Grant McKenzie

Associate Professor

Grant McKenzie is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at McGill University in Montréal, Canada where he leads the Platial Analysis Lab, an interdisciplinary research group that works at the intersection of data science and behavioural geography. Much of Dr. McKenzie’s work examines how human activities vary within and between local neighbourhoods and global communities. This has driven his applied interests in financial accessibility, geoprivacy, and micro-mobility services as well as the broader role that spatial data science plays at the intersection of information technologies and society.  Dr. McKenzie is a founding member of the Seattle-based start-up consultancy Spatial Development International and has worked as a data scientist and software developer for a range of NGOs and leading technology companies.

Mikael Brunila

Doctoral Candidate

Mikael Brunila is a PhD student in Geography at McGill University. He graduated in 2017 as a Fulbright scholar from the Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences program at Columbia University. He completed his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minor subjects in Economics and Computer Science at the University of Helsinki in 2016. Brunila uses GIS, Bayesian inference and natural language processing to study semantic geographies in the sharing economy, governance through data science and machine learning as well as urban social movements. He previously worked as a journalist and has co-authored books on the far-right in Finland, on the implementation of zero tolerance politics against graffiti in Helsinki and on the political economy of the Internet. Brunila is also a member of the Urban Politics and Governance Lab lead by professor David Wachsmuth.

Hongyu Zhang

Doctoral Candidate

Hongyu Zhang is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at McGill University. He holds a MSc in Geography from Western University (2017) and a BES in Geomatics from the University of Waterloo (2015). Before joining the Platial Analysis Lab, he was an Engineering Support Specialist at Geotab. His research interest is Geographic Information Science.

Priyanka Verma

Doctoral Candidate

Priyanka Verma is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at McGill University. Her research leverages GIS and machine learning techniques to study socioeconomic inequities in existing shared micro-mobility service networks. She received her M.Sc. in Geographical Information Science from Clark University where she developed automated workflows to expand access to map comparison metrics. Prior to this, she worked as a Data Analyst (GIS) at Foot Locker, Inc. supporting market planning, real estate, and supply chain efforts. She also holds a B.A. in Geography from City University of New York-Hunter College.

Dan Qiang

Doctoral Candidate

Dan Qiang is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at McGill University. She completed her master’s degree in architecture from the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University in 2022 and her bachelor’s degree in architecture from Hunan University in 2019. Before joining the Platial Analysis Lab, Dan was a member of the Computational Urban Design Lab led by Dr Yu Ye. Given her interdisciplinary background, she is passionate about improving the built environment and generating urban vitality. Her research spans urban morphology, human mobility and GIScience. Her professional goal is to bridge the gap between Urban Planning and Spatial Data Science.

Daniel Romm

Doctoral Student

Daniel Romm is a Doctoral student in Geography at McGill University, where he is researching free-floating micromobility systems using quantitative methods. Daniel has previously studied these mobility systems using qualitative methods for several years at the University of Toronto, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Human Geography in 2020. Daniel also has an interest in theories of “place”, as well as geoprivacy.

Clara Féré

Master's Student

Clara Féré is a master’s student in Geography at McGill University. Her research will focus on the social perception of high-wave vessels in the Saint Lawrence River through geospatial analysis. During her Bachelor, Clara found a true passion for GIS which led her to join the Geographic Information Centre’s team and work as a Research Assistant. Her work involved the assemblage of the historical Western Han’s rivers, the examination of correlations between industry parks and air quality, and the construction of a hydrological flooding model. She is also accustomed to teaching workshops on ArcGIS Pro.

Research Assistants

Nicholas Foisy

Nicholas Foisy

GeoNLP Projects

Siyuan Chen

Homomorphic Encryption


Kevin Nam

RA (PrivyTo)

Maya Shyevitch

Honours Student

Elodie Ithier

RA (Locat-ED)

Jonah Levitt

Honours Student

Emily Chen

Honours Student

Myeong Lee

Doctoral Student

Collaborating Labs

Friendly Cities Lab

Georgia Tech

Space-Time for Knowledge Organization Lab

University of California, Santa Barbara

GeoKEA Lab

University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Geospatial Artificial Intelligence Lab

University of Buffalo, SUNY

Geospatial Data Science Lab

University of Wisconsin-Madison