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Graduate Program in Spatial Analysis

The faculty members who supervise and teach in the Master of Spatial Analysis cover a wide range of expertise in geography and related disciplines, as well as applications of geographic information systems (GIS) in business, retail, real-estate, economics, conservation, environment, resource management, planning, policy, public health, crime analysis, and immigration and settlement, to name but a few fields.  

Faculty members are from the program's academic home, the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, and from affiliated departments across campus. Feel free to contact individual professors from the following list through the Ryerson directory or ask the MSA program director to make an initial contact.

Program Faculty Members (Department of Geography)

David Atkinson, Assistant Professor
PhD Queen's University
Arctic biophysical systems, remote sensing, carbon flux, GIS and environmental analysis.

Douglas Banting, Professor
PhD University of Western Ontario
Geographic analysis in the workplace; environmental applications of GIS; GIS and runoff modelling; greenroofs.

Michal Bardecki, Professor
PhD York University
Environmental assessment and decision-making, economic valuation, cumulative impact management, media and the environment, geography of Las Vegas.

Harald Bauder, Professor and Academic Director, Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement
PhD Wilfred Laurier University
Social, cultural and economic geography; urban geography; geographic practice; critical geographies.

Brian Ceh, Associate Professor
PhD University of Western Ontario
Business and commercial geography, urban-economic studies, GIS, geo-quantitative analyses, retail and marketing geography, regional science and economic development.

Philip Coppack, Professor
PhD University of Waterloo
GIS applications in geodemographic and recreation analysis, facilities location, business; Internet GIS applications; Economic and behavioral analysis of non-priced amenity environments and their role in recreation; Environmental perception and the creation of vernacular landscapes; Structure of the rural-urban fringe.

Frank Duerden, Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography, University of Victoria
MA University of Manitoba
Land and resource management, community impacts of climate change, sustainable development in northern Canada, circumpolar issues, land claims.

Sara Edge, Assistant Professor
PhD McMaster University
Environment & health: collaborative governance; knowledge integration; environmental justice & urban inequalities; policy transformation; socio-ecological systems.

Wayne Forsythe, Professor
PhD University of Salzburg, Austria
Urban Change Detection, Geospatial Analysis of Sediment Contamination, Remote Sensing, GIS.

Sutama Ghosh, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, Geographic Analysis
PhD York University
Urban social geography, immigration and settlement geography, transnationalism, 'race' and racism.

Tony Hernandez, Professor and Director, Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity
PhD Manchester Metropolitan University, England
Retail location, business GIS, site research, location strategy, geodemographics.

Peter Kedron, Assistant Professor
PhD University at Buffalo
Economic Geography, Evolutionary Economic Geography, Urban and Regional Analysis, International Business: Foreign Direct Investment, Spatial Analysis, Spatial Statistics, Environmental Justice

Anthony Lea, Adjunct Professor and Senior Vice President and Chief Methodologist, Environics Analytics
PhD University of Toronto
Geodemography, socioeconomic and demographic correlates with behaviour, advanced site evaluation models, spatial interaction models, location-allocation models, spatial decision support tools and systems, shopping behaviour.

Andrew A. Millward, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, Environment and Urban Sustainability
PhD University of Waterloo
GIS and remote sensing applications in disturbance ecology and urban forestry.

Claire Oswald, Assistant Professor
PhD University of Toronto
Geospatial analysis of watershed hydrology and biogeochemistry, pollutant fate and transport, water quality, landscape disturbance, urban ecosystems.

Claus Rinner, Professor and Chair
PhD University of Bonn, Germany
Geographic visualization, spatial decision support systems, participatory GIS, Web mapping, location-based services, geodata infrastructures, health and urban applications of GIS.

Richard R. Shaker, Assistant Professor
PhD University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Environmental management; landscape dynamics & global change; spatial ecology; sustainability science; spatial analysis & quantitative methods

Stephen Swales, Associate Professor
MA University of Calgary
Business and marketing geography, GIS, community vulnerability and adaptability to climate change.

Eric Vaz, Assistant Professor
PhD New University of Lisbon, Portugal
Spatial Analysis, Geographic Information Science, Complex Systems, Neogeography, Urban and Regional Geography, Spatial Decision Support Systems, Economic Geography, Business GIS, Information Management

Lu Wang, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Master of Spatial Analysis
PhD York University
GIS and consumption analysis, GIS and health, spatial accessibility modeling and visualization, geostatistics, immigration and settlement, retail internationalization.

Shuguang Wang, Professor
PhD University of Alberta
Geography of urban retailing, GIS applications in the study of commercial activity, Ethnic economy, Economic geography of China.

Maurice Yeates, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity
PhD Northwestern University, FRSC
Spatial modeling, Business geomatics.

Program Faculty Members (Other Departments)

Marcos Escobar,Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics
PhD University of Toronto
Financial mathematics, stochastic processes, dependence structures, time-spatial modelling, biostatistics.

Murtaza Haider, Associate Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management
PhD University of Toronto
Applied spatial econometrics, transportation demand forecasting, housing market analysis, and logistics management.

Songnian Li, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
PhD University of New Brunswick
Collaborative GIS and geographic visualization; spatial decision support systems (SDSS); Web-based and wireless mapping and GIS; spatiotemporal GIS.

Stephanie Melles, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biology
PhD University of Toronto
Land and water species distributions; network theory and metrics; aquatic ecosystem classification models; optimal spatial sampling design strategies.

Pamela Robinson, Associate Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning
PhD University of Toronto
Urban sustainability, environmental design, environmental planning, urban governance, public engagement and progressive pedagogy.

