Biography & Research Interests

I am originally from Montreal, Quebec, but spent most of my graduate student life in Ontario after working for a few years in the forest industry in British Columbia. I am currently living in North Bay, Ontario, but will always be a Montrealer at heart.

I consider myself a critical historical geographer with an interest in human-nature relations in the past, the production of scientific knowledge and geographic concepts, and the geographic tradition in global environmental history. Much of my research has centered on the nineteenth-century British Empire, particularly in British North America, the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic, and the West Indies. However, more recently I have become interested in the geographies and histories of northern Ontario, especially how the “near north” has been imagined as an intermediary site in the fur trade, natural resource exploitation, and colonial settlement.

A common thread throughout my current research has been how natural “things” (i.e. animals, trees, ocean currents) have entered the geopolitical imagination and world capitalist system as scientific specimens and global commodities through overlapping and competing discursive strategies, creating new configurations and relations through their movements across global scientific and trade networks.

For information on my new Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada project, Empire, Trees, and Climate in the North Atlantic: Towards Critical Dendro-Provenancing (2014-2016), check out https://empiretimber.wordpress.com/.