Alvin Simms

Department of Geography
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL
A1B 3X9

Office: SN 2019
Tel: (709) 864-2512
Fax: (709) 864-3119

E mail:


Health & Well-being

Globalization, Economy & Resources

Sustainable Communities & Regions

My research focuses on the integration of regional economic and spatial analysis methods to develop dynamic models to aid in the assessment of the sustainability of places for the purpose of informing evidence based policy and strategies for regional development. This analysis is developed by engaging communities and regional development associations whereby local knowledge and data are used to enhance the place based outcomes and recommendations.

Current and past research projects include studies on resilient communities, rural-urban interaction, functional economic regions, sustainability and capacity issues in rural communities, forecasting population shifts and demands for public and private services, assessing the value and impact of intra and inter regional industry-to-industry and occupation linkages on economies, analyzing the impact of transportation supply chains, as well as the importance of small and medium size enterprises in rural economies.


My undergraduate studies were competed in Economic Geography (BA) at Memorial University. Graduate studies, with a focus on Quantitative Geography (MSc.) and Geospatial Analysis (Ph.D.), were completed at the University of Calgary.

Select Publications and Reports

Simms, A. and Ward, J. (2015) The Characterization of Rural Area Small and Medium Size Enterprises In Atlantic Canada, An invited paper presented at 10th OECD Rural Development Conference, May 19-21, Memphis, TN, USA (under review prior to publication by ACOA Moncton)

Simms, A. and Greenwood, R. (2015) “Newfoundland and Labrador” In The State of Rural Canada Report, Published by the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation, Manitoba

Aubrey-Bassler, K., Cullen, R.M, Simms, A., Asghari, S., Crane, J., Wang, P.P., and Godwin, M. (2015) Outcomes of deliveries by family physicians or obstetricians: a population-based cohort study using an instrumental variable, Canadian Medical Association Journal, October 20, 2015 187:1125-1132

Simms, A. and Ward, J. (2014) Report on Outcomes of Estimating Housing Type and Demands Using a Cohort Specific Demographic Forecast Model, St. John’s Regional Drinking Water Study, CBCL Limited, St. John’s, NL

Simms, A. and Ward, J. (2014) Regional Economic Impact Analysis and Industry Supply Chains: An Applied Case Study of Pulp-and Paper, Aquaculture and Mining in Newfoundland and Labrador, ACOA NL Report, St. John’s, NL

Simms, A. and Ward, J. (2014) An Investigation into the Supply Chain Operation Landscape Serving the Island of Newfoundland, Transport Canada, Ottawa

Simms, A., D. Freshwater and J. Ward (2014) The Rural Economic Capacity Index (RECI): A Benchmarking Tool to Support Community-Based Economic Development, Economic Development Quarterly 28: 351

Freshwater, D, A. Simms, J. Ward (2014) Local Labour Markets as a New Way of Organizing Policies for Stronger Regional Economic Development in Atlantic Canada, ACOA, Moncton (in print)

Simms, A., D. Freshwater, J. Ward 2013 The development of a methodology to delineate and classify functional economic regions for regional planning and development: A case study of the Atlantic Provinces. ACOA, Moncton

Ward, J. and Simms, A (2011) A Rational Approach to Gaining “Citizens” Perspectives on Services in Rural Remote and Rural Adjacent Communities: A Case Study of the Grand Falls-Windsor-Baie Verte Harbour Breton Rural Secretariat Region, Rural Secretariat, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s, NL

Freshwater, D., A. Simms and K. Vodden 2011 Defining Regions for Building Economic Development Capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador, Harris Centre, MUN, October, 2011

Ward, J., A. Simms 2010 Final Report: Burin Peninsula Rural Secretariat Region: A Demographic Analysis, Rural Secretariat, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Murray M., MacDonald D., Simms, A, Fowler K., Felt L., Edwards A. and Gates K.(2006). Community Resilience in Newfoundland : The Impact of the cod moratorium on health and social well-being. A report prepared for Health Canada, Ottawa. 175p