CUE Post-doctoral Fellowship

UTM Entrance


Post-doctoral Fellowship


The Centre for Urban Environment’s vision is to promote healthier and more sustainable urban environments by providing local, national and global leadership in research, training, public engagement and policy on urban environmental issues. This includes building strong relationships with conservation authorities, NGOs, private industry and at all levels of government. It also means reaching across the borders of traditional disciplines to cultivate world class interdisciplinary scholarship at the crossroads of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and economics.

CUE is proud to provide a fully funded, one-year post-doctoral fellowship to an emerging scholar whose work aligns with CUE’s vision. Topics of research for CUE post-docs may include urban environmental policy, urban socio-ecology, urban anthropology (e.g., indigenous communities, culture, religion), human well-being in an urban environmental context, environmental economics of cities, the role of art in urban landscapes, as well as the study of climatology, environmental science, behavior, ecosystems, ecology and evolutionary biology in an urban context. The focus of post-doctoral fellowships alternates between the social sciences/humanities and the natural sciences each year, although interdisciplinary applications are especially encouraged.

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to work alongside leading voices in urban environmental research and enjoy the resources and opportunities of Canada’s premier university. In addition to conducting original research, CUE post-docs are expected to contribute to CUE’s broader mission, which may include giving academic and public lectures, hosting seminar speakers and organizing workshops at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

The total value of the post-doctoral fellowship is $55,000 CDN ($50,000 stipend + $5,000 benefits) (additional research funds may be provided by supervisors). Interested individuals are encouraged to consult the formal application requirements when there is a call for applications and ensure all necessary documentation is included in their application. Applicants may also review current and past post-docs to get a sense of the work currently being done at CUE. 

Application guidelines are available at the link below.

CUE Postdoctoral Fellowship call for applications 2023-2024.


Current Postdocs


Dr. Varuni  Jayasooriya’s research background is in the modeling of urban microclimates. Her current research examines how the different attributes of the urban fabric (with a specific focus on hard/paved surfaces), affect the urban microclimates and the urban energy demand. She aims to develop guidelines to design energy-efficient hardscapes for cities, to contribute to NetZero Emission Goals 2050. She began her fellowship with CUE in June 2024.

Dr. Tharusha Wijewardena began her fellowship in May 2024. Her research project focuses on how the urban heat island (UHI) effect impacts the nesting ecology of freshwater turtles in Peel and Halton municipalities in Ontario, Canada. UHI effect occurs when urban habitats create thermal environments that are warmer than surrounding natural habitats due to the abundance of heat-absorbing surfaces (e.g., asphalt, concrete) and a lack of vegetation cover. As such, UHI can cause higher mean temperatures and extreme temperature fluctuations in urban areas compared to surrounding non-urban areas. As ectotherms, freshwater turtles rely on external temperatures to regulate their internal temperature and biology, thus, the effects of UHI on freshwater turtles can be significant. For example, successful hatching of turtles requires stable temperature and moisture conditions in the terrestrial nest chamber throughout embryonic development. UHI effect could impact the physical environment that eggs and hatchlings are exposed to, which can alter their survival, body size, body condition, behaviour, and sex (i.e., developmental plasticity). To explore the impacts of UHI on the developmental plasticity of turtles, she will compare nest conditions, primary sex ratio, and hatching and overwintering success of Painted and Snapping Turtles between urban and non-urban habitats. This research will be conducted in collaboration with multiple community science groups in the region. Dr. Tharusha Wijewardena will be working with Prof. Rosalind Murray.


Past Postdocs


Dr. Camilo Ordóñez Barona began his fellowship at the Centre for Urban Environments in June 2022. Camilo’s research is about generating more accurate knowledge on how people and urban nature influence each other. The goal of his work is to promote healthy environments for the human and non-human inhabitants of cities, and help cities become more liveable, sustainable, and resilient. Camilo’s research addresses many contemporary urban issues, including ecological restoration in cities, community perspectives of urban nature, biodiversity in the city, socio-environmental drivers of urban ecosystems, engineering technologies that support urban green infrastructure, and climate change adaptation. Originally from Cali, Colombia, he works in many countries, including Canada, Australia, and Latin America. His work at CUE will be about addressing the fundamental research gap of how urban trees contribute ecosystem services, with a focus on urban walkability. Working with Profs. Jue Wang and Tenley Conway, he will use an innovative and experimental research approach based on GPS technology and urban tree removals across the Greater Toronto Area.


Dr. Taylor Brydges is an interdisciplinary researcher with an interest in sustainability, the circular economy, and the fashion industry. At CUE, using the City of Mississauga as a case study, her research will investigate the opportunities and challenges of implementing a localized, circular economy approach to garment recycling. Dr. Brydges will work in collaboration with UTM Professor Shashi Kant, as well as a team of international partners from Australia, Japan, Sweden, and the UK. Her Fellowship  began in September 2021.


Dr. Alessandro Filazzola is a community ecologist and data scientist who examines factors that alter community assembly in the context of climate extremes and disturbance. His long-term research objective is to improve our understanding of how ecological communities respond along temporal and spatial gradients in an era of global anthropogenic change. He will work with the Conservation Authorities, Prof. Scott MacIvor and other UofT researchers. Using data from the Conservation Authorities his research will focus on modelling changes to terrestrial biodiversity patterns in response to different projections of urban development and climate change. Dr. Filazzola began his fellowship in November 2020. You can learn more about his research at


Dr. Egide Kalisa is an Environmental Scientist whose research addresses the spatio-temporal characteristics of urban air pollution and aims to identify measures to tackle air pollution while engaging with the locations and communities that are most vulnerable. Dr. Kalisa’s research compared how children in Canada and in Africa are exposed to ambient air pollution at school. His research objective was to quantify air pollutants in school playgrounds, with the intention of providing intervention strategies to reduce student exposure in Rwanda and Canada. He worked with Profs. Matthew Adams and Vincent Kuuire. Dr. Kalisa began his fellowship in September 2020.


Chance Finegan, PhD, is an interdisciplinary, American-Canadian scholar and educator. His work is generally concerned with understanding how strong relationships between protected areas and Indigenous peoples can contribute to Indigenous resurgence and improved conservation outcomes. Chance’s fellowship at CUE began in September 2019. Bridging their mutual interested in protected areas, he is working with Andrea Olive to understand how urban parks can support and create safe space for urban, off-reserve Indigenous peoples’ identities and cultural practices.


Dr. Hossam Abdel Hafez began his fellowship at the Centre for Urban Environments in October 2018. Working alongside professors Helene Wagner and Tenley Conway, Dr. Hafez has collaborated extensively with the Government of Alberta and the Credit Valley Conservation Authority to build connectivity models to understand how urbanization and other forms of anthropogenic disturbance affect the movement of plants and animals. His results have the potential to inform policy and planning on how to develop cities in the future and how to facilitate the conservation of existing communities.