Using spatial analysis to explore environment and sustainability
Under the broad umbrella of Environment and Sustainability, my research interests lie in spatial analysis, in both theoretical and spatially-grounded applications. My teaching focuses on GIScience (Geographical Information Science), GISystems, and Remote Sensing, and includes advanced issues in GIS, and research using GIS (crime analysis, health geography, conservation biology, and landscape ecology). Read more.
Spatial analysis is an area of study that lies at the core of geography yet is inherently interdisciplinary and has relevance in the physical, health and social sciences. The thread that unifies my research is the understanding and insight that advanced spatial analysis brings to theoretical and applied research problems--often unveiling subleties that would otherwise have been overlooked.
I have three main areas of research interest:
- Theoretical investigations in spatial concepts. That is, exploring the theoretical underpinnings of spatial analysis, including issues related to scale, error and accuracy, visualization, fractals and data mining.
- The application of spatial analytical theory in subject areas where space and place are considered important explanatory elements. This includes a particular focus on biogeography (including health geography/medical biogeography and conservation biology) and, in particular, the distributions and occurrences of species (e.g. landform correlations). It also includes a focus on aspects of human geography, such as immigration, VGI, and land use applications.
- The social impacts of spatial technologies. That is, exploration of the social aspects of GIScience and geospatial technologies--the reflexivities between technology and society (e.g., public participation and the geoweb).
Example research topics in my lab, past and present:
- Spatial analytical theory
- Digital elevation models (DEMs) and fractals
- Topographic characterization for DEM error modeling
- Approximation of topographic surfaces from Digital Elevation Models
- Error analysis in Geographic Information Science
- Handling uncertainty in GIS and environmental models
- Theory application
- Remote sensing, GIS and elephant studies in Africa
- Salish Sucker habitat modeling and assessment
- Spatial risk assessment of West Nile Virus in British Columbia
- Prevalence of tick-borne pathogens in the Okanagan
- Ecological niche modeling of the pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus gattii
- Geomatics and the geoweb: participatory geoweb and global environmental change
- Volunteer Geographic Information (VGI) and public reporting of wildlife occurrences
Special Projects: The Biodiversity of British Columbia
Three special environmental initiatives have been developed in the lab. Through the Biodiversity of British Columbia website and the biogeographic atlases of British Columbia, E-Flora BC and E-Fauna BC, we provide insights into our provincial biodiversity, what influences it, and how it is studied. The atlases contain a significant VGI or citizen science component .
Affiliations and Service
- Member (BC representative), The Biota of Canada : A Census of Canadian Species project. Biological Survey of Canada
- Editor and Project Coordinator of E-Flora BC and E-Fauna BC: the Biogeographic Atlases of British Columbia
- Faculty Associate with the UBC Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability
- Chair of the Remote Sensing and GIS Council of the University of British Columbia
- Honorary Research Associate with the University of British Columbia Herbarium
- Past President, Canadian Cartographic Association
- Past Editor, Cartographica
- Past member and/or co-chair of several Species-at-Risk National Recovery Teams