Programs of Study
The Department of Geography and Planning offers graduate training leading to the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Doctor of Philosophy.
Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Information on the M.PL. program may be found in the School of Graduate Studies Calendar under Urban and Regional Planning.
Doctor of Philosophy
Admission to this program is based upon the completion of a Master's degree or its equivalent at a superior level at a recognized university.
Master of Arts and Master of Science
Admission to these programs is based upon the completion of an Honours Bachelor's degree or equivalent, with minimum high second-class standing (B+ letter grade, 3.3 GPA).
Financial assistance is available in the form of teaching assistantships for undergraduate courses. Duties include demonstrating and instruction in laboratories, tutorials, and seminars. In addition, graduate students may receive Queen's Graduate Awards as supplemental financial support. Employment and research fellowships may also be available on a part-time basis on various research projects. Geography and Planning graduate students are nominated annually for internal fellowships for which they may be eligible.
Fields of Research
Studies at the Master's and Doctoral level are offered in the following areas:
The broad emphasis in the field of Human Geography is on exploring the evolution of a multitude of human systems. The focus is on the interactions and linkages between systems that operate at different scales, ranging from local (work, place, bodies, gender, health and healthcare, urban areas) and increasing through regional and national scales (citizenship, justice, governance, postcolonialism, indigenous peoples) to global systems (globalization, development, economies, sustainability). Unifying themes include identity and place.
The broad emphasis in the area of Urban and Regional Planning is on the planning and development of cities and regions, and the relation between development and public policy concerns. Research in urban and regional planning seeks to integrate the latest knowledge related to environment and society with real-world planning challenges. Areas of focus include health and social planning, environmental services, and land use and real estate planning.
Earth System Science
The broad emphasis in the field of Earth System Science is on developing an integrative understanding of the Earth as a physical system of interrelated phenomena. The focus is on the interaction and linkages throughout the environment - the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere - and on physical, chemical, and biological processes operating at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Areas of faculty interest include forest systems, cold regions, energy production, and planning around resource use. Measurement, integration, and modelling of earth system elements to understand these linkages are key foci of research and graduate training activities. Field measurements and sample collection are matched with laboratory and data analysis, and modelling.
Geographic Information Science
The broad emphasis of research in GIS encompasses the theoretical, technical, and applied aspects of cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing and image processing, and modeling of human and natural systems. Specific areas of research focus relate GIS to aspects of human geography (disease modeling, mapping of human impacts on the environment, resource optimization, contemporary and historical cartography), physical geography (biophysical remote sensing, image processing, geo-visualization), and urban and regional planning (land use planning, cartography, social engagement).
Excellent research facilities include:
Computing support in the department is provided from a variety of sources: a departmental GIS laboratory located beside the department; specialized computing equipment in departmental research laboratories; and a broad base of personal computers housed in faculty and graduate student offices. All faculty and graduate students are provided with a university computing account and ethernet connection from their office. The account also provides students with a Queen’s email address, internet access, and an authentication mechanism for access to restricted sites and services across campus.
Labs, Forums, Research Groups
Laboratory equipment, enabling a broad range of environmental analyses, is distributed throughout both general and specialized laboratory spaces as described below. Field and laboratory research is supported by a range of common equipment.
Assessing Student Awareness of Indigenous Peoples Project seeks to demonstrate that while most educational systems in Canada still cultivate a damaging and impoverishing ignorance of Indigenous people, in Canada there is the will and passion to change. We assess primary and secondary school curricula. We work with Indigenous educational leaders, community members and specialists to devise a set of questions that measure familiarity with Indigenous existence in Canada including governance issues, current events, culture, geography and what is taught in relevant provincial curricula. We use that questionnaire to analyze student awareness of and attitudes to Indigenous people and seek to determine what students have learned from teachers, the community, media, parents, and friends. We explore the processes and decisions followed by school and university officials from the Ministry, consultants, principals, professors and teachers, to investigate the still far too limited efforts to decolonize education. We join many others in working to make Canada more responsible and aware of its colonial past and present.
