Welcoming our new faculty members!

July 27, 2023 by Department of Geography & Planning

Imre Szeman

Professor (UTSC)
Imre Szeman joined the U of T faculty at Scarborough in 2022 as a Full Professor of Human Geography and as the inaugural Director of the Institute for Environment, Conservation and Sustainability. Before coming to UTSC, he was University Research Chair of Environmental Communication at the University of Waterloo (2017-2022), Canada Research Chair of Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta (2009-2016), and Senator William McMaster Chair in Globalization and Cultural Studies at McMaster University (2005-2009). He is co-founder of the Petrocultures Research Group, which explores the socio-cultural dimensions of energy use and its implications for energy transition and climate change, and the leader of After Oil, a collective that produces multi-authored studies on key issues in energy and environment. He is currently engaged in research on the cultural and social barriers to just and equitable energy transitions, attempts by corporate and state interests to control the transition to renewables, and the implications of green technoutopianism. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and from 2021-2022 was the Climate Critic for the Green Party of Canada.


Sergio Montero

Associate Professor (UTSC)
Sergio Montero is Associate Professor of Geography & Planning and Inaugural Director of the Institute for Inclusive Economies and Sustainable Livelihoods (IIESL) at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. Prof. Montero is interested in place-based and inclusive approaches to reimagine local economic development and urban & regional planning. His research is often comparative and emphasizes thinking from the Global South and from the peripheries of economic development. His recent research has been focused on the politics and governance of urban and regional planning; on the South-South and South-North circulation, learning and adoption of international policy models and “best practices,” particularly around sustainable transport; and on local and regional economic development strategies, especially in Latin America. He has published on these topics in several academic journals such as Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, Urban Studies, Economic Development Quarterly, Latin American Studies, the Journal of Rural Studies or the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, among others. He has edited two books on local economic development in Latin America (in English and Spanish) and a recent collection on the global mobilities and diffusion of policy knowledge (in English and Portuguese). Sergio is associate editor of the journal Regional Studies and international corresponding editor of Urban Studies. He holds a master and PhD in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley (USA) and a BA in Economics from Universidad de Granada (Spain). Before coming to the University of Toronto, he was a professor of urban & regional development at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. 


Alison Mountz

Professor (UTSC)
Alison Moutz's research explores how people cross borders, access asylum, survive detention, resist war, and create safe havens. She advises student research on migration and displacement, borders, and political and feminist geographies. Embracing a transnational approach to her research on migration, Alison works in many regions of the world. Her current SSHRC-funded work examines shifting geographies of asylum-seeking, landscapes and policies of protection, and resettlement of refugees in North America from remote islands in the Pacific - a project called Asylum’s Afterlives. Alison also directs a new lab called Haven: The Asylum Lab, designed to preserve and provide access to migration-related data. In addition to her scholarly pursuits, she loves to write and is also interested in the mobilization of knowledge through art. Recently, she collaborated with filmmaker Lisa Molomot to make a feature-length documentary about two generations of US war resisters who moved to Canada in search of protection. The documentary titled "SAFE HAVEN" (2020) is available on Kanopy and New Day: https://www.newday.com/films/safe-haven.
Before moving to U of T, Alison Moutz was faculty at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Wilfrid Laurier University's Balsillie School for International Affairs. She held a Canada Research Chair in Global Migration at Laurier and the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professorship of Canadian Studies at Harvard University. Her work has been funded by the Canada Research Chair in Global Migration, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Canadian Embassy, the US National Science Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. She is a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada and a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.


Damian Maddalena

Assistant Professor (UTM)
Damian Maddalena's research looks at agricultural sustainability in a changing climate at various scales. His background is in geospatial science, landscape ecology, and ecohydrology (including work in stable isotope hydrology). He is particularly interested in work using open source geospatial tools.  Prior to spending the last five years in the private sector working in agriculture, he did his postdoc at Oak Ridge National Lab, working with large data sets on the supercomputers there. Before obtaining a PhD, Damian was a public school teacher in the United States, and greatly values and enjoys the teaching that is part of his role at UTM.



Xiaoyong Xu

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream (UTM)
Xiaoyong Xu’s research aims to advance the understanding, monitoring, and prediction of the physical processes that govern water movement in the Earth’s surface and subsurface regimes and their involvement in global changes. His current primary projects are funded by the Canadian Space Agency and NSERC and focus on integration of satellite remote sensing and computational modeling for quantifying the dynamics of surface–subsurface water interaction. Dr. Xu also has extensive collaborations with industry and government agencies. In the classroom, Dr. Xu teaches courses on environmental modeling, weather and climate, climate physics, and remote sensing.



Ty Redden

Assistant Professor (UTSG)
Dr. Ty Redden is an assistant professor of urban planning specializing in housing and social policy. Her work considers how class, gender, race, and sexuality engage issues of spatial justice. Dr. Redden is also a member of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Urban Affairs Association and a reviewer for both the Journal of American Planning Association and the Journal of Black Studies.




Sarah Peirce

Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream (UTSG)
Sarah Peirce joined the U of T faculty at the St. George Campus as a CLTA Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in July 2019. Sarah teaches many of the physical geography courses including Geomorphology, Introduction to Soil Science, Canadian Arctic and Subarctic Environments, and Biogeography. Before teaching at U of T, Sarah was a Mitacs Elevate postdoctoral fellow investigating the performance and geomorphic monitoring practices of natural channel design projects in Southern Ontario. Sarah’s previous postdoctoral and Ph.D. work at the University of Waterloo and Western University, respectively, made use of physical models of rivers to examine sediment transport and morphological change.