Geospatial Systems -
Professor Rachel Franklin

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Professor Rachel Franklin

Room 3.35 Henry Daysh Building, Newcastle University, NE1 7RU


About Rachel

I am Professor of Geographical Analysis in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) and the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University, theme lead for Spatial Analytics at Newcastle Data, Co-I for the EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Geospatial Systems, and the University Lead for Newcastle for the Alan Turing Institute, where I am also a Fellow. I joined Newcastle in 2018 as one of four chairs appointed to expand the university’s international, cross-disciplinary reputation in Spatial Analytics and Modeling (SAM@Newcastle).


My primary research focus is in spatial demography and the interplay between spatial analytics and demographic change, in particular quantifying patterns, sources and impacts of spatial inequality. I also maintain an ongoing interest in pedagogy, especially the teaching of methods. I have taught spatial analysis, GIS, and quantitative methods for well over a decade, with a pedagogic orientation towards policy applications and the social sciences and humanities, and am co-author of a recent textbook aimed at teaching GIS for the social sciences.


I am the current editor of the journal, Geographical Analysis, and sit on the Board of the Regional Studies Association, as Chair for Diversity and Inclusion. I also hold visiting academic appointments in Population Studies at Brown University and at the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) in L’Aquila, Italy. I am a member of the editorial boards of Population, Space and PlaceJournal of Geographical SystemsTijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (TESG), The Annals of Regional ScienceInternational Regional Science ReviewUrban Climate, and Spatial Research and Planning.


Prior to joining Newcastle University, I was for eight years (2010–2018) the Associate Director of the Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4) initiative at Brown University in the U.S. and also held an academic appointment in Population Studies. My academic career path has been distinctly non-traditional: I started as a Statistician/Demographer at the U.S. Census Bureau, later worked as Deputy Director of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), and also accomplished a lengthy stint as adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland.


I received my PhD in Geography from the University of Arizona (2004). My previous degrees are from Indiana University: BA (1994) in French and Political Science and MA (1996) in West European Studies.


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