laffan
Associate Professor Shawn Laffan
Field of Research: 
GIS, spatial analysis
Contact details:
Phone: 
+61 2 9385 8093
Office: 
Room G14G
Samuels Building (F25)

UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research & Current Projects


My broad research area is in spatial data analysis using GIS and geocomputational tools to understand and address geographic problems and issues. 
 
My current research focus is on biodiversity, disease modelling and terrain analysis. Spatial data analysis can be applied across the biophysical-social spectrum, and recent applications include investigating the spatio-temporal spread of disease in animal populations, the spatial variation in genetic and taxonomic diversity at continental scales, identifying potential language groupings from historical word lists, environmental correlation analysis and predictions, the effect of error on spatial analyses, the spatial variation of weed infestations, and non-geometric models of spatial sampling for use in geostatistical modelling.
 
See also:
  

 Teaching


GEOS2821 Geographic Information Systems and Science (Course Coordinator)

GEOS3821 Geographic Data Analysis (Course Coordinator)

GEOS9016 Principles of Geographic Information Systems (Course Coordinator)

GEOS9017 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (Course Coordinator)

 

Publications


Chapters

Laffan, SW, 2014, 'GeoComputation: Applications in Biology', in Abrahart, R. J. and See, L. (ed.),GeoComputation, edn. 2nd, Taylor & Francis, http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466503281

Lees, BG, Huang, ZF, Van Niel, K & Laffan, SW, 2008, 'The impact of DEM Error on predictive vegetation mapping', in Qiming Zhou, Brian Lees, Guo-an Tang (ed.), Advances in Digital Terrain Analysis, Springer-Verlag, Germany, pp. 349 - 362, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-77800-4_19

 

Journal Articles

Kooyman, R.M., Zanne, A, Gallagher, R, Cornwell, WK, Rossetto, M, O'Connor, P, Parkes, E, Catterall, C, Laffan, SW & Lusk, C, 2013, 'Growth form and functional traits influence response of woody plants to fragmentation of subtropical rain forest', Conservation Biology, vol. in press, no. accepted 09Apr2013

Laffan, SW, Ramp, D & Roger, E, 2013, 'Using endemism to assess representation of protected areas - the family Myrtaceae in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 570 - 578, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jbi.12001

Di virgilio, G, Laffan, SW & Ebach, M, 2013, 'Quantifying high resolution transitional breaks in plant and mammal distributions at regional extent and their association with climate, topography and geology',PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. e59227, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0059227

Steinfeld, C, Kingsford, R & Laffan, SW, 2013, 'Semi-automated GIS techniques for detecting floodplain earthworks', Hydrological Processes, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 579 - 591, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.9244

Ladd, BM, Laffan, SW, Amelung, W, Peri, P, Silva, L.C.R., Gervassi, P., Bonser, SP, Navall, M. & Sheil, D, 2013, 'Estimates of soil carbon concentration in tropical and temperate forest and woodland from available GIS data on three continents', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 461 - 469, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2012.00799.x

Ward, MP, Cowled, B.D., Galea, F., Garner, M, Laffan, SW, Marsh, I., Negus, K, Sarre, S. & Woolnough, A., 2013, 'Salmonella infection in a remote, isolated wild pig population', Veterinary Microbiology, vol. 162, no. 2-4, pp. 921 - 929, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.11.036

Gonzales-orozco, C.E., Laffan, SW, Miller, J. & Knerr, N, 2013, 'A biogeographic regionalisation of Australian Acacia species', Journal of Biogeography, vol. in press, no. Accepted 25Apr2013

Stone, O, Laffan, SW, Curnoe, D & Herries, AIR, 2013, 'The Spatial Distribution of Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) Habitat Based on an Environmental Envelope Model', International Journal of Primatology, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 407 - 422, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10764-013-9669-9

Di virgilio, G, Laffan, SW & Ebach, M, 2012, 'Fine scale quantification of floral and faunal breaks and their geographic correlates, with an example from south-eastern Australia', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 39, no. 10, pp. 1862 - 1876, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2012.02739.x

Amboni, M & Laffan, SW, 2012, 'The effect of species range estimation methods on richness and phylogenetic diversity estimates: A comparison of four methods using Australian marsupials',International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 26, no. 11, pp. 2097 - 2109,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2012.717627

