Associate Professor Yan Liu

Associate Professor

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science

Affiliate Academic

Institute for Social Science Research
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
yan.liu@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 56483

Overview

Associate Professor Yan Liu is a Spatial Scientist and Human Geographer, specialising in Geographical Informational Science (GIS), spatial data analytics and complex systems modelling. She received her PhD from the University of Queensland in 2001 and worked at the National Institute of Education at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) and at the Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Wuhan, China). Her research areas include complex systems modelling and geo-simulation focusing on cellular automata based urban modelling, spatial (and big) data analytics, public participatory GIS (PGIS/PPGIS), spatially integrated social science research as well as GIS applications in coupled human and environmental systems. She is also an Affiliate Academic at the Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Queensland and a Research Fellow of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (the Life Course Centre).

A/Professor Liu’s research is multi-disciplinary in nature whereby output of this research has a wide impact across the physical/environmental science as well as social science. Her current research interest focus on CA and agent based urban modelling as well as integrating spatial data mining and big data analytics to enhance our understanding on social spatial issues, as she believes that spatial approach is a novel focus for cross-disciplinary interaction and research in the social and behavioural sciences.

Research Interests

  • Urban Modelling and Geo-Simulation
    My work focus on developing cellular automat (CA) models to understand the spatio-temporal patterns, processes, and drivers of urban growth; and modelling human-environment interactions through scenario planning and geo-simulation. More recent work focuses on understanding how the decision behaviours of various stakeholders impact on the spatio-temporal processes of urban growth through an integrated CA and agent based modelling (ABM) approach. I am currently recruiting PhD students to work on: 1) developing an irregular parcel based CA and 3D CA model to simulate vertical urban growth in Brisbane; 2) a cross-cultural comparison/validation of a CA-ABM model to simulate urban growth dynamics.
  • Spatial Data Analytics
    I am interested in all aspects of spatial data analytics, including big data and spatio-temporal data mining tools and methods, with the aim to enhance our understanding on a range of social geographical and health related issues. Some on-going research in the field include: analysis and modelling of public transport services and human mobility and travel behaviours using smart card data; mining of large scale administrative data to understand (un)-neighbourliness and neighbourhood disorders; modelling of spatial access to green space, health and other services and facilities to identify disparity and inequalities.
  • 3D modelling and Geo-Visualisation
    My work in this field focuses on spatial visualisation, 3D GIS and applications in spatial skills development and education. I am currently working on a project to develop a 3D city model and implement a sequential technology-enabled curriculum in Urban Planning using 3D modelling techniques to enhance students' spatial skills and become work-ready planners.

Research Impacts

A/Professor Liu’s research on urban modelling based on complex systems theory and geo-simulation addresses a significant issue in relation to understanding and predicting urban growth. This is an important and rapidly evolving field which has emerged in the past two decades to study the coupled natural and human systems, their spatial evolution and temporal change mechanisms and dynamics. Methodologically, her research has contributed to advance urban modelling by developing fuzzy constrained CA approach and engaging in systematic calibration of CA urban models using both statistical and intelligent optimisation approaches.

The main projects I am currently working on are:

  • ARC DP (2017-2019) to develop new approaches to modelling human-environment interactions for sustainable coastal city development based on spatial complexity, cellular automata and agent based models.
  • ARC DP (2015-2017) to study the nature, causes and outcomes of problems between neighbours using survey and large scale administrative data.
  • UQ FirstLink project (2016-2017) to analyse and map mild stoke outcomes and untreated deficits using GIS approach.

Qualifications

  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • One PhD project is available to develop and test an irregular CA model to align with land cadastre boundaries, and a 3D CA model structures to account for the vertical growth of cities. This is part of an ARC project on developing new modelling approaches to simulate human-environmental interactions for coastal city development. The candidate will work under the principal supervision of A/Professor Yan Liu, and co-supervised by an ARC project team including world leading urban modelling scientist, Professor Michael Batty from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) of the University College London. Prospective candidates should have a strong interest in complex systems modelling and geosimulation, with good knowledge in human geography, urban studies/planning, GIS, geoinfomatics, or other relevant field. Funding for field work, travel to attend conferences in Australia or overseas will be available from the ARC project. If interested in working on this project please contact me at yan.liu@uq.edu.au

  • This is also part of an ARC project on developing new modelling approaches to simulate human-environmental interactions for coastal city development. The PhD candidate will seek funding from the China Scholarship Council (CSC). The project will focus on developing applications of the CA-ABM in a coastal city in China, and comparing the modelling approach, performance, and outcomes under different cultural, policy and institutional settings. The candidate will work under the principal supervision of A/Professor Yan Liu, and co-supervised by an ARC project team including world leading urban modelling scientist, Professor Michael Batty from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) of the University College London. Funding for field work, travel to attend conferences in Australia or overseas will be available from the ARC project. If interested in working on this project please contact me at yan.liu@uq.edu.au

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • One PhD project is available to develop and test an irregular CA model to align with land cadastre boundaries, and a 3D CA model structures to account for the vertical growth of cities. This is part of an ARC project on developing new modelling approaches to simulate human-environmental interactions for coastal city development. The candidate will work under the principal supervision of A/Professor Yan Liu, and co-supervised by an ARC project team including world leading urban modelling scientist, Professor Michael Batty from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) of the University College London. Prospective candidates should have a strong interest in complex systems modelling and geosimulation, with good knowledge in human geography, urban studies/planning, GIS, geoinfomatics, or other relevant field. Funding for field work, travel to attend conferences in Australia or overseas will be available from the ARC project. If interested in working on this project please contact me at yan.liu@uq.edu.au

  • This is also part of an ARC project on developing new modelling approaches to simulate human-environmental interactions for coastal city development. The PhD candidate will seek funding from the China Scholarship Council (CSC). The project will focus on developing applications of the CA-ABM in a coastal city in China, and comparing the modelling approach, performance, and outcomes under different cultural, policy and institutional settings. The candidate will work under the principal supervision of A/Professor Yan Liu, and co-supervised by an ARC project team including world leading urban modelling scientist, Professor Michael Batty from the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) of the University College London. Funding for field work, travel to attend conferences in Australia or overseas will be available from the ARC project. If interested in working on this project please contact me at yan.liu@uq.edu.au