Our research and people


Tom Cantellow

Tom’s research examines the manifestation of neoliberalism in British society. By reinforcing examinations of British socioeconomic policy with spatial analysis of inequalities, sociodemographics, and election outcomes, he aims to produce novel insights into the attitudes and trends across Britain that factor into voting choice. Tom’s broader research interests include neoliberalism, political economy, international relations, voting, populism, social and political values, and spatial and statistical analysis, for which he predominantly uses R and QGIS. @tom_cantellow.


Professor Owen Crankshaw

Owen Crankshaw’s research addresses the urban studies debate on social polarization and professionalization in de-industrializing cities. Along with his postgraduate students, he has researched long-term trends in the patterns of employment and the changing geography of class and racial inequality in cities. This also entails studying the changing geography of housing inequality and its relationship to racial residential segregation. He has just completed a book entitled Urban Inequality: Theory, evidence and method in Johannesburg, which is to be published by Zed Press.


Katie Cross

Katie is a mixed methods researcher working for the Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC). She conducts policy-relevant research across a range of areas relating to personal finance. She specialises in quantitative survey design and analysis but also has experience conducting qualitative interviews and focus groups. She is particularly interested in research relating to poverty, inequality, financial well-being and living standards in the UK. She is part of the Geography Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and is a staff Mental Health Champion.


Dr Joe Day

Joe is a Lecturer in Historical Geography and Economic History. Joe is primarily interested in the process by which Britain industrialised and urbanised in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Consequently, Joe has collaborated with the I-CeM project (https://icem.data-archive.ac.uk), most notably matching individuals’ birthplaces to a GIS. Joe publishes on the determinants of migration and urbanisation in England and Wales and is interested in how individuals’ perceptions of place influenced their migration decisions. As a driver of migration, Joe is also interested in wages and poverty, and is currently digitising all official wage data created between 1837 and 1914. Joe is the Principal Investigator of a £300,000 ESRC-funded project: Migration, Urbanization and Socio-Economic Change: England and Wales, 1851-1911. Joe is interested in hearing from prospective PhD students interested in the quantitative spatial analysis of historic data. @ManAmongstKings

Dr Nick Dorward

I am a human geographer interested in topics at the intersection of political science, development studies, and political geography. The primary focus of my research is modelling the relationship between political institutions and organised violence in low-income countries with a specific emphasis upon variation within and between countries. I also work on topics in urban and regional geography including urban protest mobilisation, urban systems and boundary analysis, and poverty mapping. Methodologically, I am primarily interested in the application of multilevel modelling, spatial statistics, and causal inference to political and geographic questions.

Dr Sean Fox

I am an Associate Professor in Global Development at the University of Bristol and a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. My current research explores the causes and consequences of global urbanization, the political economy of urban governance, and sustainable city futures. I completed bachelors degrees in economics and literature at the University of California Santa Cruz, and MSc and PhD degrees in the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics.


Lenka Hasova

Lenka is a Ph.D. candidate in Advanced Quantitative Methods. Her research project is focused on spatial interaction models, the role of space in them, and their application for real-world data. This project ties together concepts from geography and network science and helps our understanding of the methods and their evaluation. Pushing the boundaries of geographical research and the boundaries of our understanding is an essential part of this research.


Professor Richard Harris

Professor Richard Harris uses data, geocomputation and quantitative methods to study social geography: to understand the causes and consequences of socio-spatial patterns, showing where you are matters, why it matters, and to whom places lend socio-economic dis-/advantages. Early research looked at spatial statistics, GIS and geodemographics in marketing and urban geography – early applications of geographic data science and urban analytics. Recent work includes the geographies of Covid-19, measuring and mapping social and ethnic segregation, and geographies of education. Rich has a long-standing interest in promoting quantitative and statistical literacy: in 2014 he won The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) Taylor & Francis Award for excellence in the promotion and practice of teaching quantitative methods. He was founding director of Bristol’s Q-Step Centre, supporting undergraduate quantitative social science. Rich is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and, presently, The Alan Turing Institute.

David Hayes

David is a highly-experienced social scientist and lecturer in social research methods, specialising in quantitative methodology, research evaluation and analysis. He has extensive experience of analysing large-scale survey data, using a range of techniques including multilevel modelling and cluster analysis, and has particular expertise in evaluations, research design, and the design, implementation and analysis of quantitative surveys. David is proficient in effectively disseminating his research and analysis though a range of mediums. His main research interests include financial inclusion among vulnerable groups, gender equality in the Global South, and the links between mental health and gambling. He directs and teaches a number of courses in the Department, mainly within the postgraduate school and on the Advanced Quantitative Methods programme.

Professor David Manley

David focuses on social inequalities in the urban environment investigating how individuals sort into the places in which they live, how these processes influence the structure of the urban environment and the people-place relationships that result. Collaborating across Europe he seeks to better understand how regions, cities and neighbourhoods develop, and how these configurations affect social, economic and health outcomes for people, often at multiple spatial scales. David’s research uses longitudinal data (UK’s Census Longitudinal Studies, the UKHLS and Population Register Data in Sweden and The Netherlands) to move beyond the single-point-in-time relationships initially apparent and explore the longer run observing individual biographies and trajectories. Methodologically, this requires the use of large and complex models (less about ‘big data’ and more about ‘big models’!), frequently developing an explicitly multilevel approach incorporating multiple scales simultaneously and net of each other.