Citizenship, Equity, Rights, Community, Inclusion, and Social Justice group includes projects addressing a range of citizenship and social justice issues addressing the law, racism, critical disability studies, gender identity, and poverty. The lab contains facilities for research varying from qualitative methods to large-scale surveying and mapping techniques and involves graduate students and researchers working in a variety of places across Canada.
The Geographies of Aging Laboratory (GAP Lab) is home for a wide range of projects emphasizing all aspects of the aging Canadian population, global aging, and research on the geographies of health and health care.
The Health, Environment, and Communities Research Lab (HEC Lab) houses a group of researchers and trainees who focus on reconciliatory, respectful, reciprocal, and responsible community-based participatory research. We are committed to equity-oriented projects that apply social, environmental, and health justice lenses, and our work comes together through intersections of culture(s), place(s), power (and resistance), and relational ethics using innovative, decolonizing research tools and methodologies. Our lab is equipped with a wide range of field equipment (audio and video recording, photovoice, and digital storytelling technologies), qualitative data management and transcription software, as well as common and individual internet-connected computer work stations.
The Lives of Animals Research Group at York University focuses on human-animal relations. We are interested in how humans think about, place and interact with animals, and how animals actively shape human lives, landscapes, and development trajectories. Our work is interdisciplinary, bridging social sciences (e.g. geography, environmental studies, social theory) with natural sciences (e.g. animal welfare science, behavioural ecology, biology) to ensure holistic research results meaningful for both human and non-human animals. We collaborate with communities, scientists, practitioners, NGOs and governments. We hope to inform appropriate program and policy interventions that acknowledge, respect, and enhance the lives of animals.
The Sonic Arts of Place Laboratory (SAP Lab) provides workspace, recording equipment, computer software/hardware and a listening station to support human geography field research. The SAP Lab is used by graduate and upper-level undergraduate students for research projects involving interviewing, oral geography, soundscapes, media digitization and video documentation. Resources include: Edirol and Zoom H1 portable digital audio recorders, Sony video camera, Logic Pro digital audio workstation software, Reaper digital audio workstation software, Raven Pro sound analysis software, Edirol FA66 firewire audio interface, M-Audio Q 40 headphones, Behringer B2031 monitors, iMac computer.
Earth System Science
A new soil, sediment and vegetation sample processing laboratory is available for a wide range of uses. Soils analysis is supported by the standard analytical laboratory facilities including combustion furnaces and drying ovens. Soil processing is facilitated by a SPEX Certi-Prep grinder, balances of varying capacity, and pH meters. Preparation of plant material is also accomplished using the SPEX grinder. Limnological analysis is supported by GPS units, conductivity meters, water and sediment acoustic profiling equipment, ground-penetrating radar, a vibracorer, dredges and surface corers, and a Hydrosond. Boats equipped for research in lacustrine and marine environments are available.
The Biogeography and Landscape Ecology (BALE) Laboratory focuses on the analysis of ecological patterns and processes at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Emphasis is on the study of species and vegetation distributions and dynamics, and their implications for conservation planning and management. Specialized laboratory facilities include a multi-station dendrochronology bench for measurement and analysis of tree rings, a suite of equipment for the preparation and measurement of vegetation samples, computer workstations for spatial and statistical analysis, and an extensive range of field equipment to support experimental and observational studies in a variety of environments.
The Cape Bounty Arctic Watershed Observatory (CBAWO) in the Canadian High Arctic is a field laboratory to undertake integrated Arctic System Science research related to land, water, vegetation, soil, and atmospheric processes. Queen’s Geography and Planning researchers and students work with other institutions and northern communities to understand the impact of environmental and permafrost change. A base camp provides accommodation and laboratory facilities, and research is supported by land and water instrumentation and long-term sampling locations and experiments. Watersheds and lakes are instrumented to evaluate hydrological processes and land instrumentation including: meteorological stations, an eddy covariance gas flux tower, automated and manual soil gas chambers, a network of soil and borehole stations, and time lapse cameras. Vegetation research supported by an extensive remote sensing collection as well as a long-term network of sites and an International Tundra Experiment (ITEX) site where snow and growing temperature conditions are experimentally altered.
