Academic in Residence

Signal Hill Campus is piloting an Academic in Residence program beginning in the Fall 2023 semester. The program invites an academic to visit Memorial University and immerse themselves in the university community through collaborative work and programming. 

Meet the Academic in Residence

Richard Shearmur has been professor of economic geography at the McGill School of Urban Planning since 2013, and directed the School between 2017 and 2023. Prior to that he was editor-in-chief of Urban Geography from 2010 to 2017, a tenure which overlapped with his time as professor at the University of Québec's INRS (Institut National de Recherche Scientifique), where he began his academic career in 1998. After his undergraduate degree (Cambridge), and prior to completing his Master's (McGill) and PhD (Université de Montréal), he worked for five years as a real estate consultant in England and France.

The basic question that drives his research concerns the location of economic activity, and, by extension, local and regional economic development (since economic activity must locate, emerge, or remain in places where development is sought). He has undertaken research on regional development policy, on the connection between location and firm-level innovation, on the connection between innovation and local development (with particular focus on more isolated regions), and on how economic activity locates within cities and metropolitan areas. This research has led him to question what is meant by the 'location' of economic activity in a context where economic actors, as well as their ideas, are mobile. It has also led him to consider what a 'periphery' is and how innovation occurs there. He has published over 200 papers on these topics, as well as a variety of reports and books.

When he is not teaching, writing, or revising papers he cycles, takes photos, reads, and is managed by his four daughters.