Ekaterina Melianova

Ekaterina is a first-year PhD student in Advanced Quantitative Methods. Her research and professional interests revolve around the application of advanced statistical methodologies to policy analysis, particularly in the field of public health. She aspires to exploit novel and rigorous data-analytic techniques to improve policy decision-making processes. Her PhD project is aimed at exploring the effects of various government policies (in public health as well as broader areas such as education, employment, housing that influence one’s socioeconomic position) on individual health indicators. Using the Understanding Society dataset matched with administrative records, the project will simultaneously consider individual and macro-level factors and treat socioeconomic status and health as factors that influence each other. The study is going to augment the existing corpus of research with a comprehensive and multilevel approach and will be informative for policymakers in combating health inequalities in the UK.

Caitlin is an Research Fellow and Proleptic Lecturer in Urban Analytics in the School of Geographical Science. As a quantitative human geographer, Cait’s research investigates the causes and consequences of different types of spatial inequality, with a particular interest in energy poverty, energy justice and climate-related inequalities. She takes a theory-led approach to spatial analyses, using quantitative, spatial datasets and methods to understand inequality across multiple scales. Cait is currently leading a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship project mapping ambient vulnerabilities in UK cities. Twitter: @caithrobin

Professor Emmanouil Tranos

I am a Professor of Quantitative Human Geography and a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. My research focuses on the spatial dimensions of digital technologies and the digital economy. I have published on the geography of the internet infrastructure, the economic impacts that such digital infrastructure can generate on cities and regions and the position of cities within spatial, complex networks. I have a strong interest and expertise on the use of new sources of big data to understand the complexities of smart cities and urban systems. Using such data and relevant computational methods, I have explored the interplay between geography, spatial structure and social networks. For instance, how access to digital tools can intervene with some key dimensions of spatial structure including commuting and distance. Recently, I have been working on the evolution of online content and its interrelation with cities and spatial structure using web archives. etranos.info/ | @EmmanouilTranos.

Owen Winter

Owen is a postgraduate researcher on the Advanced Quantitative Methods PhD pathway. Owen’s research focusses on contextual effects of geography on voting behaviour and attitudes. This includes modelling voting patterns at granular levels, particularly in smaller geographic units than electoral districts. Owen uses techniques such as Multilevel Regression and Poststratification (MRP) and diverse alternative approaches such as deep learning with visual data (computer vision). These techniques can improve understanding of British electoral geography and the underlying social phenomena which drive it. They can also allow us to consider electoral geography from the subjects’ perspectives – for example through the visual elements of street-scenes. Owen also researches the effect of electoral systems on political outcomes, including the interaction of electoral geography and majoritarian electoral systems as well as comparative analysis of electoral systems used internationally.

Dr Levi Wolf

I am a Senior Lecturer/Assistant Professor in Quantitative Human Geography at the University of Bristol’s Quantitative Spatial Science Lab, Fellow at the University of Chicago Center for Spatial Data Science, Editor for Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics & City Science, and Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. I work in spatial data science, building new methods and software to learn new things about social and natural processes. I’m broadly interested in figuring out ways to integrate spatial reasoning into data science techniques. I’ve worked on problems about redistricting, elections (psephology), segregation, inequality, and urban systems. Find me on twitter @levijohnwolf!

Jing Zhang

I am a postgraduate researcher. For methodological work, my current focus is computational causal models. It is an emerging subfield at the intersection of causal inference and machine learning. My research sets out to interrogate their positioning within/against the dominant paradigms of quantitative spatial analysis, and to experiment with their application. For empirical work, I work on policy sensitive topics in political and economic geography, drawing critical reflections from my practice in the real estate sector.


Tao Zhou

Tao is a PhD student in Advanced Quantitative Methods. His research is primarily on the socioeconomic determinants of health, focusing on health inequalities from a life course and cohort perspective. Using data from China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), his current PhD project revolves further examining the relationships between childhood socioeconomic status and various late-adulthood health outcomes and exploring whether and how the above associations vary across age and birth cohorts. In addition, he also investigates the long-term impacts of exposure to the Great Chinese Famine (1956-1961) in each developmental stage of childhood. Methodologically, this usually requires the application of latent growth modelling, survival analysis, difference-in-differences estimation, and so forth. The project will be expected to inform public policy regarding addressing health inequalities and to make comparisons with similar research such as those using data from ELSA and HRS.

Dr Rui Zhu

Rui is a Lecturer at the School of Geographical Sciences. He is a geographer by training with a background in data science (so you can call him a spatial data scientist). Broadly speaking, he studies how humans and machines organize spatial knowledge, as well as their interactions with the environment. More specifically, he combines theory-informed (e.g., geography and semantics) and data-driven (e.g., machine learning and spatial statistics) approaches to address geospatial challenges such as geospatial data interoperability, spatial predictions, and spatial reasoning. His work has been applied to a wide range of applications, including urban studies, global health, environmental modeling, as well as humanitarian relief. ruizhugeographer.com