Spencer Elford

Spencer Elford

MSc Student Dr. Matthew Adams, supervisor

Research and Professional Interests

My research interests lie in the use of GIS, quantitative analysis and Data science to tackle challenges in transportation, smart cities, and the urban environment. I hope the skills I develop in my graduate studies will lead me to a career in the business intelligence, urban planning or finance.

Why Geography at UTM?

My research group lead by Dr. Matthew Adams at UTM provides me exactly what I want in a graduate program. An opportunity to explore and develop my analytical skills in a traditional research setting, while also providing me the flexibility and opportunity to develop key technical and conceptual skills that I can apply to a successful career in industry.

Honours and Awards

  • Environment Canada Atmospheric and Meteorological Graduate Scholarship
  • Michael Smith Foreign Study Scholarship
  • NSERC CGS-M Scholarship
  • David Woodward Digital Cartography Award
  • Upwind Downwind Air Pollution Conference – Top Presentation Award
  • ESRI Canada GIS Scholarship
  • International Year of Global Understanding – Student Map Design Winner
  • ESRI Student Global Content Challenge - Winner
  • McMaster University GIS Student of the Year Award


  • Elford S., Adams M.D. (2018) Using GIS Based Modelling to examine how air pollution exposure changes during the commute. Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) and International Geographical Union (IGU) Annual Meeting, August 8 2018, Quebec City, Canada
  • Elford S., Adams M.D. (2018) Air Pollution Exposure Risk to School Age Children: GIS Based modelling to examine how commute behaviour affects exposure on the commute. American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, April 10 2018, New Orleans, USA
  • Elford S. (2018) Modelling Atmospheric Pollutants for Assessing Exposure: A GIS based Approach. Upwind Downwind Conference on Air Pollution, March 5 2018, Hamilton, Canada


  • Elford, S., Adams, M.D., (2019) Geospatial datasets describing route geometry and ultrafine particulate matter dosage for children during shortest-distance and lowest-dosage school commutes in Toronto, Canada. Data in Brief (Revisions Requested)
  • Elford, S., Adams, M.D., (2019) Exposure to ultrafine particulate air pollution in the school commute: examining low-dose route optimization with terrain-enforced dosage modelling. Environmental Research Emery M.V., Murchie T., Stark R.J., Elford S., Schwarcz H.P., Prowse T.L. (2018) Mapping the Origins of Imperial Roman Workers (1st – 4th century CE) at Vagnari, Southern Italy, using 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O Variability. Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • Emery M.V., Prowse T.L., Elford S., Schwarcz H.P., Brickley M. (2016). Determining the Geographic Origins of a War of 1812 Skeletal Sample, Stoney Creek, Ontario, Using Oxygen and Strontium Isotopes Coupled with GIS-based Multi-Criteria Evaluation Analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports


Research Supervisor/mentor: 
Dr. Matthew Adams


MSc Student – University of Toronto
HBSc. Earth Science & Environmental Science, Minor in GIS – McMaster University