Dr Thomas Sigler

Snr Lecturer in Human Geography

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
t.sigler@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 53804

Overview

I am an economic and urban geographer interested in (a) how globalisation shapes cities, and (b) how cities and urban space are shaped by globalisation. The first of these themes focusses on ‘the global economy’ and how various firms, institutions, and industries are distributed across space. This incorporates both existing geographies as well as change over time, as the shifting global economy has dynamic consequences. The second of these focusses more concretely on cities and the dynamics within them. I supervise a broad range of MPhil and Phd projects, and have active collaborations with partners in Australia, North America, Europe, and East Asia.

My specific interests fall into the following three areas:

1. The Sharing Economy, which has been popularised by platforms such as Uber and Airbnb. Little has been done internationally from a geographical perspective, and I am interested in its various facets, including mobility, transport, housing, and space-sharing (parking, office space, etc). This body has specific policy implications for cities, including Brisbane, which aim to position themselves as ‘knowledge-based’, ‘creative’, ‘innovative’ and ‘smart’ cities through spatial planning and economic initiatives. I currently supervise two PhDs in this area (Sirat Mahmuda, Robert Sobyra) and several more at the Master's and Honours level.

2. Land Use Change and Housing, with a focus on the interrelated processes of gentrification, suburbanisation, property investment, migration, and urban renewal. I am particularly interested in changing urban spatial structure with regard to macroeconomic, and specifically post-industrial, shifts that are occurring in cities around the world. I currently supervise three RHD students in this area (Ayodeji Adeniyi, Rachel Gallagher, Jason Hilder), and am interested in continuing my work on global property markets.

3. Global networks, with a focus on the diverse socio-economic connections between the world’s cities. This research theme combines network science, economic geography, and urban studies. Work in this space has been popularised through the ‘world cities’ literature, which has been widely adopted in policy circles (e.g. ‘Brisbane: Australia’s New World City’) as a catchphrase indicating international commercial connectivity. This work is supported through an ARC Discovery project grant in conjunction with the University of Western Australia and Ghent University.

Research Interests

  • Global Cities
  • Sharing Economy
  • Economic Globalisation
  • Urban Morphology

Research Impacts

My work focusses on understanding the nature of contemporary urbanisation. I have published in a wide range of academic journals, including Urban Geography, Environment and Planning A, Urban Studies, Regional Studies, Journal of Geography, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR), and the Bulletin of Latin American Research. I am on the editorial boards of Urban Geography and Geographical Research.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Southern California
  • Master of Science, Pennsylvania State University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • The sharing economy has evolved from a set of isolated grassroots movements into a global phenomenon driven by large corporate actors. The many digital platforms associated with the sharing economy (e.g. Uber, Airbnb) are now firmly embedded within our daily lives, and in many cases mediate the provision of our daily needs: transportation, food, lodging, etc. Perspectives on its impacts differ widely: on one hand, advocates point to efficiency gains from sharing that reduce waste and pollution; on the other hand, critics have pointed to the emergence of new forms of capitalist accumulation that exploit both labour and local regulatory powers.

    This project focuses on understanding how the sharing economy has impacted Australian cities. The candidate will be working with a multi-disciplinary supervisory team from urban geography, economics, and demography. The candidate may elect to focus on one of several themes within the sharing economy, including ride-sharing, vehicle-sharing, micromobility, and/or short-term rentals. Applicants with an interest in quantitative methods are preferred, but the project will support any approach that is relevant to the candidate's chosen research topic. This project is fully funded and available to potential PhD students.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Martinus, Kirsten and Sigler, Thomas (2016). Boomtown globalising: Perth as an international connected resource hub. Planning boomtown and beyond. (pp. 27-42) edited by Sharon Biermann, Doina Olaru and Valerià Paül. Perth, WA, Australia: UWA Publishing.

  • Albandoz, Roberto, Brothers, Tim, Dixon, Seth, Escamilla, Irma, Scarpaci, Joseph L. and Sigler, Thomas (2016). Cities of middle America and the Caribbean. Cities of the world: regional patterns and urban environments. (pp. 97-135) edited by Stanley D. Brunn, Jessica K. Graybill, Maureen Hays-Mitchell and Donald J. Zeigler. Lanham, MD, United States: Rowman & Littlefield.

  • Sigler, Thomas J. and Zhao, Simon X. B. (2016). Hong Kong as an offshore trading hub. The local impact of globalization in South and Southeast Asia: offshore business processes in services. (pp. 94-109) edited by Bart Lambregts, Niels Beerepoot and Robert C. Kloosterman. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.

  • Tang, Angelina Zhi Rou, Rowe, Francisco, Corcoran, Jonathan and Sigler, Thomas (2016). Spatial mobility patterns of overseas graduates in Australia. Demography for planning and policy: Australian case studies. (pp. 175-195) edited by Tom Wilson, Elin Charles-Edwards and Martin Bell. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-22135-9_10

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

  • Kirsten Martinus, Thomas Sigler and Julia Loginova eds. (2018). The global position of Guangzhou: an analysis of stock market data. International Forum on Cantonology and Global City Development, Guangzhou, China, 10-11 November 2018. Guangzhou, China: Guangzhou University.

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • The sharing economy has evolved from a set of isolated grassroots movements into a global phenomenon driven by large corporate actors. The many digital platforms associated with the sharing economy (e.g. Uber, Airbnb) are now firmly embedded within our daily lives, and in many cases mediate the provision of our daily needs: transportation, food, lodging, etc. Perspectives on its impacts differ widely: on one hand, advocates point to efficiency gains from sharing that reduce waste and pollution; on the other hand, critics have pointed to the emergence of new forms of capitalist accumulation that exploit both labour and local regulatory powers.

    This project focuses on understanding how the sharing economy has impacted Australian cities. The candidate will be working with a multi-disciplinary supervisory team from urban geography, economics, and demography. The candidate may elect to focus on one of several themes within the sharing economy, including ride-sharing, vehicle-sharing, micromobility, and/or short-term rentals. Applicants with an interest in quantitative methods are preferred, but the project will support any approach that is relevant to the candidate's chosen research topic. This project is fully funded and available to potential PhD students.