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Joshua MacFadyen

Joshua MacFadyen

Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture, University of Prince Edward Island


Faculty of Arts, Applied Communication, Leadership and Culture
University of Prince Edward Island
550 University Ave
Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3


  • Affiliate Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture, University of Prince Edward Island


Joshua MacFadyen is Canada Research Chair in Geospatial Humanities, and an Associate Professor in the interdisciplinary Applied, Communication, Leadership & Culture program in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Prince Edward Island. He founded the GeoREACH Lab for Geospatial Research in Atlantic Canadian History, and his team is studying the impact that mid-twentieth century policies and development plans had on land use and cover change in that region. His broader research examines the social and ecological problems of energy in Canadian and U.S. agriculture, particularly during the transition from traditional to modern agroecosystems. His publications include a monograph Flax Americana: A History of the Fibre and Oil that Covered a Continent (McGill-Queens University Press, 2018), chapters in several environmental histories of islandsenergyfood, and historical GIS, as well as articles in Agricultural SystemsRegional Environmental Change, Business History, and Agricultural History.


  • PhD, History, University of Guelph, 2010
  • MA, History, University of Waterloo, 2003
  • BA, History, University of Prince Edward Island, 2002


Journal Articles


Marull, J., C. Cattaneo, S. Gingrich, M. Gonzalez de Molna, G. I. Guzman, A. Watson, J. MacFadyen, M. Pons and E. Tello. 2019. Comparative energy-landscape integrated analysis (ELIA) of past and present agroecoystems in North America and Europe from the 1830s to the 2010s. Agricultural Systems 175(Oct):46-57. DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2019.05.011. (link )


Biel, B., D. LaScola, E. Berejnoi, S. Cloutier and J. D. MacFadyen. 2018. Does inclusivity really matter? The importance of diversity and inclusion in farm-based internship programs. Solutions 9(4):. (link )

Gingrich, S., I. Marco, E. Aguilera, R. Padro, C. Cattaneo, G. Cunfer, G. I. Guzman, J. MacFadyen and A. Watson. 2018. Agroecosystem energy transitions in the old and new worlds: Trajectories and determinants at the regional scale. Regional Environmental Change 18(4):1089-1101. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-017-1261-y. (link )

MacFadyen, J. and A. Watson. 2018. Energy in a woodland-livestock agroecosystem: Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1870–2010. Regional Environmental Change 18(4):1033-1045. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-018-1315-9. (link )


Cunfer, G., A. Watson and J. D. MacFadyen. 2017. Energy profiles of an agricultural frontier: The American Great Plains, 1860-2000. Regional Environmental Change 1-12. DOI: 10.1007/s10113-017-1157-x. (link )

MacFadyen, J. 2017. Long-range forecasts: Linseed oil and the hemispheric movement of market and climate data, 1890–1939. Business History 59(7):1010-1033. DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1304915. (link )


Temby, O. and J. D. MacFadyen. 2016. Urban elites, energy, and smoke policy in Montreal during the Interwar Period. Urban History Review / Revue d'histoire urbaine 45(1):37-49. DOI: 10.7202/1042294ar. (link )


Novaczek, I., J. MacFadyen and D. Bardati. 2010. L’utilisation de la cartographie des valeurs sociales et culturelles comme outil dans l’adaptation aux changements climatiques : Exemple d’un projet pilote à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard (Canada). VertigO 10(3):. DOI: 10.4000/vertigo.10644. (link )


MacFadyen, J. D. 2009. Breaking sod or breaking even? Flax on the northern Great Plains and prairies, 1889-1930. Agricultural History 83(2):221-246. DOI: 10.3098/ah.2009.83.2.221. (link )


MacFadyen, J. D. 2005. The Perine flax and lumber mills in Ontario, 1854-1871. Waterloo Historical Society 93(2005):51-75.


MacFadyen, J. D. 2004. "Nip the noxious growth in the bud": Ortenberg v. Plamondon and the roots of Canadian anti-hate activism. Canadian Jewish Studies/Etudes juives canadiennes 12(2004):73-96. (link )



MacFadyen, J. 2018. Flax Americana: A History of the Fibre and Oil that Covered a Continent. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN: 978-0773553477.

Book Chapters


MacFadyen, J. D. 2016. Hewers of wood: A history of wood energy in Canada. Pp. Chapter 5 In: Sandwell, R. W. ed., Powering Up: A History of Fuel, Power and Energy in Canada, 1800-2015. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN: 978-0773547858.

MacFadyen, J. D. 2016. Spinning flax in mills, households, and the Canadian state, 1850-1870. Pp. 76-102 In: Murton, J., D. Bavington and C. Dokis eds., Subsistence Under Capitalism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN: 978-0773547001.

MacFadyen, J. D. 2016. The Fertile Crescent: Agricultural land use on Prince Edward Island, 1861-1971. Pp. Chapter 7 In: MacDonald, E., J. D. MacFadyen and I. Novaczek eds., Time and a Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN: 9780773546936.


MacFadyen, J. D. and W. Glen. 2014. Top-down history: Delimiting forests, farms, and the census of agriculture on Prince Edward Island using aerial photography, ca. 1900-2000. Pp. 197-233 In: Bonnell, J. and M. Fortin eds., Historical GIS Research in Canada. University of Calgary Press. ISBN: 978-1552387085.


MacFadyen, J. D. 2013. Drawing lines in the ice: Regulating mussel mud digging in the southern gulf of St. Lawrence. Pp. 99-119 In: Campbell, C. and R. Summerby-Murray eds., Land and Sea: Environmental History in Atlantic Canada. Acadiensis. Fredericton. ISBN: 978-0919107243.



MacFadyen, J. D. 2015. Hewers of wood: A history of wood biomass energy in Canada, 1850-1950. Poster presented at the European Society for Environmental History, Versailles, France.


MacFadyen, J. D. and A. MacEachern. 2013. Time flies: Aerial photography and landscape change on Prince Edward Island, 1930-2010. Poster presented at the American Society for Environmental History, April 3-6, 2013, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (link )



MacFadyen, J. D. 2015. Hewers of wood: Biomass energy in Canada, 1850-1950. Presentation at the 23rd Biennial Conference of the Association of Canadian Studies in the United States, October 14-17, 2015, Las Vegas, NV. (link )


MacFadyen, J. D. 2014. A cold confederation: Urban energy linkages in Canada. Presentation at the The Dominion of Nature: Canadian Confederation and the Environment Workshop, July 31, 2014, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.