Cowled, B.D., Ward, MP, Laffan, SW, Negus, K., Galea, F., Garner, M.G., MacDonald, A., Marsh, I., Muellner, P., Sarre, S., Quasim, S. & Woolnough, A., 2012, 'Integrating survey and molecular approaches to better understand wildlife disease ecology', PLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. Article numbere46310, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0046310

Burley, H.M., Laffan, SW & Williams, K.J., 2012, 'Spatial non-stationarity and anisotropy of compositional turnover in eastern Australian Myrtaceae species', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 26, no. 11, pp. 2065 - 2081, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2012.692371

Laffan, SW, Skidmore, A.K. & Franklin, J, 2012, 'Geospatial analysis of species, biodiversity and landscapes: Introduction to the Second Special Issue on Spatial Ecology', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 26, no. 11, pp. 2003 - 2007,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2012.721557

Peri, P, Ladd, BM, Pepper, DA, Bonser, SP, Laffan, SW & Amelung, W, 2012, 'Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) stable isotope composition in plant and soil in Southern Patagonia's native forests',Global Change Biology, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 311 - 321, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02494.x

Stone, O, Laffan, SW, Curnoe, D, Rushworth, I & Herries, AIR, 2012, 'Distribution and population estimate for the Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa', Primates, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 337 - 344, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10329-012-0303-9

Kooyman, R.M., Rossetto, M & Laffan, SW, 2012, 'Using Australian Virtual Herbarium data to find all the woody rain forest plants in Australia', Cunninghamia, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 177 - 180,http://dx.doi.org/10.7751/cunninghamia.2012.12.014

Laffan, SW, Wang, Z & Ward, MP, 2011, 'The effect of neighbourhood definitions on spatio-temporal models of disease outbreaks: separation distance versus range overlap', Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vol. 102, no. 3, pp. 218 - 229, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.07.009

Gonzales-Orozco, C.E., Laffan, SW & Miller, J.T., 2011, 'Spatial distribution of species richness and endemism of the genus Acacia in Australia', Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 59, pp. 600 - 608,http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT11112

Van Niel, K & Laffan, SW, 2011, 'There is no good excuse for a bad random number generator: a reply to Barry', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 531 - 539,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658811003702154

Zhang, K, Laffan, SW, Ramp, D & Webster, E, 2011, 'Incorporating a distance cost in systematic reserve design', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 393 - 404,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2010.517753

Gold, A, Ramp, D & Laffan, SW, 2011, 'Potential lantana invasion of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area under climate change', Pacific Conservation Biology, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 54 - 67,http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=300638286674943;res=IELHSS

Kulheim, C, Yeoh, S, Wallis, IR, Laffan, SW, Moran, GF & Foley, WJ, 2011, 'The molecular basis of quantitative variation in foliar secondary metabolites in Eucalyptus globulus', New Phytologist, vol. 191, no. 4, pp. 1041 - 1053, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03769.x

Roger, E, Laffan, SW & Ramp, D, 2011, 'Road impacts a tipping point for wildlife populations in threatened landscapes', Population Ecology, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 215 - 227,http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10144-010-0209-6

Ward, MP, Laffan, SW & Highfield, L, 2011, 'Disease spread models in wild and feral animal populations: application of artificial life models', Revue Scientifique et Technique de L Office International des Epizooties, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 437 - 446, http://web.oie.int/boutique/index.php?page=ficprod&id_produit=944&fichrech=1&lang=en

Laffan, SW, Lubarsky, E & Rosauer, DF, 2010, 'Biodiverse, a tool for the spatial analysis of biological and related diversity', Ecography, vol. 33, pp. 643 - 647, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2010.06237.x

Highfield, L, Ward, MP, Laffan, SW, Norby, B & Wagner, GS, 2010, 'Critical parameters for modelling the spread of foot and mouth disease in wildlife', Epidemiology and Infection, vol. 138, pp. 125 - 138,http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268809002829

Wang, D, Laffan, SW, Liu, Y & Wu, L, 2010, 'Morphometric characterisation of landform from DEMs',International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 24, pp. 305 - 326,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658810802467969

Highfield, L, Ward, MP, Laffan, SW, Norby, B & Wagner, GS, 2010, 'The impact of potential mitigation strategies on the predicted spread of foot and mouth disease in white-tailed deer in south Texas',Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vol. 94, pp. 282 - 288, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2010.01.015

