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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 and Environmental Studies)

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

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.

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.

Greg Oulahen, Assistant Professor
PhD University of Western Ontario
Human-environment interaction; Hazards; Risk reduction; Vulnerability to hazards; Climate change adaptation; Flood

Tor Oiamo, Assistant Professor
PhD Western (Can)
Exposure assessment; environmental modelling; health risk assessment; GIS and spatial statistics; health and medical geography

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
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, Associate 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
PhD York University
GIS and consumption analysis, GIS and health, spatial accessibility modeling and visualization, geostatistics, immigration and settlement, retail internationalization.

Shuguang Wang, Professor, Graduate Program Director (Interim), Master of Spatial Analysis
PhD University of Alberta
Geography of urban retailing, GIS applications in the study of commercial activity, Ethnic economy, Economic geography of China.

Christopher Wellen, Assistant Professor
PhD University of Toronto
Mathematical Modelling, Hydrology, Water Quality, Agriculture, Urban Areas, Bayesian Statistics.

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, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
PhD University of New Brunswick
Geospatial Information Systems (GIS); Collaborative GIS and geographic visualization; Spatial decision support systems (SDSS): methods and processes, participation, system design and applications; Web-based and wireless mapping and GIS: services, architecture and software implementation; Spatiotemporal GIS: data modelling, analysis, visualization and prediction.

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

Spatial Analysis:
Program Details
Program-Related News

27 August 2019 - Orientation event for a new class of 22 MSA in Spatial Analysis candidates: Welcome to Toronto, Ryerson, and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies!

10 July 2019 - MSA thesis student Arsh Grewal presents his research with MSA faculty members Drs. Stephanie Melles and Claire Oswald on “Source, Transport and Fate of Cohesive Sediment in Aquatic Systems: Implications for Water Quality and Ecosystem Health” at the 27th IUGG General Assembly in Montreal.

30 May 2019 - Congratulations to MSA faculty member Dr. Claire Oswald, winner of Water’s Next academic leader award for her work on road salt and the impact on surface waters!

4 April 2019 - MSA student Selasi Dorkenoo presented in the Geospatial Health Research Poster Session at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the AAG. Her topic “Accessing informal and formal social supports among older immigrants in Canada: A mixed-methods approach” is part of a collaboration of MSA faculty member Dr. Lu Wang with researchers at Ryerson and three other Ontario universities.

1 February 2019 - Are you interested in impervious land-use feature classification? Check out the new paper by MSA graduate Ela Lichtblau and MSA faculty member Dr. Claire Oswald, “Classification of impervious land-use features using object-based image analysis and data fusion”, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0198971518303788

29 January 2019 - MSA faculty member Dr. Lu Wang, Gabby Lee, MSA ‘17, and Ian Williams, MSA ’09, and Head of Analytics & Innovation at the Toronto Police Service, co-authored a paper on “The Spatial and Social Patterning of Property and Violent Crime in Toronto Neighbourhoods: A Spatial-Quantitative Approach”, which is available at https://mdpi.com/2220-9964/8/1/51

14 November 2018 - GIS Day2018 event in collaboration with Ryerson University Library and Archives and Esri Canada includes a presentation on big data in retail analytics by MSA faculty member Dr. Tony Hernandez and Joe Aversa, MSA ’10 and PhD cand. at Wilfred Laurier University. The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies will also participate in the City of Toronto’s GIS Day event on November 20th with a presentation of select MSA student work.

13 November 2018 - Thank you, Environics Analytics, for allowing 25 MSA students to present their cool cartography and geovisualization course projects at the 2018 EA User Conference!

11 October 2018 - Congratulations, MSA class of 2018 on today’s convocation ceremony!

11 June 2018 - MSA student Krystal Siebert presented her research on “Use of Wetland-to-Lake Hydrologic Connectivity Metrics to Better Understand Broad-Scale Patterns in Lake Dissolved Organic Carbon Concentrations” at 2018 meeting of the Canadian Geophysical Union.

1 June 2018 - At the 2018 meeting of the Canadian Cartographic Association (CCA), MSA student Melanie MacDonald reported on her course project on mapping informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, using OpenStreetMap with an associated story map and some artwork too. Congrats, Melanie, on being selected for the CCA’s best student paper/presentation award at the conference!

17 May 2018 - Andy Charles, MSA '01, who served as Analyst and Retail Consultant at Scotiabank, and Sears Canada, and now is Senior Manager of Strategy, Analytics, and Insights at Loblaw Co, was profiled for Ryerson University’s 70/25-year anniversary. Andy was among the first eight Ryerson students to ever receive a graduate degree - see him cross the stage at Fall 2001 convocation at https://youtu.be/8N21ixucAbA

3 May 2018 - At the MSA Poster Day, 19 students presented their major research paper or thesis research plans. The photo at https://twitter.com/RyersonGeo/status/992109214150602752 shows faculty, staff, prospective MSA students, and industry representatives listening attentively to the student’s presentation across an extraordinary range of topics.

28 March 2018 - Sean Marshall, MSA ’05, spoke to an undergraduate Geographic Analysis class today about potential campus locations in Brampton. In addition to his day job as Geospatial Health Analyst, Sean blogs about urban transportation issues and is a contributing writer for Spacing Magazine and TVO.

14 March 2018 - Taking a daily dive into Data Lake… For International Women’s Day, Scotiabank’s Digital Factory profiled the work of Margaret Woo, MSA ’01, and Senior Manager, Applied Analytics at the bank.

2 March 2018 - Ryerson’s “Alumni of Grad Studies” series features a portrait of Amanda Maze, MSA '04, and Director of Spatial Strategy and Real Estate Insights at Walmart Canada. The Master of Spatial Analysis is one of Ryerson’s longest-running graduate degrees with extraordinary career opportunities in geography, GIS, retail, marketing, banking, and real estate.

10 February 2018 - New article by a group of MSA faculty and students: K. Wayne Forsythe et al., “Assessing fine particulate matter concentrations and trends in southern Ontario, Canada, 2003-2012.” Get your open access copy at https://www.aimspress.com/fileOther/PDF/environmental/environ-05-00035.pdf

2 February 2018 - Ryerson Today  article on “Why your geography degree will get you a job”, highlighting the transferable skills acquired in the MSA program: “From retail to crime analytics to public health, geography is in high demand”, citing the experience of MSA alumni Heather Hart and Joe Aversa.

23 November 2017 - Celebrating the Centre for the Study of Commercial Activity's (CSCA) 25th anniversary with an evening event around Canadian retail, real estate, and consumer behaviour trends. The CSCA is a founding partner of the MSA program and has hosted numerous MSA student research projects.

13 November 2017 - GIS Day event in the MSA lab. Students presented their completed Geovisualization projects, ranging from interactive and animated maps to 3D prints and other physical models.

19 October 2017 - The annual MSA practicum host reception showcases experiential learning at its best. Quotes from placement hosts overheard at the reception: MSA students make “maps that really change the conversation” about city planning and are “fully involved in our work group”, not just given a project to go off with. In other organizations, MSA students use GIS to help estimate mortgage risk, and employ location intelligence in environmental conservation. In retail network planning, MSA students consult on store cannibalization. As information designers at a major consultancy, MSA students will contribute to turning analytics into actionable decisions. MSA placement students will also participate in addressing police accountability and cost using geospatial data analysis. There even was a bit of competition between hosts about which is the coolest placement in conservation!

12 October 2017 - Congratulations, Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) class of 2017 @RyersonU! Eggy, the mascot, likes #Geography #GIS and #WomenInAnalytics, see our tweet at https://twitter.com/RyersonGeo/status/918633759443910656.


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