POSITION: Assistant Professor, Tenure Stream
ACADEMIC UNIT: Geography
PLACE OF BIRTH: Milton, ON
JOINED UTM FACULTY: 2017
“I look at how different aspects of urban mobility change our exposure to air pollution.”
UTM is familiar territory for Matthew Adams. His father attended Erindale shortly after it opened in 1967, and Matthew, a recent faculty hire in geography, participated in summer camps here as a child.
“My parents still live in Milton, so it’s nice being close to home,” Adams says. “When I was seeking a position, I was looking for something that was a good fit for my interests, and things aligned quite well.”
Adams’ interest is in environmental science, specifically air pollution and urban environments.
“I try to see how changes in the built environment relate to changes in the air quality, both positively and negatively,” he says. “I also look at how different aspects of urban mobility change our exposure to air pollution.”
One of his current research projects explores how the introduction of light rail in Mississauga and Hamilton affects air pollution in those corridors, and how those changes can affect an individual’s exposure to pollution.
Yet, Adams always found himself attracted to the natural environment, opting to enrol as an undergraduate at Lakehead University, north of Superior. Somewhat ironically, he began studying air pollution there for his master’s degree. Ultimately, he realized it made more sense for him to return to an urban locale to follow his research interests. He obtained his PhD at McMaster University.
“The number one research setting for me is an urban area, since, globally, more and more people are moving there,” Adams says.
In the classroom, Adams teaches geographic information systems and applied statistics of geography. He is able to merge his research and teaching by using his research to illustrate course material. “I find teaching is a great way to connect with students, and I try to identify those who are really interested and bring them into my research group. I have six or seven undergraduates working for me. It’s a great opportunity for them to explore research and understand what it’s about.”
In fact, anyone walking across campus may spot Adams or his students checking the air pollution sensors mounted around UTM. “We do a lot of testing at the university and can do rapid prototyping of research design on campus,” he says. “The air quality here is quite good. There’s not too much interesting stuff to study.”
Adams, Matthew D., and Pavlos S. Kanaroglou. "Mapping real-time air pollution health risk for environmental management: Combining mobile and stationary air pollution monitoring with neural network models." Journal of environmental management 168 (2016): 133-141.
Adams, Matthew D., Nikolaos Yiannakoulias, and Pavlos S. Kanaroglou. "Air pollution exposure: An activity pattern approach for active transportation." Atmospheric Environment140 (2016): 52-59.
Adams, Matthew D., and Weeberb J. Requia. "How private vehicle use increases ambient air pollution concentrations at schools during the morning drop-off of children." Atmospheric Environment 165 (2017): 264-273.