Zhang, K, Laffan, SW & Zhang, S, 2010, 'A spatial approach to select pilot counties for programs to correct the biased sex ratio at birth in Shandong province, China', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 24, pp. 403 - 416, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658810902839174

Laffan, SW, 2010, 'The citation relationships between Geography and cognate disciplines', Geographical Research, vol. 48, pp. 166 - 180, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-5871.2009.00617.x

Ladd, BM, Bonser, SP, Peri, P, Larsen, J, Laffan, SW, Pepper, DA & Cendon, D, 2009, 'Towards a physical description of habitat: Quantifying environmental adversity (abiotic stress) in temperate forest and woodland ecosystems', Journal of Ecology, vol. 97, no. 5, pp. 964 - 971,http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01530.x

Huang, ZF & Laffan, SW, 2009, 'Sensitivity analysis of a decision tree derived forest type mapping to input data errors', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 23, no. 11, pp. 1433 - 1452, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658810802634949

Rosauer, DF, Laffan, SW, Crisp, MD, Donnellan, S & Cook, L, 2009, 'Phylogenetic endemism: A new approach for identifying geographical concentrations of evolutionary history', Molecular Ecology, vol. 18, no. 19, pp. 4061 - 4072, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04311.x

Ward, MP, Laffan, SW & Highfield, L, 2009, 'Modelling spread of foot-and-mouth disease in wild white-tailed deer and feral pig populations using a geographic-automata model and animal distributions',Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. 55 - 63,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2009.05.005

Moles, AT, Warton, DI, Warman, L, Swenson, N, Laffan, SW, Zanne, A, Pitman, AJ, Hemmings, F & Leishman, M, 2009, 'Global patterns in plant height', Journal of Ecology, vol. 97, no. 5, pp. 923 - 932,http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01526.x

Highfield, L, Ward, MP, Laffan, SW, Norby, B & Wagner, GS, 2009, 'The impact of seasonal variability in wildlife populations on the predicted spread of foot and mouth disease', Veterinary Research, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 18 - 18, http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/vetres:2009001

Highfield, L, Laffan, SW & Ward, MP, 2008, 'Representation of animal distributions in space: how geostatistical estimates impact simulation modeling of foot-and-mouth disease spread', Veterinary Research, vol. 39, http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/vetres:2007055

Jones, SC & Laffan, SW, 2008, 'Lexical similarity and endemism in historical wordlists of Australian Aboriginal languages of the greater Sydney region', Transactions of the Philological Society, vol. 106, pp. 456 - 486, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-968X.2008.00209.x

Ward, M, Laffan, SW & Highfield, L, 2007, 'The potential role of wild and feral animals as reservoirs of foot-and-mouth disease', Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vol. 80, pp. 9 - 23,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2007.01.009

Roger, E, Laffan, SW & Ramp, D, 2007, 'Habitat selection by the common wombat (Vombatus ursinus) in disturbed environments: Implications for the conservation of a `common` species', Biological Conservation, vol. 137, pp. 437 - 449, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2007.03.001

Laffan, SW, 2006, 'Assessing regional scale weed distributions, with an Australian example using Nassella trichotoma', Weed Research, vol. 46, pp. 194 - 206, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3180.2006.00491.x

Bickford, S & Laffan, SW, 2006, 'Multi-extent analysis of the relationship between pteridophyte species richness and climate', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 15, pp. 588 - 601,http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2006.00250.x

Taylor, MD, Laffan, SW, Fielder, SL & Suthers, IM, 2006, 'Key habitat and home range of hatchery-reared and wild sub-adult mulloway (Argyrosomus japonicus) in a south-east Australian estuary: Finding the estuarine niche to optimise stocking', Marine Ecology Progress Series, vol. 328, pp. 237 - 247,http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps328237

Laffan, SW, Nielsen, O, Silcock, H & Hegland, M, 2005, 'Sparse grids: a new predictive modelling method for the analysis of geographic data', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 19, pp. 267 - 292, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658810512331319118

Doran, R & Laffan, SW, 2005, 'Simulating the spatial dynamics of foot and mouth disease outbreaks in feral pigs and livestock in Queensland, Australia, using a susceptible-infected-recovered cellular automata model', Preventive Veterinary Medicine, vol. 70, pp. 133 - 152,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2005.03.002

