Bruna Maciel completed a Masters degree in Urban Studies in 2023. Her research is an analysis of how public agents negotiate changes in the framing of relevant policy issues at the municipal level. The case study is focused on the problematization of private rental properties in the Canadian municipality of New Westminster. Through the concept of 'problem properties', captured from semi-structured interviews, the thesis explores how municipal staff make sense of the legacy of older nuisance-based policies in the context of more recent narratives of inclusive city governanc

Claire Shapton completed an MA in Human Geography on 'supportive' housing in Abbotsford. She partnered with Abbotsford's Drug War Survivors

Frida Timan was a visiting urban studies PhD scholar and ethnographer in 2022. Frida is interested in everyday and mundane forms of policing, regulation, surveillance and control of urban public sidewalks. Her work focuses particularly on sites built explicitly for enjoyment, leisure and interaction, and how racialized and ablebodied belonging is regulated, policed, monitored and ultimately made in such spaces. The role of permits and licenses in this process is also of central concern in Frida’s work. Frida’s research draws on urban theory, critical race theory, scholarship on aesthetic rule, property, and nuisance law broadly defined.

Frida Timan is a PhD Candidate of Human Geography and Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (2019-2024). She has a background in Political Ecology, City Planning and Ethnic Studies.

Simon Goodspeed completed a Masters degree in Urban Studies, with a focus in the social regulation of space, practices of inclusion and exclusion, and the role they play in urban processes. His research was an analysis of how health care strategies in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside are both informed by and influence changing urban demographics and the constitution of neighbourhoods.

Noah Quastel was a Post Doctoral Fellow, working at the intersection of law, economy, and geography. While at SFU Geography he sought to understand the ways law is shaped by economic thought to enable, create and transform urban Canadian property markets. He is now a PDF in Health Sciences, working on radon risk, and law.


Marko Marskamp was a visiting PhD researcher from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) in 2017-18 investigating how land use planning knowledge is constructed and deployed in Amsterdam, Vancouver and Zurich. Drawing on insights from Science and Technology Studies (STS), he is interested in the role of planning instruments and other artefacts in the production of an order of uses, users and ownersin land use planning processes.


Josh Labove completed a PhD candidate in 2017, investigating the role that space and borders play in post-9/11 security-making. He is interested in the way contested claims to jurisdiction serve as means to challenge the bounds of law and citizenship.

Maria Persdotter is a PhD Candidate in Urban Studies and was a visiting student at SFU for the fall semester 2016. Her research explores the political response to the presence of homeless Eastern European Roma migrants in Malmö, Sweden, and ongoing attempts to control and regulate their use of urban space to secure shelter and livelihoods. 


Rebeca Salas completed a Master's degree in Human Geography in 2018, entitled 'Spatial narratives of property loss'.  She explored the way trauma and space interact.  Her goal was to bridge connections between property, memory, and identity, including why these connections matter in policy and in every day life. After completion of her MA, she moved to Richmond Museum as Public Programs Facilitator.

Craig Hatcher was a visiting post-doctoral fellow in 2015, researching property restitution in the post-conflict city, drawing specifically on the 2010 violent unrest in Osh, Kyrgyzstan.  Trained as a lawyer and a geographer, his broader research interests are concerned with urban rights and justice (and the ‘right to the city’ discourse), informality and illegality, urban planning, and property law.  He recently completed his PhD research on the relation between law and post-socialist urban transformation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, specifically focussing on the regulation of internal migration and the development of the urban periphery.     

Lisa Freeman was a post-doctoral fellow researching urban governance, liminal spaces and marginalization in the city and inner suburbs. She completed her PhD titled, “Making Room: The Geography of Rooming House Regulation in the Greater Toronto Area” at the University of Toronto. Building from her doctoral work, she is currently exploring the governance of the public library as a changing urban commons. She is now a faculty member in Criminology at Kwantlen

William Damon was a visiting Fulbright Scholar (2011-12) and then completed an MA in 2014. His research explores the legal geography of urban spaces in BC with a particular focus on the impact of changes to trepass laws, exclusion orders, and other regulatory strategies on homeless and street dependent people.

Sarah Hunt completed her Ph.D. in 2014. She used critical legal and Indigenous geographies to examine how systems of law and governance shape intergenerational violence in rural First Nations reserves. Sarah’s work drew on her experience as a community-based researcher and educator developing community capacity to address colonial violence, as well as her teachings as a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation. She currently holds a CRC at the University of Victoria

Jessica Place completed her Ph.D. in 2014. Her research drew on critical legal geography literature and postcolonial theory to examine current legal frameworks pertaining to property on reserve and Aboriginal title and rights. Her interest was in understanding the implications of particular legal frameworks (e.g., free entry law or matrimonial real property law) for social justice and human rights for First Nations people in Canada. She is now employed by Northern Health as Regional Manager, Chronic Disease Strategic Initiatives

Sean Robertson completed his PhD - entitled 'Postdevelopment properties in the age of exception: the political and affective lives of the traditional environmental knowledge of Plateau Peoples in British Columbia' - in 2011. He is now Assistant Professor in Native Studies at the University of Alberta.

Mario Berti completed his MA researching rights consciousness among panhandlers on Vancouver streets in 2009.

