Economic Geography


Economic geography is a vibrant, eclectic, and a theoretically and methodologically pluralist discipline. It has no single core, or prescribed approach, and increasingly its boundaries blur with other subfields. Economic geographers at the Department of Geography at UBC personify the discipline’s diversity and openness. Current foci of research include:

  • studies of various resource commodities such as lumber, minerals and water, and the varied production networks, forms of formal and informal regulation, and patterns of control and ownership that bear upon them;
  • explorations of multiple forms of globalization (the international movement of goods, capital, people, and ideas), transnationalization, and the often-accompanying practices of neoliberalization
  • investigations of regional and local development, which is not only economic, but social, political and environmental, and carried out by faculty in such sites as Thailand, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, the United States, Guatemala, and Mexico;
  • analyses of urban economies, including the restructuring of financial, housing and labour markets, the emergence of creative industry clusters, and new forms of civic governance;
  • contextual historical studies of the intellectual development of Anglophone economic geography as a discipline especially from the Second World War; and
  • critical reviews of the discipline’s methods, theories, and philosophical assumptions.

Faculty working on Economic Geography

Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology

I work at the intersection of environmental and economic geography. My primary research interests span political economy, political ecology, environmental studies, STS, and digital geographies. I am currently focusing on a new research project on the implications of digital technologies for environmental governance.


I’m mainly interested in the history of twentieth-century geography. I am especially concerned with the work of geographers during periods of war (both hot and cold). Recently, I’ve also examined war protestors, in particular, the American geographer, Bill Bunge, and part of a larger project to write a history of radical geography. A jointly edited volume with Eric Sheppard on Spatial histories of North American radical geography is in preparation and will be published in 2019. An 'alternative' economic geography textbook, Economic Geography: A Critical Introduction, that I co-wrote with Brett Christophers (Uppsala University) was published in 2018.

Associate Professor
Canada Research Chair in GIS, Geospatial Big Data and Digital Geohumanities

What kind of computation for what kind of geography? This question animates many of my inquiries into economic geography, nature-society relations, globalization, China, and sociospatial theory.

Associate Professor
Associate Head of Undergraduate Program

My central academic goal is to wrestle with the theoretical and historical-geographical complexities of environmental politics as it shapes and is shaped by the entanglement of state, economy, science, and culture. My research draws from and contributes to diverse methodological approaches and literatures including political ecology, economic geography, feminist science studies, and increasingly, green finance.

Professor Emeritus

Geography of Japan and the Pacific Rim
Geography of International Trade, Overseas Investment and Multinational Corporations
Disaster Research in the Pacific Rim
Multiculturalism and Local Governments

Associate Head of Graduate Program

My research focuses on geopolitical economies of industrial transformation, particularly in East Asia, and with a comparative/connective focus on the United States. My recent work has addressed the ways in which Cold War military spending differentially affected forms of industrial transformation and economic growth in South Korea and Thailand.

Associate Professor of Teaching

My research interest in economic, specifically labor, geography lies in the context of global cities or more specifically newly emerging global cities. I am expanding my empirical work to include the urban context of Dubai and also Vancouver.

Head of the Department
Canada Research Chair in Transnationalism and Precarious Labour

My research focuses on transnational migration, labour precarity and performance. I am preoccupied with how to put stories of transnational migration and family separation into circulation, with the politics of testimony and witnessing, and the obligations of witnessing and dialogue within, beyond and across national and community borders. I am developing new research on the outsourcing of eldercare.