"Anderson’s research can now be used to improve decision-making procedures for urban and natural resources management strategies in Canada."

Dr. Suzana Dragicevic

Dr. Taylor Anderson receives Governor General's Gold Medal

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Environment, Dr. Taylor Anderson is being recognized with the Governor General's Gold Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Anderson as well as all Convocation Medal recipients on their outstanding achievements.

June 08, 2020

Beginning with her Masters of Science, Dr. Taylor Anderson’s research focused on developing a suite of geosimulation models to represent the dynamics and complex spatio-temporal propagation behaviour of the emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation. The EAB is an invasive wood-boring, green-coloured beetle and a silent killer of millions of ash trees in urban areas and surrounding forests in Canada and the United States.

Dr. Anderson’s doctoral dissertation, Towards the Integration of Complex Systems Theory, Geographic Information Science, and Network Science for Modelling Geospatial Phenomena, advances the field of geographic information science by developing and implementing novel spatial modelling approaches. These approaches are used to represent natural and human systems, ranging from forest insect infestation to the spread of infectious diseases and are useful tools for forecasting and scenario-testing when making decisions affecting our communities.

Dr. Anderson further describes her current research interests. “I am interested in exploring how models and data can be used to 1) provide theoretical insight and knowledge discovery of urban patterns and processes, 2) to help provide decision-making support by evaluating the potential consequences of policy changes, and 3) to identify, plan for, and implement technical, social and policy mechanisms that can foster healthy cities and urban environments.”

Dr. Anderson’s PhD supervisor, Dr. Suzana Dragicevic believes that “Anderson’s research can now be used to improve decision-making procedures for urban and natural resources management strategies in Canada to prevent propagation of forest infestation or human diseases.”

During her time at SFU, Dr. Anderson encouraged undergrad students to discover the scientific process and to participate and present their GIS-based course projects at local conferences. Additionally, Dr. Anderson participated in the SFU Geography Graduate Student Association and other various departmental committees during her time at SFU.

Says Anderson, “It’s an honor to have been awarded the Governor General Gold Medal. It is an achievement made only possible by the support of my supervisor, Dr. Suzana Dragicevic, my supervisory committee, and of course the Department of Geography.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Taylor Anderson accepted a tenure-track Assistant Professor Faculty position in the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science at George Mason University in Virginia, USA where she continues to challenge the field of GIS, geocomputation and spatio-temporal modelling for a range of applications.

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Written by Candice Chic