Profile: Samantha Cockings

Samantha Cockings, Lecturer in Geography, University of Southampton, UK. Her general research interests include the use of GIS in socio-economic applications and the spatial representation of population-related phenomena. Samantha is Secretary and Treasurer of the Geography of Health Research Group (GHRG) of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG)

Samantha Cockings was born and raised in Staffordshire, England. She studied BA (Hons) Geography at the University of Leicester and then remained in Leicester to undertake an MSc in Geographical Information Systems. An emerging interest in epidemiology and health geography was fueled by a Research Assistant position at the University of Durham, UK, where she worked on a project funded by the NHS Executive which explored ways of combining GIS, epidemiological and spatial statistical techniques for the analysis of environment and health data. This interest was further consolidated during three years as a GIS Research Associate in the government-funded Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) at Imperial College, London. During this time Samantha worked on a range of projects, providing geographical and GIS knowledge and expertise within a multi-disciplinary team of epidemiologists, public health specialists, statisticians and environmental exposure specialists. In particular, she played a lead role in the development of systems for facilitating the assessment of rates around potential sources of population and the generation of disease maps using routinely collected data, both within a UK and European context.

In 2000 Samantha gained a lectureship in Geography at the University of Southampton, UK, where she is currently based. Her primary research is focused on the development and application of automated zone design methods. She currently holds an ESRC Census Development Programme grant which is exploring methods for automatically maintaining the 2001 UK census output zones in order to create the geographies for the 2011 census. She is also undertaking ongoing research exploring the use of automated zone design techniques within environment and health studies. Together with Prof. David Martin and Samuel Leung, she is part of the Geo-Refer project which is funded by the ESRC Researcher Development Initiative to develop and deliver on-line, re-usable, geo-referencing resources for social scientists in a range of discplines. She teaches GIS and Geographies of Health and Health Care at undergraduate and Masters levels and is part of a team involved in developing teaching resources for a range of face-to-face and on-line distance-based learning Masters courses offered by the School of Geography, University of Southampton.

Samantha has published papers in Health Place, Social Science Medicine, Journal of Public Health Medicine, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society (A), Occupational and Environmental Medicine, British Journal of General Practice, and Geographical Analysis, as well as various book chapters.

Samantha may be contacted at s.cockings@nullsoton.ac.uk. See also www.geog.soton.ac.uk.

Updated: June 2008