Picture of Jim Clifford

Jim Clifford PhD, York University

Associate Professor, Environmental History

Faculty Member in History

Arts 706

Research Area(s)

  • Environmental history of Britain focused on Greater London
  • Digital history and Historical GIS
  • Urban History
  • Commodities, British World and 19th Century Globalization
  • Canadian History
  • Social and Political History
  • Using Technology for Active History and Public History
  • History of Public Health

About me

I am an environmental and urban historian of Britain, Canada, and the British World during the long nineteenth century. I use digital methods including historical GIS, text mining and augmented reality, to explore industrialization in Greater London and the global commodities. I am interested in the intersections between environmental, social and political history. My book, West Ham and the River Lea: A Social and Environmental History of London’s Industrialized Marshland, 1839–1914 focuses on the history of rapid growth in suburban London, while my new research explores the environmental consequences of long-distance industrial supply chains.

Current projects:

  • Collaboration with Atif Ghani of Heritage 5G to develop augmented reality content to explore the history of London, global commodities and Canadian landscapes
  • Collaborative research project: Commerce impérial et transformations environnementales: la formation des hectares fantômes dans la vallée laurentienne, 1763-1918 (SSHRC Insight Grant with  Stéphane Castonguay, UQTR, Michèle Dagenais, Université de Montreal, and Colin Coates, York University)
  • Book project: London's Ghost Acres, 1772-1918
  • Public History Project: ActiveHistory.ca
  • COVID 19 Community Archive: https://covid19archive.usask.ca/ 

Past projects:

  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant: London’s Ghost Acres 1850-1919 with Colin Coates, York University, Andrew Watson, U of S and Jon Bath, U of S. 2014-2016
  • Digging Into Data Grant: Trading Consequences with Colin Coates, York University and colleagues in Scotland. 2012-2014



Active History British History British World Canadian History Cities Commodities Digital Humanities Digital Methods Environmental History Forest History GIS HGIS History of Public Health London Nineteenth Century Public History Spatial History Timber Trade Urban Urban History

Education & Training

I completed my Ph.D. at York University in 2011. 

Awards & Honours

  • New Scholar/Artist Research Award, awarded by College of Arts and Science, University of Saskatchewan October 2018
  • Carson Fellowship, awarded by Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society - LMU Munich DEU January 2015-June 2015