The Environmental Variability and Extremes Laboratory (EVEX) houses instruments to support geomorphology, hydrology, sedimentology, and limnology. Instrumentation includes an automated Coulter laser scattering particle size analyzer, high-resolution magnetic system, a high-capacity furnace, analytical scales, fume hoods, and walk-in refrigeration along with microscopy and image analysis. A dedicated thin section laboratory including a freeze dryer and vacuum embedding system is available. A large number of data loggers and sensors are available, as are boats for studies in lake and marine environments.
The Facility for Biogeochemistry Research on Environmental Change and the Cryosphere (FaBRECC) emphasizes the measurement of organic and inorganic constituents in soil, water and atmospheric samples. Research is supported by a Millipore water system producing 18 Mohm, < 5 ppb TOC water and a Miele dishwasher system, Shimadzu Total Organic Carbon analyzer, an ICS 5000 liquid ion chromatograph, laminar flow hood, an Aqualog fluorometer, an Astoria Pacific Astoria2 automated colorimetric system, LECO TruSpec carbon/nitrogen analyzer, and a Shimadzu Greenhouse Gas GC system equipped with an autosampler. Field research is supported by soil and stream water sampling and monitoring equipment as well as automated chambers for measuring greenhouse gas exchange between the land and the atmosphere.
The Ice, Climate, and Environment Laboratory (ICELab) specializes in glacier research applications including field-based, remote sensing, and modelling methods. Our field-based instrumentation includes:
- Glaciological tools including ice coring and drilling systems, and essential glacier travel/safety equipment;
- Automatic weather stations (Campbell Scientific and Onset) and related instrumentation necessary for energy balance studies in the accumulation and ablation areas of glaciers;
- Geophysics tools including high (250-1000 MHz) and low (10 MHz) ice-penetrating radar systems;
- Survey instrumentation including high-resolution Trimble GPS systems and air-photo quality camera systems for producing georectified 3D models.
These tools support investigations into Arctic glacier dynamics across a variety of spatial and temporal scales, and provide insight into the key processes driving glacier changes. The ICELab facilities host high-quality computing systems that support our GIS, Remote sensing, statistical analysis, and modelling activities, as well as the bench-space and tools required for the development and calibration of field instruments.
The Northern Environmental Geoscience Laboratory: Labrador is known to be an ecologically unique region with beautiful Subarctic and Arctic landscapes. Labrador is also home to Inuit, Innu, mixed and settler people who together contribute to a diverse cultural landscape. Observed changes to the natural environment are acutely felt by Labradorians so understanding and predicting future impacts is this laboratory's priority.
The Renewable Energy Development and Implementation (REDI) Laboratory focuses on understanding the challenges with transition to a renewable economy. Our group has amassed geo-referenced data on Canadian renewable resources and developed specialized tools for managing these resources. Extensive databases on policy and institutional support mechanisms related to renewable energy development are also available.
Geographic Information Science
The Laboratory for Geographic Information and Spatial Analysis (LaGISA) is a facility dedicated to the understanding and modeling of the interaction between human activities and physical environments by using GIS, remote sensing, and quantitative spatial analysis. It includes a state-of-the-art computing and display facility to support memory intensive geo-computational modeling and visualization research. A wide range of GIS, remote sensing, and statistical software is available.
The Laboratory for Remote Sensing of Earth and Environmental Systems (LARSEES) is dedicated to remote sensing research related to estimation and characterization of biogeophysical processes and patterns over diverse landscapes. A specialized computing facility has been designed to support memory intensive remote sensing research. A suite of remote sensing, GIS, and statistical software is available to meet the demands of diverse remote sensing data types and analyses. Specialized equipment available for in situ measurements of spectra and canopy biophysical parameters include an ASD 350-2500 nm spectroradiometer, LiCor Plant Canopy analyzers, and canopy hemispherical photographic systems. Field equipment is also available to support forest and arctic biophysical measurements.
Urban and Regional Planning
The Ambassadors' Forum was established by the School of Urban and Regional Planning in 2003 and brings together ambassadors and high commissioners to Canada from 20 Asia-Pacific countries to meet for discussion with informed and thoughtful Canadians who speak on domestic and international issues.
The China Projects Office was established under a Memorandum of Understanding between Queen’s University and the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources in 1999. The primary function of the China Projects Office is to provide logistical support to implement the MOU between Queen’s and the MLR.
