Profile: S. Harris Ali

S. Harris Ali, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada. Dr. Ali’s research interests involve the study of environmental health issues and the sociology of disasters and risk from an interdisciplinary perspective.

S. Harris Ali earned all of his university degrees at McMaster University, beginning with his BA (Honours) in Sociology in 1987, an MA in Sociology in 1988, followed by a BEng in Materials Engineering in 1991, and his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1996. He has also taught at McMaster, the University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia.

Harris has published on toxic contamination events and disease outbreaks in such journals as: Social Problems, Social Science and Medicine, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, Canadian Public Policy and Urban Studies as well the preparation as technical reports regarding Emergency Management in Ontario municipalities for Environment Canada. His current research focuses on the relationship between globalization, urbanization and infectious disease spread. He has been funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council to investigate SARS and the Global City: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in Toronto, and has published recently an edited volume with Roger Keil entitled Networked Disease: Emerging Infections in the Global City (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008). His most recent research involves the spread of tuberculosis amongst the homeless in Toronto, environmental justice and political economy, as well as the potential of complexity theory to investigate environmental health phenomena.

Harris may be contacted at

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Updated: March 2009