Sara K. Thompson, Assistant Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology
PhD University of Toronto
Spatial distribution and social ecology of violent crime; urban violence; social inequality

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Program Details
Program-Related News

15 March 2015 – Alumni news: Adam McKay (MSA ’13) is volunteering on a URISA GISCorps mission. From March to May, he teaches GIS & Remote Sensing at Kabale University in south western Uganda.

6 February 2015 – We are in the process of updating the MSA publication list. This includes three peer-reviewed, international journal articles by Travis Tormala (MSA ‘10), Andrew Chung-Da Lee (MSA ‘11), and Brad Carter (MSA ‘12) with their respective supervisors, spanning topics from geospatial access to health care to neighbourhood change and development of novel decision support techniques in GIS.

12 January 2015 – This week, 23 MSA students have their first day on their practicum. The hosts for these valuable work placements include different units within the cities of Toronto and Vaughan, three provincial ministries, two conservation authorities, a major bank, a GIS developer and a geospatial data vendor, a real-estate developer, an engineering consultancy, two hospitals, two business analytics firms, two police services, a research institute, and a non-profit community group,

16 December 2014 – Congratulations to Christopher Greene (MSA ’09), who won one of Ryerson’s prestigious 2015 Dean’s Teaching Awards! Chris teaches in the Department’s Environment and Urban Sustainability and Geographic Analysis programs, while completing his PhD in Environmental Applied Science and Management. Ryerson’s 2015 Award Recipients also include MSA faculty members Dr. Andrew Millward (Social Innovation and Action Research Award) and Dr. Eric Vaz and Dr. Marcus Escobar-Anel (Dean’s SRC (Research) Awards).

16 October 2014 – Best wishes to the 20 MSA graduates of the class of 2014, shown in this photo from fall convocation.

25 September 2014 – MSA professor Andrew Millward turns parks into classrooms using a mobile app with information on the urban forest. Several MSA students contributed to this research, including Greg Bowie (MSA ’11), who is mentioned in this article.

26 August 2014 – The Department of Geography and Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity are welcoming a new class of 25 MSA candidates. The students come to us from universities in Southern Ontario, including Guelph, Queen’s, Ryerson, Toronto, Waterloo, and Western, and as far as Concordia (QC), Bucknell (US), Concepcion (CL), Bucharest (RO), and Auckland (NZ)!

26-30 May 2014 – MSA student research presented at Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting at Brock University includes Heather Hart on statistical bias of geographic scale in environmental inequity and Rajiv Lalla on geographic distribution of HIV/AIDS in Thailand, both with supervisor Dr. Peter Kedron. Other presentations were given by MSA alumni as well as faculty members.

7-12 April 2014 – Four current MSA students and at least three MSA alumni are presenting at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in Tampa, Florida. See Dr. Rinner’s GIS blog for details on all presentations by Geography department members.

16 March 2014 – Toronto’s Chief Planner tweeted about “Open data leads to new expressions of our beautiful city” referring to a map made by MSA student William Davis. William’s “map of every traffic signal in Toronto” was also featured in blogTO and commented on in another 100+ tweets.

04 March 2014 – MSA faculty member Dr. Wayne Forsythe and his former student Grant McCartney (MSA ’11) published their research on “Investigating Forest Disturbance Using Landsat Data in the Nagagamisis Central Plateau, Ontario, Canada” in the Open Access journal ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information.

25 February 2014 – Alumni news: Kamal Paudel (MSA ’08) was cited in the Fall 2013 issue of ArcNorth News about the use of location analytics in conservation (p.17). The issue includes references to GIS applications across the business, environmental, and social/health fields of study available in the MSA program.

26 January 2014 – Alumni news: Congratulations to Stephen Young (MSA ’11) on his promotion to McDonald’s Canada’s national Director, Corporate Support Services & Spatial Research! Stephen’s geoanalytics team at McD also employs three other MSA grads.

25 November 2013 – Two inaugural Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) Awards of Distinction were presented to Mary Grunstra and Adam McKay (MSA ’13) at the Department of Geography’s awards night. Click here for snapshot from the event.

13 November 2013 – Congrats to Lisa Bowman (MSA ’13) and MSA faculty member Dr. Eric Vaz, who published Lisa’s major research paper on regional coastal erosion processes in urban areas in the peer-reviewed open-access journal Land.

26 October 2013 – Two MSA students supervised by Profs W. Forsythe and S. Swales presented at the Joint CAGONT/ELDAAG conference this weekend. C. Hare (MSA ’13) presented research on spatial analysis of air pollution while C. Middleton (current MSA student) presented on GIS analysis of forest protected areas. For the third year in a row, an MSA student received a CAGONT Research Paper award. Congratulations to Colleen Middleton on her winning paper “The Use of Geographical Information System (GIS) Analysis to Delimit a Protected Area for Old-Growth Red Pine Forest in Wolf Lake, Temagami, Ontario, Canada”! Colleen also won CAGONT’s Master’s Presentation Award.

18 October 2013 – Congratulations to 22 new MSAs graduating at Ryerson Fall Convocation today!

12 September 2013 – MSA faculty member Dr. Lu Wang and her former student Wei Hu (MSA ’12) published their research on “Immigrant health, place effect and regional disparities in Canada” in the widely read scientific journal Social Science & Medicine.

27 August 2013 – Today was orientation day for more than twenty new MSA students starting the program next week. Fernando Ozuna (MSA ’05), senior manager with one of the major Canadian banks, spoke to the incoming class about the transferability of spatial analysis skills and the power of maps as decision support tools.

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