The National Executive Forum on Public Property brings together organizations from all levels of government across Canada to create a public sector council where real property knowledge and best practices are exchanged. Senior officials of over 40 federal departments, provincial/territorial agencies, the largest municipal governments and development agencies, use the Forum and the information emanating from its annual symposium and fall working session. The Forum has Academic Advisors drawn from across Canada, conducts practice-based research and facilitates internships.
The Planning With Indigenous Peoples (PWIP) Research Group is dedicated to conducting collaborative research about policy and planning with First Nations. Our objective is to enhance Indigenous-municipal relationships in the context of land use planning in the cities and regions encompassing First Nations’ lands in Southern Ontario. We also seek out the relevance and applications for our planning and policy research to other jurisdictions.
The Queen’s Real Estate Roundtable (Q25) is a group of companies from a broad spectrum of the Canadian commercial real estate sector, working together to engage in high-quality, value-added executive development, applied research, and senior-level networking. In addition to its executive seminar series (ESCIRE), current and future activities include member-directed applied research projects, an annual retreat, senior-executive networking events, and collaborative events with other industry organizations.
Associate Head, Graduate Studies
Cameron, L.J., Chen, D., Donald, B.J., Gordon, D.L.A., Lafrenière, M., Mabee, W.E., Mullings, B.A.1, Strachan, I.
Agarwal, A., Bevan, G.A., Collins, P., Christensen, J.2, Danby, R., Hartt, M., Meligrana, J.F., Scott, N.A., Whitelaw, G.S.3
Adeniyi-Ogunyankin, G., Baker, R.4, Cohen, D., Omelon, C., Prouse, C., Stoller, M., Thomson, L., Way, R.G.
Godlewska, A., Goheen, P.G., Holmes, J., Kobayashi, A., Lamoureux, S.F., Leung, H.-L., Lovell, W.G., Osborne, B.S., Qadeer, MA., Riddell, J.B., Rosenberg, M.W., Skaburskis, A., Tinline, R.R., Treitz, P.
McDonald, D.A., McKittrick, K., Schwartz, J.
Continuing Adjunct Professor
Term Adjunct Professor
Bray, C., Cumming, S., DeLoyde, C., Grossutti, C., Hall, G., Nabipour, M., Simpson, S., Streich, P., Trendota, M.
on leave until June 30, 2024
on leave July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024
on leave January 1, 2024 to June 30, 2024
NOTE: All courses offered in the Department of Geography and Planning, except GPHY 801 and GPHY 857 are of one term in length (3.0 credit units). GPHY 801 and GPHY 857 are 3.0 credit unit courses that run through both Fall and Winter terms. The Department of Geography and Planning usually offers approximately 10 courses in any one academic year. Detailed lists are printed for graduate students by the Department in June of each year for the following academic year.
GPHY 801 Conceptual and Methodological Basis of Geography
A discussion of the major concepts, methodology, and research traditions of geography and the relationship of the discipline to the theory and methods of the natural sciences and of the social sciences. Full year course, 3.0 credit units. L. Cameron.
