Graduate Research Opportunies
Finding a Supervisor
The School of Geography and & Earth Sciences has made it simpler to identify appropriate supervisors with the new "finding a supervisor" section. This is a listing of research opportunities with each supervisor, organized according to our six main research fields: Earth Surfaces, Environment & Health, Geochemistry, Hydrologic Sciences, Spatial Analysis and Social Geography.
It is important to find a good match between your research interests and a thesis supervisor. Our graduate program is strongly research oriented, and the completion of a thesis is the main focus of all our degree programs. Here you will find information about current faculty projects and research interests that should help you find an appropriate supervisor. We have several research opportunities for graduate research at both the Masters and Ph.D. levels. The links below provide a thematic overview of faculty research interests as well as funded projects that require students. As there is not always a perfect match between existing projects and student research interests, all faculty will consider supervising original projects that overlap with their own areas of expertise. Contact potential supervisors before applying to the program. Please also see our printer friendly brochure.
Graduate Research Opportunies in Earth Surfaces
The focus of the Earth Surface Processes group is on earth and atmospheric processes occurring in the near-surface zone, extending ~1 km above and below the Earth's surface. Graduate research areas include physical climatology, physical hydrology and surficial geoscience (geoarchaeology, geophysics, glacial sedimentology). Emphasis is placed on understanding the impacts of human activities on the physical environment, including changes in climate, land-use and surface and groundwater quality. Man-environment interactions are also studied through interdisciplinary analysis of the archaeological record and through paleoenvironmental reconstruction of past climates and landscapes.
The relationship of the environment to health is clearly one of the defining issues of the coming decades. McMaster has responded to the need for more research and trained graduates in the field by adopting it as one of the University's Strategic Areas, and by establishing the McMaster Institute for Environment and Health located within the School of Geography and Earth Sciences and directed by one of our faculty members, Dr. Bruce Newbold. Faculty and graduate students from the School have played the major role in these developments and graduates from the School now occupy both academic and professional positions in Canada and other countries.
Graduate Research Opportunies in Geochemistry
This research group is primarily interested in the application of stable and radiogenic isotopes in conjuction with orgabic and inorganic geochemical approaches to understand bio- and geo-chemical processes, geochronology and physico-chemical records. Researchers in this group investigate the entire geologic record, although a strong emphasis is on the Quaternary and modern environment. The understanding of geochemical processes in the earth and environmental sciences is obtained through the use of state-of-the-art analytical equipment for measuring elements and isotopic abundances from a wide range of materials.
This research group uses state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to generate new knowledge about the occurrence, distribution, and quality of water in the environment, its role as an essential component and driver within the environment, and the impact of human activities on the quality and quantity of water. That research has strong field, laboratory, and modelling components. Together with our graduate and senior undergraduate students we conduct world-class research on Climate Change, Soil water, Ecohydrology, Wetlands, Contaminant Hydrogeology, Artic and Cold Regions Hydrology, Vadose Zone Hydrology, Hydroclimatology, and Hydrologic Models including physical, statistical and Neural Network Models.
Graduate Research Opportunies in Social Geography
Social geography focuses on the relationship between social life and geographical patterns of change at various scales. At McMaster we are interested in both rural and urban settlements, present and past, and continue to do research in North America and the developing world. We are using a variety of theoretical perspectives including feminism, political economy, and postcolonialism, and diverse methodological tools, in order to understand topics that include disability, urban quality of life, health and health care, formal and informal caregiving, gender and legal issues, housing, suburban development, and colonial urbanism. Social geographers with graduate degrees from McMaster obtain jobs in a range of fields including housing, public health, planning, and education. Many have gone on to academic careers in leading departments of Geography in Canada and around the world.
Graduate Research Opportunies in Spatial Analysis
Spatial Analysis has a long tradition in Geography at McMaster University. Our focus is on understanding the nature and outcome of human and physical processes that take place over space with the use of quantitative methods, such as spatial statistics, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Recent focus of the Spatial Analysis group has been in applications of transportation geography, urban land use, urban and regional air pollution, and the impact of environmental pollution on human health. Faculty members from the group participate in multi-disciplinary projects, both within and outside the School of Geography and Earth Sciences. Research of the group is supported by the Centre for Spatial Analysis, a state-of-the-art laboratory facility. Graduates with Spatial Analysis training pursue academic careers or find employment in the public and private sectors