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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 20, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Alison Mountz

Professor, Canada Research Chair in Global Migration Studies, Geography & Balsillie School

Contact Information
Phone: 226-772-3143 ext.reception
Fax: 519-725-1342
Office Location: Balsillie School Rm 248
Office Hours: by appointment
Personal Website:
Academic Background

PhD, University of British Columbia, Geography

MA, Hunter College -CUNY, Geography

BA, Dartmouth College, Latin American and Caribbean Studies,  


During academic year 20152016, I am on leave from Wilfrid Laurier University and based at Harvard University as the 2015-2016 William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies.

Dr. Alison Mountz is Professor of Geography and Canada Research Chair in Global Migration. She is affiliated with the International Migration Research Centre and cross-appointed between the Balsillie School of International Affairs and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Before coming to Waterloo, Mountz was on faculty at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and the 2009-2010 Mackenzie King Research Fellow with the Canada Program at Harvard University.  

Dr. Mountz's work explores the tension between the decisions, displacements, and desires that drive human migration and the policies and practices designed to manage migration. Her current research examines border enforcement, asylum, and detention on islands. Her work has been funded by the John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation, the Canadian Embassy, the National Science Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Metropolis Project.

In 2010 Mountz published Seeking Asylum: Human Smuggling and Bureaucracy at the Border (University of Minnesota Press). In this monograph, she looks at how Canada and other countries respond to human smuggling. Seeking Asylum was awarded the 2011 Meridian Book Prize from the Association of American Geographers.

Dr. Mountz teaches courses and advises students researching migration and political geography. She also serves as Principal Investigator of the Island Detention Project (funded by a CAREER grant from the NSF), which examines the role of islands in migration enforcement off the shores of North America, Europe, and Australia.