The Spatial Lab

The spatial lab is a centre for spatial analysis and GIScience research in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. We focus on developing and applying cutting edge spatial analysis techniques to understand dynamic processes. The work in the Spatial Lab often crosses disciplinary boundaries, and we collaborate with excellent researchers in fields from ecology, to urban planning, to computer and information science. Our work lies at the interface of spatial analysis, epidemiology, and ecology. For what we are working on right now, see the current projects page. **NOTE** Website revisions currently underway Recent publications on Google Scholar: Colin Robertson

News & Events

stampr R package now on CRAN: stampr package
New Paper by Robertson and Yee Published in PLoS One: Avian Influenza Risk Surveillance in North America with Online Media
New BOOK by Spatial Lab members Steve Roberts and Colin RobertsonGeographic Information Systems: Spatial Data Handling, Representation, and Computation
New Paper Published in GeoJournal: Towards a geocomputational landscape epidemiology: surveillance, modelling, and interventions

Graduate students Nick Wilson, Lauren Yee and Clara Greig hard at work in the spatial lab.

Citizen Science Projects

wildlifehealthtracker.com  - tracking wildlife health events in Ontario
Grasslander.org - tracking agricultural activities and bobolinks in southern Ontario
RinkWatch.org – mapping and tracking backyard skating rinks across the globe

Recent Figure

By Nick Wilson, MSc Candidate

This figure depicts the winter range change of the Bathurst caribou herd between two time periods. The first time period was defined between 1996 and 2005 when the Herd’s population was significantly declining (~95%). The second time period, between 2006 and 2014, was when the herd’s population had stabilized at significantly lower numbers when compared to the population in 1996. The dark blue areas are where the collared caribou were located during the first time period when the population declined. Noticeably, the collared caribou were manly located below the treeline and to the southern part of their cumulative winter range. This area is also the location of many of the wildfires that have historically occurred. During the second time period, the herd’s homeranges have shifted north in the winter range. This change is depicted in red. Recurring areas of annual revisitation are darker in colour, which could indicate areas of importance to the caribou herd. This shift north is significant to the herd. While residing below the treeline, the caribou could hide more efficiently from predators and were protected from the harsh winter elements. The area that they are now revisiting more frequently is an area of more extreme weather events and less protection from predators. The northern shift we have seen here are important to note to the conservation and recovery efforts for the Bathurst caribou herd’s population and overall health as a species.

Bathurst caribou winter ranges over tim

Bathurst caribou winter ranges over tim

This research is reported in the CIMP Newsletter, available here: http://www.enr.gov.nt.ca/en/services/cumulative-impact-monitoring-nwt-cimp/nwt-environmental-research-bulletin