Dr Thomas Sigler
Dr Thomas Sigler


Lecturer in Human Geography


Room: 35 - 509
Phone: 336-53804
Email: t.sigler@uq.edu.au
Google Scholar site ResearchGate site


PhD Geography, The Pennsylvania State University
MSc Geography, The Pennsylvania State University
BA Geography & International Relations, The University of Southern California

Professional Associations

  • Urban Affairs Association
  • Institute of Australian Geographers
  • Association of American Geographers


Dr Thomas Sigler joined GPEM in 2012, relocating from his home in the US.  Dr Sigler has worked abroad in several different contexts.  In 2009, he worked with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and partner organizations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to formulate a conservation plan in the eastern part of the country.  In 2007 and 2008, he worked in Honduras with an organization called Global Brigades creating programming for undergraduate students traveling to Central America to deliver sustainable enterprise workshops. 

Research Interests

For the past few years, Dr Sigler's research has focused on understanding the drivers behind the complex process commonly referred to as urban growth.  Through his dissertation research in Panama, he has sought to comprehend the interface between private developers, institutional actors, and the state.  The global urban system is constantly being reordered by globalization, and he argues that contemporary political and economic frameworks have articulated power toward particular cities in unique and novel ways.  Dr Sigler's work has focused on documenting a subset of these cities that he calls 'relational' cities; these are urban agglomerations that hold strategic intermediary roles in an increasingly connected world. Dr Sigler's key areas of interest are:
  • Network-Based Approaches to Understanding Global City Formation
  • Urban Morphology in the Global South
  • Historical Urban Development

For more information on Dr Sigler’s project titled ‘The Geography of Resource Networks’, click here.

Research Students

Principal supervison of PhD students:

Associate supervision of PhD students:

Selected Publications

Sigler TJ, Amen KA and Dwyer KA (2015).  The Heterogeneous Isthmus:  Unpacking Socioeconomic and Cultural Differentiation in PanamaBulletin of Latin American Research.  

Tang AZR, Rowe Gonzales F, Corcoran J, and Sigler TJ (2014).  Where are the overseas graduates staying on? A study of overseas graduate migration in Australia. Applied Geography.  DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.06.004

Sigler TJ (2014).  Monaco with Bananas, a Tropical Manhattan, or a Singapore for Central America:  Explaining Rapid Urban Growth in Panama City, PanamaSingapore Journal of Tropical Geography DOI: 10.1111/sjtg.12058

Sigler TJ (2014).  Panama as Palimpsest:  The Reformulation of the Transit Corridor in a Global EconomyInternational Journal of Urban and Regional Research—IJURR.  DOI:  10.1111/1468-2427.12132

Sigler TJ (2014).  Panama’s Special Economic Zones:  Balancing Growth and Development in a National Context. Bulletin of Latin American Research 33(1): 1-15. DOI: 10.1111/blar.12035

Sigler TJ (2013).  Relational Cities:  Doha, Panama City, and Dubai as 21st Century Entrepôts Urban Geography 34(5):  612-633.  DOI: 10.1080/02723638.2013.778572

Sigler TJ and Albandoz R (2013).  Beyond Representation:  Film as a Pedagogical Tool in Urban GeographyJournal of Geography.  DOI: 10.1080/00221341.2013.764918


What does your skyline say about your city?  The Atlantic Cities, 23 August 2012.
Is There Such as Thing as ‘Rural’ Gentrification?. Planetizen, 21 February 2012. 
A Fight to Save One of Latin America’s Oldest NeighborhoodsThe Atlantic Cities, 15 November 2011. 
In Defense of Publicly Owned MetrosThe Atlantic Cities, 2 November 2011. 
Metro Planning:  A Snapshot of GIS Applications in PanamaPlanning and Technology Today,11 August 2011.  


Last updated: Nov 23, 2015

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