Current PhD Students

Samantha Aeby (MA Criminology, U of T)

Supervisor:  Scot Wortley

Jacqueline Briggs (MA English, U of T)

Ph.D. Supervisor: Mariana Valverde
Research Interests: Indigenous justice; legal history; the development of legal aid in Canada; the legal profession and colonialism.
Current projects: Department of Indian Affairs legal aid from 1880s to 1960s; the ‘end’ of the Indian Agents.
For more information

Jessica Bundy (MA Sociology, Acadia University)

Ph.D. Supervisor: Scot Wortley
Research Interests: the racialization of crime, community-police relations, race and the criminal justice system, counter-narratives, qualitative research methods

Adam Ellis (MA Immigration & Settlement, Ryerson)

Supervisor:  Scot Wortley
Research Interests: Trauma, PTSD and gang violence; immigration and crime; and mental health and the law.

Giancarlo Fiorella (MA Socio-Legal Studies, York)

Supervisor:  B. Jauregui
Research Interests: Political violence in Venezuela, protest policing and social movements.

Julius Haag (MA Sociology, U of T)

Supervisor:  Scot Wortley
Research Interests: Youth in conflict with the law and youth gang activity, policing, systemic inequality in the Canadian criminal justice system, the racialization of crime, and ethnographic research methods.

Brenna Keatinge (MA Sociology, U of T)

Supervisor: Mariana Valverde
Research Interests: Urban governance, civic participation, place-making, neighbourhood politics, legal geography, society and law

Jihyun Kwon (MA Criminology, U of T)

Ph.D. Supervisor: Kelly Hannah-Moffat
Research Interests: administrative oversight of law enforcement, complaint and accountability procedures, dispute resolution, bureaucratic governance

Erick Laming (MA Legal Studies, Carleton University)

Supervisor:  Scot Wortley
Research Interests: Policing; police use of force; police accountability; criminal justice reform; criminal justice policy; comparative criminal justice

Alex Luscombe (MA Sociology, Carleton University)

Ph.D. Supervisor: Matthew Light
Research Interests: Policing; surveillance; corruption; secrecy; freedom of information law

Katharina Maier (MA Criminology, U of T)

Supervisor: Rosemary Gartner
Research Interests: Punishment, prison sociology, rehabilitation and desistance, gender and crime, qualitative methods
For more information:

Jade Nixon (MA Sociology, U of T)

Valentin Pereda Aguado (MA International Security, Warwick UK)

Supervisor: Matthew Light
Research Interests: The relationship between violence and organised crime;  the evolution of violence related to organised crime in the Mexican Drug War.

Serdar San (MA Criminology, Ontario UOIT)

Ph.D. Supervisor: Dr. Matthew Light
Research Interests: Policing in authoritarian societies, democratic policing, democracy and authoritarianism, terrorism, counterterrorism, deradicalization/disengagement, international police cooperation, Turkish politics.
For more information:

Mayana C. Slobodian (MA Social & Political Thought, York)

Supervisor: Mariana Valverde
Research Interests: Indigenous and postcolonial sociolegal studies; Commissions of inquiry and the production of state knowledges; Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada
For more information:

Andrea Sterling (MA Criminology, U of T)

Supervisor:  Mariana Valverde

Grace Tran (MA Criminology, U of T)

Ph.D. Supervisor: Audrey Macklin and Mariana Valverde
Research interests: Immigration) and citizenship, legal regulation and state problematization of marriage migration, policing of ‘marriage fraud’, refugee discourses
For more information:

Grant Valentine (MA Criminology, U of T)

Supervisor:  Paula Maurutto
Research Interests: The interplay between emotionality and the administration of criminal justice in Canada; legislative reform; criminal justice policy.

Jordana Wright (MA Criminology, U of T)

Supervisor:  Mariana Valverde
Research interests: Land use planning and regulation, law and the aesthetics of the built environment, and the geographies of property
For more information: or

Dikla Yogev (MA Sociology, Tel Aviv University)

Ph.D. Supervisor: Matthew Light
Research Interests: Policing, Comparative Criminology, Research Methods, Program Evaluation


Recent graduates

Vanessa Iafolla

Supervisor: Matthew Light
Research Interests: Money laundering, terrorist financing, legal regulation, risk theory, regulatory compliance, financial literacy, fraud and victimization, social dimensions of law and money.
For more information: ;

Maria Jung (MA Criminology, U of T)

Supervisor: Rosemary Gartner
Assistant Professor, Department of Criminology
Ryerson University
Research Interests: Immigration and Crime, Urban Communities and Crime, Interpersonal Violence, Homicide, Gender and Crime, Youth Justice, Research Methods, Criminal Law, International Human Rights Law
For more information:

Olena Kobzar

Assistant Professor, Law and Society
York University

Alexandra Lysova (Doctor of Sciences, Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences)

Supervisor: Rosemary Gartner
Research Interests:  Sociology of crime, gender and crime, partner/family violence, homicide, dating violence, corporal punishment of children, crime and alcohol use in Russia and post-Soviet countries
For more information:

Natasha Madon

Supervisor: Anthony Doob
Research Interests: Young offenders, youth justice, youths’ perceptions of the justice system, and social exclusion and crime.
For more information:

Nicole Myers

Assistant Professor, Criminology
Simon Fraser University

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah

Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
University of Toronto, Mississauga

Holly Pelvin (MA Criminology, U of T)

Supervisor: Rosemary Gartner
Research Interests: Imprisonment, corrections, gender, and punishment.

Holly defended her PhD at the Centre in September 2017. Her dissertation, entitled “Doing uncertain time: Understanding the experience of punishment in pre-trial custody” was supervised by Rosemary Gartner.  It was based on data collected at four maximum security institutions in Ontario, including 120 interviews with male and female remand prisoners, and 40 staff. Holly’s future research will build on her interests in punishment and pre-trial custody, criminal justice institutions, intersectionality, the state, and qualitative methods. Holly is currently a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta, where she will be working under the supervision of Sandra Bucerius . Her postdoctoral research will examine Indigenous peoples’ experience of pre-trial custody in Alberta, and explore if and how the legacy of colonialism and failed state policies may influence this experience.

Meghana Rao (MA Media Studies, Hyderabad, India)

Supervisor: Mariana Valverde
Research interests: Conversations surrounding criminalizing and decriminalizing of suicide in India;  the ways in which the legal and the medical institutions interact around the issue of suicide and sexuality in the lives of the transgender individuals. My research interests are in the area of socio-legal theory, gender and sexuality, activism and development studies.

Rashmee Singh

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Legal Studies
University of Waterloo

Tara Watson

Tara Marie Watson defended her PhD at the Centre in October 2013. Her dissertation examined substance abuse policy and related practices within Canadian federal prisons. She has longstanding research interests in drug policy, harm reduction, corrections, and organizational risk management. Throughout her time as a PhD student, Tara Marie worked as a research coordinator at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. That work gave her much experience with qualitative data analysis and community-based research about harm reduction programs. Tara Marie also served as the graduate student representative for the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies (CoPAS) for several years.