Profile: Jan Rigby

Jan Rigby, Senior Lecturer in Health Geography at the University of Sheffield, UK, where she is a member of the Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group ( ). Her research interests are in spatial epidemiology, women’s health and the life course, health geoinformatics and socio-environmental justice.

Jan Rigby’s first degree was in Computing Science and Mathematics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, and she spent several years in industry and education before retraining in GIS via an MSc at the University of Edinburgh in 1991. Whilst thinking about dissertation topics, she visited her brother in UCLA s Geography department, and after a discussion over coffee, Steve Matthews gave her his spare copy of Jones and Moon. This was read from cover to cover on the plane home. Susan Smith supervised a dissertation on health and housing, and a few years later Tony Gatrell patiently steered a PhD on breast cancer epidemiology to completion.

Jan then lectured in Geography at both Bristol and Lancaster, before moving to Victoria University in New Zealand to establish their GIS courses, and develop the first Government sponsored research unit in NZ: the Public Health Intelligence Applications Laboratory (PHIAL). She returned to Sheffield in 2004. A recent publication is Poverty, Wealth and Place in Britain, 1968-2005, a Joseph Rowntree funded project with colleagues in SASI, in Bristol, and in London. She is an Honorary Research Fellow of the NZ Ministry of Health, a Research Affiliate of the National Centre for Geocomputation in Ireland, an Advisor to the World Health Organisation and was Chair of the RGS-IBG Geography of Health Research Group from 2005-2007.

Jan may be contacted at

Updated: January 2009