption, health services, property and the law.    



Water in the Earth System

We seek to create a holistic understanding of water in the Earth system, an essential step in conserving and protecting water resources. We study the cycling and routing of water through the Earth system, as well as how people use water and the effects this has on both its supply and the functioning of water-dependent ecosystems.  Examples of research include the link between global climate and the hydrological cycle, transport of water and nutrients to the Arctic Ocean from the Mackenzie River basin, effect of changes in energy-moisture balance on vegetation-fire dynamics, quantifying spatial distributions of subsurface moisture, glacial melt-water controls on landforms and drainage systems, understanding the impact of drought on water delivery to plants and streams, and the limnology of Arctic delta lakes.

Affiliated Faculty