Whiteway, T, Laffan, SW & Wasson, RJ, 2004, 'Using sediment budgets to investigate the pathogen flux through catchments', Environmental Management, vol. 34, pp. 516 - 527,http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00267-003-0168-1

Bickford, S, Laffan, SW, Kok, R & Orthia, L, 2004, 'Spatial analysis of taxonomic and genetic patterns and their potential for understanding evolutionary histories', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 31, pp. 1715 - 1733, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2004.01127.x

Laffan, SW & Lees, BG, 2004, 'Predicting regolith properties using environmental correlation: a comparison of spatially global and spatially local approaches', Geoderma, vol. 120, pp. 241 - 258,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2003.09.007

Van Niel, K, Laffan, SW & Lees, BG, 2004, 'Effect of error in the DEM on environmental variables for predictive vegetation modelling', Journal of Vegetation Science, vol. 15, pp. 747 - 756,http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2004.tb02317.x

Laffan, SW & Crisp, MD, 2003, 'Assessing endemism at multiple spatial scales with an example from the Australian vascular flora', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 30, pp. 511 - 520,http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2699.2003.00875.x

Van Niel, K & Laffan, SW, 2003, 'Gambling with randomness: The use of pseudorandom number generators in GIS', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 17, pp. 49 - 68,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713811743

Laffan, SW, 2002, 'Using process models to improve spatial analysis', International Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 16, pp. 245 - 257, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658810110099107

Crisp, MD, Laffan, SW, Linder, HP & Monro, A, 2001, 'Endemism in the Australian flora', Journal of Biogeography, vol. 2001, pp. 183 - 198, http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2699.2001.00524.x

 

Conference Papers

Miller, IB, Forster, BC & Laffan, SW, 2012, 'Development of a model to correct multi-view angle above water measurements for the analysis of the bidirectional reflectance of coral and other reef substrates', in ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, ISPRS, presented at XXII ISPRS Congress, Melbourne, 2012, http://www.isprs-ann-photogramm-remote-sens-spatial-inf-sci.net/I-7/19/2012/isprsannals-I-7-19-2012.pdf

Laffan, SW, 2011, 'Spatial non-stationarity, anisotropy and scale: The interactive visualisation of spatial turnover', in MODSIM 2011 - 19th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation - Sustaining Our Future: Understanding and Living with Uncertainty, Modelling and Simulation Society, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia, presented at MODSIM 2011 - 19th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation - Sustaining Our Future: Understanding and Living with Uncertainty, Perth, WA, 12-16 December, 2011, http://www.mssanz.org.au/modsim2011/E3/laffan.pdf

Wang, D & Laffan, SW, 2009, 'Characterisation of valleys from DEMs', in Proceedings of the 18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM09 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, MODSIM and IMAC, Australia, presented at 18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM09 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Cairns, Australia, 13 - 17 July 2009,http://www.mssanz.org.au/modsim09/F4/wang_d.pdf

Laffan, SW, Lubarsky, E, Ward, M & Highfield, L, 2007, 'A Geographic Automata System for Modelling Disease Outbreaks', in MODSIM 2007: International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, presented at MODSIM 2007: International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ, 10 - 13 December 2007,http://www.mssanz.org.au/MODSIM07/papers/21_s46/AGeographic_s46_Taffan_.pdf

Lees, BG, Van Niel, K & Laffan, SW, 2006, 'Predictive Vegetation mapping and DEM Error', inInternational Symposium on Terrain and Digital Terrain Modelling, pp. 1 - 7, presented at International Symposium on Terrain Analysis and Digital Terrain Modelling (TADTM 2006), Nanjing, China, 23 - 25 November 2006

Laffan, SW & Bickford, S, 2005, 'Using spatial randomisations to improve the utility of Geographically Weighted Regression model results', in MODSIM 2005: International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, presented at MODSIM 2005: International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Melbourne, 12 - 15 December 2005, http://www.mssanz.org.au/modsim05/papers/laffan.pdf

Hegland, M & Laffan, SW, 2003, 'Mining geographical data using sparse grids', in 2003 Congress on Evolutionary Computation CEC 2003, presented at IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (CEC 2003), Canberra, 8 - 12 December 2003

Laffan, SW, Silcock, H, Nielsen, O & Hegland, M, 2003, 'A new approach to analysing spatial data using sparse grids', in MODSIM 2003: International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, presented at MODSIM 2003: International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Townsville, Qld, 14 - 17 July 2003