Biography & Research Interests


I currently live and work on the traditional territory of the Nbisiing Nishnaabeg, and the lands protected by the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. I am of Scottish-Scandinavian descent, from the unceded lands of Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, but I have spent most of my academic life in Ontario after working for a few years in the forest industry in British Columbia. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Geography & History at Nipissing University, North Bay (Ontario), and am the Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Histories and Geographies.  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, geopolitics and borderland studies, and the geographical tradition in global environmental history.

My educational background includes a BA in Geography from McGill University (Montreal, Quebec), MA in Historical Geography from Wilfrid Laurier University, and PhD in Historical Geography from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario).  I was a visiting SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of History at Warwick University (Coventry, UK).  I also spent some time in the Forestry Program at Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, BC).


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 within the context of pre and post Robinson Huron Treaty (1850).

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.


Canada Research Chair Research Program (2015-2020) Global Environmental Histories and Geographies of the Semi-Periphery

Canada Innovation Fund and Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (2015-2020) Nipissing’s Mobile Digitization and Repatriation Lab: A Centre for Understanding Semi-Peripheries (CUSP)

SSHRC Institutional Grant (2020)  Historical Geographies of Colonial Encroachment: Tracing and Dating Timbers from Lake Nipissing to the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario, 1850-1880

SSHRC Partnership Development Grant (2019-2021) Reassembling Ontario’s “Near North”: Reparation through University-Museum-Indigenous Research Partnerships

SSHRC Connections Grant (2020) Place-Based Reparative Environmental Histories: Symposium 2.0

SSHRC NFRF (2019-2021) Rekindle the Past to Spark the Future: New Frontiers in Glacier with Laura Thomson, Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University

SSHRC Institutional Grant (2018) Historical Geographies of Interdisciplinarity: McGill University’s Caribbean Project 1950s-1970s

SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2014-2016) Empire, Trees, and Climate in the North Atlantic: Towards Critical Dendro-Provenancing

SSHRC Connections Grant (2017)  Challenging Canada 150: Settler Colonialism and Critical Environmental Sciences

CONTACT INFORMATION: Please email me at or follow me on Twitter @kgreer18.