Health geography & Spatial epidemiology

Using tools and approaches of geography to tackle health‐related questions

Principal Investigator

Prof. Catherine Linard

UNamur, Department of Geography 

Research portal UNamur  |  ORCID  |  ResearchGate  |  LinkedIn

Expertise and research interests

Prof. Catherine Linard is health geographer. She is interested in integrated approaches to spatial issues in epidemiology. She combines different methods and tools (e.g. Geographical Information Systems, spatial statistics and models, high resolution remote sensing) for a spatial and integrated approach to various disease systems, especially vector-borne and zoonotic diseases (e.g. malaria, dengue, avian influenza). Her current research activities focus on human population distribution predictions, urban expansion models for Africa and the impact of population distribution changes on health and vulnerability.

Group members

PhD student: Camille Morlighem

Research projects

  • ONGOING Malaria risk mapping in Senegal: combining environmental and human factors. Ongoing PhD thesis by Camille Morlighem. Under the supervision of Prof. Catherine Linard, UNamur, NARILIS/ILEE.
  • ONGOING NITROPOL-BE: Impacts of nitrogen deposition in the natural environment on pollen allergy and respiratory infection outcomes in Belgium. Project funded by the BRAIN-be program of BELSPO.  Multidisciplinary team of scientists from Sciensano, KU Leuven, UNamur (Prof. Catherine Linard and Nicolas Dendoncker) and UCLouvain.
  • ONGOING MAPnSEE: Pathogen Monitoring - Environmental Epidemiological Surveillance. Research collaboration between Prof. Catherine Linard, UNamur and Dr. Jonathan Marescaux, e-biom.
  • Spatial analysis of health inequalities in Dakar, Senegal. PhD thesis defended by Assane Gadiaga on 31/01/2022. In the framework of an ARES-CCD project : “Améliorer les statistiques de décès pour mieux suivre les évolutions sanitaires dans la region de Dakar”. Under co-supervision by UNamur (Prof. Catherine Linard) and UCLouvain (Prof. Bruno Masquelier). In collaboration with Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar.
  • Accessibility to healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa. Research project by Jérémie Bihin. Under the supervision of Prof. Catherine Linard, UNamur, NARILIS/ILEE.
  • REACT: Remote sensing for Epidemiology in Africa CiTies. Project funded by the STEREO-III program of BELSPO. Multipartner consortium coordinated by ULB. In collaboration with UNamur (Prof. Catherine Linard), KU Leuven, University of Mary Washington, University of Maryland and University of Maine.
  • Prevalence and resistance mechanisms of colistin-resistant E. coli (COLREC) at the human-livestock interface in an One Health approach. Postdoctoral research by Dr. Wiebke Jansen. Under the supervision of Prof. Benoît Muylkens, UNamur, NARILIS. In collaboration with CHU UCL Namur, National Reference Center of Antibiotic Resistant Gram Negative Bacilli (Prof. Youri Glupczynski, Prof. Te-Din Daniel Huang, Dr. Pierre Bogaerts) and UNamur Geography department (Prof. Catherine Linard).
  • RespirIT: Assessing spatio-temporal relationships between respiratory health and biodiversity using individual wearable technology. Project funded by the BRAIN-be program of BELSPO. Multipartner consortium coordinated by KU Leuven. In collaboration with UNamur (Prof. Catherine Linard and Nicolas Dendoncker), ISP-WIV, UHasselt and IRM-KMI.
  • ONGOING Study of SARS-CoV-2 emergence and diffusion, from the perspective of human-environment interactions and from a geographical point of view. Research in collaboration with ULB (Prof. Marius Gilbert and Dr. Simon Dellicour).

Selected publications

Dellicour S, Linard C, Van Goethem N, Da Re D, Artois J, Bihin J, Schaus P, Massonnet F, Van Oyen H, Vanwambeke SO, Speybroeck N, Gilbert M. Investigating the drivers of the spatio-temporal heterogeneity in COVID-19 hospital incidence-Belgium as a study case. Int J Health Geogr. 2021 Jun 14;20(1):29.

Stas M, Aerts R, Hendrickx M, Delcloo A, Dendoncker N, Dujardin S, Linard C, Nawrot T, Van Nieuwenhuyse A, Aerts JM, Van Orshoven J, Somers B. Exposure to green space and pollen allergy symptom severity: A case-crossover study in Belgium. Sci Total Environ. 2021 Aug 10;781:146682.

Gadiaga AN, De Longueville F, Georganos S, Grippa T, Dujardin S, Diène AN, Masquelier B, Diallo M, Linard C. Neighbourhood-level housing quality indices for health assessment in Dakar, Senegal. Geospat Health. 2021 May 5;16(1).

Vanwambeke SO, Linard C, Gilbert M, Dellicour S. SARS-CoV-2 emergence and diffusion: a new disease manifesting human-environment interactions and a global geography of health. Curr Opin Environ Sustain. 2020 Oct 27.

Georganos S, Brousse O, Dujardin S, Linard C, Casey D, Milliones M, Parmentier B, van Lipzig NPM, Demuzere M, Grippa T, Vanhuysse S, Mboga N, Andreo V, Snow RW, Lennert M. Modelling and mapping the intra-urban spatial distribution of Plasmodium falciparum parasite rate using very-high-resolution satellite derived indicators. Int J Health Geogr. 2020 Sep 21;19(1):38.

Kabaria CW, Gilbert M, Noor AM, Snow RW, Linard C. The impact of urbanization and population density on childhood Plasmodium falciparum parasite prevalence rates in Africa. Malar J. 2017 Jan 26;16(1):49.