Skip to main content

Justin Podur

Archived Content

Faculty of Environmental Studies

Assistant Professor at York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies.

Research Interests
Forest Fire Research. What weather is associated with forest fire spread? Fires can smoulder, or suddenly grow large over a period of a few days or even hours. They might be put out by firefighters or by sufficient rainfall. How much rainfall is enough to put out a large fire?
How much more fire will there be in a global-warming affected boreal forest? How should we respond to forest fires, which are natural but human-affected, which have ecological benefits and risks, which can threaten human safety and values but can at times be very difficult or even impossible to control?
His research on forest fires in Ontario combines science on some of the most urgent issues of the day (climate, weather, ecosystems) with an emphasis on relevant problems (how well can forest fire management adapt? Will our systems be overwhelmed?) Our methods include mathematical and computer modeling (including simulation models, spatial statistics, time series analysis, and GIS) using forest fire and forest fire weather databases.

Selected Publications
Podur, Justin J., Wotton, B.M. (2009). “Defining fire spread event days for fire growth modeling”. Accepted (with major revisions) to International Journal of Wildland Fire Sept 11, 2009.

Podur, Justin J., Martell, David L., Stanford, David A. (2009). “A compound Poisson model for the annual area burned by forest fires in the province of Ontario”. Accepted in Environmetrics February 7, 2009.

Podur, Justin J., Martell, David L. (2009). “The influence of weather and fuel type on the fuel composition of the area burned by forest fires in Ontario 1996-2006”. Ecological Applications 19 (5): 1246-1252.

Podur, Justin J., Martell, David L. (2007). “A simulation model of the growth and suppression of large forest fires in Ontario.” International Journal of Wildland Fire 16, 285-294.

Hirsch, Kelvin G., Podur, Justin J., Janser, Robert F., and McAlpine, Robert S. (2003). “Productivity of Initial Attack Fire Crews: Results of an Expert Judgement Elicitation Study.” Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34 (3) pp. 705-716. Citations: 7

Podur, Justin J., Martell, David L., and Csillag, Ferenc (2003) “Spatial Patterns of Lightning Caused Forest Fires in Ontario, 1976-1998”. Ecological Modeling 164 (2003) pp.1-20. Citations: 19

Podur, Justin J., Martell, David L., and Knight, Keith (2002) “Statistical quality control analysis of forest fire activity in Canada”. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 32 (2) pp.195-205. Citations: 28

Justin Podur is seeking Master's students to work with on his research. If you have a bachelor's degree in physical geography, ecology, or forestry, or have a quantitative background (physics, computer science, industrial engineering) and an interest cology, please consider applying.
Funding is available. York University's Department of Geography offers a 2-year funding package to master's students based on a teaching or graduate assistantship. The professor's research funds provide additional research support, including conference travel and computing and other needs.