Micheal Vonn was an M.A. Candidate in Geography researching spatial privacy and policing (2008-2010). She is a lawyer who works in civil liberties and human rights issues.

Sikee Liu completed his M.Urb. in the Urban Studies department in 2009 . His research was on the mainstream media's portrayals of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES).

Damian Collins completed his PhD in 2004 ('The place of religion in public schools: a geographical analysis of US and Canadian case law' ) He is now Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Alberta.

Wendy Mendes completed her PhD in 2006. She is a social innovator and systems thinker specializing in the social and health dimensions of urban sustainability. Following her PhD, she completed a two year postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Toronto's Centre for Urban Health Initiatives. As a 'pracademic' (practitioner + academic), Wendy holds community engagement and experiential learning at the heart of her work. She grounds her research and teaching in the real world complexities of urban environments by drawing from over 14 years of experience as a practicing municipal social planner and policymaker on portfolios including healthy built environments, social sustainability, and inclusive communities, with particular expertise in sustainable food system planning in Canada and beyond. She is currently Adjunct Professor at the School of Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia, Manager of Community-Based Experiential Learning at the University of British Columbia's Centre for Community Engaged Learning, and Research Associate and Instructor with Ryerson University's Centre for Studies in Food Security

Aurian Haller completed his PhD in 2004 on the geographies of cultural activism. He is now living in Quebec City teaching music and creative writing, working on his third collection of poetry, and performing with his folk-rock quartet, the aurian haller band

Lorraine Gibson completed her MA in 2004. Her research was concerned with community mapping and boundary accuracy in Indonesian and Malaysian Borneo. Current research interests include examining the ‘participatory’ in Participatory GIS and the role of adult education and participatory methods in community based resource management. She is currently completing a Ph.D. at the University of Victoria

Akin Akinwumi completed his PhD - entitled 'The Will to Transform: Reconciliation, Nation-building and the Politics of Redress in South Africa" - in the Department of Geography at the Open University, UK in 2011. Akin is conducted post-doctoral work in 2011-2014 at SFU on reconciliation in Canada with a focus on the BC Treaty Process and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada process.

Brian Egan, PhD, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. Drawing from political ecology, postcolonial theory, and critical geography, his research focuses on historical and contemporary dimensions of Indigenous land struggles in British Columbia. Brian conducted post-doctoral work through the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University in 2010 where his research focused on questions of property in the BC treaty process. He is now Project Coordinator at SFU's IPiNCH Project.

Päivi Rannila is an Adjunct Professor of Urban Geography from the University of Turku (Finland). She was a visiting scholar at SFU in the summer of 2019. Her research concentrates on the legal geographies of public spaces, (alternative) housing, urban development and planning. She is also interested in the specificities of law/space relations in the Nordic countries. 

Trevor Wideman completed a PhD in Geography in 2020 investigating the links between urban planning and property. He is particularly interested in the ways that planning acts to mediate the contentious politics of real property in land, and how unconventional conceptions of land use might arise to reallocate power in the city.

Sanna Ojalammi is a researcher from the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute in Turku, Finland, and has an interest in the legal geographies of animal-human interactions (especially wolves). Her Ph.D. explored land use conflicts in Northern Tanzania. She was a visitor in 2014

Elisabeth Gräslund Berg, PhD, is Interested in landscape geography, legal geography,and historical geography, especially social relations and the material environment. She was a visiting scholar at SFU in 2008-9. Her current projects are "Gender perspectives on historical landscapes" and "Ownership and use for a sustainable landscape management: Individual and collective arrangements in land use and ownership"

Attila Csaba Kondor is a Hungarian geographer and lawyer. He completed his PhD-thesis as a Visiting Scholar at SFU in 2009-2010.

Rodrigo Meneses was a visiting research student at the department of geography of SFU in 2009, while a Ph.D. candidate in Law at the Institute of Legal Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (IIJ-UNAM) researching the relations between law, public space and street vendors in Mexico City. He is interested in the imbrications between regulation, poverty, constitutional rights and criminality with public space and, specifically, the streets. He is currently a Proffesor-Researcher at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (CIDE) in Mexico City. He is the author of Public legalities: Law, street vendors and the historical downtown in Mexico City (1930-2010) México: CIDE-UNAM

​​Siiri Pyykkönen was a visiting PhD scholar in Human Geography from the University of Turku, Finland in 2019. She is interested in the political processes and power relations that are forming urban landscapes. In her research, she is examining, how landscape is seen as a property in urban planning processes, why urban landscapes are what they are and how the rights to control and transform landscape are distributed. 

Patrick Forest was a visitor to SFU in 2005. He has a Ph.D. at from Institut québécois des hautes études internationales at Université Laval, was is a Fellow at the Dickey Center for International Understanding (2008-09) and Visiting Instructor at the Department of Geography at Dartmouth College where he teaches Global Water Resources (Winter 2009). His research relates to water and transboundary collaboration along the Canadian-American border. He has edited a book entitled Géographie du droit (Legal Geography, Presses de l’Université Laval, published in winter 2009).

Jeff Sommers completed his PhD on the social construction of Skid Row in 2001.

Adrienne Burk completed her PhD on social memory, memorials and public space in 2003.