Graduate Research Opportunities

I am always looking forward to speaking to motivated and passionate students interested in human-environment dynamics, just and sustainable transformations, grassroots innovations, urban-rural relations, social-ecological change, and the role of crises (e.g., climate change; covid-19; environmental degradation, economic crises) in driving those changes. In the FALL 2023, I am looking to recruit one or two master’s students (or exceptionally a PhD student) to work on these  topics. I have opening for a specific project (see below) but I am also open to discuss other project interests if they fit with my broader research interests.

  • Interested in doing social-ecological research integrating fieldwork abroad? Always wanted to discover other parts of the world? Interested in digging deeper to understand how crises such as Covid-19 change our world? I am looking for one or two master’s students to work on a SSHRC-funded project entitled “Life in the time of Covid: urban flight and the social-ecological transformations of rural Greece”. The students will complete a social-ecological research project on the implications of crisis-led counterurbanisation  (i.e., move out of the cities into rural areas) for rural island communities and ecosystems. The project includes fieldwork in Greece.

    A background in social sciences and/or integrative fields such as sustainability, resilience; familiarity with qualitative research methods (e.g., interviews and focus groups) and/or mixed-methods approaches (e.g., linking remote-sensing and GIS to interviews and stories); engagement in arts-science based-approaches; interest in working in a foreign country and to familiarize oneself with other cultures and ways of being; Interest in rural or urban-rural dynamics; knowledge of Greek; would all be considered assets. If you feel interested or passionate about those topics and do not have these experiences, please apply anyways, being motivated and curious are the main requirements.

    More specifically: 1) one of the positions will focus on arts/science integration using photo or video-voice elicitation methodologies to understand the island’s changes and people’s experiences and visions for the future. Experience and/or interest in video-creation; design; arts-based methodologies and fieldwork encouraged. 2) The other position will focus on documenting the islands’ transformations through qualitative or mixed methods approaches (for instance, integrating a land use change analysis with interviews). Experience and/or interest doing fieldwork and using GIS and remote sensing as well as interviews and focus groups encouraged.
  • If you are deeply interested in other topics linked to my research such as just and sustainable transformations; inequality; scaling up of small-scale (social) innovations, contact me.

 If admitted, students will receive funding following our department’s graduate financial support policy. Funds for fieldwork, conference attendance and other opportunities for professional development are also available and will be allocated based on the needs of the students’ and research projects.

Our department and I strive to foster collaborative and genuinely supportive spaces that value diversity and wellbeing in research and in our personal lives. I strongly encourage application from people that have been under-represented in higher education. This includes people from equity-deserving groups as well as people actively engaged in efforts towards more equitable, diverse, and inclusive communities (for e.g., through social movements and grassroot activism). I not only encourage these applications but also want to emphasize that these diverse visions would be an asset to our research group as they challenge and transform the nature and praxis of research, that is, what is researched and how to go about it.

Prospective applicants should contact me via email – - and forward an unofficial transcript and resume or CV, and a brief statement outlining their interests as they relate to the project.

I’m always happy to chat about research opportunities for students with interests in terrestrial hydrology and/or remote sensing. Positions are available for students at the PhD or MSc level. Several funded positions are typically available to students interested in the applied use of GIS and remote sensing for observation of soil moisture (both passive and active sensors), soil freeze thaw processes, and agricultural land management.  All projects provide excellent opportunities for combining field work, laboratory and computer analysis.  We have field sites in the arctic, within boreal forests, and in agricultural regions.  Students with backgrounds in Physical Geography or Geomatics, Physical Sciences, Engineering or Computer Sciences are encouraged to contact me to discuss available projects and funding opportunities.

Environmental Governance

I am always looking for outstanding graduate students with interests and expertise in environmental governance most generally. More narrowly, I can support MA and PhD students focused on any of: novel governance in Canada's mining sector; Indigenous communities, energy transitions, and carbon management; and agri-environmental stewardship, including carbon management, in highly productive landscapes. 

I am always excited to speak with enthusiastic scholars looking to pursue potential graduate (MSc) or senior undergraduate research opportunities. In particular, individuals driven by curiosity and a keen sense for understanding the processes that shape the world around us through a geoscience lens. Individuals interested in how fluvial geomorphology and ecohydrology intersect within the context of disturbed systems (e.g., land use land change, climate variability, pre & post disasters or extreme events) are encouraged to get in touch via email if you have any questions or would like to discuss the topics listed on the SPRG webpage.