GPHY 818 Seminar Course in Landscape Ecology
Landscape ecology emphasizes the interaction between spatial pattern and ecological processes. This seminar course will examine the theory and practice of landscape ecology, and explore how composition and spatial patterning of landscapes affects ecological processes. Topics include: theoretical aspects of scaling, methods of quantifying landscape structure, and the effects of landscape structure and temporal dynamics on ecosystem functions such as succession, movement of biota, and fluxes of nutrients, energy, and trace gases all in the context of Earth System Science. Three term-hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 819 Systems Modelling
Research in Geography and Planning, and many other disciplines, often involves measuring and understanding the complex interaction of a variety of processes in both natural (e.g. a forest) and human-dominated (e.g. a city) systems. This course provides students with the skills and tools necessary to develop, analyze, and test simulation models of complex systems containing multiple interacting processes. These models are useful for synthesizing information, testing hypotheses, and guiding the development of research questions and policy. Three term-hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 823 Environmental Biogeochemistry
This course explores the impact of climatic change and anthropogenic activities on biogeochemical processes. Emphasis is placed on understanding how the resulting changes in atmospheric chemistry, the cryosphere, land use, geomorphology, and hydrological processes alter the biogeochemical cycling of Carbon, Nitrogen, and Sulphur, and selected contaminants in terrestrial and aquatic systems. Three term-hours. Winter. M. Lafreniere
GPHY 824 Processes in Northern Regions
An advanced investigation of the current state of knowledge of processes related to the physical environment in northern settings, with the emphasis on permafrost, water and landscape interactions. Themes will include: climate and permafrost dynamics, periglacial geomorphology, hydrology, limnology. Three term-hours. Winter. R. Way
GPHY 836 Critical Methods of Inquiry
Through readings, dialogue, and practice, this course ponders how qualitative, participatory, and Indigenous modes of inquiry open up possibilities for research by confronting the socio-politico-historical power relations of knowledge production, studying the how and why of every-day lived experiences and the structures that shape/are shaped by them. Offered jointly with EPID 836. Three term hours. Not offered 2023-2024
EXCLUSION: EPID 836
GPHY 841 Measurement in Climatology
The measurement of Essential Climate Variables is examined within the context of the global climate system. Students gain hands-on experience with automatic weather stations, and are responsible for the design, programming, and deployment of a station near Kingston. Students will be introduced to 'R', an open-source language, to support the statistical analysis, modelling, and visualization of data. Field Trip Fee: $75-$100. Three term-hours. Fall. L. Thomson
GPHY 842 Remote Sensing of Environment
This course examines methods and techniques for collecting, processing and analysing remote sensing data. An emphasis will be placed on how these methods are applied to address earth and environmental issues across a range of spatial scales. Special emphasis will be placed on airborne (including UAVs) and satellite sensors operating in the visible, infrared and microwave regions of the spectrum. Three term hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 845 Spatial Data Measurement and Collection
This course examines the application of one or more geomatics techniques to problems in earth measurement. Topics may include Total Station Surveying, Satellite Positioning, Aerial Photography, Photogrammetry, LiDAR, methods of field data collection, and deformation monitoring. Specific applications may be drawn from fields such as archaeology, architecture, geomorphology, and regional mapping. Three term hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 849 Seminar in Geographic Information Science
The goal of this course is to provide an in-depth discussion on topics related to geographic information science and explore innovative GIS applications. Topics may include some, or all of the following: (i) GIS database models and structures, design, and implementation, (ii) data visualization, generalization, and representation, (iii) data mining, (iv) cognition, (v) spatial analysis, (vi) internet mapping, (vii) uncertainty and error analysis, and (viii) societal issues. Three term-hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 854 Approaches to Data in Geographic Enquiry
A survey and assessment of the methods of acquisition, editing, management, organization, retrieval and display of different types of data used in research in geography. Emphasis on data organization and management in both mainframe and microcomputing environments. Three term-hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 855 Spatial Analysis
A review of descriptive and inferential statistics and quantitative methods appropriate for the description and analysis of spatial distribution and processes. Topics include point pattern analysis, measures of spatial association, classification, analysis of spatial and temporal data series and simulation methods in spatial analysis. Applications will focus on population and diffusion processes. Three term-hours; Fall. D. Chen
GPHY 857 Geography Research Seminar
This is a seminar course required of all graduate students in the M.A. and M.Sc. programs in geography, in addition to their standard course load. The objective of this course is to introduce Master's students to a range of research approaches in the discipline of geography. The course also provides an opportunity for professional development and for the development of a Master's thesis proposal. Full year, 3.0 credit units. N. Scott
GPHY 860 Anti-Colonial Urbanism
This course examines the colonial and anti-colonial processes that shape urbanization and city life. It analyzes systems of racialization, capitalism, heteronormativity, and colonialism, and focuses on practices of resistance. The course considers cities in both the North and South and centres the work of racialized and Indigenous scholars. Not offered 2023-2024. PREREQUISITE: enrollment in a GPPL graduate program or permission of the instructor.
