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Dr. Mark W. Rosenberg
Professor, Canada Research Chair in Development Studies
Office: Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room E308
Phone: +001 (613) 533-6046
Fax: +001 (613) 533-6122
Email: rosenber@queensu.ca
Links: IGU Website
Research areas: Health Geography; Ageing and Population Studies; Public Policy



Teaching Interests





I was born and grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. I did my undergraduate degree in geography at the University of Toronto (B.A. Honours, 1975) before going to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) to do my M.Sc. (Geography, 1976) and Ph.D. (1980). I taught at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Ottawa and Carleton University and worked as a pollster with Angus Reid and a research consultant with J.F. Hickling Management Consultants before joining the Department of Geography at Queen’s in 1985.

During my sabbatical leaves, I have been a visitor in the Departments of Geography at the LSE (London, England), the University of Nottingham (Nottingham, England), Department of Health Care and Epidemiology and the Institute of Health Promotion Research at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, British Columbia) and the Department of Geography at the University of Canterbury (Christchurch, New Zealand).

In 1999, I received the Canadian Association of Geographers’ Award for Service to the Profession of Geography. I was a 2001 Visiting Erskine Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. I was the inaugural award winner for Excellence in Graduate Supervision at Queen’s in 2006. In 2008, I was made an Honorary Professor in the  Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research.More recently, I was the Anderson Lecturer in Department of Geography at University of Florida in March 2010. In the same year, the Chinese Academy of Sciences made a Visiting Professor for Senior International Scientists. Based on a nomination from the Canadian Association on Gerontology, I received a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2012, I also became the Canada Research Chair in Development Studies and an Adjunct Professor in the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

I am a past Chairperson of the International Geographic Union (IGU) Commission on Health and the Environment, Secretary-General of the North American Regional Council of the International Association of Gerontology and Treasurer of the Canadian Federation of Demographers. I also served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal on Aging, was a North American Editor of Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy. I am currently the Co-chair of the  Scientific Steering Committee of the Earth System Science Partnership on Global Environmental Change and Human Health and a Steering Group Member of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change Advisory Group on Human Health. I am currently on the editorial boards of Canadian Public Policy and Health and Place.

Teaching Interests

In recent years at Queen’s, my main teaching interests have been in medical and health geography. I am currently teaching GPHY 336* Geography, Health and the Environment, and GPHY 339* Medical Geography at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, I  teach GPHY 887* The Geography of Health and Health Care.

Recent graduate research that I have supervised includes analyses of physician retention issues in remote settings in British Columbia, home care in Ontario, persons with intellectual disabilities living in small town settings in Ontario, and access to residential care in Beijing. I am currently supervising graduate research on the effects of homelessness on older persons’ health in Toronto, older Philippina and Philippino health and access to health services in Toronto,  the use and barriers to services for older persons with early stage Alzheimer’s disease living in rural Ontario, the use of home care services among older people living in Beijing, the health impacts of working in low wage service sectors employment among visible minority immigrants, and the links among social deprivation, health and health care in Kingston among the oldest-old. Increasingly, the graduate student with whom I work are employing  research designs, which combine the use of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore the multi-dimensionality of complex issues in the geography of health and health care.


In the field of ageing and population studies, I have been engaged in a series of studies examining changing demographic, socio-economic and geographic characteristics of various groups within the Canadian population. These studies have included research on the older population, the demographic profiles of Ontario's disabled population and the characteristics of their everyday lives, where immigrants go once they arrive in Canada, and various aspects of  the health and access to services among older Aboriginal Peoples. Much of this research was funded by a ten year program of research on Canada’s ageing population as part of a broader program of research entitled the Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population (SEDAP I – 2000 to 2004 and SEDAP II 2005  to 2009) (http://www.socsci.mcmaster.ca/sedap/) funded by the SSHRC.

I completed a four year multidisciplinary study entitled Aging across Canada: Comparing Service Rich and Service Poor Communities funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). This project looked at how those people responsible for delivering services, advocates for seniors and key decision makers in communities see the strengths and weakness of their communities in providing services for seniors. In another project funded by the SSHRC,  we examined whether middle size cities in Ontario and the decision makers in them see their communities as “age-friendly” and how they see the future of their communities.

We are now starting new projects on the geographies of opportunity among younger and older Aboriginal people across Canada, various aspects of health and health care among the rural older population, and the links among social deprivation, health, health care, and aging in both Canada and in China. What ties all of these projects together is their direct links to current debates in public policy. This is reflected in both the sources of funding I receive and the places where my research is published. 


Rogero-García, Jesús, and Mark W. Rosenberg (2011) “Paid and unpaid support received by co-resident informal caregivers attending to community-dwelling older adults in Spain”, European Journal of Aging. Vol. 8,  pp. 95-107 (Published online 6 April 2011).

Cheng, Yang, Mark W. Rosenberg, Wuyi Wang, Linsheng Yang, and Hairong Li (2011) “Population aging and residential care resources in Beijing, China: Analysing the spatial distribution of the elderly population and residential care facilities”, Asian Journal of Gerontology & Geriatrics. Vol. 6, pp. 14-21.

Cheng, Yang, Mark W. Rosenberg, Wuyi Wang, Linsheng Yang, and Hairong Li (2011) “Aging, health and place in residential care facilities in Beijing, China,” Social Science and Medicine. Vol. 72,  pp. 365-372.

Wilson, Kathi, Mark W. Rosenberg, and Sylvia Abonyi (2011) Aboriginal peoples, health and healing approaches: The effects of age and place on health” Social Science & Medicine. Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 355-364.

Lovell, Sarah A., Robin A. Kearns, and Mark W. Rosenberg 2011) “Community Capacity Building in Practice: Constructing its meaning and relevance to health promoters”. Health and Social Care in the Community. Vol. 19, No. 5, 2011, pp. 531-540.

Herman, Katya, Wilma M. Hopman, Elizabeth G. VanDenKerkhoff, and Mark W. Rosenberg (2012) “Physical activity, weight status and health-related quality of life in Canadian Adults”, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. pp. 625-636.

Ignaciuk, Ada, Martin Rice, Janos Bogardi, Josep G. Canadell, Shobhakar Dhakal, John Ingram, Rik Leemans, and Mark Rosenberg (2012) “Responding to complex societal challenges: a decade of Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) interdisciplinary research”, Currrent Opinions in Environmental Sustainability. Vol. 4, pp. 147-158.

Queiroz, Josiane, T.M., Mark W. Rosenberg, Léo Heller, Andréa L. M. Zhouri, Sara R. Silva (2012) “News about tap and bottled water: Can this influence people’s choices?” Journal of Environmental Protection. 2012, Vol. 3, pp. 324-333.    

Cheng, Yang, Mark W. Rosenberg, Wuyi Wang, Linsheng Yang, and Hairong Li (2012) “Access to residential care in Beijing, China: Making the decision to relocate to a residential care facility,” Ageing & Society, 32, pp 1277-1299 doi:10.1017/S0144686X11000870

Cheng  Yang, Jiaoe Wang, and Mark W. Rosenberg, “Spatial access to residential care resources in Beijing, China,” International Journal of Health Geographics. 2012, 11:32, DOI: 10.1186/1476-072X-11-32 (Acccepted August 2012).