Laura Shillington, PhD
Lecturer, Geography, Planning and Environment
Dr. Shillington has a B.Sc. (Geography, 1997) from the University of Victoria, a M.Sc. (Forestry 2002) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and completed a Ph.D. in Geography from York University. In 2008-09 she held a postdoctoral fellowship in Mexico City at the Instituto de Geografía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). She has taught geography and urban studies at York University (Toronto) and Carleton University (Ottawa). Dr. Shillington is also faculty in Geosciences at John Abbott College. In addition to her academic experience, she has also worked as a consultant in gender, environment and development, and is an active member in community social-environmental issues. At present she is assisting in the development of a local a food charter for a NDG in Montreal.
Urban Political Ecology, Environmental Justice
Geographies of home and everyday
Urban geographies of the global south
Dr. Shillington's research programme broadly explores urban social-nature relations. It addresses two interrelated issues. First, there is a need to understand cities as both social and 'natural' (ecological) spaces. Second, cities are produced through socio-ecological processes, but the resulting urban natures are uneven (both within and outside city limits). Her research attends to these issues by asking how we can alter the uneven production of urban natures to create more socially and ecologically just cities. In particular, she is interested in understanding how everyday life in urban areas, especially in mundane spaces such as the home, is embedded within multi-scalar ecological politics - from gendered human-nature relations in the household to uneven urban environmental problems and governance structures - and how paying attention to this embeddedness might help inform more just sustainability efforts. She concentrates in particular on gendered and racialised experiences and knowledges of urban natures. In this regard, my research draws on urban political ecology, environmental justice, critical urban theories, and feminist geographies (especially feminist science studies). Dr. Shillington has focused on several urban environmental issues: urban agriculture and urban food justice; the politics of water, garbage and sanitation; and children and nature.