School of Geography

Image of Alastair Munro

Alastair Munro

ESRC DTC PhD Researcher,



Alastair is a final year PhD student in the School of Geography. He received a first class BA (Hons) degree in Geography in 2015 from the University of Nottingham. In 2016, he completed an MSc in Human Geography, as part of the ESRC 1+3 pathway, at the University of Nottingham. He was awarded with a distinction, winning the John Giggs Prize.

Teaching Summary


I have contributed to teaching at the University of Nottingham over the last two academic years, primarily demonstrating to 2nd year geography students on the more quantitative, methodological aspects of human geography. However, I have also led tutorials for 1st year geographers on the subject of medical geography, and I have carried out marking. My teaching experience is summarised below:

Intermediate Quantitative Methods for Social Science (SOCI2035/L32QMA), 2018-19: Demonstrating

Techniques in Human Geography (GEOG2004), 2018-19: Demonstrating & marking, data project cycle.

Techniques in Human Geography (L82206), 2017-18: Demonstrating, data project cycle.

Research Summary

Current Status

PhD (full-time) - currently registered

Research Topic Title

Long-Term Spatiotemporal Changes in Endemic Threshold Populations in England & Wales - A Multi-Disease Study

Research Summary

Alastair's research project is focused on understanding the endemic persistence of childhood diseases, concentrating on the endemic threshold concept, the population size above which disease will persist indefinitely. This concept holds vital implications for disease control today, acting as a guide for vaccination strategy. Past research on endemic thresholds in England and Wales has been dominated by the work of population biologists, who have suggested that the endemic threshold may depend on the spatial structure and the geographical connectivity of subpopulations. However, existing research in this area has been limited to studies of disease activity in island populations, characteristically closed and isolated systems.

Alastair's research is quantitative in nature, utilising extensive datasets constructed through the digitisation of existing archival public health records, with a strong focus on spatio-temporal disease modelling alongside the application of regression approaches and disease mapping. Using these methods, Alastair's research is centred on developing a greater geographical understanding of the endemic threshold concept, with regional populations in England and Wales serving as the principal areas of study. Exploring the role of geographical connectivity, dispersion and isolation on disease persistence and the relationship between the vaccination and regional spatial dynamics of childhood infections are key areas of his research.

Research Interests

Alastair's research interests are primarily focused on medical geography and the spatial epidemiology of infectious diseases, in particular understanding the endemic nature of childhood infections in England and Wales from a geographical perspective. Other areas of research interest include the medical geography of tuberculosis & drug-resistant tuberculosis, previous subjects of research in past dissertations.

Research Supervisors

Professor Matthew Smallman-Raynor

Dr. Adam Algar

Primary Funding Source(s)

ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

Research Institutes, Centres and/or Research Cluster Memberships

Cultural and Historical Geography Research Cluster

Conference Papers & Presentations

Long-Term Spatio-temporal Changes in Endemic Threshold Populations in England & Wales: A Multi-Disease Study, American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, April 2019, Washington, DC. USA.

Spatio-temporal Changes in Endemic Threshold Populations: Pertussis in South Wales, 1940-69, International Medical Geography Symposium, July 2019 (forthcoming), Queenstown, New Zealand.

School of Geography

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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