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Geography and Environmental Science
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Dr Samantha Cockings 

Associate Professor in Geography , International Liaision

Dr Samantha Cockings's photo

Dr Samantha Cockings is Associate Professor in Geography within Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton.

Samantha Cockings is currently Associate Professor in Geography. She has been a member of staff in Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Southampton since 2000

BA (Geography) University of Leicester 1994
MSc (Geographical Information Systems) University of Leicester 1995
PGCert (Academic Practice) University of Southampton 2002
FSEDA 2002
FRGS 2003
PhD (Geography) University of Southampton 2013


1995 - 1997 Research Assistant, Department of Geography, University of Durham
1997 - 2000 Research Assistant then Research Associate, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, Imperial College, London
2000 - 2014 Lecturer, Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton
2014 – present Senior Lecturer, Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton

Significant Achievements

Research interests

  • Automated zone design
  • Spatio-temporal representations of population
  • Geographies of health & health care
  • Socio-economic applications of GIS


Research projects

  • Assessing the value of the new Workplace Zones to inform geographic policy for economic statistics (Quality Improvement Fund, ONS, 2013-2014)
  • Output area and workplace zone production and research (ONS, 2009-2013)
  • Pop24/7: space-time specific population surface modelling (ESRC, 2009-2011)
  • Census2011Geog: developing automated methods for maintaining the 2011 Census output geographies in England & Wales (ESRC, 2008-2010)
  • Workplace Zones : Development of algorithm for the creation of workplace zones for 2011 Census (ONS/DfT, 2009-2011)
  • AZTool: software for automated zone design and maintenance
  • Geo-Refer: geographical referencing resources for social scientists (ESRC, 2006-2009)
  • Polymaps: Web-based maps for spatial learning (University of Southampton, 2009-2010)  

Research group

Population, Health and Wellbeing (PHeW)

Research project(s)


Spatial Population Analysis and Modelling theme

Population Health theme

Population24/7: Space–Time Specific Population Surface Modelling


Workplace Zones

The output areas used to publish data from the UK Census have traditionally been designed based on the locations of residential addresses. The geographical distributions of residential and workplace locations are, however, very different: in city centres, for example, there are often few residential properties but many workplaces, whereas in suburban areas there may be many residential properties but few workplaces. The publication of workplace data by residential geographies therefore presents significant challenges to researchers and practitioners for two key reasons: (i) it can cause some workplace-related data to not be released at all due to confidentiality concerns (as happened for the 2001 Census) and (ii) the residence-based zones are often not an appropriate statistical or geographical base for mapping or analysing workplace-related data.

Currently: International Liaison Officer
Previously: Chair of IT Governance, Admissions Officer, Examinations Officer, International Liaison Officer.


  • Member of ESRC Peer Review College (2010-2014)
  • Advisory role to Office for National Statistics (ONS): design and implementation of official statistical geographies
  • Previously Secretary and Treasurer of the Geography of Health Research Group, RGS-IBG (2003-2006)
  • Regularly peer-review manuscripts for: Area; Computers Environment and Urban Systems; Health & Place; International Journal of Health Geographics; Journal of Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases; Natural Hazards; Population, Space and Place; SAPIENS and Social Science & Medicine


  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (RGS-IBG) (2003-present)
  • Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA) Accredited Teacher (from 2002)

Member of:

  • Geographical Information Science Research Group (GIScRG) of the RGS-IBG (2004-present)
  • Geography of Health Research Group of the RGS-IBG (2003-present)
  • Quantitative Methods Research Group of the RGS-IBG (2003-present)
  • Higher Education Academy (HEA) (2002-present)
  • Society for Social Medicine (1996-present)
  • Association for Geographic Information (AGI) (1998-2006)
  • AGI Health Special Interest Group (1998-2006)
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Book Chapters


Journal Special Issue

Dr Samantha Cockings
University of Southampton University Road Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 44/2075

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