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Dr Seraphim Alvanides


Department: Architecture and Built Environment

Seraphim Alvanides is an urban social geographer, with expertise in quantitative methods and Geographical Information Systems and Science (GIS/Sc).


I am an urban social geographer, with expertise in quantitative methods and Geographical Information Systems and Science (GIS/Sc). My earlier research interests involve the analysis of population census data in order to identify patterns of social deprivation and health inequalities. My more recent work concerns obesogenic environments, such as availability of food outlets and physical activity opportunities, in the context of social/environmental justice.

I was appointed Reader with the School of the Built and Natural Environment at Northumbria University in September 2010. Prior to this I was part of the 'Society, Space and Practice' research group at Newcastle University (until August 2010).

I am actively involved as a member, fellow or chair with various professional organisations and groups, such as the the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (RGS-IBG), the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), the Urban Design Group (UDG) and the Transport Planning Society (TPS). I am currently the Chair of the GISc Research Group of the RGS-IBG.

Putting my research into practice, I am also involved with charities and volunteer organisations promoting active lifestyles, such as Sustrans, Living Streets, NEAT (North East Active Travel) and the Transport and Health Study Group (THSG).

0191 227 4542



Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

I am an urban social geographer with research interests in public health, active living and environmental justice. My methodological research concerns the use of geographical information systems/science in understanding space-time movements of people. My substantive research focuses on the effect of the built, natural and social environments on physical activity, healthy living and active transport. In 2010 I published an edited volume on "Obesogenic Environments" (Wiley) that received excellent reviews.

Current/Recent Projects

"School progression, school choice and travel to school amongst urban South African secondary school learners" ESRC-funded. Please see for further details.

"Active Travel in Newcastle" ERDF-funded (via NewcastleScienceCity). Please see and further details. Please also see here for a press article in which the project was mentioned.

Key Publications

Pia Wohland, Phil Rees, Clare Gillies, Seraphim Alvanides, Fiona E Matthews, Vikki O'Neill, Carol Jagger (2014) Drivers of inequality in disability-free expectancy at birth and age 85 across space and time in Great Britain J Epidemiol Community Health Published Online First: 6 June 2014 doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204083

Lake AA, Townshend T, Alvanides S (Eds.) (2010) Obesogenic Environments: complexities, perceptions and objective measures: Wiley-Blackwell

Burgoine T, Alvanides S, Lake AA (2011) Assessing the obesogenic environment of North East England. Health and Place 17(3): 738-747.

Burgoine T, Lake AA, Alvanides S, Stamp E, Mathers J & Adamson AJ (2009) The Changing Foodscape 1980-2000: The ASH30 Study. Appetite 53(2):157-165.

Lake AA, Alvanides S, Adamson AJ, Townshend T & Stamp E (2009)  Diet, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Perceptions of the Environment in Young Adults. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics 22(5):444-454.

Jarvis H and Alvanides S (2008) School choice from a household resource perspective: preliminary findings from North England case study. Community, Work and Family 11(4): 385-403.

Forsyth R, Colver A, Alvanides S, Wooley M, Lowe M (2007) Participation of young severely disabled children is influenced by their intrinsic impairments and environment. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 49(5): 345–349.

Daras K and Alvanides S (2006) Designing sustainable public health geographies in England and Wales. In M.Campagna (Ed.) GIS for Sustainable Development Taylor & Francis, 247-265.

To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here

My Google Scholar link can be found here


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