Leo is a dedicated geographer whose work is informed by a wide-ranging engagement with the philosophy and social theory of the spatial heterogeneity of people, process, and place. In the Population, Health and Place PhD programme at the Spatial Sciences Institute, he investigated the relationships between researchers, practitioners, and participants within the cognate fields of sociology, public health and the spatial sciences. In particular, he makes use of public participatory geographic information science (PPGIS) to reconstitute networks of knowledge production. This work engages non-traditional participants in academia through collaborations across multiple geographies and broadens participation to draft important transdisciplinary conceptual and methodological pathways.

His current research seeks to open a space for a dialogue between diverse actors and stakeholders in Los Angeles. It assesses the impact of situated knowledges on the practice and performance of social science, exploring the affect geographies of urban life and inequality in the postmodern metropolis.

Examining the networks and artefacts of science and politics, his PhD dissertation draws on three case studies: visual regimes of marginal bodies in liminal urban spaces; a participatory account of neighbourhood food systems; and an open platform for volunteered geographic information empowering communities to monitor housing inequality and insecurity. By creating and evaluating new forums for knowledge generation, the aim is to address health and social inequalities through direct action, principally by sharing custodianship of geographic information and enquiry with affected communities.


MSc, Nature, Society and Environmental Governance, University of Oxford
B.A., (Hons), Geography/North America, University of Lancaster


2022 L. Baezconde-Garbanati, T.B. Cruz, J. Steinberg, E. Chauca, N. Reynoso, B. Martinez, R. Barahona, B. Olsen, L. Lerner, K. De La Haye, Stay Connected L.A.: A model program where the arts meets public health to combat COVID-19 among Latino/Latinx populations. International Journal of Arts and Science Research, 9(2),

2021 K. De La Haye, L. Baezconde-Garbanati, J. Steinberg, T.B. Cruz, B. Olsen, L. Lerner, B. Martinez, E. Chauca, T. Cloud, N. Reynoso, D. Duong, M. Amezuca, R. Barahona, COVID-19 and the Latino Community in Los Angeles County, USC Center for Health Equity in the Americas.

Manuscripts submitted or in preparation

Lerner, Athletic bondage, CTE-ball, and the Coliseum. Three stories of race, medicine, and geopolitics during the 2020 American college football season. Sports, Ethics & Philosophy: Journal of the British Philosophy of Sport Association (returned for revisions).

Lerner, Lessons and reflections from a complete audit of the retail food environment in Eastside Los Angeles. Annals of the American Association of Geographers (in preparation).

Teaching experience

As Teaching Assistant:
SSCI 301: Maps and Spatial Reasoning
SSCI 265Lg: The Water Planet
SSCI 587: Spatial Data Acquisition

As Guest Lecturer:
SSCI 581: Concepts for spatial thinking
SSCI 402: Geospatial Technology Management for Sustainability Science and Sustainable Development