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Justin J. Podur

Justin J. Podur


Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning


PhD Forestry, University of Toronto
MScF Forestry, University of Toronto
BSc (Honours) Physics, University of Toronto

Research Keywords

Geopolitics & The Interface Of Media Narrative; Western Intervention & Local Dynamics In Current & Ongoing Wars; Quantitative Methods and Models; Geographic Information Systems; Landscape Ecology.

Graduate Supervision

I supervise students in the graduate programs in Geography and Environmental Studies.

Justin Podur

Contact Information

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

416 736 2100 |

Research Interests

I study political conflict (wars), focused on a few specific parts of the world where I have traveled and worked as a journalist and translator and where the "West" (the US, UK, Canada etc.) has a heavy footprint. In my view these wars have harmed developmental and environmental aspirations, so it's imperative to work to understand them and to imagine better. Trying to understand the origins of these wars has led me further and further back into historical research, which I integrate with studies of current geopolitics.

My scientific research background has been focused on forest fires in Ontario – their spatial and temporal patterns, increases in their numbers and area burned, balancing their role as part of the landscape with the fact that they can threaten people and things of value. Looking at causes of the increases led me to an interest in climate change, and how to manage forests in light of it. My main methods have been modeling using mathematical and computer models to study fire and, now, other ecological problems. I teach landscape ecology and geographic information systems.

Research Output

Extraordinary Threat: The US Empire, the Media, and 20 Years of Coup Attempts in Venezuela (co-authored with Joe Emersberger). Monthly Review Press, 2021. (

Podur, J. (2020). America’s Wars on Democracy in Rwanda and the DR Congo. Palgrave Macmillan.

Podur, J. (2019). Siegebreakers: A Novel. Rosewood/Fernwood Publishing.

Podur, Justin (2012). Haiti's New Dictatorship: The Coup, the Earthquake and the UN Occupation. Pluto Press, BTL, and Palgrave-Macmillan.

Refereed Articles

Podur, J. (2014). A Short Course on Development in “Post-conflict” Congo. Radical Teacher, 98, 52-57. doi:10.5195/rt.2014.70.

Podur, Justin (2013), "Incompatible objectives: Counterinsurgency and development in Afghanistan", Chapter 10 in Empire's Ally, edited by Klassen and Albo. University of Toronto Press, February 2013.

Non-refereed Articles

The Anti-Empire Project Podcast: - 175+ episodes and counting...

Writing Fellow at the Independent Media Institute's Globetrotter Project (

Short Fiction: "Under the Mountain." 28th August 2019,

Recognition & Awards

  • NSERC Discovery Grant
  • Frank A. MacDougall Fellowship
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Canadian Forest Service (CFS) Supplement
  • NSERC Post Graduate Scholarship (PGS) B
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship


Course CodeTitle
ENVS 1400Foundations of Environmental Management - Policy, Resources, and Conservation
ENVS 6182Environmental Analytics
GEOG 2420Introductory Statistical Analysis
GEOG 4340Spatial analysis and problem solving with GIS