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

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.

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:

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

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 2008

Growth form and functional traits influence response of woody plants to fragmentation of subtropical rain forestConservation Biology, vol. in press, no. accepted 09Apr 2013 

Using endemism to assess representation of protected areas - the family Myrtaceae in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage AreaJournal of Biogeography, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 570 - 578, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jbi.12001 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 2013

Semi-automated GIS techniques for detecting floodplain earthworksHydrological Processes, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 579 - 591, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.9244 2013

Estimates of soil carbon concentration in tropical and temperate forest and woodland from available GIS data on three continentsGlobal Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 461 - 469, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2012.00799.x 2013

Salmonella infection in a remote, isolated wild pig populationVeterinary Microbiology, vol. 162, no. 2-4, pp. 921 - 929, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.11.036 2013

A biogeographic regionalisation of Australian Acacia speciesJournal of Biogeography, vol. in press, no. Accepted 25Apr 2013

The Spatial Distribution of Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) Habitat Based on an Environmental Envelope ModelInternational Journal of Primatology, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 407 - 422, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10764-013-9669-9 2013

Fine scale quantification of floral and faunal breaks and their geographic correlates, with an example from south-eastern AustraliaJournal of Biogeography, vol. 39, no. 10, pp. 1862 - 1876, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2012.02739.x 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 2012

Integrating survey and molecular approaches to better understand wildlife disease ecologyPLoS ONE, vol. 7, no. 10, pp. Article numbere46310, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0046310 2012

Spatial non-stationarity and anisotropy of compositional turnover in eastern Australian Myrtaceae speciesInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 26, no. 11, pp. 2065 - 2081, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2012.692371 2012

Geospatial analysis of species, biodiversity and landscapes: Introduction to the Second Special Issue on Spatial EcologyInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 26, no. 11, pp. 2003 - 2007,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2012.721557 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 2012

Distribution and population estimate for the Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) in KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaPrimates, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 337 - 344, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10329-012-0303-9 2012

Using Australian Virtual Herbarium data to find all the woody rain forest plants in AustraliaCunninghamia, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 177 - 180,http://dx.doi.org/10.7751/cunninghamia.2012.12.014 2012

The effect of neighbourhood definitions on spatio-temporal models of disease outbreaks: separation distance versus range overlapPreventive Veterinary Medicine, vol. 102, no. 3, pp. 218 - 229, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.07.009 2011

Spatial distribution of species richness and endemism of the genus Acacia in AustraliaAustralian Journal of Botany, vol. 59, pp. 600 - 608,http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT11112 2011

There is no good excuse for a bad random number generator: a reply to BarryInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 531 - 539,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658811003702154 2011

Incorporating a distance cost in systematic reserve designInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 393 - 404,http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658816.2010.517753 2011

Potential lantana invasion of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area under climate changePacific Conservation Biology, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 54 - 67,http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=300638286674943;res=IELHSS 2011

The molecular basis of quantitative variation in foliar secondary metabolites in Eucalyptus globulusNew Phytologist, vol. 191, no. 4, pp. 1041 - 1053, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03769.x 2011

Road impacts a tipping point for wildlife populations in threatened landscapesPopulation Ecology, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 215 - 227,http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10144-010-0209-6 2011

Disease spread models in wild and feral animal populations: application of artificial life modelsRevue 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 2011

Biodiverse, a tool for the spatial analysis of biological and related diversityEcography, vol. 33, pp. 643 - 647, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0587.2010.06237.x 2010

Critical parameters for modelling the spread of foot and mouth disease in wildlifeEpidemiology and Infection, vol. 138, pp. 125 - 138,http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268809002829 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 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 2010

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

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

Towards a physical description of habitat: Quantifying environmental adversity (abiotic stress) in temperate forest and woodland ecosystemsJournal of Ecology, vol. 97, no. 5, pp. 964 - 971,http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01530.x 2009

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

Phylogenetic endemism: A new approach for identifying geographical concentrations of evolutionary historyMolecular Ecology, vol. 18, no. 19, pp. 4061 - 4072, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04311.x 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 2009

Global patterns in plant heightJournal of Ecology, vol. 97, no. 5, pp. 923 - 932,http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2009.01526.x 2009

The impact of seasonal variability in wildlife populations on the predicted spread of foot and mouth diseaseVeterinary Research, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 18 - 18, http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/vetres:2009001 2009

Representation of animal distributions in space: how geostatistical estimates impact simulation modeling of foot-and-mouth disease spreadVeterinary Research, vol. 39, http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/vetres:2007055 2008

Lexical similarity and endemism in historical wordlists of Australian Aboriginal languages of the greater Sydney regionTransactions of the Philological Society, vol. 106, pp. 456 - 486, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-968X.2008.00209.x

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 

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 

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 

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

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

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

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

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