Mohammed Arefin

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

urban geography
discard studies
urban political ecology
Environmental justice
geographical political economy

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.
I am interested in working with undergraduate students on research projects.


Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).
I am interested in supervising students to conduct interdisciplinary research.

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Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

“We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know what it would be like to live it” : the extreme weather worlds of senior tenants in Vancouver, British Columbia (2023)

This thesis explores the ways in which recent extreme weather events in Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.) are experienced, narrated and remembered in the context of already-existing inequalities, such as housing and economic injustice. The 2021 summer “heat dome” was the deadliest weather event in Canadian history and was responsible for the deaths of over 600 people, almost all of whom died indoors at home or in a hotel, according to the BC Coroners Service. Echoing studies of other heatwaves, social isolation and factors such as older age, underlying health conditions, and economic inequality have been identified as particular risk factors for the 2021 heat dome. In B.C.’s population centre, Metro Vancouver, the recently declared climate emergency by the City of Vancouver coincides with a housing emergency, with Metro Vancouver currently home to the highest average rents and the most evictions across Canada.Based on collaborative work with the UBC Centre for Climate Justice, this thesis examines senior tenants’ experiences, stories, and memories of extreme heat and home. Two focus groups and fourteen oral histories were conducted between February and April 2023, primarily in South Vancouver. Drawing on feminist political ecology, disaster studies, and memory and weather studies, I illuminate four key ways that participants experienced and remembered the 2021 heat dome: 1) disruption of everyday activities, 2) experiences of loss of control, often linked to their positions as tenants, 3) comparisons to other places and expected weather norms, especially as past memories informed experiences of present weather and 4) stories told through participants’ diaries of everyday life. Through these key pathways of experience and memory, I argue that understanding how participants experience extreme weather through an embodied, memory-rich, and political lens allows for better scholarly and policy understandings of how to support communities during events like the heat dome. I recommend that future work on heat policy, climate justice, and planning for extreme weather better incorporate narratives and embodied knowledges of senior tenants, and further consider the unjust power dynamics that can arise around relationships to housing and home.

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