Sam is an Associate Professor in Socio-economic applications of geographic information systems/science (GIS) and has been a member of staff at the University of Southampton since 2000.
Sam’s research focuses primarily on developing better ways of mapping and modelling populations. Her research is based around two key strands: automated design of geographical zones and production of time-specific population estimates. Sam thrives on the development of methods and software tools which make a real difference to policy and practice and is privileged to have worked with many brilliant colleagues in long-term partnerships with public sector organisations such as the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) (previously Public Health England) and Ordnance Survey (OS).
Sam is part of the teams developing the software tools AZTool and SurfaceBuilder247. ONS employed AZTool to design and maintain the geographical zones used to publish all residential and workplace data from the 2011 and 2021 Censuses in England and Wales. For the 2021 Census, Sam and colleagues helped ONS design workload areas for more efficient and effective collection of data in the field. The team has also developed a novel geodemographic Classification of Workplace Zones (COWZ). Together with David Martin, Sam is a founder of the Population24/7 approach to spatiotemporal population modelling, including research to produce near real-time estimates for health, emergency response and national security
Sam is currently working with colleagues from OS and the Department for Levelling-up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) to develop new sets of reporting units based on streets and is contributing to discussions around future ways of producing enhanced time-specific population estimates with ONS and other collaborators.
Sam brings this enthusiasm for applied methods to her teaching and supervision in the fields of geographic information systems/science and environment and health.
- Automated zone design
- Spatiotemporal population modelling
- Environment and health
- Geographic information systems/science
- Development of street-based reporting zones for reporting and analysis (with Ordnance Survey and the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities).
- Automated design and maintenance of census collection and output geographies (with the Office for National Statistics).
- Population24/7: Spatiotemporal population estimation (with Office for National Statistics and UK Health Security Agency).
Current PhD Students
Sam contributes to teaching across the full range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including taught modules, dissertation supervision and personal academic tutoring. In particular, she leads and contributes to modules reflecting her research interests in geographic information systems/science and environment and health, and enjoys seeing students going on to employment or further study in these fields.
External roles and responsibilities
- Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (RGS-IBG) (2003-present)
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) (2002-present)
- Member of Consumer Data Research Centre Research Approvals Group, May 2016 – present
- Member of Census and Statistical Geographies Advisory Group, chaired by ONS, July 2008 – present
- Member of Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Peer Review College, 1 July 2010 – 30 September 2019
- Mike Clarke Teaching Award (Special Commendation) (2020)