GPHY 866 Gender and Globalization
Examination of the ways that political, economic, cultural globalizing processes disrupt and transform existing social constructions of gender difference and patterns of gender inequality. Three term-hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 868 Geographical Theory of Place and Space
This course explores the meaning of two of Geography’s most fundamental concepts: place and space. It will look at diverse geographic approaches to these concepts from a variety of epistemological standpoints, consider their implications for research, and trace how geographers and other social scientists and artists have incorporated a critical approach to place and space into their work. Three term-hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 870 Historical and Cultural Issues in Fieldwork
This course explores the histories and cultural meanings of fieldwork. Geographical fieldwork is considered historically along with conceptions of the “field” in allied disciplines such as ecology and anthropology. Constructions of the “field” are addressed in terms of empire, nationalism, pedagogy, the lab-field border, and in relations to its role as a gendered and affective space of knowledge and activity. Three term hours. Fall. L. Cameron.
GPHY 874 Seminar in Cultural Geography
A lecture and seminar course in which developments in the field of cultural geography are examined, assessed and placed in a disciplinary and interdisciplinary context. Three term-hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 875 Seminar in Historical Geography
A lecture and seminar course in which developments in the field of historical geography are examined, assessed and placed in a disciplinary and interdisciplinary context. Three term-hours. Winter. M. Stoller
GPHY 880 The Geography of Energy
Historical, current and projected distribution of energy production and use in Canada. Topics include the development of our total primary energy supply, the rise of renewable energy sources, and future options for the development of Canada’s energy resources, as linked to our societal needs. Three term-hours. Winter. W. Mabee.
GPHY 882 The Political Geography of City Regions
An examination of the importance of city regions as fundamental spatial units in the global economy and as important political actors. The processes of worldwide economic integration and accelerated urban growth have led to new urban challenges and new ways of thinking about city-region governance. Key concepts include: the re-scaling of political economy, the role of the state, economic competitiveness, innovation and governance reforms, intercity networks, global cities, new regional policies and politics, rising inequality, social diversity, power, local democracy and citizenship. While international in scope, the primary focus will be on city-regions in North America. Three term-hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 884 Economies, Politics and Space
This seminar examines economic spaces as not only sites of production, exchange, and circulation but also as shaped by sociopolitical struggles over economic futures, the politics of place, and daily life. This will be accomplished through the discussion of key political economic texts and of current debates in the field of economic geography. Three term hours. Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 886 The Political Economy of Urbanization
This seminar introduces political economic methods of understanding processes of urbanization as well as current debates within the fields of urban geography and urban planning. Contemporary trends in urban development are analyzed using different critical theoretical toolkits such as Marxism, racial capitalism, and feminist geography. Three term hours. Winter. D. Cohen.
GPHY 887 The Geography of Health and Health Care
In a seminar format, selected themes in the geography of health and health care are examined. Epidemiological and social theories, analytic methods, and planning and policy implications of health and health care are emphasized. Three term-hours; Not offered 2023-2024.
GPHY 889 The Geography of Citizenship
An examination of recent changes in the Canadian population and the social/spatial negotiation of citizenship. As Canadian society becomes more diverse, new concepts of citizenship and new developments in human rights provision counter historic forms of oppression ('race', class, gender), to result in changes that are mediated by public policy initiatives, citizenship movements, and the reorganization of capital. Key concepts: citizenship, multiculturalism, migration, racialization, gender, transnationalism, globalization, democracy. Three term-hours. Fall. K Fevrier.
GPHY 890 Advanced Studies in Physical Geography
Selected advanced studies in earth system science. Normally, this course will take the form of a reading course in the area of the instructor's expertise. Three term-hours.
GPHY 891 Special Topics Physical Geography
Selected specialized topics in Physical Geography. Normally, this course will be a special course taught by a visiting instructor, or used to explore new, more specialized course topics in Physical Geography. Three term-hours.
GPHY 893 Advanced Studies in Human Geography
Selected advanced studies in various fields of Human Geography. Normally, this course will take the form of a reading course in the area of the instructor's expertise. Three term-hours.
GPHY 894 Special Topics in Human Geography
Selected specialized topics in Human Geography. Normally, this course will be a special course taught by a visiting professor, or used to explore new, more specialized course topics in Human Geography. Three term-hours. Winter. C. Prouse
GPHY 899 Master's Thesis Research
GPHY 999 Ph.D. Thesis Research