I am not recruiting for Fall 2022.

My research is concerned with the remote sensing of ecosystem change across a variety of landscapes, including forests and aquatic ecosystems. I am recruiting up to three graduate students to start in the Fall 2023 semester to work on the following topics:

  1. Monitoring the dynamics of lakes and wetlands in the Canadian Arctic using Synthetic Aperture Radar (PhD or MSc)
  2. Mapping contemporary heathlands and disturbance histories in the Miawpukek Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area, Newfoundland (MSc with Dr. Faisal Moola)
  3. Remote sensing of insect defoliation in Ontario forests (MSc)

Applicants should have a background in GIS and/or Remote Sensing. Interested candidates are encouraged to send their updated CV, unofficial transcripts and a statement of interest mentioning one of the above projects to Dr. Ben DeVries (

Forest Ecology, Climate Change, Wildfire

Please contact me regarding potential graduate student opportunities ( (email address) ). I encourage applications from not only biogeographers, but also individuals with backgrounds in ecology, botany, climatology, forestry, statistics, or other related disciplines.

Political Ecology, Marine Conservation, Ocean Governance, and Island Futures

I welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students (MA or PhD) who share my research interests in marine conservation governance, “blue economy” policies and impacts, and/or the science-policy interface in the context of conservation and environmental governance, particularly in islands. Please contact me directly to discuss opportunities; inquiries should include a CV/resume and brief statement of your interests.

Feminist Methods for Social Media Research

I am seeking one Masters student for next fall. Seeking applicants with an interest in feminist theory, social media research and digital geographies. Students will receive financial support following the policy in the Department of Geography. Research expenses will also be covered. Student research will be part of a larger project co-managed by Dr. Elisabeth Militz aiming to:

  1. Investigate how differently positioned scholars experience and practice social media research
  2. Develop, collaboratively refine and disseminate a framework for feminist social media research methodologies.

Looking for students to begin fall 2023. Please contact for more information.

I am looking for undergraduate/graduate research assistants and post-doctoral fellows to join my team. We are launching a research program to develop an Indigenous value-based environmental health risk assessment approach and I am interested in students who want to or have worked with Indigenous communities. I am happy to chat with you about your research interests if you have strong skills in Indigenous methods, statistics, ArcGIS StoryMaps, or qualitative methods, and strong software skills. The communities I am working with right now are in southern Ontario and northern Alberta. Please feel free to contact me to discuss available projects and funding opportunities.

I am a member of the Indigenous Mentorship Network of Ontario ( and the Wabanaki-Labrador Indigenous Health Research Network (

GIS, Geomorphometry, LiDAR Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis, Hydrology

Prof. John Lindsay is looking for 1-2 new Masters students to join the Geomorphometry and Hydrogeomatics Research Group (GHRG) in Fall 2020. These fully-funded students will take on a research project related to the broad range of geomorphometry (digital terrain analysis), spatial hydrology, and LiDAR remote sensing topics actively studied within the GHRG. Specifically, Prof. Lindsay is looking for students to work on projects related to improving information extracted from the newly acquired Ontario LiDAR topographic data sets. Application areas include predictive soils mapping, soil organic carbon, and the study of accessibility in urban areas. Like all graduate members of the GHRG, the incoming students will be involved in the application and development of novel techniques for handling these data in spatial hydrological applications. GHRG students are provided advanced training in GIS and geomatics more broadly and have opportunity to gain experience with terrain mapping equipment, LiDAR data, and spatial analysis software (GIS and remote sensing). Interested applicants are encouraged to email Prof. Lindsay ( with a statement of interest and experience and an unofficial transcript.

Faisal welcomes students who are interested in pursuing graduate opportunities in his People, Plants and Policy lab to contact him by email ( The 3P lab presents interdisciplinary opportunities for students to pursue Masters and PhD degrees focused on conservation policy and practice, forest management, plant ecology (at the species and community level) and ethnobotany in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. Faisal is particularly interested in students with strong academic backgrounds, who are comfortable with field work and are interested in scholarly collaboration and writing.

