Geddes, Alistair


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Personal profile


Education & Qualifications
2009-2013: PG Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education, University of Dundee
2001-2006: PhD in Geography, Pennsylvania State University
1993-1994: MSc with distinction, Geographical Information Systems, University of Edinburgh
1992-1993: BSc Honours Geography, University of Edinburgh
Professional History
2012: Lecturer in Geography, University of Dundee
2007-2009: RCUK Academic Fellow // Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment & Society Lecturer
2006-2007: Temporary Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Dundee
2005-2006: Temporary Lecturer in Geography, Pennsylvania State University
1997-2001: Scientific Officer, Land Use Science Group, Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen
1994-1997: Research Assistant, North West Regional Research Laboratory, Lancaster University



Current Research
Flood risk: spatial data analysis methods and geographic information handling technologies have an important contribution to make towards understanding the exposure of different groups to flood risk and the relationships between exposure and flood-linked vulnerability.  I have worked on projects assessing flood risk exposure and flood vulnerability funded by Joseph Rowntree Foundation and ClimateXChange, and on effectiveness of flood warnings funded by CREW.
Health inequalities: reducing health inequalities is a prevailing policy thrust in many countries, and as above work in this area benefits from recourse to spatially-referenced data and methods in order to visualise, describe and model such inequalities.  To date most of my own research in this area has focussed on applying contemporary local spatial modelling methods to assess variations in participation in cancer screening programme, funded by the Chief Scientist Office.
Moving beyond the desktop: over my time working with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) it has moved across and into different computing environments – most notably from desktop PCs onto the Web.  As part of this process of change, functions previously located in large comprehensive conventional desktop-based GIS software are being unpicked from the latter and merged with other digital platforms and media, to support new applications for creating and sharing geodata and information.  Increasingly these trends play into my own research – one example of ‘story mapping’ for a project led by my Dundee Geography colleagues may be found at
Earlier research
Previously I worked with other colleagues to sustain a strong focus at Dundee on human mobility and migration.  This led to a number of substantial projects, including on international mobility of UK university students, funded by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, and on documenting the experience, scope and scale of forced labour across the UK, especially among migrant workers, for Joseph Rowntree Foundation.  This research has had wide reach within and beyond Geography.



Currently I teach on these modules:

GE12002 Intro Geography Part 2: Environment City & Society (with a focus on mapping urban environments)

GE32012 Geographic Information Systems

GE42012 Advanced Geographic Information Systems

GE41006 Honours Geography dissertation


I am also the Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions contact for Geography and Environmental Science.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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