Ryan Gibson

Head shot of Ryan Gibson
Associate Professor - Rural Planning & Development, (Libro Professor in Regional Economic Development)
Phone number: 
519-824-4120, Ext. 56785
Landscape Architecture, Room 111
Rural Planning and Development, PhD Rural Studies

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Bio Summary

Originally from rural Manitoba, Ryan Gibson has a deep intrigue and respect for rural communities, rural people and the events that shape their futures. Growing up witnessing the transformations in rural development, agriculture and their influence on communities instilled a fascination and commitment to rural issues. Ryan joined the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development in July 2016 in the Libro Professorship in Regional Economic Development position, which is supported by a $500,000 donation from Libro Credit Union, along with two gifts from the Klosler and Roberts families, totalling an additional $500,000.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Brandon University
  • Master of Rural Development, Brandon University
  • PhD in Economic Geography, Memorial University

Affiliations and Partnerships

Research Impact

Ryan’s approach to research focuses on community-engaged research approaches to examine how rural communities sustain themselves in the new global economy. To address this large question, his research focuses on enhancing our understanding of rural development strategies, regional planning policy, governance, immigration and mobility, wealth and philanthropy, and public policy. Ryan’s work is at the nexus of local development practice, public policy, and academic knowledge. Recently, Ryan provided expert witness testimony to the Senate of Canada on the economics of rural infrastructure, the Scottish Government on comparative rural policy, and the Government of Sweden on Canadian rural policy approaches.

Ryan is the past president of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. He is the chair of the Institute of Island Studies Advisory Board at the University of Prince Edward Island.

Current Research

Graduate Student Information

Ryan is interested in working with graduate students interested in the areas of rural development, economic development, regional planning and public policy. Past graduate students are now working in a variety of sectors, including as policy analysts in provincial and federal governments, economic development officers, and the private sector.

Current Doctoral Students

  • Joshua Barrett (PhD in Rural Studies)
  • Natasha D’Sousza (PhD in Rural Studies)
  • John Dale (PhD in Rural Studies)
  • Louis Helps (PhD in Rural Studies)
  • Melanie Lang (PhD in Rural Studies)
  • Ela Mastje (PhD in Rural Studies)

Current Master Students

  • Ajibola Agbejobi (Master of Planning)
  • Lucas Berek (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)
  • Samuel Burrell (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)
  • Connor Dorey (Master of Planning)
  • Heather Douglas (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)
  • Heather Graham (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)
  • Ferdous Huq (Master of Planning)
  • Calum Jacques (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)
  • Madeline Kowalchuck (Master of Planning)
  • Sarah Lyons (Master of Planning)
  • Shayan Madani Ghahfarokhi (Master of Planning)
  • Will Meneray (Master of Planning)
  • Damilola Oyewale (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)
  • Jeremy Parsons (Master of Planning)
  • Getanjali Rana (Master of Planning)
  • Arshjit Singh (Master of Planning)
  • Paul Sitsofe (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)
  • Andrea Torok (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)
  • Chris van Dyke (Master of Planning)
  • Shanley Weston (MSc in Rural Planning and Development)

Featured Publications

For a full list of Ryan’s publications, please visit his Google Scholar page.

Related Links

Area of Research

Rural Planning and Development
Rural Studies