Alistair Geddes

Dr Alistair Geddes


  • Tel: +44 (0)1382 384432
  • Email:
  • Geography, School of Social Sciences, University of Dundee, Perth Rd, Dundee DD1 4HN


Research Interests

I am the University of Dundee partner in the ESRC/SFC-funded AQMeN (Applied Quantitative Methods Network) initiative. Further information on my own interests are available on my AQMeN page. (Dundee postgraduates and staff: please check out the programme of training events and talks on this website, which are available to you for free; also feel free to email/call should you wish more information on AQmeN.)

I started my current position as a Research Councils UK Academic Fellow in February 2007. I have a background in using GIS and linked quantitative analysis methods to investigate frequently encountered data analysis problems, notably the kinds of problems that arising in working with small area census data sets. More generally I am interested in how place and space are important and can be analyzed using GIS in various fields of social science research. In this as in my teaching, I also seek to take account of ways in which GIS is itself being re-shaped by a slew of new developments, especially in data, technology and methodologies.

My post is also affiliated with the Society programme of SAGES (Scottish Alliance for GeoScience, Environment and Society;, supporting research on socio-environmental vulnerability. Vulnerability research has actually been underway at Dundee since the early years of this decade, particularly on flooding-related vulnerability and with an increasing focus on interconnections between climate-related environmental change, vulnerability and resilience. My own aim here is to investigate the geographical dimensions of vulnerability, drawing in part on GIS capabilities for synthesizing contextual data. Stemming from the tradition of human migration research by Dundee geographers I am also involved in a recent effort to re-conceptualise the relationships between vulnerability and mobility.

I greatly enjoy university teaching and student supervision, and the ongoing process of learning how students learn best in both situations. Together with my colleague Ed Hall I was awarded on a 2008 University of Dundee Honorary Graduate's Award for Innovative Teaching in 2008, for our Level 3 undergraduate course 'Problem-based field research training in Geography'.

Recent Research Grants

2009-2011 Joseph Rowntree Foundation (PI Dr S Scott)
Forced Labour in the UK - Scoping Study and Experience Study
2009-2011 Joseph Rowntree Foundation (PI Dr D Houston)
Pluvial Flooding in Urban Areas
2009-2012 Economic and Social Research Council / Scottish Funding Council. (PI Mrs S McVie, one of 12 co-investigators from Scottish HEIs). Topic: An Applied Quantitative Methods Research Network
2008-09 UK Government Department of Innovations, Universities and Skills (co PI with Prof A Findlay, Prof R King and Prof R Skeldon). Topic: Motivations for UK international student mobility


Academic Background

2006 The Pennsylvania State University, USA PhD
1994 University of Edinburgh, MSc (distinction) Geographical Information Systems
1992 University of Edinburgh, BSc (Hons) Geography


2007-present RCUK Academic Fellow / Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Dundee
2006-2007 Temporary Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Dundee
1997-2001 Scientific Officer, Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen
1994-1997 Research Assistant, North West Regional Research Laboratory, Lancaster University

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of Royal Geographical Society/ Institute of British Geographers
  • Member of the Association of American Geographers
  • Member of the International Geographical Union Commission on Population and Vulnerability

Professional Roles


Selected Recent Publications

Houston, D., Werritty, A., Bassett, D., Geddes, A., Hoolachan, A. and Macmillan, M., forthcoming, The invisible hazard: pluvial flood risk in urban areas, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Findlay, A., King, R., Smith, F., Geddes, A. and Skeldon, R. 2011, World class? An investigation of globalisation, difference and international student mobility, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Findlay A. and Geddes, A., 2011, Critical views on the relationship between climate change and migration. In Piguet E, Pécoud A., and de Guchteneire, P. (eds) Migration and Climate Change. Cambridge UP

Findlay A., King R., Geddes A., Smith F., Stam A., Dunne M., Skeldon R., and Ahrens J., 2010, Research Paper 8: Motivations and experiences of UK students studying abroad, Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, URN 10/527

Findlay, A., Geddes, A., and McCollum, D., 2010, International migration and recession: the Scottish case, Scottish Geographical Journal, 126(4), pp 229-320