GeoHealth Laboratory

GeoHealth Laboratory

The GeoHealth Laboratory undertakes applied research in the areas of health geography, spatial epidemiology and Geographical Information Systems. In particular, work in the GeoHealth Laboratory focuses upon how the local and national contexts shape health outcomes and health inequalities.

The GeoHealth Laboratory undertakes applied research in the areas of health geography, spatial epidemiology and Geographical Information Systems. In particular, work in the GeoHealth Laboratory focuses upon how the local and national contexts shape health outcomes and health inequalities. Research has focused on how both micro and macro level process help to shape the health of New Zealanders. Our current work has considered how various characteristics of local neighbourhoods influence health outcomes and health-related behaviours. These projects include the effect of community resource access (such as access to parks, food stores and health care provision) on health inequalities; the role of deprivation and rurality in influencing suicide rates; environmental justice and air pollution; and the importance of income inequality and macro-level process on inequalities in life expectancy (see the Research web page for more details).

The GeoHealth Laboratory was launched by the Minister of Health, Hon Annette King, in Novemeber 2004 at the GeoHealth 2004 Conference in Wellington. The GeoHealth Laboratory is a joint venture between the Department of Geography, University of Canterbury (specifically its ‘Health and Environment’ research group) and the Health and Disability Intelligence Group of the Ministry of Health. The aim of the collaboration is to build a strategic partnership between the parties around health geography, spatial epidemiology and GIS; and to increase research capacity and research outputs in the health and GIS academic sectors. Funded for three years in the first instance, the collaboration seeks to advance the University of Canterbury’s research agenda in the Health Sciences and the strategic aims of the Ministry of Health. The collaboration provides a resource that is unique in the Southern hemisphere.

There are a number of staff employed by and associated with the collaboration who work on a range of research projects that are concerned with the social and environmental determinants of health and healthcare. In addition, the GeoHealth Lab provides resources for postgraduate students to work in the GeoHealth Laboratory. Each year a number of postgraduate scholarships are available to suitably qualified students (see Scholarships and Internships page).

Information for Students

The GeoHealth Laboratory provides a unique opportunity for postgraduate students to underrtake research in the field of GIS and Health. One of the key initiatives of the GeoHealth Laboratory collaboration is to provide the infrastructure and resources to assist students wishing to undertake postgraduate study. A number of scholarships are available for suitably qualified postgraduate students who wish to undertake research in the GeoHealth field. Enquiries are encouraged from students with undergraduate training in GIS and have a particular interest in applying these skills in the area of health.

The Department of Geography offers a range of advanced GIS courses including:

Each year postgraduate scholarships are available for students wishing to complete projects that have been specifically designed by the GeoHealth management team as well as for projects that have been self-designed by students. For more details see Scholarships and Internships.

Interested students are encouraged to contact the Director of the GeoHealth Laboratory:
Professor Simon Kingham (Co-Director, GeoHealth Laboratory) simon.kingham@canterbury.ac.nz

The Department of Geography, UC, has hosted a number of visiting Erskine Fellows and others with research interests in health geography, who have collaborated with staff of the GeoHealth Laboratory in research projects. See publications.

  • Prof. Philippe Apparicio (INRS, Montreal, Canada)
  • Prof. Graham Moon (University of Portsmouth, UK)
  • Prof. Danny Dorling (University of Sheffield, UK)
  • Prof. Graham Bentham (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Prof. Robin Flowerdew (University of St Andrews, UK)
  • Prof. Robin Haynes (University of East Anglia, UK)
  • Prof. Michael Emch (University of North Caroline, USA)
  • Dr Richard Mitchel (University of Edinburgh, UK)

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