Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Univeristy of British Columbia, 2018, PhD


My current research focuses on conflicts over fossil fuel pipelines as a window into the contemporary political and economic moment. Infrastructures of circulation have always underpinned the projects of settler colonialism and capitalist extraction. In the face of catastrophic climate change, the Anthropocene, and the Sixth Great Extinction, new pipeline developments have recently faced resolute resistance from opponents willing to put their bodies on the line to prevent the expansion of these infrastructures. These conflicts are particularly pertinent to our times because if oil is the lifeblood of fossil capitalism then pipelines are its vital arteries. Impeding the circulation of fossil fuels thus threatens to disrupt the spatial organization of the colonial-capitalist present. My research considers how solidarity is practiced between settler environmentalists and Indigenous land and water defenders on the frontlines of these struggles, and broadly asks how transformative movements seeking to bring about social and environment change can be built across difference.


Michael Simpson (2018). The Annihilation of Time by Space: Pluri-Temporal Strategies of Capitalist Circulation. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. Available at:


Michael Simpson (2018). The Anthropocene as Colonial Discourse. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Available at:


Michael Simpson & Jen Bagelman (2017). Decolonizing Urban Political Ecologies: The Production of Nature in Settler Colonial Cities. Annals of American Association of Geographers, 108(2): 558-568. Available at:


Nathan McClintock & Michael Simpson (2017). Stacking Functions: Identifying Motivational Frames Guiding Urban Agriculture Organizations and Businesses in the United States and Canada. Agriculture and Human Values, 35(1): 19-39. Available at:


Nathan McClintock, Dillon Mahmoudi, Michael Simpson & Jacinto Pereira Santos (2016). Socio-Spatial Differentiation in the Sustainable City: A Mixed-Methods Assessment of Residential Gardens in Metropolitan Portland, Oregon, USA. Landscape and Urban Planning, 148. Available at:


Nathan McClintock & Michael Simpson (2016). Cultivating Cascadia: Comparing Urban Agriculture Policy and Practice in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. In Alfonso Morales and Julie Dawson eds., Cities of Farmers: Problems, Possibilities and Processes of Producing Food in Cities. University of Iowa Press.


Michael Simpson and James Tully (2012). Unfreedom of the Moderns in the Post-9/11 Age of Constitutionalism and Democracy. In Miquel Caminal and Ferran Requejo eds., Federalism, Plurinationality and Democratic Constitutionalism: Theory and Cases. Routledge.