I am recruiting a Master's of Arts student with interests in agri-environmental stewardship, geospatial technology, and science-policy interfaces, to start in Fall 2023. The MA student will complete a social science research project on best practices for agri-environmental data management and use, conducting focus groups with and surveying stakeholders including farmers, farmer organizations, Indigenous communities, conservation authorities, conservation NGOs, and governments. The thesis research will support colleagues who are developing a WebGIS platform to enable stakeholders to identify agri-environmental hot spots at a field scale in the Lake Erie Basin and prioritize investments in conservation actions (see Liu et al. 2018). The research is funded by the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph via the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

The MA student will gain research skills related to focus group and Q survey methods (Nost et al. 2019). A key component of the research involves knowledge mobilization alongside collaborators - an opportunity for the student to enhance their project management and public communication skills.

I am also looking to recruit a Master of Arts student to research the design of government datasets in Canada and/or the US (e.g. the National Pollutant Release Inventory or the Enforcement and Compliance History Online datasets) and to experiment in alternative uses of them. This research could inform ongoing policy discussions such as those around Canada's Bill C-230 and the US's Justice40 initiative, both of which seek to develop data infrastructures for advancing environmental justice. The student would have the opportunity to collaborate with EDGI members on this project.

The Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics at Guelph and I aim to foster welcoming and collaborative spaces that value diversity and wellness. I encourage applications from all qualified individuals, including from justice-seeking groups and those underrepresented in higher education. Prospective applicants should contact me via email - - and forward an unofficial transcript, resume or CV, and a brief statement outlining their interests as they relate to the project.

Food Waste and Food Insecurity

For the Fall of 2023, I am potentially recruiting one MA student to work on food waste and food rescue in Canada, in partnership with diverse stakeholders across the country. Please contact me if you have academic, work, or volunteer experience on topics of food waste or food insecurity in Canada.

Conservation through Reconciliation

As PI of the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership, I am interested in speaking with exceptional prospective MA or PhD students interested in advancing Indigenous conservation governance in Canada. I am particularly interested in speaking with students who can work at the community level to help advance the conceptualization and practice of decolonized conservation or those who want to engage with advancing reconciliation within existing protected areas. Visit the website to see what the partnership has been up to and whether your interests are a good fit.

Dr. Jennifer Silver studies political ecology, ocean governance and fisheries management, and the ways in which digital technology and social media are proposed as solutions to environmental change. She currently has funding for graduate research in the following areas: 

  • Digital technology and environmental change (e.g., why and how are new types of satellite and surveillance equipment being taken up in monitoring and enforcement? what are the implications of social media for environmental politics and debate?)
  • Access and equity in commercial fisheries (e.g., how can we measure and evaluate access in commercial fisheries? how can commercial fisheries management frameworks and decision-making processes be transformed to meaningfully address reconciliation and achieve more equitable outcomes among all types of fish harvesters?)

Jennifer welcomes inquiries from individuals interested in a MA or PhD; background in social science and/or environmental governance will be considered an asset. If admitted, students will receive funding following Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics graduate financial support policy. Funds for fieldwork and conference attendance are also available and will be allocated at a level appropriate for the graduate student research project and other professional development objectives.

Interested individuals are encouraged to reach out over email. In this message, please indicate as clearly as possible how your background, training and research interests overlap with Jennifer's and which research area(s) listed above you would like to know more about.

GIS and Watershed Management

I am recruiting one Ph.D. and/or one MSc student to join my research program on examining cost effectiveness of agricultural conservation programs ( My research team members, comprising postdoctoral fellows, graduate, and undergraduate research assistants, have versatile expertise in watershed hydrologic modeling, integrated GIS, hydrologic and economic modeling, watershed evaluation of beneficial management practices (BMPs), and desktop GIS and WebGIS based interface tool development. I welcome students from all related disciplines such as geography, hydrology, soil science, ecology, economics, and forestry. Students will have flexibility in choosing a range of research topics related to GIS-based watershed hydrologic and integrated economic-hydrologic modelling and GIS interface development. Sample projects may include watershed modelling to identify critical source areas on agricultural landscapes for water quality protection, and to examine economic and environmental trade-offs of conservation practices in agricultural watersheds.

Students will receive well rounded training in GIS, watershed modelling, economic analysis, and policy evaluation related to various aspects of agricultural conservation programs. Previous graduate students have gained employment in government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and consulting firms. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr. Wanhong Yang ( to discuss further.